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Nighttime Beauty Tips

Simmons Mattress Gallery wants you to look and feel as beautiful as possible. We strongly believe that your nightly bedtime ritual can help you reach that potential. This week we have compiled seven beauty tips for preparing your body for sleep:

7. Off With Your Face

Never, ever, go to bed without a full facial scrub. Ladies who wear makeup, you know what your pillow looks like when you don’t remove your applied products before bed. You also probably know how cosmetic products clog your pores. Removing all your makeup lets your face breathe. It also reduces the buildup of natural oils that collect on your face. Even if you don’t use cosmetics, a good facial scrub will keep you acne free and looking young. That means you too men!

6. Pillow Exchange

Even after a good scrub, your face still tends to smear a considerable amount of natural oils on your pillowcase. This oil, along with daily bacteria, builds up and creates a petri dish of a headrest. Change your pillowcase weekly to reduce the deposits.

5. Full Body Moisturizer

Makeup removal products can leave your face feeling dry and irritated. Try a facial moisturizer to hydrate your pores. Use a full-body moisturizer for the rest of your skin.

4. Time Sensitive

Be careful not to moisturize just before turning in. Start your beauty routine half-an-hour before bed. This will give your skin ample time to absorb the products so your skin can reap the rewards while you sleep. Try reading a book or decompress the day in silent meditation.

3. Elevate to Exfoliate

Let’s face it (pun intended), your physiognomy defines you. Keeping your face looking healthy and beautiful is a top priority when it comes to outward beauty. Our secret tip: prop your head up. The higher your head, the more it will drain. Too much fluid in your face leaves it looking puffy. This tip is especially important for those who have tied-one-on the night before.

2. Atmospheric Mist

Humidifiers may seem like a childhood tool, but they are actually fantastic for keeping your skin hydrated. You don’t need to turn your room into the Amazon, but a little mist goes a long way.

1. Mattress Miracles

An undisturbed sleep is the best gift you can give your body. A luxury Vancouver mattress can provide you with the rest your body craves. With over 800 individual pocket coils in our standard Beautyrest mattress, the Simmons difference produces instant results. Sleep through the night in comfort and reap the rewards the next morning.

Street Sleep

Last week 39 local executives braved the cold and rain to sleep outside to raise donations and awareness for Vancouver’s Covenant House Crisis Program. By morning, the sleepers had raised $385,374 through private donations and sponsorships.

The group included the Vancouver Whitecaps President, Bob Lenarduzzi, BC Lions President and CEO, Dennis Skulsky and many others local execs and media personalities.

Most of the participants slept on simple cardboard sleeping mats, using only their sleeping bag as shelter. Luckily for the participants, the temperatures remained above freezing, but the rain made it an uncomfortable experience, to say the least.

The brave sleepers were treated to sit-down dinner by the Covenant House staff before their ordeal. After the meal they participated in a roundtable discussion with some of the youth who were living at the facility. The youth shared their personal experiences about sleeping outside and provided tips for the execs.

In the end, only six of the sleepers made it the entire night, but their charitable donations will help youth in our city find proper shelter for months to come.

The Vancouver event was part of a larger demonstration that took place in cities across North America, all in the pursuit of getting young people off the street and indoors.

Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees has opened for another holiday season at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver. For the last 27 years, the festival has displayed beautiful trees decorated by generous sponsors who support the BC Children’s Hospital. Individuals and corporations have worked hard to compose a holiday forest worthy of St. Nick’s highest praise.

The event is free, but organizers suggest a minimum donation of $2.00. This money, along with the sponsor’s donations, goes directly to supporting child health in BC. Last year the event raised over $148,000.

The visiting public is encouraged to donate, but also to vote, selecting their favourite tree from the twinkling line-up.

Because of the event’s growing popularity, the display area was expanded in 2008 to include the upper level entrance to the Pacific Centre Mall off of West Georgia. The festival also runs in Victoria at the Fairmont Empress and in smaller venues in Nanaimo, Sooke, Port Alberni and Osoyoos.

You can visit the trees seven days a week, with the displays open until 11:00 p.m. daily. The final showing will be on Sunday, January 4th.

Come down today and get in the spirit of the holidays by donating to the BCCH and admiring the festive creations.

The Anatomy of a Simmons Beautyrest Mattress

A mattress is more than springs and cushions. Like your body, it is a complex system of integral parts. All those parts add up to the perfect sleeping vessel.

Today we thought we would peel back the comfort layers to reveal the science behind the industry’s top mattress brand. Starting at the top, here are the vital components, that when contained in a Beautyrest mattress, offer a one-of-a-kind sleeping experience:

Comfort Top

  • The top layer of a Simmons Beautyrest, like all Simmons mattresses, is composed of luxurious fabrics to give your mattress a soft comfortable touch. Top layer options include: tight top, pillow top and hi-loft pillow top.

Memory Foam

  • Below the plush fabric top is an optional layer of foam. Simmons uses their advanced AirCool memory foam, luxury firm comfort foam and plush comfort foam to add unparalleled comfort.

TruTemp Gel

  • Available for the World Class line of Beautyrests, TruTemp gel offers a heat-absorbing layer that absorbs, stores and releases excess warmth to keep your bed at the ideal sleeping temperature.

Non-Flip Pocket Coils

  • Individual pocket coils provide the intrinsic support layer for all Beautyrests. The standard Recharge model comes with 800 coils, while the World Class model incorporates a 1,000. These pocket coils are the result of decades of sleep and design research.

AirCool BeautyEdge Foam Encasement

  • Foam at the side of the bed provides a durable edge to maximize the sleeping surface. The encasement foam is also designed to improve airflow within the mattress, providing a side vent for heat release.

Triton Foundation

  • Made of heavy-gauge steel and wood, Trtion foundations are the perfect comfort compliment for Beautyrest mattresses.

The Nutshell Sleeping Pod

Always fascinated by bizarre sleeping products, our interest was peaked this week when we came across an unusual sleeping bag called ‘The Nutshell’. The Nutshell is a private sleeping chamber designed by an MFA student at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Eden Law is the designer of this personal sleeping pod that is intended to provide private moments of sanctuary during the workday.

The Nutshell is a wearable device that wraps around your shoulders like a shawl. It also has backpack straps. When deployed, the nutshell creates a private sleeping dome around your head and upper torso. This allows the user to sleep or eat in a self-contained chamber.

Law came up with the idea during her studies as a way to block out distractions. “As a student,” Law explains, “I’m always looking for the quickest meal to avoid stopping my workflow. I decided that if I’m going to spend five minutes or less eating a lunch, then I might as well use that five minutes to take a mental break.”

The Nutshell is currently not for sale, but it looks as though the marketing team behind her design is revving up. Thank goodness they didn’t go with the alternative name: nut sack,’ because, in reality that is a more accurate visual description.

See what you think of the design below. Would you wear one?

2014 Grey Cup Weekend

The BC Lions have been eliminated from the CFL Playoffs, but the buildup to the 102nd Grey Cup is just starting to build. Vancouver is hosting the national event at BC Place Stadium. Organizers have planned a full weekend of events to entertain the many football fans that will be flooding into our fair city. The game itself will be played on November 30th, with a kickoff of 3 p.m.

Here is a full list of the events planned for the days leading up to the Grey Cup:

Thursday, November 27th

Telus Street Festival

This a family friendly event at Canada Place that is free of charge. Gates open at 11 a.m. The festival will continue each day until kickoff.

Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series

Doors open at 5 pm at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Three bands will be featured: Hey Ocean!, Family of the Year and Gay Nineties. Base tickets are selling for $35. Hey Ocean! will be headlining and plan to take the stage around 10:30 p.m.

CFL Awards

The 2014 CFL Awards will be handed out at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with the cheapest tickets going for $70. Full VIP experience passes are available for this event.

Friday, November 28th

Blakes CFL Alumni Legends Luncheon

The three-course lunch kicks off at 11 a.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre. A silent auction is planned along with live entertainment and Q&A session with CFL greats. Tickets are a little steep for this event, with a starting price of $150.

Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series

Doors open at 4 p.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Friday’s theme is country music, with One More Girl, Tebey and Tim Hicks preforming. Cowboy boots recommended, but not required.

Hall of Fame Night

The 2015 inductees to the CFL Hall of Fame will be announced at this event. The festivities will take place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel with doors opening at 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 29th

Athletes in Action Breakfast

Start the day off with a hearty breakfast at the Vancouver Convention Centre and rub elbows with CFL players and their wives.

Festival Parade

Starting at 10 a.m., the parade will begin at Smithe and Hornby and will head west to Burrard, then turn North making its way to Dunsmuir, then East to Granville Street. The Grey Cup trophy will be on display as well as floats, marching bands and past and present CFL stars.

Red Truck Tailgate Concert Series

The final night of this event features Trooper, 54-40 and Sass Jordan. Doors ope at 12 p.m. for all the keeners.

Scotiabank Rock and Roar Gala

This is the premier event of the lead up events to the Grey Cup. It will take place in the Vancouver Convention Centre West ballroom. Unfortunately this event is already sold out.

Sunday, November 30th

Fan March

Before the big game, the CFL has organized an event that celebrates the game’s loyal fans. The march will start at Jack Poole Plaza at 12:30 p.m. and will finish at BC Place Stadium.

Hope everyone has an unforgettable Grey Cup weekend!

10 Next Level Sleeping Tips

At Simmons Mattress Gallery, we firmly believe that a new luxury mattress set can make the difference between a regular night’s sleep and an undisturbed, comfort guaranteed, nightly escape. Yes, our Simmons Beautyrest mattresses, with their pocket coil innovation, offer a sleep that is unparalleled in the mattress industry.

We are proud of what are mattresses can accomplish, but we also recognize there are many ways in which the individual can improve their own sleep. Here is a short list of ten ways you can take your sleeping hours to the next level of relaxation:

10. Caffeine Curfew

  • We all love coffee, but it can be one of the most destructive elements on your potential for rest. Have your last cup no later that 4 p.m.

9. Green is Now Your Favourite Colour

  • Fruits and vegetables are the most important natural nutritional element you can put in your body. Bananas, kale and spinach all help you body produce the sleep hormone melatonin.

8. Drop the Cow

  • Dairy can cause abdominal discomfort that can have you tossing and turning at night. If you are sensitive, reduce your intake, especially before bed.

7. Blackout

  • Remove everything in your room, besides your alarm clock, that produces light. Then work on your windows. Keep your sleep sanctuary as dark as possible.

6. Watering Detail

  • Just like your plants, water is key. Your body works the best when it is hydrated. This includes your sleep.

5. Sunshine of Your Life

  • Back to the plant comparison – You plants need light and so do you. Vitamin D is essential for the production of energy. Make time to be outside each and every day. Your body will reward you.

4. Physical Intensity

  • Vancouver is a health conscious city. We all love to ride, workout and run. But our body doesn’t need an intensive workout at 10:30 at night, especially if you plan on being in bed by midnight. Try lower impact workouts like yoga during the hours leading up to bedtime.

3. Routines, Routines, Routines

  • Our bodies are built around responding to routines. The more you can control your nightly routine, the more you can ensure a full-nights sleep.

2. Anxiety Builds Anxiety

  • If you find it hard to fall back asleep, don’t let your mind win out over your body. Instead of staring at the ceiling, get out of bed and take up a boring household activity. Your body will remind you of how tired you are in no time.

1. High Priority

  • Sleep needs to be a daily priority. It will help with your mood, health, diet and energy levels. Ignore your need and your body will crash.

The Return of Uber

This week the rideshare tech company Uber started a new online petition to allow their services to operate in Vancouver. Currently, the British Columbian government is restraining the upstart global taxi company by enforcing regulations that require all Uber drivers to charge a minimum $75 limousine rate, as laid out in the Passenger Transportation Board rate structure. Since Uber’s main cliental uses the service for short rides, the regulation has prevented the service from gaining any ground. Uber hopes that public opinion can reverse the Province’s decision to side with the taxi industry.

If you’ve never heard of Uber, here’s a brief bio:

The company was started in San Francisco as an alternative ridesharing service. It operates through a smartphone app where clients can connect with local drivers. The app allows the customers to track the proximity of the driver through a GPS system. With a variety of cars to choose from, clients are given more personal options when choosing their transportation. They are also able to rate and comment on their experience and their specific driver (anonymously). Drivers are also able to rate their passengers. Uber currently operates in 142 cities in 40 different countries around the world.

Vancouver briefly had access to Uber in May of 2012. But after pressure from the local taxi industry, the province quickly curtailed their business hopes. Uber left Vancouver the same year, making our city the only metropolitan centre that Uber has pulled out of.

Now Uber is back and looking for a second kick-at-the-can. This summer they offered a promotional service, delivering ice cream, everyone’s favourite cold treat. They hope that their petition will force the Provincial Government to rethink the current regulations. The petition currently has over 6,000 signatures.

Vancouver Remembers

This Tuesday is Remembrance Day, a day set aside to acknowledge the brave men and women who have served and who are currently serving Canada’s military.

After the events in Ottawa last month, it is more important than ever for the public to show their support for the people who put their lives on the line just by putting on the uniform.

Vancouver will be hosting a number of events to remember and acknowledge our soldiers. Here is a short list:

Generation to Generation Ceremony

Where: Jack Poole Plaza (Convention Center West)

When: 8:30 a.m.

Event: This ceremony is intended to show the generational exchange of service. A senior veteran will pass Canada’s flag to the next generation of veterans from wars overseas. The cauldron will be lit during the exchange and will continue burning until 11:00 a.m.

Victory Square Ceremony

Where: Victory Square Cenotaph (corner of Cambie and Hastings)

When: 9:45 a.m.

Event: This is the main Remembrance Day gathering in Vancouver. The event will begin with a performance by the Vancouver Bach Youth Choir. At 10:00 a.m., the Vancouver Flag Party will lead the veterans to Victory Square. The cenotaph ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. At 11:00 a.m. the Last Post will be sounded followed by two minutes of silence and a 21-gun salute. The ceremony will receive a fly-by from the Royal Canadian Air Force. The event will conclude with a performance of “In Flanders Fields.”

Smaller Events:

Memorial South Park Cenotaph

Where: 41st Avenue and Windsor Street

When: 10:30 a.m.

Grandview Park

Where: Commercial Drive and Charles Street

When: 10:45 a.m.

Chinatown Memorial

Where: Keefer Street and Columbia Street

When: 12:30 p.m.

Top Ten Things That Come In a Pocket

10. Change

With the loss of the penny, our change has become more manageable.

9. Polly

Throwback! Polly pocket was the envy of every little boy. I mean a virtual world in a clamshell. How come they never made a He-Man pocket toy?!?!

8. Lint

Most of the time it ends up in the lint trap, but lint is the ultimate fire starter. If you are ever stuck out in the woods without dry kindling, dig deep in your pocket.

7. Protectors

Keeping nerds safe from their pens since 1947.

6. Knife

The Swiss were ahead of the curve on this one. The pocketknife is the go-to-tool for Dads around the world. Just make sure you remove it before going through airport security. Seriously.

5. Manifesto

The key physical attribute for any manifesto is size. If you can’t stuff it in your pocket, you may miss out on that brilliant idea on your way to the gym. Marx and Engels were able to share the weight; four pockets – one world changing political document.

4. Keys to a new car

RIP Rod Roddy.

3. Phones

New for 2014: Apple’s bendable version.

2. Pizza

The perfect doughy vehicle for pepperoni, cheese and sauce.

1. Coils

Simmons patented non-flip pocket coils. We took the normal spring mattress and flipped it. For good.

Our pocket coils offer an undisturbed sleep with the ultimate level of comfort. Try one at Simmons Mattress Gallery.

The Suite Dreams Project

A charity organization in Michigan is helping to create custom bedrooms for children with special needs. The non-profit group, “The Suite Dreams Project,” is dedicated to constructing unique bedroom environments that provide a space for healing, enjoyment and sleep.

Kay Ponicall and Kris Appleby spearhead the project. Ponicall and Appleby work with parents and children to help boost the quality of life for the entire family. They start with the child’s ideal bedroom and then work out from there. They add elements that make the physical work easier for the parents and make the room pretty and practical for the child.

“Many of [the children] are spending most of their time in their bedrooms and in their own beds so it’s not just their refuge,” said Ponicall. “It is really where they spend most of their time.”

Recipients of the bedroom makeovers are referred by hospitals, social workers and physical therapists in the area.

