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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!

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.

Comedy West

An uninterrupted sleep can dramatically increase your daily health. There – we said it! But the next best thing is laughter.

We’re not 100% sure of the science, but we do know a good laugh is a great way to relieve anxiety. Forget the scented candles and bubble bath, grab a friend and find a local comedy club or check the events calendar for local comics coming to town. Then take a night-off from work/kids/bridge and laugh your way back to health.

This month, Paul F. Tompkins will be visiting the city and performing at the Rio Theatre, only a few km’s from our Broadway location. Tompkins’ humour is a little quirky, but if you have ever listened to his podcast or his appearances on Comedy Bang Bang, you wouldn’t miss this night for your Grandmother’s funeral. Tompkins will be taking to the stage on November 30th. For a little taste of his style, listen to the audio clip below:

http://audioboo.fm/boos/510900-new-dads-paul-f-tompkins

Never been to the Rio Theater? You are in for a treat. Be forewarned, this is an adults only show and as a result, beer will be served. And yes, you may take your cans of PBR into the Theatre.

Another great venue for traveling comedians, as opposed to the community kind, is the River Rock Theatre. Last year, legendary comics Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld performed at the Rock.

If a smaller, more casual setting is more to your taste, check out the Comedy Mix in the Century Plaza Hotel downtown.

Out in the burbs? Try LaffLines in New Westminster. Tracy MacDonold, a fine Canadian comic, will be performing on November 4th and 5th.

Get out there and get your laugh on!

Paul F. Tompkins

“Heart of the City”

Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is an area of the city that many of us choose to avoid. The poverty level scares us, the open drug market makes us nervous and the prostitution reminds us of the dangerous hold of addiction. So we divert our travel routes, choose alternative venues and leave the issues for the community to deal with on their own. It’s a coping mechanism that most of us subscribe to.

One thing we can’t forget, even if we choose to turn our backs, is that the DES is full of people. People who have a past, present and future. People who value the community they live in. People who are artistic, creative and passionate.

As a part of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary Celebration, the DES community will be celebrating the ‘Heart of the City Festival.’ The festival will showcase the talents of many of the area’s current citizens, as well as document some of the rich stories from the neighbourhood’s past.

Events are running all week. For more details check the festival website:

http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com/

Word Exchange

Language is a toolbox from which we borrow implements to cut, shape and model our thoughts. From Facebook posts, to journal entries, to private poems, our soul is portrayed through the words we connect together.

This month, writers and readers from around the province will have a chance to celebrate the expressive power of writing. The 24th Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival will be