Local business owners and volunteers, many who have been active with the organization since its conception in 2001, aid the charity.

If you would like to offer your time or resources to help children with special needs in Vancouver, please contact the Variety Club Children’s Charity.

Other organizations that help children in our city:

Kids Up Front

  • Helps underprivileged kids attend events that they may not have the opportunity to see normally.

Ronald McDonald House

  • Provides accommodation for seriously ill children and their families.

Covenant House

  • Helps street youth find sanitary.

Splatter Zone

The goriest night out in Vancouver this Halloween season is Evil Dead: The Musical.

The B-movie is transformed for the stage with all the characters you loved from the original film series. At the centre of the action is Ash, played by Scott Walters (originally Bruce Campbell). Ash brings his boomstick and all the one-liners you can handle: “You might say that was overkill… I say it was just enough kill.”

Accompanying Ash are Cheryl, Ash’s little sister; Linda, Ash’s girlfriend; Scott, Ash’s best friend; and Shelley, Scott’s new squeeze. All the performers dance, sing and shoot their way towards the shows gory conclusion.

Tickets are $29.99 for regular seats or an even $40 for the splatter zone. Yes, you heard that correct. SPLATTER ZONE! If you go with the big ticket, make sure you wear a light coloured shirt that you’re not too attached to.

The production is running nightly at the Norman Rothstein Theatre until November 1st.

Who needs a right hand when you can replace it with a chainsaw!?!?!

Ring-inginginging…..

Pillow Talk

A stack of mattresses on a university campus in Georgia is leading a dialogue on the nature of sexual consent amongst university students.

The project is titled “Pillow Talk: Conversations about Consent” and uses a variety of media elements to promote dialogue. The centrepiece is a pile of discarded mattresses that have been adorned with the hashtag #Consent. Placed on the mattresses are anonymous written testimonies of students who were victims of sexual assault. Passing students are asked to add their own experiences to the piece.

The installation’s organizers, ‘Art For Change,’ were inspired to create the work after hearing about Emma Sulkowicz, a fellow university student and her silent protest of carrying around a mattress after she was raped in her dorm room.

Often these issues are suppressed by college culture, with the assailants being protected by their social group.  Organizers hope the installation will help students relieve themselves of the burden of holding on to secrets regarding sexual consent.

Victoria Brannon, one of the creators, said the project got off to a rocky start: “We actually had an interesting morning because we had people coming by, completely ruining the sculpture and I feel like that was saying a lot about people asking for consent.” The vandals did not receive consent to trash the installation.

Blue Goggles

A new study conducted by Swiss researchers at the Psychiatric Hospital of the University of Basel has found that special glasses that block only blue wavelengths may help us sleep better.

Our body is more sensitive to light then we might imagine. That computer screen in front of you could be the reason you had trouble sleeping last night. Excessive blue light is one of the leading contributors to poor sleep. Blue light wavelengths are produced by many of the devices that we rely on every day. Absorbing excessive amounts of these rays after sunset can make it hard to fall asleep.

Natural daylight keeps our body aligned with the environment. During the winter, when we experience less daylight, our body produces increased levels of melatonin, so we can fall asleep easier. During the summer, when we have more daylight hours to be productive, natural light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, allowing us to stay awake longer.

This dynamic pattern is part of our personal set of circadian rhythms. These rhythms aid in our sleep.

Unfortunately technology has the potential to disrupt these rhythms.

The Swiss team found that teenage boys who wore the glasses and used computers and hand-held devices before bed were much more likely to feel relaxed and tired before bedtime than when wearing clear glasses.

The glasses were effective in blocking the wavelengths that suppressed melatonin. The researchers were careful to also suggest the results may have been caused by an overall dimness. Not just the blue light.

Fall Back

On Sunday November 2nd, most of British Columbia will move their clocks back an hour. Daylight savings is here and with it a chance to gain back some needed sleep.

Sleep experts say that an extra hour on the mattress over the weekend can help us get caught up on our weeknight sleep debt. That extra hour helps our body recharge and our brain repair the damaged synapses that might have been clouding our thoughts during the week. And with Daylight Savings – It’s guilt-free!

You don’t even have to sleep. All you need to do is enjoy your Vancouver mattress for one extra hour. That’s not so hard.

If it is a chore to stay in bed, you probably are sleeping on the wrong mattress. A visit to Simmons Mattress Gallery can reverse your stance on sleeping-in. Come talk to the professionals before Sunday.

And for those of you on Mountain Time, well, it’s business as usual for you. To keep up with the rest of us, why don’t you head to bed an hour earlier on Saturday? We wouldn’t want an unfair advantage.

Vancouver’s Ambitious Goal to Become The Greenest City

Vancouver is hoping to become the ‘Greenest City‘ by 2020. This ambitious goal is something that we can all strive towards. It will be a hard designation to gauge and it definitely won’t solely come down to the number of bike lanes we have. We all have to do our part to keep Vancouver a sustainable and environmentally progressive city.

In the mattress world, this means recycling. Mattresses have a life cycle and when their 8-10 year term comes to an end, they need to be disposed of by a green method.

Vancouver currently has a number of options for environmentally friendly mattress disposal. You can take your old mattress to a Transfer Station where they charge $15 per item or you can take them directly to a mattress recycler.

MattressRecycling.ca is one of your private recycling options. This company just received an award for ‘Best Green Business’ by the Small Business BC Awards. They charge $12.50 for residential mattresses and box springs. They also take metal bed frames free of charge.

A third option is to call an independent junk removal company. Companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK will come to your home for mattress removal, saving you from an awkward transportation trip.

For more information on mattress disposal and for finding a luxury replacement mattress, talk to the professionals at Simmons Mattress Gallery.

The Forbidden City

The Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting a new exhibit this fall that will feature five centuries of artifacts from Imperial China. The exhibit is titled “The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China’ Emperors” and will run until January 11th at the main museum centre between Robson and Georgia Street.

At the height of it’s power, the Beijing palace was a place of mystery, where only a select group of staff, visitors and family members could ogle the treasures held within its walls. Now, a century after the Empire fell, the veil is being removed and the priceless contents are being displayed for the public.

The exhibition is organized by Beijing’s Palace Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The main curator is Dr. Chen Shen, the ROM’s Chair of East Asian Archaeology. Local historian and UBC professor, Timothy Brook, is coordinating the exhibit for Vancouver’s exhibit.

The collection is divided into nine unique sections:

Entrance

  • Focuses on Aisin-Gioro lineage line, the greatest triple generation of emperors in Chinese history

Reigning

  • Icons of power are displayed in this room with an emphasis on the emperor’s throne.

Warring

  • Armour and weaponry, the tools for consolidating power.

Symbols

  • This section looks at the colours and dress of the emperors.

Lineage

  • A look at the concubines who provided heirs to the throne.

Texting

  • Less emoticons and more calligraphy, this section deals with the private and public communications voiced by the rulers.

Consuming

  • The far-from-ordinary daily objects used in the palace.

Collecting

  • The emperor’s private collection of artifacts from China and around the world.

Farewell My Emperor

  • The final room features a discussion on the last emperor of the Forbidden City.

The exhibit will also host two historical lectures on October 28th at 7 p.m. and November 4th at 7 p.m. Both of these talks are on a Tuesday evening, where entrance is by donation.

Vancouver Reality Show: Ultra Rich Asian Girls

Another reality show focusing on Vancouver women is coming to the small screen this fall. HBICtv: Ultra Rich Asian Girls will be streaming online with a premier slated for October 26th, at 7 p.m.

The web-based reality show is the brainchild of local filmmaker Kevin Li. Li has his own production company, Little Ram Productions Inc. that has been operating since 2001. He received an Independent Producers Fund from Omni for his documentary “Secret Societies of Vancouver’s Chinatown.”

Li’s new series will focus on Mandarin-speaking young professional women who have been born into a lifestyle of affluence. From the teaser trailer, the show seems to be a tongue-in-cheek take on the already saturated reality TV market.

The series will most likely address a number of the stereotypes associated with young rich Asian professional women and their material items.

According to the programs webpage, the show’s lettered moniker, “HBIC,” is an acronym for the saying “Hot B**ch in Charge.” Yikes!

The show ran a casting call last summer with a video that went viral on the Internet. The video received 300,000 views on YouTube and was seen over 2.8 million times on alternate streaming platforms in China. Needless to say, Li has created a hype machine that will potentially land his show on a official network by the end of the year.

Mattress Vancouver

Simmons Canada has developed a wonderful new tool for helping you choose your next Beautyrest mattress. With a large variety of product lines, the process of selecting a new mattress can come across as daunting. The new tool makes it easy to find the perfect bed for your lifestyle.

Simmons Mattress Gallery, on Broadway and Oak, has an experienced staff of mattress professionals to help with walk-in customers, but sometimes mattress shoppers like to do their initial browsing online. Enter the Beautyrest Product Selector.

The product selector asks a series of questions to determine which mattress in the Beautyrest line-up makes the most sense for your personal preferences. It asks a series of six simple questions where customers are given a number of choices to adequately express their desires and lifestyle regiments.

The first question is: “Why are you looking for a bed?” Below the question are five fun little cartoon circles with a brief statement. All you need to do is choose which one comes closest to your intent. Our favourite doodle is the chainsaw wielding, ‘I hate my current bed’ figure.

The other five questions concern bedroom type, comfort preference, lifestyle demographic, sleeping position and body type.

Once completed, the program offers the bed that best suits your answers, plus two other suggestions.

The results are easily printable so you can bring them with you for your next visit to Simmons Mattress Gallery in Vancouver.

Take the survey today and have the perfect mattress in your home by nightfall.

Pop Songs vs. Lullabies

Kelly Clarkson recently admitted that when its time to put her baby down to bed, her go-to-song is not a classic lullaby, but a pop hit from the 90s R&B group TLC. “Silly Ho” is her baby’s favourite (non) traditional lullaby.

Sounds like an odd choice, especially from a songstress with such a deep catalogue of beautiful love songs, but it seems this is becoming the norm.

More and more parents are choosing to sing pop songs to their wee ones instead of traditional lullabies.

A survey done by toy manufacturer “Symphony in B” found that 64% of parents choose radio hits over the classic cradlesongs. The kids hear them in the car, in the kitchen and on television. They hear their parents singing along and create a comfort level with the melodies. Hearing their parents preform them soothes their mind and relaxes their bodies.

Of the 2000 polled for the survey, 89 per cent believe that music is an important at an early age to develop an appreciation for music later in life. Experts also believe that children that are sung to are also more likely to develop proper language skills.

Maybe Iggy isn’t the ideal language teacher, but her lyrics may have your future prosecutors spouting full sentences before they hit the playground.

Keep it ‘Fancy’ Vancouver.

Pasta License

A young man from Surrey is being denied his driver’s license because of his religious beliefs that include the wearing of a plastic colander on his head.

Obi Canuel is a devout member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and identifies as a practicing Pastafarian. In November of 2013, he attempted to have his driver’s photo taken while wearing his religious headgear. ICBC denied him an identity card but issued him a temporary license.

Since his first attempt at receiving a proper license, Canuel has returned to his local ICBC branch, only to be issued additional temporary slips. But on October 3rd of this year, Canuel’s luck and ICBC’s patience ran out. The corporation governing driver identification gave him a one-day license and claimed that he could not apply again until he conformed with the proper photo requirements (bare-headed).

ICBC currently allows citizens of the province who belong to religions with certain headgear policies to retain their coverings for their ID photographs. When asked about the policy, ICBC spokesperson Adam Grossman stated that the insurance corporation only permits individuals to wear head coverings if their religion prohibits their removal. “Mr. Canuel,” claims Grossman, “could not provide us with any proof that his faith prohibits it.”

While, the case sounds unique, it is not the first time that a Pastafarian has been denied an ID photo. There have been numerous other battles around the world between members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and government identification boards. Currently there are four countries that permit the specific strainers to be worn. Oddly enough, one of these is the United States.

When asked about his next course of action, Canuel said that he would not be pursuing further legal action as to do so would only cost money and the time of the Canadian justice system.

Simmons Mattress Galley would like to formally welcome Canuel to their showroom. There are no formal rules regarding headgear for customers or staff. If you choose to wear a sacred colander to bed, that is your prerogative; although we can’t imagine it to be that comfortable.

The Key to Unlocking Your Potential

Potential is a buzzword that is batted around when an individual is preforming at a level below expectations. It is often accompanied by the conjunction ‘but’, as in: “he had the potential to reach his goal, but [insert popular excuse].

Simmons Mattress Gallery wants to embrace potential, while removing the ‘but’. We believe that a new mattress is the ‘key’ for moving from potential, to success. This key will opens doors, creates confidence, improve your health and generally make life easier and more manageable.

How does this ’super key’ work?

A Simmons Beautyrest will improve your overall energy potential allowing you more opportunities to succeed at what ever task you set your mind to.

You won’t be sapped for energy at 2:30 in the afternoon. You won’t arrive at work looking like you spent the previous night at a dive bar (even if you had). You won’t be forced to make-up excuses for why you didn’t make it to the gym. And you definitely won’t spend the day showing off your back molars

Our beds will recharge your body, mind and soul. With eight hours of undisturbed rest, you will have more opportunities to kick-ass. A proper sleep will transform your ability to meet your goals leading to a happier, healthier, richer life.

Unlock your potential today, with a new bed from Simmons Mattress Gallery.

Tedx Vancouver

The hugely popular TED Talks series is bringing its local edition to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on October 18th for the 5th version of TEDxVancouver. The theme of this year’s event is TILT, as in tilt your perspective. Organizers hope to remove attendees from their comfort zones in the hope of finding new methods of circumventing traditional barriers that limit potential.

Here are the confirmed speakers for this year’s event:

Jay DeMerit

  • DeMerit is a retired soccer player who captained the Vancouver Whitecaps, before his retirement earlier this year due to injury. DeMerit is the subject of an independent film titled “Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story,” based on his seemingly impossible rise from ninth tier English soccer play to the Premier League with Watford.

Treana Peake

  • Peake is a Vancouver designer who started her own women’s fashion line, Obakki, in 2005. She has gone on to create the Obakki Foundation, a charitable organization that focuses on providing clean water and education in Africa.

Victor Chan

  • A spiritual student of the Dalai Lama, Chan has traveled the world studying the simple lessons past down the Buddhist leader.

Charles Montgomery

  • Montgomery is the author of Happy City, an experimentalist’s take on the perceived goal of urban design.

Jennifer Gardy and Peter Gregson

  • This team of scientists is invested in researching the potential of DNA sequencing and its ability to solve public heath issues. This is a must-see for local health personnel.

Jessica O’Reilly

  • O’Reilly is a sexologist, determined to extend the current discourse on intimacy and its importance in a healthy relationship.

Just Announced:

Chip Wilson

  • Wilson, the founder of Lululemon Athletica, has been an inspiration to Vancouver entrepreneurs for decades. He recently got himself in a little hot water over comments he made about a certain customer demographic, but even so, Wilson is an undeniable leader with a lot to say.

Keep Smiling Vancouver

Rough Guides travel guide has ranked Vancouver as the sixth friendliest city in the world.

The online travel resource, produced by Penguin Publishing, took a survey of its users to create the list. At number one, was Glasgow, Scotland. The only other Canadian city on the list of 15 was Montreal, coming in at third in the world. The only American city to make the list was Atlanta, Georgia. England (with Liverpool and Manchester) and Canada were the only two countries to have more than one city on the list.

The sleep professionals at Simmons Mattress Gallery believe the secret to our overall friendliness lies in the quality of sleep that Vancouverites receive. We don’t want to take a 100% of the credit, but SMG has been providing the city with luxury mattresses for years. All that undisturbed sleep has made us a happier, friendlier folk.

We rise early with enough energy to work, play and enjoy our families. We are blessed with a beautiful backyard of wilderness to explore, the ocean to paddle on and a plethora of bike lanes to commute on. Our good fortune shines through in our willing nature to share our gifts with all of those (mostly) wonderful tourists. And when it’s time to crash, we have the world’s best beds to collapse on.

So keep smiling Vancouver. Your friendly spirit is not going unnoticed.

Should You Wear a Bra to Bed?

For most women, the choice to wear a bra to bed is a matter of comfort; some enjoy or need the support of a bra, while others find a bra to be an unneeded irritant. But some women believe that wearing a bra at night increases the risk of breast cancer. Still others are under the notion that not wearing one increases the chance of, dare we say it, ‘breast sag’.

Let’s set the record straight.

First, there is no scientific evidence that wearing a brazier while you sleep will increase your chances of developing breast cancer. Claims that tight-fitting bras trap toxins in the lymphatic system have not been proven. Some magazines might tell you otherwise, but until science backs up this claim, you can forget about it.

Next, a bra at night will not magically lift your breasts to new heights. Time, gravitational pull and breastfeeding will do their work no matter how stiff your underwire is.

Comfort alone should affect your choice of what you sleep in.

Bra or no bra, a new Vancouver mattress will improve your sleep dramatically. And that’s been proven!

The Kids Are Alright

The kids could be heading back to school on Monday, as the B.C. teacher’s strike looks to finally be over.

The two sides reached an agreement on Tuesday in the wee hours of the morning. Vince Ready, a veteran mediator who has helped negotiate labour agreements in British Columbia as far back as the 1980s, helped them find a workable solution. Ready had initially declined the invitation to mediate the teacher’s dispute, but chose to wade into the foray in mid August after two other mediators, Mark Brown and B.C. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kelleher, refused to offer assistance.

The new six-year collective agreement will see a 7.25 per cent salary increase for the teachers over the next six years. The agreement also calls for $400 million to be spent on additional educational needs such as hiring new teachers, controlling class size and increasing the number of educational assistants.

Premier Christy Clark promises that the deal will not require a tax increase.

The teachers still need to vote on the agreement that would send their more than 40,000 members back to work. More importantly, it would allow 500,000 students the chance to resume their education.

Both sides might finally be able to get some sleep after three months of bitterness and frustration.

Our guess is there will be more than a few educational professionals seeking a new mattress. Both sides are welcome at Simmons Mattress Gallery. We’re just glad the kids get to back to school.

The Apple Rollout 2014

Apple has rolled out their impressive new lineup of devices for the fall season. The next must have accessory for 2014 is the new Apple Watch, a wearable device that promises to be more user friendly than the slow moving Google Glasses.

The Apple Watch will come in two sizes with a number of different bands available. For the sporty types, there is a sweat-proof strap and for the business look, an 18-karat gold version.

The watch will run on a new operating system designed specifically for the wrist device. Apple’s intent is to create a smart watch that works with their popular iPhone. The applications will enhance the ’smart’ experience, not necessarily duplicate what the iPhone already provides.

Only a few applications have been officially announced, but Mattress Vancouver hopes their is a sleep tracker similar to the program offered by Jawbone UP. This will help users monitor their nightly schedules so they can maximize their time on their luxury mattress.

Also on the Apple rollout was the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The new phones have finally introduced a screen size that is competitive with the popular Galaxy. They have also followed the market trend and shaved off a little in the width department.

But like all Apple products, they don’t come cheap. Expect to pay as much as $1000 for the 128GB edition and as ‘little’ as $749 for the basic 6 with 16GB. The pricing for the watches has not been released for Canadian markets, but Americans will be paying close to $350US for the basic watch and strap.

Vancouver’s Zombie Walk

Haven’t been sleeping well? Feel stressed and under appreciated? Trouble at home? Lose your worries at this year’s Zombie Walk.

The Zombie Walk returns to Vancouver to round off the summer. The event was moved from its earlier date in August, to September, to appease the tourism industry. Apparently an army of foot-dragging, near-dead, blood-spitting ghouls is off-putting to cruise ship passengers.

Never-or-less, the dead will have their day. All you need to concern yourself with on September 6th is ‘braaaaaains.’ That and your make-up.

The organizers have planned a 3 p.m. meet-up at the Vancouver Art Gallery, with a 4 p.m. start time for the parade of undead corpses. The route will be the same as years prior: west down Robson and then south on Denman to English Bay. The shenanigans should wrap up around 6 p.m.

All participants are kindly asked to help with the cleanup, i.e., blood detail. The undead leave a nasty slug trail.

Spectators are welcome and encouraged to document the walk on social media.

The police will also be on hand to monitor the event and keep the fun safe for everyone. Zombies are asked not to deface public or private property and to respect the space of the bystanders.

Need a little inspiration for your costume or zombie movements? Your homework for the week is a sit-down viewing of any or all of the films listed below:

  • Shaun of the Dead
  • World War Z
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • 28 Days Later
  • Dawn of the Dead (our favourite)

“This is the way the world ends; not with a bang or a whimper,

but with zombies breaking down the back door.”Amanda Hocking

Ten Reasons to Surprise Your Spouse With a New Mattress

10. Distraction Purchase

Your new shoes cost close to what you paid for your first car. Distract your spouse by coming home with a bed you can ‘both’ enjoy for years to come.

9. Back Pain

Assume a sympathetic position and present a luxury mattress designed to eliminate back pain to your hubby. You’ll look like the hero.

8. Ten Year Anniversary

Unlike wine, mattresses do not get better with age. If you’ve had your mattress for over a decade, it needs to go.

7. Promoted

The perfect gift for a new promotion. They will need all the rest they can get in the coming months.

6. Hazardous Material

That bowl of cereal you spilt and forgot to cleanup turned your last mattress into a HAZMAT zone. No amour of Glade Pug-Ins could ever defeat that odour.

5.Random Act of Kindness

It’s Tuesday. Do you really need a reason?

4. Puppy Love

A new pet can be a wonderful surprise, but not everyone is ready for the responsibility. A new bed provides all the comfort with none of the maintenance.

3. Birthday Make-Up

We don’t want to bring up bad memories, but forgetting a birthday… Smooth it over with a new bed and a lot of cuddling.

2. Bargain Prices

Everyone love a bargain. Impress your significant other with your savvy shopping skills. Simmons Mattress Gallery is currently having a Beautyrest sale with beds up to 75% off.

1. Declaration of Love

Your partner deserves the best. Go with a World Class Beautyrest Mattress.

Ten Sleep Tips for Switching from Holiday Mode to Work Mode

10. Hydrate

All that time in the sun has sucked the moisture from your body. As you head back to work, try and drink as much water as possible. It will help you stay awake, fall asleep when you want and help your body preform at its peak potential.

9. Bring Back Routine

Holidays are the perfect time to abandon routine and let chance and circumstance be your guide. Now that it’s business time, routine is key. It will help you maintain a balanced sleep schedule, where your body naturally prepares for bed at the end of the work day.

8. Disable the Snooze

If you have an old-school alarm clock like us, use tape to eliminate your desire for seven more minutes of sleep. If you use your phone, use the settings menu to disable the snooze option.

7. Eat Earlier

A late barbecue or meal out in the summer is acceptable, but your body doesn’t need the extra workload of digesting right before bed. Try to eat at least four hours before crawling on to your Vancouver mattress.

6. Appropriate Snacking

If you do need a snack before bed, go with milk or nuts. Avoid pizza and anything salty.

5. Tinderdown

Put the phone away at least an hour before bed. You can scroll through the latest ‘Tinderites’ over breakfast.

4. School Prep

If your kids can’t sleep, you won’t be getting any rest. Lower bedtimes to match the school year. Increase reading before bed and strategically hide the iPad.

3. Lower the Light

The sun is setting earlier and earlier, but for these first few weeks of September, close the blinds completely to block out any unnecessary light.

2. Substitute Local Craft Beer for Organic Tea

Everyone seems to be enjoying the craft beer craze, but alcohol is the worst for securing a proper sleep. [See tip 1] Try some loose-leaf tea with your beard.

1. Mattress Makeover

Sleep can sometimes come easy after a physical day in the sun. During the fall you need all the help you can get. Upgrade your mattress at Simmons Mattress Gallery and feel an immediate difference in the comfort provided by your bed.

Proudly Brewed in Vancouver

What’s better than eight hours of sleep on a luxury Simmons Beautyrest? To be honest, not much. But a cold pint of craft beer on a summer day comes close.

Vancouver’s craft beer scene is exploding this summer, as the hipster drink of choice goes mainstream. From IPA’s, to lagers, to Belgian blondes, the hop is back in style.

One way to enjoy the bubbly beverages is to head straight to the source. A number of Vancouver’s independent breweries are furnished with tasting lounges for sampling the brewmaster’s wares. Most of these establishments also offer tours for a full-bodied, clean-sipping, in-house experience.

One of our personal favourites is Parallel 49. They produce a number of beers that have become legendary in our city, like Gypsy Tears, Hoparazzi and the ever-popular watermelon flavoured Seedspitter.

This year Parallel 49 has jumped on the bike craze and named their new summer release Tricycle. The beer is a lager infused with red grapefruit juice. The third wheel might come in handy with these infectiously tasty beverages.

For a full selection of beers brewed in VanCity, head to Craft Beer in the Olympic Village. They have over a hundred beers on tap. Like their local suppliers, they also offer tasting flutes.

As a parting note, we should add a reminder to always drink responsibly. A few too many could affect your sleep and we would never want that.

Little known fact: Beer is the third most consumed drink in the world after water and tea.

Take that milk!

Sleeping Cities

Jawbone, the makers of the ‘UP’, a self-tracking system you wear on your wrist, has published an interesting data survey that shows the sleeping patterns of different cities around the world.

The UP system helps you make personal alterations to your daily routine in the pursuit of leading a healthier life.

With the permission of their users, the creators profiled a sample of 5,000 participants per city and used the data to create a worldwide comparison of sleep schedules.

The findings showed that Melbourne was the most well rested city, with the average participant sleeping six hours and fifty-eight minutes a night. The least amount of sleep award went to users in Tokyo, Japan.

UP wearers in Brisbane were the first to go to bed, with the average being 10:57 p.m. The night owl designation went to Moscow, wear the average user sought out their luxury mattress at 12:46 a.m. Coincidentally, Moscow recorded the latest average rising time with 8:08 in the morning. The data would seem to indicate that the Russians sleep the most, but the UP instruments showed that even with the extended hours spent on the mattress, Moscow participants spend a large amount of time awake on their beds. This could be due to a healthy sex life or a plethora of uncomfortable mattresses.

Data from Vancouver was not featured in the chart, but Simmons Beautyrest owners would probably bring our average up to the Melbourne benchmark.

To sleep like an Australian, visit Simmons Mattress Gallery at 1001 West Broadway.

Jump For Joy

A fantastic new photomural is on display in Chinatown thanks to the inspiring photography of Eyoälha Baker and the patronage of Murality.org. Titled “Jump for Joy Photo Project,” the piece will be on display for one year at 161 East Pender St., just off of Main Street.

The photo project features 100 images of local Vancouverites in active flight. “Jumping is a natural response to celebrating, excitement and a passion for life,” cites Baker. “I think it is beautiful to capture the energy at the peak of that motion.”

The project is being displayed on the lane wall of a building owned by Amalia Liapis, the founder of Murality.org. The location is less than a block away from the corner of Hastings and Main, one of poorest areas in Canada.

In an area where outward joy is often hard to come by, the public art piece offers a positive image that has been embraced by the community.

“People in the area seem to love it; I had incredible support from people in the area while I was putting it up.”

The mural offers a reason for the public to venture into a neighbourhood that many avoid due to its reputation. The figures remind the viewer that the spirit of life is contained within us all. Sometimes all it takes is a simple jump to express it.

Baker is currently collecting photos from around the world of people bounding towards the skies. She hopes to create a coffee table book with 1,000 jumpers.

Diner en Blanc

If you haven’t received your official invitation by now, it’s probably too late.

Diner en Blanc is returning to Vancouver for it’s third sitting. The mysterious all-white dinner party is an invite-only picnic that has become one of the most anticipated social engagements of the Vancouver summer calendar.

The event, for those of you in the black, is basically a bring-your-own-everything-picnic, where all the attendees wear white.

Why is an invitation so sought after? That’s a good question. Probably because the organizers are extremely savvy in their marketing and social media skills. The whole event is like one perfect Instagram photo, complete with a black and white filter to give it that retro vibe.

Tickets are $35, for nothing more than a chance to sit at a table. Again, you have to provide your own food and drink.

Besides the ‘only wear white’ gimmick, the dinner’s popularity is also aided by the mystery surrounding its location. Each year the organizers choose a new public setting for the event. The catch: no one is altered to the location until a few hours before the event.

Prospective picnickers go through a series of complicated registration phases to secure a seat. Over 35,000 people applied for this year’s event and only 3,200 were accepted. The good thing for past guests, is once you’re in, you’re in annually. That is, if you don’t break any of the long list of etiquette rules, the most stringent being ‘only white garb’.

So for those of us without a snowy white ticket, there’s always a spot on the beach. Wear whatever you like, you will always be welcomed back.

Voice Conditioning

Like athletes, professional singers need to be mindful of their rest. Sleep helps to restore muscles, but it also helps to protect your voice.

Getting eight hours of rest reduces the time you spend communicating. This limits the use of your vocal chords for purposes other than singing. Resting your voice, like resting almost all of your body parts, reduces your likelihood of developing strain related injury.

Sleep also wards off infection and the chance of developing throat related bacterial diseases, like strep throat. Infections can be crippling for professionals who rely heavily on their body’s performance. A cancelled tour or a poor concert can be career ending, especially with advances in social media, where millions can share their feelings instantly.

Keep hydrated and maintain a tight sleep schedule and you can extend the life of your oratory pipes. Your career will benefit from your healthy ways and hopefully so will your pocketbook.

For singers, or anyone for that matter suffering from vocal strain, don’t freak out; the condition is reversible. Limit your conversations, drink as much H2O as possible, sleep on a comfortable mattress and the signs of vocal fatigue will fade with time.

To get the best rest possible, sleep on a Simmons. Simmons is one of the top three mattress brands in North America. Talk to a professional at Simmons Mattress Gallery in Vancouver and keep hitting the high notes.

Neymar’s Mattress Endorsement

The Brazilian football phenom, known simply as Neymar, touched down in Tokyo this week to film a series of mattress advertisements intended for Japanese television.

The superstar athlete, who became recognized worldwide during the 2014 World Cup, was injured in Brazil’s quarterfinal matchup with Columbia. A cracked vertebra in his lower back kept the striker from playing in Brazil’s last three matches.

Rest and physiotherapy will hopefully allow the footballer to rejoin his offensively stacked club team, FC Barcelona in the fall.

The Japanese mattress manufacturer, AirSleep, hopes to cash in on Neymar’s rise to football fame, using his star power to sell their new beds. The young Brazilian was filmed sitting on AirSleep’s foam mattress, a mattress they claim holds secret relaxation properties.

Sleep is key for Neymar’s recovery, as his muscles and tissue work to mend the damage done during Brazil’s win over Columbia.

Upon completing his obligatory media spots, Neymar ended the day with a quote that was almost assuredly written by his publisher:

“This mattress feels great. I am sure it will help me in my recovery. I had a long trip here, so I’m looking forward to testing this mattress tonight.”

This isn’t the first time a Japanese company has claimed that their mattresses help pro athletes. Weava Japan provided beds for 150 Japanese athletes during the London Games. The mattress was multipurpose: one side for muscle fatigue and one side for relaxed training.

For the weekend athlete, we suggest a Simmons Beautyrest, the perfect bed for restorative health; ideal for tasks like keeping up with your four year-old.

Reason #47 To Purchase a Luxury Mattress

You’ve just had your first baby.

You’ve moved the crib into your bedroom for nightly feeding and you’re splitting the duties, but neither of you is getting enough sleep. The couch is now your second bedroom.

Don’t sacrifice sleep anymore than you have to. Purchase a second mattress for the spare room and get off the three-seater.

A new Beautyrest will give you options on those nights when you need a full eight hours of rest. You won’t have to go to work with cushion impressions on your cheek and a painfully stiff back. You won’t have to worry about your boss staring at the massive bags under your eyes. Your concentration will improve and your overall health will level out. Think of it as a survival tool.

Simmons Mattress Gallery currently has a sale on Beautyrest mattresses so you won’t have to prematurely dip into your child’s college fund. You’ll secure the comfort you need at a price that won’t eclipse your yearly diaper bill.

As a bonus, an extra mattress is great for last minute houseguests, including those oh-so-helpful in-laws. Thank goodness for grandparents.

Split the workload and sleep when you can – a second mattress will prove it’s worth in gold.


The Ultimate Waterslide

This past weekend Salt Lake City residents were treated with a summer gift: a 1,000-foot long slip-and-slide down the city’s Main Street. The massive slide was a huge hit and was accompanied by live music, food trucks and street performers.

Now the organizers are looking at different cities around North America to bring their summer event to. And guess what, Vancouver is on the list!

The event is  pay-to-ride, with single tickets running around $15 and triple slides at a discounted rate of $25. For an extra $10 ($35 total), sliders can buy an unlimited access pass. The organizers also offer a $45 VIP experience with extended sliding hours, lunch included and various sliding swag.

The organizers in Salt Lake donated the proceeds to Ronald McDonald House and the Utah Aids Foundation.

The big question is which street in Vancouver would be best for a 1,000-foot water slide? We’re thinking Alberni downtown, or maybe an extreme version on Oak Street, right next to Vancouver’s favourite mattress store, Simmons Mattress Gallery.

And don’t worry; the slide is mounted on a layer of foam. Maybe not as comfortable as the memory foam found inside in a Simmons Beautyrest, but enough so you won’t rip up your belly on the pavement.

Tell us where you think the slide should go with the hashtag #VanSlide.


Vancouver Pride

Pride week is underway in Vancouver and the rainbow flag is flying high.

At City Hall, the flag has been up since Monday, with the city council addressing the specific steps Vancouver is taking to make the city a safe home for those who identify as LGBTQ. Mayor Gregor Robertson raised the multi-coloured flag and read the official proclamation on the North Lawn. Later that day, the mayor sat in as a guest DJ at Celebrities Nightclub.

Just west of Vancouver’s largest gay nightclub, the Sandman Hotel was celebrating their newly painted rooftop rainbow flag. The permanent flag is 17 metres long and is painted on a rooftop extension. The flag echoes the permanent colours painted on the Davie and Bute crosswalk for last year’s pride festival.

The weekend promises a whole host of colourful events. Here is a list of this year’s celebrations:

August 1 – Davie Street Block Party

There will be an all-ages show and dance floor at the rainbow crosswalk and a 19+ zone with a main stage between Burrard and Thurlow. The 19+ zone has a $10 entry fee.

August 2 – Terry Wallace Memorial Breakfast

Independent Grocer’s is donating the breakfast supplies for this memorial meal for one of Vancouver’s Pride founders.

August 2 – Vancouver Dyke March

The party moves to Commercial Drive with a parade and party at Grandview Park.

August 3 – 36th Annual Pride Parade

Brave the crowds and come see one of the biggest pride parades in the world. The parade starts on Robson Street, ducks down Denman and finishes along Beach Avenue, just above Sunset Beach.

August 3 – Pride Festival

After the parade, the party continues at Sunset Beach with live music, a market, a family zone and a beer garden with a DJ stage.

Happy Pride Week!

Death of a High School Hero

Riverdale’s ‘average Joe hero’ will meet his demise this week, when Archie Andrews dies in issue 36 of the comic book “Life with Archie.”

For those of you not following the series, the writers have created two parallel storylines, one where Archie marries Veronica Lodge and one where Archie marries Betty Cooper. Both possible fates come together in the latest offering when the freckled-faced do-gooder jumps in front of a bullet intended for his openly gay friend, senator Kevin Keller.

The recent mini series has delved into a number of mature topics, including themes of racism, homosexuality and infidelity. Some have compared it to a soap opera, with melodramatic plot lines, while still attempting to tackle issues that would not have been suitable for younger audiences. The new storyline will conclude with issue 37. The final comic will be set one year after the death of it’s title character.

The world has enjoyed over 70 years of Archie comics. This is the first time a lead character has been killed off in the Archie series, but not the first for comic heroes. Marvel and DC comics are famous for killing their superheroes and then resurrecting them in subsequent editions of their comic books. The most notable was Superman, who died at the hands of Doomsday in 1992. His death spawned a host of new characters, with Superman finally returning in the series Reign of the Supermen, this time with long hair. Oooohhh…

While Archie may not be brought back to life through a complicated regeneration matrix like his super counterpart, his character will live on in the high school adventure/romance series we all grew up on. He’ll be back tormenting Mr. Weatherbee and sharing soda pops with his two favourite gals before you can say: “Archie Andrews, where are you?”

Urban Beekeeping

Hives for Humanity is offering free beekeeping lessons every Monday night at the Milross Gardens in Chinatown. The non-profit organization will host weekly workshops from 5 pm to 6:30 pm until the end of the summer. The workshops are open to anyone and include gardening tips, beekeeping care and the opportunity to taste honey fresh from the comb.

The Milross Gardens are located at 989 Main Street, just off of Milross Avenue. The site contains two hives that thrive beside a 6,000 square foot community garden. The garden has 130 raised garden boxes, of which 40 are designated as pollinators. The rest of the boxes are available for lease by Vancouver residents. Two of these are set aside for composting.

While the bees may be attracted to the adjacent flowers, their range can include a radius of 6.5 kilometers. If you live in the Chinatown or Strathcona neighbourhoods, the nectar from your garden could be contributing to the honey being produced in the Milross Gardens.

If your interest lies more in the garden and less on the bees, stop by between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm on Mondays to talk to the garden’s local horticulturalist.

For more information on the Milross Gardens, visit: http://www.milrossgardensonmain.com.

For more info on Hives for Humanity, visit: http://hivesforhumanity.com

Van Gaal’s Sleep Pods

The Netherlands stoic manager, Louis van Gaal, the man who gambled on a goalie switch during the final minutes of Holland’s quarterfinal match with Costa Rica in this year’s World Cup, is back in the press with another brow-raising decision.

Van Gaal has been hired as Manchester United’s new team manager. Taking the top position at one of the world’s most famous football clubs, Van Gaal wasted no time in implementing a number of changes to the Red Devils organization.

His first point of business: Adapting Carrington, Man United’s prestigious training pitch. Gaal has given orders for the turf to be removed and replaced with grass identical to the field sod at Old Trafford. On his wishes, floodlights will now be installed for evening practices. He has also ordered fences to be raised around the facility to reduce the amount of wind interference.

On top of these major field changes, Van Gaal has also introduced sleep pods to the facility. The pods are designed to maximize the rest players receive between daily practices. They come complete with privacy partitions and individual lockers. The hope is that players will spend more time at the facility, rather than returning to home between sessions to the comfort of their luxury mattresses.

Van Gaal has been on the job less than a week.

Recycle. Reuse. Recharge.

The push is on for humans across the planet to improve their utilization of their resources. We should no longer consider our manufactured goods or natural commodities disposable. We need to make the most of what we have now.

In natural resource terms this means developing technology that taps into the unutilized energy sources that our planet provides. Solar, wind and tide power must replace our dependency on a diminishing level of oil. Using these three to their maximum capacity will reduce pollution and tighten our bond with the mighty forces already at work that heat, cool and stir our dynamic planet.

In product terms, the push towards better utilization mean investing in technologies that create lasting products that can be used for years rather than throwaway, snap-together items of leisure. This means understanding our needs and developing the best possible solution to meet those needs long term.

In terms of of our bodies, we now understand that modern makeovers are not the answer. We need to properly care for the body we are given. This means eating well, exercising and most importantly, finding time to sleep.

Recharging our organs through pure, undisturbed sleep can do more for our health and beauty than any surgeon.

Start with what you can control and move outwards. Recharge your body naturally and your soul will be better prepared for the necessary changes needed to improve our way of thinking about the rest of the planet.

Ten Ways to Keep Cool in Your Bedroom

The temperature this week in Vancouver is on the rise. This can mean uncomfortable sleepless nights – a crime against humanity. Here are ten ways to beat the heat when it’s time to turn in:

10. Circulation

Keep that air moving. If you don’t own a fan, buy one immediately. Better yet, visit an appliance recycling centre. People are always discarding old fans that can be brought back to life with a simple wire connection.

9. Pillow Pops

You heard us: Pillow Pops. Take your pillow, put a bag around it, preferably one with an airtight seal and place it in your freezer two hours before bed. With your head cool, your body will follow.

8. Hangtime

Remove your sheets in the morning and hang them in the coolest part of the house. This will probably be somewhere in the basement. Try to find an area with a cross breeze. Add a bouquet of dried lavender to offer a fresh scent.

7. Thinning on Top

No, we’re not talking about male-pattern baldness. We’re talking about switching your duvet out for those summer sheets.

6. Hydration Meditation

Water is your best friend in the summer. Drink more water and your body will be cooler. You may have to make one more bathroom trip during the night, but your overall comfort level will be much higher.

5. Misty Mountain Top

Summer essential: a mist bottle. Hit up the dollar store for a cheap cool down tool. Doubles as a furniture scratcher deterrent.

4. Muscle Packs

Grab one of your blue gel packs from the freezer, throw a zip-lock bag around it and toss it in between your sheets.

3. Wrist Guards

Sounds like an old-wives-tale, but cold water on your wrist can actually cool down your whole body. Do it just before bed and receive an hour of relatively cool body temperature.

2. Disrobe

The less elastics on your body the better. You might also improve your relations with your neighbours.

1. AirCool Foam

The Simmons Beautyrest AirCool design utilizes AirCool memory foam, a breathable mesh border and a ventilated foam encasement to keep your bed cool and comfortable. Mattress Vancouver has your summertime mattress on sale.

Returning From the Crusades: LeBron is Coming Home to Ohio

After four seasons leading the Miami Heat, Lebron James is returning to the city that once called him King.

After weeks of speculation, meetings and prognostication, James has decided to return to his roots. Instead of a two-hour cable special, James made his decision known through a letter published in Sports Illustrated. The lead-up was a frenzied media circus, but when it came time, the decision was revealed in a from-the-heart piece that spoke more to the region then to the star himself.

James has shown that time heals, maybe not all, but enough to put the past behind for an opportunity to bring the ultimate prize home to Cleveland. Dan Gilbert’s infamous letter, the night James made his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami in 2010, must have been a hard hurdle to jump over, even for a man who stands at 6 ft 8 in. No one appreciates being called a betrayer.

The only lasting message from that letter that rings true is: “Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…”

With the King returning, the Cavaliers finally have a team with competitive potential. The young stars will be looking to James for leadership, a role that LeBron says he is more than ready to take on.

The promise of playing with the likes of Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao must have helped his decision. James mentioned both of these players in his SI letter. Awkwardly absent from the list was Andrew Wiggins, the NBA’s first overall pick, taken by the Cavs in this year’s draft.

But the real reason for his return, James claims, is “bigger than basketball.” The king has not forgotten his roots and the citizens of Cleveland, Ohio couldn’t be more pleased.

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

World Cup Final Party

Outdoor sporting celebrations are a problem for Vancouver organizers. After 2011s (let’s not use the ‘r’ word) public mutiny, the city is tentative to put their stamp of approval on any event that brings sporting fans together in a concentrated area. And this is understandable…

To control the ruckus but still offer an event where people can publicly enjoy sport, the city has organized a celebratory indoor community event for the final match of the World Cup. The event will be held at Trout Lake Community Centre and is titled “Soccer! Samba!! Celebration!!!”

The event will have a Latin theme with live music and dancing. The goal of the organizers is to recreate the atmosphere of a stadium inside Brazil. This is a family-friendly event, so it is strictly alcohol-free. There will be two zones, a Rio De Janeiro Zone that mimics the surround sound of the stadium experience with a party atmosphere and a Soccer Fan Fun Zone for all the younger soccer enthusiasts. The kid zone will have a host of activities and games available to keep the kids interested.

Guests are asked to dress up in the colours of their favourite  World Cup team. Awards will be given out for best outfit.

The facility can only hold 800 people, so book your tickets online as soon as possible. The doors will open at 10 a.m. next Sunday. Have fun!

Celebrate the Light

It all started on Canada Day – A fifteen-minute display of light streaks, shimmering arcs and deafening explosions. Then we had a short break and then BAM! The skies were alight again for the Fourth of July. Then it was the bike ravers on Saturday night.

“When will the explosive madness subside?!?!” Said no one.

Bring on the free light parties!

If you are a firework enthusiast living in the Lower Mainland, you will be happy to know that the annual Celebration of Light Festival (formerly the Symphony of Fire), will be returning to English Bay. This year’s naming rights were past to the Japanese auto manufacturer Honda.

Competing this summer will be the USA, France and Japan. The Americans will get the party started on the 26th of July, followed by French on the 30th and finally by Japan on Saturday, August 2nd.

If you have not been to the summer fireworks before, here are a few basic facts and tips for Vancouver’s Celebration of Light:

  • The fireworks are shot from a barge approximately 500 metres from shore.
  • One of the best views for the fireworks is from the water. If you have a friend who owns a boat, send them a quick message on Facebook today. Plant the seed.
  • Don’t plan on getting out of the downtown core quickly. Your best bet is to use public transit and then plan to spend a few hours, post fireworks, walking around downtown or visiting a pub or restaurant. This will give the crowds a chance to disperse.

The Fireworks start at 10 p.m. If that’s past your usual bedtime, make sure to get as much rest as you can the night before.

Learn a Language While You Sleep

The dream of every student, from grade school to grad school, is the ability to learn while you sleep. Think about all those hours you spend on your mattress… If those could be combined with learning a skill, the global GPA would skyrocket.

So far this has only been a day dream of science fiction enthusiasts, men and women hoping beyond hope that one day they could utter Neo’s prophetic words: “I know Kung-Fu.”

This week a group of Swiss psychologists stepped one foot closer to the Matrix.

In a study published in Cerebral Cortex, authored by the Swiss National Science Foundation, researchers proved that basic language skills can be transferred during sleep.

The psychologists set up an experiment with 60 German-speaking students. The students were taught a slew of Dutch words at ten o’clock at night. Half the group was then allowed to go to bed. While they slept, the words were played back to them. The other group was kept up and continued to review the new vocabulary.

At 2 A.M. the sleeping group was woken and tested against the sleep-deprived team.

The sleep group scored considerably higher on word recognition, even though it had been four hours since their fully conscious brain had heard the new Dutch words.

Some may say this test only shows the negative impact that sleep depravation has on learning. But others, including a handful of Swiss scientists, believe it is a step towards Zion.

“I can only show you the door…”

Raonic’s Napping Results in Aces

The Canadians are through!

Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard have both advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon with impressive wins on a rain soaked world stage.

Bouchard defeated Andrea Petkovic with 6-3, 6-4 set wins. Adding to her delight was the knowledge that she would not have to square off against Serena Williams. Alize Cornet, Bouchard’s next opponent, upset Williams, a five-time champion at Wimbledon.

On the men’s side, Raonic took it to Lukasz Kubot, serving up 30 aces, with an average serve speed of 190 km/h. Yikes!

Heavy rains forced a number of delays in the match. Raonic was afforded enough time to actually catch a few z’s between serves. “There was one point where I sort of said, ‘I don’t think there is going to be any play today’, and I was able to take a nap in the massage room and just stay calm and wait it out,” said Raonic.

The nap must have been just what the coach ordered, because eighth seeded Canadian was able to dismantle his competitor in 7-6, 7-4, 6-2 sets, losing only just nine points on serve.

That proves it: Sleep does wonders. Find yours on a luxury mattress from Simmons Mattress Gallery.

Latin Flavour

The World Cup has brought a lot of attention to Latin America these past few weeks and that interest is only going to increase with the start of the 6th Annual Latin America Week here in Vancouver.

From June 28th to July 6th, Latin Americans will be showcasing their colourful culture at events around the city.

The official Latin America House will be hosted at Edgewater Casino with an 18 foot high HD screen for World Cup viewing. There will be drink and food specials and music to move to.

On Canada Day, the party will take to a float that will feature folk dancers from Mexico, Peru and El Salvador. On Thursday, the party moves back indoors with Carnaval de Sol Fiesta at FanClub on Granville Street. Expect this to be a long night…

For family fun, visit the final days of the festival for a two-day street party on Granville. There will be 400 performers, three stages, a marketplace and a street soccer tournament. The festival focus for the weekend will be arts and culture.

Wondering what to expect? Well, by now we’ve all seen how the Brazilians can party. Let’s hope they make it past the Quarters.

A Beaver Named Suárez

A local conservation group, Friendz of Beaver Lake, is putting forth a petition to change the name of one of the beavers that lives in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The beaver at the heart of the issue is currently named Big Country, after the legendary Vancouver Grizzlies star centre Byrant ‘Big Country’ Reeves. FBL are hoping to rename the busy builder, Suárez, after the famous Uruguayan striker, Luis Suárez.

Suárez was involved in an incident on Tuesday, June 24th, during the Group Stage match of the World Cup. Uruguay was facing Italy, when Suárez bit down on the shoulder of Italian defender, Giorgio Chiellini. Suárez has been adamant that the bite was unintentional, but replays clearly show the striker deliberately chomping the Italian.

This is the third biting incident for Suárez who has been banned from nine international matches and four months of club football by the regulatory body FIFA.

Friendz of Beaver Lake see the humour in the incident and hope Vancouverites do as well.

Suárez the beaver will be far busier over the summer months than his Uruguayan namesake. The beavers are constantly working to dam the headwaters of Beaver Creek, much to the frustration of Parks Board staff.

Beaver Creek is one of the few creeks in the Vancouver Lower Mainland that has an active salmon run. The beavers’ work limits the fresh water that flows down the short creek and out of the park to Burrard Inlet.  Park staff have to work hard to keep up with the busy beavers, deconstructing their woody blockade every other day.

Tinder Has Gone To the Dogs

Are you jealous of your single friends and their Tinder app? Wish you could do some of your own swiping? Looking for a dog to adopt?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, or more importantly, the last question, you may be interested in a new app called BarkBuddy.

BarkBuddy takes the ease of Tinder dating and uses it to match potential pet owners with dogs who need adopting.

The needle on the cute scale is threatening to break off…

Similar to Tinder, the intuitive app lets you swipe through profiles of dogs that need homes in your area. Each dog has a handful of photos and a brief bio. If you find a friendly four-legged friend that you could see yourself adopting, you can set-up a meet and greet. You can also save your favourite pooches to a potential love-bank.

There are currently 300,000 dogs looking for homes in the apps database.

Although the app is getting many positive reviews, some users claim, like the dating world, that the only way to find a potential friend is in person, at the local SPCA.

I Am A Food Blog Champion

Saveur Magazine has honoured Vancouver’s own, Stephanie Le with this year’s award for top food blogger. Miss Le has been blogging since 2010, when she took on the Julie Powell challenge (Julie and Julia) and cooked her way through every recipe in the chef David Chang and New York Times food critic, Peter Meehan’s cookbook, Momofuku. Le went on to produce her own image-heavy blog, simply titled: I Am a Food Blog. With international exposure, Le’s work found its way to the screens of Saveur. Their recognition of the Yaletown blogger’s output is guaranteed to put Le on the iPads of amateur chefs around the world.

When asked about her favourite places to dine in Vancouver, Le provided this list:

  • Suika, for Japanese
  • Toshi, for sushi
  • Ganache, for pasteries
  • Thomas Haas, for croissants
  • Phnom Penh, for chicken wings
  • Au Petite Cafe, for banh mi

We don’t know if there is a prize for top sleep blog, but we’d like to think we would be in the running.

Here are some of our favourite beds to sleep on:

And All That Jazz

The Vancouver International Jazz Festival is back! The even kicked-off this weekend with free concerts held at the Georgia side of the Vancouver Art Gallery and around the back in Robson Square. The festival is set to run until July 1st.

Between now and then the festival will present some of the biggest names in the contemporary jazz field. This year’s big draws are Bobby McFerrin, saxophonist Maceo Parker, guitarist John Scofield and vocalist Cassandra Wilson. The performers will play at venues around the city.

This is the 29th time Vancouver has hosted the event. The first festival was in 1986, when organizers teamed up with the Expo 86 planners to bring a stellar line-up of talent to our city. On the first bill were performers such as trumpet legend Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis and this year’s returning star, Bobby McFerrin (don’t believe the hype – McFerrin is alive and ‘happy’).

One of the best features of the festival are the number of free concerts available to Vancouverites. Next weekend the free fun moves to Yaletown, with free shows at David Lam Park. Don’t miss the crazy mash-up Delhi 2 Dublin, a group that mixes Celtic music with Bhangra; let the highland flash mob commence!

The festival wraps up with a day of free jazz on Granville Island on July 1st, Canada Day.

The Swan Whisperer

“They give me such joy, they give me meaning to the day.”

This is a quote from Fiona Sinclair, an elderly Vancouver citizen, who, after a recent global news story, has been affectionately labeled as the ’swan whisperer.’

Fiona is the unofficial caretaker of the mute swans at Lost Lagoon. She has been monitoring the swans daily for the last eight years.

“[The swans],” explains Sinclair, “have been a tradition in the park for 125 years.” Queen Victoria gave them to the park in 1889.

Sinclair loves the attention the swans receive from locals and tourists, but is worried about the bread and other edible items offered up to her white-winged friends. “Bread is literally empty calories and it’s harmful, in that they think they have all that they need; they’ve got a full feeling, they don’t think they need anymore so they ignore the good food.”

The good food, supplied naturally by the lagoon is in great demand because of the high numbers of other local and migratory birds that use the Lagoon. To supplement the swans diet, the Parks Board creates a healthy mixture of food consisting of three equal parts of crack corn, protein pellets and wheat. They give this mixture to Sinclair to distribute. Each swan ingests about 7 pounds of this mixture each day.

Sinclair was also pivotal in the recovery process of a swan named Tristan. Tristan was left wounded by a knife attack he sustained from a man with mental issues. At the time of the incident, Tristan wouldn’t let any of the park staff near him to care for his injury. The only human contact he accepted was Sinclair’s. She cared for the wound and helped Tristan back to health.

Citizens of Vancouver can sleep well knowing that Sinclair is taking care of the four royal birds.

Unplug Your Child

The evidence that exposure to video games disrupts children’s sleep is mounting. With one in ten children in North America having sleep difficulties, there is now more reason then ever to unplug your youngster before their sleep quality begins to affect their cognitive development.

Video games may supply educational scenarios and advanced problem solving queries, but they also increase your child’s heart rate and blood pressure. Even hours after gaming, a child’s heart can still be reeling from the effects of digital interaction. It is no wonder that when it’s time to go to bed, many children are too wired from gameplay to fall asleep properly. As a result, their restorative sleep suffers.

Compounded with the stimulation factor, is the ability of brightly lit screens to reduce melatonin levels. For all humans, no matter their age, a bright screen creates an unnatural light that the eye absorbs. A message is sent to the brain to halt production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The artificial light convinces the eye that the body needs to stay alert. Instead of preparing for sleep, the brain is on full alert mode.

Even if a child is able to sleep eight to ten hours, the sleep they are getting is less than optimal. The body’s ability to move into deep sleep mode is stunted when overly stimulated. As a result, the restorative sleep cycle is cut short. This gives the brain less time to recharge. Children wake with their bodies rested but their minds still wired.

Parents can stop the vicious cycle of sleep depravation by limiting or reducing all exposure to electronic games. Children may complain at first, but their overall mood, concentration and mental potential will improve drastically. They will also engage in more creative and meaningful play without their devices.

Turning the World on Its Head: The Vancouver Aquarium Expansion is Complete

The Vancouver Aquarium unveiled its first phase of expansion at an official ceremony on Friday. The $45 million project is the most significant addition to the Aquarium since its doors opened, 58 years ago.

The new, 55,000-square-foot addition includes a new entrance gallery and courtyard, with a 360-degree digital screen and a massive four metre plus diameter globe. The globe is turned on its head to bring more significance to the Polar Regions and Canada. The flipped view is especially visible for the wee ones.

Other new exhibits include a school of cichlids from Lake Malawi in Africa, a Red Sea coral reef and a Jamaican fruit bat exhibit (keep those necklines covered).

The Aquarium has also focused their attention on local habitats, such as the Gulf Islands. The Pacific coast exhibit now features a school of coho salmon.

Additional plans promise expansion of the beluga and dolphin tanks.

John Nightingale, the Aquarium’s CEO, is especially proud of the new project. He hopes that the new educational opportunities will out shine the negative press that the aquarium is receiving over captivity issues. “Our aim is to reach and inspire more visitors to engage with issues affecting our aquatic and ocean environments and to take personal action that will help save our ecosystems and the wildlife that depend on them,” says Nightingale.

Top Ten Summer Drinks

Whether relaxing in the shade of your backyard or soaking up the rays on one of Kitsilano’s dozens of patios, the essential summer accessory is a cool drink. Here are Simmons Mattress’s top ten summer time sips:

10. Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade

The perfect drink for shopping on Robson. Cool, refreshing and somewhat reasonably priced. The only drawback: all that ice. These drinks tend to go down fast.

9. Watermelon-Basil Daiquiri

Forget what your mother told you about basil. It belongs in your drink. This colourful concoction calls for 6 1-inch cubes of watermelon, 4 basil leaves, 1/4 cup of light rum, 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of simple syrup and a frozen watermelon spear for decoration. Yum!

8. Tom Collins

Simple. Sweet. Addictive.

7. Haymaker’s Punch

Ginger punch flavoured with lemon juice and sweetened with honey and molasses. Must be served in a jam jar with ice and berries. Banjo accompaniment is optional.

6. Blasted Church’s Hatfield’s Fuse

This Okanagan Valley white wine has a complex aroma of tropical and orchard fruits with a sweet note of citrus. Perfect for after work in the garden with a few friends.

5. Iced Coffee

Make it yourself or have your local barista pour you one before heading back to the office.

4. Hefeweisen

A traditional wheat beer served with lemon in a tall chilled glass. Granville Island Brewery makes an affordable and tasty Hef.

3. 7-Eleven Slurpee

Watch out for the brain freeze. Nothing like cooling off with a sugary treat from your childhood. Be careful of the sugar crash.

2. Classic Mojito

White rum. Sugar. Lime juice. Sparkling soda water. Mint. Crushed ice.

1. Water

The perfect drink for all those summer activities. Just remember to spend your nights on a luxury Vancouver mattress. Stay thirsty my friends.

Five Hidden Beaches Around Vancouver

English Bay is too crowded, Kits is full of jocks and Wreck Beach has lost its appeal. So where do you find that perfect piece of sand, that’s family friendly, clean and away from the public eye?

Simmons Mattress Gallery recommends the following hideaways:

1. Cates Park

A playground for the kids, a beautiful lawn to tan on and a boat dock to launch your crabbing vessel. Barely used by tourists, this is the perfect beach to get away from the masses. The only drawback is a lack of sand. Interesting fact: the Salish peoples named the area Whey-ah-wichen, which loosely translates as ‘facing the wind.’

2. Centennial Beach

Located in Tsawwassen, on the beautiful coastline of Boundary Bay, this beach has an extremely shallow tidal plain. When the tide goes out, there are literally kilometres of sandy beach to explore. This beach is great for skim boarders and kite enthusiasts. The shallow plain allows for warmer waters, perfect for the wee ones to splash around in.

3. White Pine Beach

This beach is found on Sasamat Lake in Port Moody. Being on a lake, the water is considerably warmer than the ocean. There also lots of trails to explore on the lake’s perimeter. Bring your own canoe or kayak or rent one on site. Transit users can catch a direct bus at the Coquitlam bus centre.

4. Jug Island Beach

The most remote of the beach locations mentioned, this one takes a bit of a hike to get to. But trust us, it’s worth it. With an incredible view of Indian Arm, this waterfront paradise is located in Belcarra Regional Park. The water is a little chilly, but fairly calm.

5. Stearman Beach

Tucked away in West Vancouver, this beach is a great for curious kiddies. There are a number of creeks flowing into the bay that provide hours of entertainment and educational opportunities. Parking is very limited, so come early and enjoy the morning sun.

Top Ten Mattress Overheards

If you keep your ears open, you can pick-up the craziest conversations. Here are a few of the funniest mattress overheards we’ve eavesdropped on in the Simmons Mattress Gallery showroom:

10. “[Child's name] may think she’s a princess, but there is no way we are buying her a Queen. Where are the twins?

9. “Let’s try not to get red wine on this one.

8. “Forget Mexico. I’d rather spend eight years on this, then two weeks with your mother. Trust me. We can afford it.

7. “I’m just gonna shut my eyes for a few hours? Take the keys and pick up the kids at five.

6. “We’re moving the flat screen to the bedroom. I’m not leaving this bed for the next six months.

5. “Yeah, I know it’ll limit motion transfer. That sounds great. But what about your snoring? Seriously, I can’t take it anymore!

4. “So we buy this one and give the old one to your aunt. It’s not like those springs will be getting any exercise with her on it.

3. “No, we are definitely not taking the mattress from the alley. God, you’re cheap.

2. “Remember that weekend in Tofino? We buy this mattress and you won’t need to go to the gym ever again. That’s a promise.

1. “Forget breakfast! We’re having all of our meals on this bed.

Marijuana Affects Your Sleep

Last week, in our article “Comic Sleeping Positions,” we briefly touched on the topic of alcohol as a sleep inducer. We mentioned that alcohol may have the power to put us to bed, but ultimately, it does more damage than good. Alcohol use can disturb our sleep rhythms and cause us to wake periodically throughout the night. It also forces us to leave our beds for the bathroom, another unneeded disturbance.

This week, Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to turn our attention to another recreational relaxing agent, marijuana.

It is no secret that many British Columbians enjoy the odd toke from time to time and seems that use of the drug has increased in our Province. Public pressure has worked to relax the criminal fines surrounding marijuana use, as more and more people see it as a personal choice, not a criminal act. It is also being used to treat a number of medical ailments.

But while marijuana use may be increasing, so are the studies surrounding the side effects of pot smoking.

At a recent sleep conference in Minneapolis, University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Grandner, presented findings that showed that marijuana use can have many of the same troubling sleep side effects as alcohol.

The study was done with participants between the ages of 20 and 59. The strongest correlation between marijuana use and sleep disturbance was found with participants who had started pot smoking before the age of 15. These users were twice as likely to have severe sleep problems.

More research is definitely needed, but users should be aware of the possible damage that weed may have on their sleep schedules. With increased research, comes the need for increased education. The public needs to be better educated on the ramifications of using recreational drugs, especially when it comes to one of our basic needs: sleep.

Summer Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park

Grab your lawn chair, some healthy snacks and all the jelly bracelets you can find at your parent’s house; The Chevron Summer Cinema Series is coming back to Stanley Park.

The best popcorn flicks from the 80s and 90s will be cast upon the giant blowup screen at Ceperley Meadows every Tuesday night from July 8th to September 2nd.

Fresh Air Cinema will once again be putting on the event that has seen up to 5,000 viewers attend a single viewing. This is the fifth year of the hugely popular outdoor movie night.

Last year, the cinema series partnered with a number of food trucks that offered a variety of tasty snacks for filmgoers. Hopefully the trucks will be returning this year.

Guests are reminded that there is absolutely no smoking in Stanley Park. Alcohol consumption at the event is also prohibited.

This year’s lineup is as follows:

July 8th: The Lego Movie

You have to start with a kid’s film – It’s tradition.

July 15th – Pretty in Pink

The good kind of Molly. Not the Miley kind.

July 22nd – Foot Loose

It’s the 30th Anniversary of this Kevin Bacon dance-off. We hate to imagine what the Reverend Shaw Moore would think of twerking!

July 29th – Mean Girls

Before Lindsay went all crazy she was reciting some of Tina Fey’s funniest lines. “You go Glen Coco!”

August 5th – Dumb and Dumber

Harry and Lloyd fans rejoice. Put our bill on Seabass’ tab.

August 12th – Ghost

Just when you thought you had the visual of Demi Moore at the pottery wheel out of your head…

August 19th – The Karate Kid

Sweep the leg.

August 26th – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Love the film for some of the action bits, but have you watched it lately? Crazy racial stereotypes. Just saying…

September 2nd – The Princess Bride

You voted for it and Fresh Air Cinema responded with: “As you wish.” A perfect film to end the series.

Vancouver Full Moon Party

UBC students be warned: The RCMP are on Facebook too.

The Mounted Police, that service the area around the province’s largest university, have announced publicly that they will be blocking all entrances to Wreck Beach on the night of June 13th.

Wreck Beach is the proposed site for a full moon party hosted by DJ Bjorn on the date mentioned above. The party’s Facebook page already has 7,000 ‘confirmed’ guests.

RCMP officials are concerned the party could get out of hand. They are also worried about the possibility of thousands of party revelers traversing the precarious steps that lead down to Wreck Beach.

The secret (but completely transparent) plan to host the party at the beach is in direct violation of Metro Vancouver’s regional district parks bylaw that permits anyone from being on a beach after sunset. Obviously this is a loose law that is often overlooked, but when 7,000 people break it simultaneously, well…arrests could be made.

The RCMP have already started cracking down on the illegal sale of drugs and alcohol that the beach is famous for.

Our recommendation: Give the kids an alternative site for their party. We are worried that the partiers will be losing sleep, but youth will be youth. Let them have their night in a safe environment. YOLO!

Comic Sleeping Positions

We came across a funny photo online concerning the different sleeping positions that couples assume when sleeping together:

1. Zombie Attack

This position seems to be an unusual take on spooning. If your partner’s limbs do take on a rigid pose during sleep, you may want to check for a heartbeat.

2. The Cat Block

We thought this caption was the cutest. Cats always seem to think their interests come first. They probably feel that their presence in your bed is actually an undeserved privilege. In reality, any animal that joins you in bed has the potential to disturb your sleep. As the cartoon shows, it will also eliminate any possibility for physical pleasure between you and your partner.

3.Sloppy Drunks

After a night out on Granville Street, you and your partner may pass-out in any manner of positions, before you get a chance to get comfortable or even disrobe. But alcohol should never be used as a sleep aid. “Alcohol may seem to be helping you to sleep,” explains Irshaad Ebrahim of the London Sleep Centre, “as it helps induce sleep, but overall it is more disruptive to sleep, particularly in the second half of the night.”

Disclaimer: Always drink responsibly.

4. Invisible Dog

Sometimes couples have a certain spot on the bed that they just naturally avoid. This may be the sign of an older mattress. If your mattress shows signs of aging, you may want to consider a new bed. Simmons Mattress Gallery has a huge selection of luxury mattresses to choose from. Visit our Broadway location and test sleep some of the finest mattresses available in Vancouver. Leave the invisible dog at home.

5. Cliffhanger

Great movie, well…decent movie, but a terrible sleeping position for at least one of you. It may be a sign you need to switch sides of the bed. If you do find your partner forcing you off one side of the bed, don’t be afraid to gently roll them over to the other side. Your sleep should be your first priority. Again, this may be a sign you mattress is not functioning properly and or you need to increase your bed size. Go with a California King and sleep in total comfort, away from the dangerous cliff face.

6. Human Braid

Or the newly-weds. This position is only popular between couples for a finite period of time. Eventually we all want our space to maximize our sleep.

7. Abandonment Issues

For some people this is the most comfortable way to sleep. Who are we to judge…?

8. Necrophiliac

Again, check for a pulse.

The Top Ten Signs Summer is Coming to Vancouver

10. Border lineups

Better tack on an extra two hours for your trip to Seattle this weekend. It’s crazy to think that Europeans can travel between countries with hardly any thing more than a signpost.

9. The roof is off

The $560 million roof is retracted at BC Place. Wait. Was that a raindrop? Better close it back up.

8. English Bay is packed

Did you know that the smiles on the Laughing Men extend two centimeters when the temperature gets above 20° Celsius. Fact!

7. No one is bitching about the Canucks

The city takes a two-month break from whining about our beloved Canucks. Sleep now Trevor; the honeymoon is coming to an abrupt end.

6. Gas prices are ridiculous

As soon as people start to abandon their cars for walking or riding to work, the government jacks the gas prices. Well, that’s our theory. Don’t hold us to it.

5. Stan from accounting is talking about his Grind time

Let’s all stand and give him a round of applause. Well-done Stan. Can’t wait to hear about your paddleboard adventures. Yes, that’s sarcasm.

4. The peppermint tents are up

Four new plays for the summer of 2014. The curtain rises on June 11th. This summer’s Bard offerings: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Tempest,” “Cymbeline” and “Equivocation,” a play by Bill Cain.

3. It’s raining

Rain spells the coming of every season in Vancouver. Remember folks: It’s what keeps it green.

2. The city is full of pink and purple rhododendron bushes

Douglas Coupland remarked that rhododendron green was an official colour in Vancouver. But for these early days of summer, brilliant coloured flowers hide the green. Thank you Ted and Mary Grieg for your marvelous gift to Vancouver.

1. The bike lanes are full

Those empty Vancouver bike lanes that you cursed at all winter are finally full with environmentally friendly commuters. Don’t hate. Join them!

The Job Hunt

All right Grads, this is it. You’ve finished your degree. You’ve done your necessary month of travelling and partying. Now it is time to get serious; It’s time to start job hunting.

1. Deciding on a field

Hopefully you’ve already done this and your degree or graduate work will lead you directly to the companies in need of your skills. If you are coming out with an arts degree…we hate to say it, but you’re probably looking at a few more years of skill building.

2. Researching Employers

Before you let your employers see your credentials, investigate theirs. You should have a deep knowledge of any employer you wish to work for. This will help you decide if the company is right for you. Questions to ask as you do your research:

  • Are there positions in the company that you could work towards? You never want to take an entry position, only to find out their is no room for upward movement.
  • Is the company in a viable market?
  • What sort of reputation does the company have in regards to employee satisfaction?

3. Online Sweep

Time to cleanup your online presence. Yes, employers use Facebook to check on potential employees. They will also do a Google search of your name. Guaranteed. Take down all those party shots and stiffen up your privacy settings. Go through your tweets – All of them. Remove any that might be damaging.

4. Interview Prep

The interview process is quite possibly the most difficult test you will undertake. Do not stress; be prepared. Know your skills and abilities and know what the job is asking of you. Know exactly what the company does and who their clients are. Practice with a friend or parent before heading in.

5. Sleep, sleep and more sleep

We can’t stress this enough. To be at the top of your game, you need sleep. Get to know your Vancouver mattress. There will be plenty of sleepless nights once you start working.

Birds of a Feather

The City of Vancouver recently ran an election to determine the City’s official bird for 2015.

The voting was conducted online with almost 700,000 ballots received. In the running were six local feathered friends: the Northern Flicker, the Pileated Woodpecker, the Pacific Wren, the Varied Thrush, the Black-capped Chickadee and Anna’s Hummingbird.

The winner, with a decisive 277,924 votes was the Black-capped Chickadee.

This curious bird is found throughout Canada and the northern states of America. The Chickadee has a large head with white cheeks, a black bib and grey wings and back. They associate in flocks and fly in a bouncy flight pattern.

In Vancouver, the Chickadee trill is often heard during the winter months.

The current official bird for the City of Vancouver is the Northwestern Crow.

Apparently, Vancouverites favours birds of a muted colour, which are widely accessible.

Coming in second, with 202,791 votes, was the Varied Thrush.

Personally, we had our support behind the Anna’s Hummingbird. Maybe next year, with a new lobbying team, we can bring the hummingbird to power.

Crazy Chickadee Facts:

-Chickadees hide seeds for the winter in secret one-item stashes. They can remember the location of thousands of stashes, even with their tiny brain.

-To make room for more information, the chickadee brain allows old neurons to die each fall.

-Chickadee flocks use a hierarchy dominance system for establishing rank.

-A chickadee trill is actually a complex, language-like form of communication. The more ‘dee’ notes, the higher the threat level. Other bird species observe and react to chickadee threats.

Grouse Grind Reopens For 2014

Grinders! Are you ready?!?!

The Grouse Grind is reopening for the 2014 summer season.

The 2.9 kilometre hike has been receiving its annual upgrade over the last few weeks, as choppers fly in the needed materials to make repairs to the trail.

The vertical hike, one of the most popular in the Greater Vancouver area, is a competitive training ground for many locals and visiting amateurs.

The average time is between 90 and 120 minutes, but for most veterans, any time worth consideration is well under an hour.

For those of you up for the hike, we hope you’ve been hitting your gym’s stairmaster in preparation. But more importantly, we hope you have been getting the rest you need. Sleep is one of the most important parts of any training regime. Eight to nine hours a night is optimal. Any more or any less and you could be turning back at the 3/4 mark of the trail. We call that ‘the descent of shame.’ Kidding.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep these days, it could be your mattress. Simmons Mattress Gallery has a full showroom of beds that will provide you with an undisturbed, restful sleep – perfect for the North Shore’s ’steps of death.’

Coupland’s ‘Gumhead’

The Vancouver Art Gallery is bringing a new public art feature to the Robson Square Plaza that relies on public ‘chewing’ interaction. Created by local artist, Douglas Coupland, the piece features a 7-foot tall self-portrait bust of the artist. Temporarily titled ‘gumhead,’ the artwork encourages the public to add their chewing material to the sculpture. The hope being, that in a matter of months, Coupland’s face will be completely covered with a patchwork layer of saliva infused sweet bubble cud.

The gallery has described the piece as “a gum-based, crowd-sourced, publicly interactive, social-sculpture self-portrait.” It is one of fifteen works commissioned by the VAG as part of NEXT: A Series of Artist Projects from the Pacific Rim.

The bust is being installed this week on the grassy knoll of the southeast corner of Robson plaza. The official unveiling will occur on May 31st. The bust will remain at this location until September 1st.

The gumhead will be part of the plaza’s summer theme: Urban Reef. The reef project is the latest winner in the Robson Redux design competition, a contest open to local and foreign designers for re-imagining the public space outside of the VAG, between Hornby and Howe street.

Coupland’s work may have been inspired by other public ‘gum’ works. Anyone who has visited Seattle’s Pike Place Market has probably witnessed the Market Theatre Gum Wall. The wall, located in an alley just behind the market, is a kaleidoscope of used gum that has become an Instagram staple for visitors to the Emerald City. Another public gum work can be found in Berlin, on one of the wall sections from the now dismantled Berlin Wall.

For those hoping to be a part of the project, we suggest a multicoloured, HubbaBubba style, chewing addition. It’ll standout and add a bit of flare to the standard spearmint Dentyne swabs.

‘Out Like a Light’

A customer at our Broadway location, in Vancouver, told us an interesting fact this week about the origins of the term ‘out like a light.’

Apparently, this English idiom references a period in time when electricity and the ability to flick a light switch, was fairly groundbreaking.

Before the time of electrical lighting, homeowners needed to extinguish all the candles or gas lamps in their homes to turn off the lights before bed. With light switches, this process was dramatically simplified.

Instead of making a trip around the home to blow out all the candles and turn off the gas lines, it was now possible to darken a room with the quick, simple, flick of a switch – like magic!

This ease of this process was married with the ability to quickly fall asleep and a new idiom was formed: Out like a light.

Another interesting phenomenon is the use of ‘sleep’ terms in computer technology. Did you ever think it was weird that one of the options on you iPad was sleep mode? This setting powers down your tablet and extends your battery life. It basically gives the processor a needed rest.

Too bad it doesn’t allow for restorative energy to be banked. Maybe the next generation of iPads will come with solar panels…

Deep Thought of the Day:

If your iPad does truly go to sleep, what do you think it dreams of? Do you think it harbours jealousy that you get to spend your nights on an ultra comfortable Beautyrest Recharge Mattress and all it gets is a few hours on your IKEA bedside table? We’d be jealous, no question.

Things to think about.

If you have any other interesting stories or insight into terms regarding sleep, add them to the comments below or tweet back at us @mattressvan on Twitter.

Vancouver Activities

Relatives visiting from out of town this May long weekend? Treat them to a view they will never forget.

On May 16th, the Sea To Sky Gondola will open above Squamish BC. The $25 million dollar project that has been five years in the making is finally operational. Riders will be presented with a panoramic view from 885 metres above sea level – that is 200 metres above the Chief.

Once on top, there are 30 kilometres of trails available, the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, a gift shop, a restaurant and 6,000 square-foot deck for viewing.

For those looking for a workout, akin to the Grouse Grind, there is also a Sea to Summit Trail that takes you from the base of the gondola to the peak station. Trail guides suggest the route takes between three and four hours to complete; A substantial increase from the standard one-hour grind time.

Hikers who make the ascent are offered a reduce rate of $10 for a trip down on the gondola.

Riders who travel both ways will be charged between $34.955 and $22.95, depending on their age. Six-month passes are also available for a price of $99.

Looking for something closer to the city? Take a bicycle tour of beautiful Vancouver with our friends at Vancouver Bike Tours. The newly formed touring company offers two daily bicycle tours that feature the incomparable Stanley Park, the False Creek Seawall, downtown Vancouver and Granville Island. All of their tours include a bike rental, a helmet and a lock.

The tours are great for locals looking to expand their knowledge of Vancouver’s short, but rich history. They are also a completely ‘green’ way to take in the sights.

You can book your tour online at www.biketourvancouver.com. Mention this post for 10% off the tour price.

“Wake Up Baby!”

A young Ohio couple was shaken from their sleep this past week by the sounds of screaming from their baby monitor; the unnerving part: the screams were the voice of a young man.

“Wake up baby,” was the call that startled them from their slumber. Apparently, a young man had hacked into their home monitoring system, which included a camera, a microphone and a mobile display interface. When the father ran to the bedroom of his child, the camera turned to face him. The voice then uttered obscenities until the father unplugged the unit.

The scene seems like something from a sci-fi novel, where the household instruments, that we rely on daily, turn on their users. In this case, it was more of a security breach, then an Orwellian takeover.

The breach demonstrates how vulnerable we are when we open our lives up to the ‘Internet of Everything.’ Complete connectivity comes at a risk and securing our endpoints is an important part of being a responsible consumer.

Dave Evans, at Cisco Systems Inc., estimates that there are over 10 billion electronic devices connected to the Internet. Like your home computer, all of these electronic systems are susceptible to hackers.

Even appliances without cameras or audio are being compromised. An oven or rice maker connected to the Internet could tell a potential thief the approximate times when a family is home. They can also be turned on remotely, possibly creating a fire hazard.

Education and an updated security system is key.

When it comes to your bedroom, Simmons Mattress Gallery suggests a tech free zone. It has been repeatedly proven that quality of sleep is directly related to the amount of electronic devices in and around your Vancouver mattress. Reduce the amount of gadgets and improve your nighttime rest.

For alternatives to baby monitors, sleep with your hall door open or decrease the distance between you and your sleeping child. It is surprising what the human ear will detect when the sounds are from a loved one.

Community Concern

The City of Vancouver was hit by a disturbing statistic this month, when figures were released showing a 249-per-cent increase in unsheltered homelessness from figures produced in 2011.

The increase from 2011 took a huge spike this past year when numbers rose from 273 to over 500 individuals living on Vancouver’s streets.

Despite increased efforts by the provincial and municipal governments, more and more people in Vancouver are being denied the simple human right for shelter.

Even as Vancouver enjoys successive years as one of the world’s most ‘Livable Cities,’ the poor are sleeping without a mattress, exposed to the elements.

For our city to truly advance, we must increase the care offered to our most vulnerable citizens. Only then can we sit back and enjoy our laurels.

Here are three ways ordinary Vancouverites can help tackle homelessness:

1. Volunteer at a Shelter

Many homeless choose the streets over shelters because of the conditions of social housing. Volunteers are needed to help raise the standards of living at shelters across the Lower Mainland. To find a shelter that needs volunteers in your area, visit the Greater Vancouver Shelter Strategy website.

2. Financial Assistance

The Lookout Emergency Aid Society offers programs for Vancouver citizens to subsidize rent costs for the homeless. Their packages range from $75 to $300 per month. These programs help house individuals who are looking to move out of the Downtown Eastside.

3. Express Your Opinions

Inform your MLA that this is a problem that concerns everyone living in Vancouver, not just the people living without a home. A minimum wage increase and additional social housing projects are two of the ways the government can help. They need to be reminded that the public is behind these initiatives.

Mother’s Day Morning

It’s that time of year again to celebrate that wonderful woman who birthed you into this world and cared for you every second of your life.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 11th and Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to recommend you show your appreciation for a lifetime of love with a homemade breakfast in bed. Breakfast in bed is also a great starter for those dads out there who are trying to organize a full day of Mother’s Day activities.

So whether you are surprising your own mother, or preparing a morning meal for the mother of your children, here are a few tips on how to make it a memorable morning:

Start Early

  • Don’t wait to the last minute to pull something together. Dads, include the kids in the breakfast planning process. Have them work out a menu of mom’s favourites.

Keep it Simple

  • You don’t need to go all-fancy with hollandaise sauce and poached eggs. Sometimes a simple fruit plate is the best surprise.

Diet Restrictions

  • Mom may be watching her weight, so don’t load her down with pancakes and whipped cream.

Picnic Blanket

  • Breakfast in bed can get a little messy. You don’t want to stain her sheets with coffee or berries. Lay out a picnic blanket so you can enjoy your mattress meal without worrying about the linens.

Homemade Menu

  • Write up a menu with a few additional notes professing your love and appreciation for all that mom does.

Flowers On the Side

Good luck and happy Mother’s Day to all those wonderful ladies who work tirelessly for us,

365 days a year. We appreciate every second of care.


Five Reasons to Support the Vancouver Aquarium

So you saw the documentary “Blackfish” and now, all you can think about, are the poor whales penned in at the Vancouver Aquarium. What evil organization would confine such beautiful animals of the north to such a small saltwater tank?

Well, before you start organizing Facebook groups and public rallies, here are a few facts to consider:

1. As of 1996, The Vancouver Aquarium only adopts marine mammals that are born in another aquarium or were rescued and deemed non-releasable by a government authority. The last marine mammal ‘collected’ by the Vancouver Aquarium was Aurora, the beluga. Aurora has been with the Aquarium since 1990.

2. No one is making a profit on the fish and mammals held at the Vancouver Aquarium. The admission cost is high, but all that revenue goes towards maintaining a world-class facility and supporting other marine programs like ocean pollution research, marine mammal rescue centres and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

If you are worried about costs, consider a family membership. A family membership will grant two adults and up to four children unlimited entry to the facility for one or two years. Think of all those rainy weekends… Wouldn’t you rather have your kids learning first hand about life ‘under the sea’ than watching “The Little Mermaid” for the 47th time.

3. Education is paramount at the Vancouver Aquarium. If your child goes to public school in the Lower Mainland, he or she will probably visit the Vancouver Aquarium at least a half a dozen times before they graduate high school. Each visit will include talks and information from trained staff that will inspire a lifetime of marine life interest. Having a world class facility at our backdoor means that are children are far more likely to take up the torch for preserving and researching conservation methods for marine life around the world.

4. Research done by aquarium officials leads to advanced studies that are continued with marine life outside of the aquarium. These studies help scientists better understand marine life and the changing environment. This is especially important for northern ecosystems. Studying beluga whales in captivity helps scientists find solutions for approaching global warming challenges like the massive reduction on sea ice in northern Canada.

5. Rescued animals that have been hurt and deemed non-releasable need a home and constant care. The Vancouver Aquarium and other similar marine facilities offer this care 24/7. Instead of putting down or releasing a marine animal that has an extremely low chance of survival, the Aquarium can nurse the animal back to health. During the recovery period, thousands of visitors can enjoy the presence of the marine guest. The Vancouver Aquarium rehabilitates and releases about 100 marine animals back into the wild each year.

Bonus:

Ocean Wise, a program created and continued by the Vancouver Aquarium, helps consumers make informed decisions about their culinary choices in regards to sustainable seafood. The Ocean Wise label lets know that an item has been harvested responsibly. This transfer of information will have you sleeping better about your seafood choices.

Living Life Fully Charged

Have you ever had one of those shopping days where every pair of jeans you try on, just don’t seem fit right? They look great on the mannequin and the shopping assistant, but somehow they don’t really equate to your body type.

Mattresses can be the same way.

We have lots of customers who have the same issues with mattress shopping: They love the features of the bed, the velvety top layer and the unique pocket coil support, but when they lay on it, especially on their side, it just doesn’t feel 100 percent. And you should ALWAYS feel 100 percent sure when buying a mattress.

Enter the Beautyrest ComforPedic.

The ComfurPedic is made with advanced memory foam technology that moulds to your unique body type without giving up support or heat dissipation. Our propriety formulation is amazingly responsive and is specifically designed to maintain an ideal sleeping temperature.

Your body curves will mold into the foam for a seamless fit. The GelTouch will offer exceptional pressure relief and the luxurious fabric top will have you questioning every bed you ever owned.

Leave the others on the rack and head straight for the ComforPedic. The Better Memory Foam.

The Benefits of Cycling on Sleep Performance

Simmons Mattress Gallery has joined the moustachioed ranks and embraced cycling as an extra-curricular activity. This week we were delighted to learn that our new passion for pedalling can also help us sleep better.

Stanford University School of Medicine researchers found that sufferers of sedentary insomnia fell asleep twice as fast when they included a 20-30 minute cycle in their daily routines.

The research also showed that cyclists were able to increase their time under the sandman’s trance by nearly an hour each night.

Part of the benefit of cycling is increased exposure to sunlight. According to Professor Jim Horne of Loughborough University’s Sleep Centre, sunlight helps maintain our natural circadian rhythms, which regulate our sleep cycles. The exposure also reduces the level of cortisol in our bodies, promoting deep regenerative sleep.

Cyclists are also exposed to less pollution then auto commuters. The common belief is that cyclists spend their time sucking in excess CO2 from vehicle exhaust. It is true that because of cars, bike riders are exposed to harmful emissions, but a study done by the Imperial College of London showed that cyclists take in about 1/5th the levels of pollution inhaled by people in cars.

Less pollution, more exertion, increased exposure to our shiny friend in the sky all adds up to a better, healthier, longer, more restorative sleep.

So for better mattress results, pull your two-wheeler out of the garage and hit the road. Just remember to ring your bell when you pass us on the left.

‘Bright Box’ Equals ‘Child Sleep Loss’

For every hour of TV your kids watch, they lose seven minutes of sleep a night.

This eye-opening statistic was a product of  a research study done by MassGeneral Hospital for Children and the Harvard School of Public Health. The researchers studied 1,800 children from the ages of six months to eight years old.

The study focused on the effects of televisions in the bedrooms of children. The opening statistic was a byproduct of this study.

As expected, children with TV’s readily accessible to them (in their bedrooms) slept less than children without televisions at their disposal. Boys were much more susceptible to sleep loss when given the opportunity to monitor their own viewing schedule.

The study also found that ethnic minorities were far more likely to sleep with a television. When this group was provided a television, the average sleep loss was half an hour a day.

Sleep is incredibly important for early childhood development. Providing our children with a device that has been proven to reduce the amount of rest they receive is irresponsible.

When possible, keep the mattress and the digital entertainment in separate rooms. Keep the amount of television your children watch to a minimum and give them every opportunity they deserve.

Travel Layout

If your sleep history was a coffee table book, that unfolded with glossy pages of the beds that you had spent your night’s on, the most interesting layouts would probably be from your time spent travelling.

Sleep is often a luxury when travelling abroad, especially on a budget. A mattress that you would never even consider using at home, might be an oasis after an overnight bus ride to Luang Prabang. But that’s what makes travelling such an adventure – the unknown. Your Beautyrest will always be there to cradle your tired body when you return home. But sleeping next to a chicken cage and a family of eight, that’s priceless.

Here are a few colourful suggestions for travellers looking to enhance their personal sleep pages:

-Under the Grecian Skies

The overnight ferry from Athens to Crete without a sleeper cabin is an experience. Save the money and make yourself comfortable on the deck. Beware of drunks and seabirds.

-Human Sardines

Any overnight train in India will offer you an experience you will never forget. You will almost undoubtedly arrive to find your seat, bench or private car occupied. Don’t fight it. Embrace it. Claim your spot, but don’t be surprised to wake-up to a total stranger using your thigh as a pillow.

-Sand for Springs

You’ve spent a few dollars on a beach side hut in Thailand and packed it with your fellow travellers. Let them snore each other to sleep. Try the sand for a night.

-Sleeping With Strangers

Preface: Always wear protection. That being said, befriending a local can save you money on accommodation and present some of the most unique sleeping experiences you will encounter. The comfort of a stranger is sometimes oddly compelling.

-’Yurt’le The Domed Turtle

Leave the tent behind on your next backpacking adventure and spend a few night’s sleeping in one of the world’s most basic, yet satisfying sleeping structures: the yurt.

The Benefits of Sleep Contact

A study out of the University of Hertfordshire showed that 94 percent of couples that spent the night in contact with their partners were happy with their relationship. On the flip side, 68 percent of couples that slept the night on opposite sides of the bed showed the same feelings of happiness.

The same study found that couples that sleep touching face-to-face are far more content with their relationship than couples that sleep in the spoon position. But within the group of couples who sleep without contact, the group that slept facing the same direction was more content then the group that faced each other.

The research did not elaborate on what stage the relationships were at. From experience, we might assume that the close sleepers were probably at the initial stages of their time together.

Your comfort is important, but so is contact. Maintaining a physical bond with your partner will increase your endorphin levels and solidify your feelings for each other.

You may have a wonderful king size mattress to spread out on, but pull your sweetie close.

Natural HGH Release

Vancouver is a hyper competitive society when it comes to physical fitness. We all want to achieve an ideal muscle tone, so when the sun finally reveals itself in June, we can discard our clothes and reveal the fruits of our physical labour. Some of us dream to be billowing pillows of muscle, while the majority strive for the chiseled ‘cross-fitter’ physique. In either case, the secret to our success may not lie in our discerning diets or regimented workout schedules. The true answer to creating your desired body type is sleep.

During sleep, the body releases HGH, the human growth hormone that promotes fat breakdown and increases muscle mass. This release often takes place during your deepest sleep cycle, the first few hours spent on your mattress. In the later REM stage, your body repairs muscle tissue, restores organs and recirculates the HGH created at the start of your rest. When you interrupt your sleep or limit the time your body has to rest, these natural processes are disturbed and your body is denied the necessary hormones for growth and development.

Knowing this, can help you prioritize your time. Instead of going for a late-night run, you are probably better off getting an extra hour of sleep.

The same logic can be applied to the money you put towards fitness. Instead of spending hundreds on a personal trainer, you are far better off investing your funds in a new mattress. A new bed will limit sleep disturbances, increase your comfort and ultimately maximize your physical output.

Without sleep, time spent at the gym is wasted. Take that little nugget of truth and change your life.

Ten Signs You’ve Found the Right Mattress Store

Mattress stores are plentiful in the lower mainland, so finding the right one can seem like a task for some consumers. To help with your Vancouver mattress shopping, we’ve created this quick checklist to help you determine if a mattress showroom is worth your time:

10. The sales people’s first question is about your sleep preference, not your mattress preference.

9. You are allowed to test sleep all of the beds in the showroom.

8. There is a wide range of comfort options on the mattresses being sold.

7. The sales professional is able to describe every component concerned with the make-up of the bed.

6. The store’s focus is mattresses. Period.

5. You are not pressured to make a same-day purchase.

4. Your chosen mattress does not cost more than a new car.

3. All of your questions about your new mattress are answered without the sales representative resorting to a catalogue.

2. The predominant mattress brand is a brand you recognize.

1. It says Simmons Mattress Gallery above the door.

Cherry Vs. Plum

Pink is the colour of spring in Vancouver, as the city’s most popular tree, the flowering cherry, blooms into a cloudy rosé of pillowy pink blossoms. Vancouverites treasure this time of year, with a dedicated festival to the tree that lines almost 75% of our neighbourhood streets.

But did you know, mixed in among those cherry trees are a number of flowering plum trees. The differences are small, but a trained eye can easily distinguish the two.

Here is a quick guide for determining which flowering sapling you are viewing:

Blossoms

The cherry blossom flowers are constructed of five petals. Each petal has a small ‘v’ cut split at its narrowed tip.

The plum tree also has five petal flowers, but the petals are rounded at the tips.

Buds

The cherry buds can support multiple blossoms. This gives their branches their cloudy appearance. One of our favourite spots for viewing the dense blossoms is the Burrard Street SkyTrain station concourse.

Plum buds only support single blossoms. This limits the density of the pink clusters.

Bark

The cherry tree’s bark often has horizontal markings on it.

Fragrance

The plum tree’s blossom is much more fragrant then the cherry.

Liquid Beauty

After a poor night’s sleep your face can look like a Lindsay Lohan mugshot, with red swollen eyes, dark bags and a total absence of colour in your cheeks. It is probably your least attractive state.

Keeping your beauty up means getting a proper 7-8 hours of rest a night, along with all those other measures you partake in. Unfortunately, no amount of concealer can hide the damage of an all-nighter.

But why does a lack of sleep do so much aesthetic destruction on your face. Apparently it comes down to water retention.

The upper and lower eyelids have the thinnest layer of skin on your body. When you are low on fluids, the eyes are the first area on your body to reflect your dehydration.

Being the windows to your soul, your peepers are one of the first features that strangers look to. When they look like hell, your previous night’s dispersions are obvious to all.

A night of heavy drinking will almost assuredly disrupt your sleep. Both of these will leave your body craving liquid.

To keep your face looking its best, moderate your alcohol intake and head to your Vancouver mattress at a reasonable hour.

Ten Sleep Tips for Seniors

As we age and ease into retirement, new issues arise that disturb our sleep. Chronic pain can become a daily occurrence and can affect our ability to find comfort, even on our Vancouver mattress. With retirement, a change in our daily schedule can be hard to adjust to. And there is always the increase of worry and stress brought on by the passing of loved ones. All of this weighs heavy on our sleep routines.

Simmons Mattress Gallery would like to offer ten tips for seniors struggling with sleep issues:

10. New Exercises

Exercising becomes increasingly difficult as our body start to change. Finding new, low-impact exercises, is important for continued health. Try yoga as a start.

9.  Adjust Your Diet

Changes in our bodies can also affect what foods we can handle in our old age. We may not be able to stomach the spices we could in our 40s. An upset stomach can impact your bodies ability to remain asleep.

8. Nap Less

With more time on our hands, we may feel the urge to nap. This can decrease our ability to fall asleep at night.

7. Create a Sleep Schedule

Once our work schedule is abandoned, we sometimes lose track of our sleep schedule. Regular bedtimes create healthy sleep patterns. Stick with them and reap the rewards.

6. Remove Your Clock

Our alarm is no longer needed, but our bedside clock remains. Sometimes the reminder of time can create unneeded anxiety, especially if we are having trouble sleeping. Removing the clock is luxury we’ve earned.

5. Mattress Function

Reserve your mattress for sleeping only. We sometimes start to add televisions and other entertainment devices to our bedrooms. Your bed should be used for only two things: sleep and sex.

4. Reduce Your Caffeine and Alcohol

A glass of wine or two with dinner or a nightcap of scotch on the rocks is tempting when our responsibilities are reduced, but alcohol has an increased ability to disrupt our sleep patterns as we get older. Opt for tea instead of the hard stuff.

3. Keep a Sleep Journal

If you are concerned about your sleep patterns, you should document your nocturnal activities. This will help you and your doctor find an appropriate treatment.

2. Check Your Prescriptions

Always read your prescription bottles carefully, especially the appropriate times to take your pills.

1. Talk to Your Doctor

If you are concerned about your sleeping habits, talk to your doctor immediately. The quicker you can normalize your sleep the better.

Lions Vandalized

A disturbing local story was brought to our attention this week. It appears that vandals have damaged two of the Lion Statues on the Stanley Park overpass near the Lions Gate Bridge. The damage was reported Saturday morning to park staff officials.

The vandals damaged the paws and faces of the two stone animals, chipping away the proud stoic looks that echoed the much larger lions at the onramp to Lions Gate. The smaller statues were installed in 1998, while the larger gatekeepers were put in place in 1939.

The police have been notified as well and hope to track down the culprits. VPD spokesperson, Sergeant Randy Finch had this slightly stern but humorous comment to add: “Investigators will be working with the Vancouver Park Board to ensure those responsible are held accountable for taking the roar out of these two lions.”

While it is easy to hate the people responsible for such a pointless act, it is also important to understand the reasons for their actions. Perhaps it was a lack of sleep that brought on a momentary psychosis? It was more likely a mix of alcohol and group mentality.

Whatever the case, we hope the statues are restored quickly and the parties responsible are dealt with appropriately.

Sleep As a Problem Solver

The old phrase ’sleep on it’ might hold more value than you expect. A new study done at Lancaster University reveals that complex problems are easier to tackle after a full night’s rest.

The study, published in the journal Memory and Cognition, proposes that sleeping on a problem may actually help our brain look at alternative solutions to the proposed obstacle.

For the study, three groups were created out of volunteers. One group was asked to solve a series of verbal insight problems immediately, one group was given time during their waking hours and the other was allowed to sleep on the problem. The questions included a range of difficulties.

For the easier questions, the study found no difference in the answers of the participants. The harder questions revealed a much higher success rate with the group who was allowed to sleep on the queries.

The studies author, Padraic Monaghan, suggests that our brains are more creative during our hours spent asleep. “Sleep has been proposed to ’spread activation’ to the solution that is initially distant from our first attempts at the problem,” claims Monaghan. “The advice stemming from this and related research is to leave a problem aside if you’re stuck and get some sleep if it’s a really difficult problem.”

Basically, your Vancouver mattress could supply the answer to your next conundrum. It’s probably worth investing in a Simmons Beautyrest to receive the full cerebral problem solving abilities.

Top Ten Reasons to Take a Nap this Afternoon

Feeling a little drowsy around 2:30? Here are our top ten reasons to take a power nap:

10. Productivity

  • As the workday progresses, your productivity dips. The energy and enthusiasm you had at 9:30 has tailed off by mid-afternoon. Taking a quick nap helps you bring you back up to speed.

9. Creativity

  • You are far more creative when your brain has rested. An overtaxed mind is far less likely to produce a groundbreaking idea.

8. Memory

  • You are also more likely to retain information after a refreshing nap. Play a quick memory game to test this theory. We guarantee you will be more successful after a quick 45-minute snooze.

7. Beauty

  • Everyone wants to retain that fresh glow throughout the day, but after three meeting and four written reports your facial features start to mirror your mental state. Your body is much more likely to regenerate skin sells when you are rested.

6. Sexuality

  • Yup, it’s true. Grab a nap in the afternoon and your sex drive will receive a boost. Maybe wait till you get home from the office to act on these desires…

5. Motor Tasks

  • Simple tasks like typing and more complex motor tasks like operating heavy machinery are improved after a catnap. Make sure to get your foreman’s approval.

4. Accuracy

  • A quick mattress moment will improve your ability to make accurate judgments, especially when comparing data. Your brain will be more likely to recognize inconsistencies in the dozens of spreadsheets that clutter your desk.

3. Diabetes

  • The possibility of developing a metabolic disease is reduced when your body is rested. Sleep helps your body process carbs, which reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.

2. Dependency

  • A quick nap will also reduce your body’s reliance on caffeine for artificial stimulation. One less coffee in the late afternoon means a better sleep at night; this is a definite win-win.

1. Mood

  • If you’re working at home or in a crowded office, improving your mood in the afternoon always helps, especially if you’ve booked some late meetings. Put that smile back on your face with a half-hour siesta.

Choosing Sleep

A survey done by the Conference Board of Canada reported that two-thirds of Canadians would rather spend more time with their mattress than a night out on the town. Even more significant, 55 per cent of the 18-24 bracket said they would rather catch up on their sleep as well; Young people are choosing health over partying.

Now, this could be just lip service. When the text comes that Jennifer is having people over to her new Kitsilano suite, all thoughts of sleep could be pushed back. And with more and more ways to communicate socially, it seems like there is always an invitation waiting in the inbox. But the poll does show, that at the very least, young Canadians are recognizing that sleep is a necessary component for a healthy lifestyle.

Young people are attempting to go to bed earlier, limit their caffeine intake and prioritize a 7-8 hour rest period. Part of this progress is due to the health education they now receive during grade school. Another contributing factor is the health emphasis that companies are now implementing into their training programs. Businesses are realizing that an overworked intern is far less productive than an employee (paid or unpaid) who has worked a standard 8-hour worked day.

Our wired world is still a detriment to fulfilling our desire for sleep, but at least our youth are aware that sleep is a necessary element for success.

Rowing the Pacific

We are excited to tell you about a historic expedition that will be undertaken by two Vancouver rowers. Rebecca Berger and Leanne Zrum are attempting to cross the Pacific Ocean, unassisted, in a rowboat, specifically designed for their journey from Vancouver to Honolulu. The two hope to complete their daunting paddle within 80 days. They estimate this will include over a million oar strokes. The pair will row 24 hours a day in two shifts.

Their vessel will include video and communication systems, navigational equipment and a small forward cabin for sleeping and shelter. Looking at the photo of their rowboat, it is doubtful that it is large enough to fit a Vancouver mattress, but you never know.

The two will definitely need their rest to row through the unpredictable weather that will greet them out on the wild Pacific.

The only other pair to successfully cross the Pacific Ocean in a rowboat is Chris Martin and Mike Dawson, who rowed from Choshi, Japan to San Francisco in 2009.

The local heroes will be the first women’s pair to make the crossing. Their journey is also intended to raise funds and awareness for the David Suzuki Foundation.

Berger and Zrum will be hosting a sendoff party on Sunday, April 13th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Hollow Tree Gets a Golden Makeover

One of Vancouver’s first tourist attractions was the hollow tree in Stanley Park. It stood out as a symbol of the massive wilderness that surrounded the developing city, a wilderness that has been shrinking ever since.

The tree has had its own official photographer, been spared by rezoning and was reinforced in 2009 by public funding, after the 2006 windstorm threatened its foundation. Now, the hollow tree will be the subject of a new public art exhibit by local artist and author, Douglas Coupland.

Coupland has been commissioned to create a full-scale replica of the infamous tree. His version will be made with steel-reinforced resin and will be coated with a gold patina. The golden stump will stand 13 metres tall and will weigh approximately 16,000 kilograms. The exhibit will also feature a large backdrop of a forest.

The golden tree will be displayed in the plaza of the new MC² development that is being built at the bottom of the Cambie corridor. It is estimated that 100,000 commuters will view the work each day from the Canada Line SkyTrain and vehicular traffic.

The piece is a fair distance from its inspiration, but Coupland hopes the new tree will inspire tourists and locals to seek out the original hollow attraction inside Stanley Park.

The publicly funded exhibit will undoubtedly have its haters, but Coupland hopes the piece will incite a new dialogue on ecology and the importance of forest management. “It shows us what we used to have and what we can have again in the future,” claim Coupland, “if we have a spirit of appreciating nature and if we realize that we are its custodian for better or worse.”

Coupland’s other public artworks in the City of Vancouver include the digital orca at the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Terry Fox Memorial in front of BC Place.

Raindrops Are Falling

As the patters on the outside window increase, our head becomes heavier and our arms cross over our keyboard – it’s time for a quick nap.

The precipitation we all love to complain about in Vancouver may make increase our desire to close our eyes, but does it help us sleep better? People often say that they love to go to bed to the sound of rain but new research shows that sunny weather is actually more inspiring for a restful sleep than our all too familiar, rainy nights.

In a study done by the University of Rochester’s Sleep Laboratory, researchers found that a higher barometer reading was more likely to induce a sounder sleep. 43 subjects were asked to document their nighttime mattress activities in a journal. Their entries were cross-referenced with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather database. The findings showed that the subjects were more likely to sleep longer in their beds and with fewer interruptions, when the skies were clear above. The lab also noted that overcast skies decreased the willingness of subjects to leave their mattresses.

Probably not the greatest news for a city that sees a fair amount of annual precipitation, but it does explain why we are so energized when we finally have a solid string of sunny days.

Mattress Set Saves the Day

A Los Angles couple is being hailed as heroes today for their quick thinking after they saved the life of a young toddler who fell from a third-story window. The couple used their box spring to break the infants fall.

Konrad and Jennifer Lightner were moving out of their apartment, when they saw the child climbing over a windowsill. With their personal items ready to be loaded, Konrad grabbed the box spring of their mattress set and threw it below the dangling child. He then stood underneath the window to catch the 3-year-old boy who was now hanging from a telephone or cable line. When the child fell, Konrad used his out stretched arms to break the fall.

The boy’s parents were unaware of the accident and had to be told by a neighbour. Once informed, they were extremely grateful for the Lightner’s quick reaction time.

The boy was taken hospital, but did not suffer any major injuries.

The incident ended happily, but mattresses or mattress box springs should not be relied on for emergency rescues. Always contact 911 in an emergency situation.

Top Ten Signs Your Mattress is Defunct

10. Colour Recognition

  • If you can’t discern your mattress’s original colour through the stains on its exterior, you need a new bed.

9. Meet In the Middle

  • If you wake up each night in the middle of your mattress, pressed uncomfortably against your partner, your mattress is experiencing some significant sag. The coils are shot; An upgrade is in order.

8. Visible Damage

  • If the top comfort layer of your mattress looks like it’s gone through a shredder, it is probably impacting your comfort.

7. Sounds From Below

  • If your moves in the night incite a symphony of metal springs, it’s time to trade in the ear plugs for a Simmons Beautyrest.

6. College Size

  • If your mattress is the same size as the one you used in your college dorm room, you should probably consider moving up to a Queen size mattress.

5. Damp To The Touch

  • If changing your sheets is like pulling the cling wrap off your plate of leftovers, it means three things: You probably have a mold problem; Your mattress has been compromised; You should probably move.

4. Morning Ache

  • If your body aches more in the morning than it did before you went to sleep, you need a new bed.

3. Searching For the Sweet Spot

  • If you need to spend ten minutes trying to find a comfortable spot between the mattress lumps, you should have bought a new mattress years ago.

2. Stank Factor

1. Spring In Your Back

  • If there is an actual physical spring sticking through the top comfort layer of your mattress, take a photo and send it to us. That bed belongs on a Fail Blog.

Sunset Food Trucks

One more reason why Vancouver is an awesome place to live: Weekly Food Truck Festival at Sunset Beach.

Yes, you heard right. This summer the Vancouver food trucks will be circling their wagons in the Sunset Beach parking lot every Friday night. The festival will focus on the culinary creations of Vancouver’s mobile cooks, but it will also feature local art and music. The backdrop: well you know what’s down there – one of the most gorgeous spots to watch the sun dip away, rivalled only by Spanish Banks.

The weekly food-love-in will start at 5 p.m. and wrap up (unintentional pun) around 9 p.m, just as the sun sets.

Andrew Fielding, president of the Streetfood Vancouver Society, is hard at work getting the permits in order. He still needs approval from the Parks Department. He is also looking for corporate sponsorship to help with the funding.

Last year, a similar festival was held at the Olympic Village, with help from the Waldorf Hotel. The new plan would place the organizing power firmly in the hands of the cart owners. “This would be different…this would be our event,” claims Fielding.

In any form, Vancouverites win. No Fun City. Ha! We think not!

The Love Drug

Dr. Seus: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

Love is a strange drug. It infects our brain and leaves us helpless to our basic desires. It consumes our thoughts and places all our other obligations second. It even has the power to reduce our basic need for food, water and our favourite subject, sleep.

Many would attest that during the initial stages of a romantic relationship our desire for sleep is extremely limited. Our sole preoccupation is the affection we have for another. Lying in bed, our racing heart struggles to slow down, as we lose precious hours of shut-eye to love’s all consuming hold.

You would think this would leave us tired and grumpy, but love’s sweet cocktail prevents us from feeling the effects of sleep loss by releasing hormones that produce natural rewards for our brain. An increase in neurotransmitters such as dopamine, cortisol and oxytocin, create a pleasure state, similar to the feelings artificially created by drugs such as caffeine, sugar and cocaine. Our ‘love high’ boosts our energy, reducing our need for the mattress.

When we do sleep, the quality of our rest is actually quite high. In a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, by Professor Serge Brand of the University of Basel in Switzerland, teens in “early-stage intense romantic love” were found to sleep, on average, one hour less than their loveless counterparts. But the same study found that the young people in the intense love group, were less likely to wake-up. Their sleep was superior in quality.

Unfortunately, there have been no studies done with groups over 25. One would reason that the same hormonal spikes would be visible, but on a lesser degree. Adulthood tends to pacify the intensity of young love.

So, if you do find yourself in a new all-engrossing relationship, relax. Your body is designed to help you through it. You might lose a little sleep, which we never like to see, but your passion will level out your basic needs.

Professionalism In the Workplace

Simmons Mattress Gallery is home to Vancouver’s top mattress professionals. Our in-store staff are dedicated to finding the perfect mattress for your home. Their deep knowledge of the Simmons mattress line-up will help you make an educated decision regarding your next mattress purchase.

All the staff at Simmons Mattress Gallery go through an intense mattress education program. This instruction, along with years of experience in the mattress industry, qualifies them as experts in the mattress field.

Knowing each bed from the floor to the pillow top helps them suggest appropriate mattresses that match your desired specifications. Bring in your measurements and a basic comfort preference and our professionals will handle the rest. Spend an hour or two sampling the beds they recommend and leave the showroom with the mattress of your dreams.

Don’t waste your time at bulk furniture stores. Buy your next mattress from a professional and sleep soundly on the ‘right mattress’ for years to come.

Ten Sleep Quotes We Wish We Wrote (And One We Did)

This week we came across a list in the Huffington Post of the top sleep quotes. We narrowed the list to ten and added a few comments of our own:

10. “People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.” – Leo J. Burke

9. “There is more refreshment and stimulation in a nap, even of the briefest, than in all the alcohol ever distilled.” – Ovid

  • We didn’t know Ovid was such a fan of the wobbly-pops. But we definitely agree with his statement. When given the option of retiring to your bed, or staying up for one more nightcap, always go with the latter. You’ll thank us in the morning.

8. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man [or woman] healthy, wealthy, and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

  • It’s been consistently proven that a solid sleep schedule improves your health, your potential at work and your cerebral processing.

7. “Never waste any time you can spend sleeping.” -Frank H. Knight

  • We’re looking at you, Late Night Talk Shows.

6. “Eat Healthily, sleep well, breathe deeply, move harmoniously.” – Jean-Pierre Barral

  • Pretty sure the first three are the pillars of a happy life. The last one, well, why not. Who doesn’t like to skip down the sidewalk.

5. “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” - Homer

  • Said the man whose prose ran on for days…

4. “Sleep is the best meditation.” – Dalai Lama

3. “It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward.” -Baltasar Gracian

  • This had us slightly confused at first, but after a short nap, it made total sense.

2. “[Sleep is] the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” – Thomas Dekker

  • ‘Gold’ seems to be a theme this week. A big shout out to all the Olympians who participated in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

1. “Renew your estranged relationship with sleep – you will be more productive, more effective, more creative, and more likely to enjoy your life.” – Arianna Huffington

  • A nod of the cap to the Huffington Post for their inspiring list.

And one bonus line:

“At Simmons Mattress Gallery, we’re here to help you sleep better.”

Pitch ‘Not So’ Perfect

Over the two plus weeks of the Winter Olympics, we discussed in detail, the importance of sleep for Olympic athletes. This week, another sport is in the news with a cautionary mattress tale.

Texas Rangers Pitcher, Matt Harrison, will miss the opening day of the MLB season due to stiffness in his back caused by sleeping on an overly soft mattress. Harrison had undergone back surgery in 2013 for a herniated disc. After the surgery, Harrison stayed in a rental home where the mattresses were provided as part of the furnishings.

After experiencing setbacks in his recovery period, Harrison’s team traced his soreness to the rental bed. Harrison immediately purchased a firmer mattress to resolve the issue.

He now claims to be at 100%, but the setback interfered with his training schedule and the young star will likely sit the first two games of the pitching rotation.

Harrison only had two starts last year due to his back pain. He hopes to turn things around this season, returning to his 2012 form where he received a number of Cy Young nominations.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain, talk to your doctor immediately. For relief from your pain, follow Harrison’s lead and increase the firmness of your mattress. Visit Simmons Mattress Gallery to review your sleeping options. We’ll get you back in the game.

Heritage Classic Festival

This Sunday the NHL is holding their annual ‘Heritage Classic‘ game at BC Place Stadium.  The ‘outdoor’ (roof open) game will feature the Ottawa Senators taking on our hometown Vancouver Canucks.

To add to the days festivities, the NHL has just announced a plan to host a pregame show at the Plaza of Nations, across the street from the stadium. The festival will celebrate hockey in a family friendly environment from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Former local superstars, Cliff Ronning and Kirk McLean will be on hand to sign autographs and relive moments from their infamous 94′ cup run.

The festival is heavy with corporate sponsorship, but some of the events sound really cool for kids.

Here’s a short list of some of the attractions that caught our eye:

  • The Upper Deck trading card company will be having a booth where your child can suit up and have their picture taken. Upper Deck will then transform this photo into a personalized hockey card.
  • Tim Hortons will be creating a mini-rink, so bring your own blades if you have them.
  • Bridgestone will be hosting a shoot out booth, where contestants will have their play called by a live play-by-play announcer.

And for the adults:

  • The Molson Canadian Hockey House will reopen for some pregame beverages. They will also be hosting a bubble hockey tournament.

Should be a fun day of hockey.

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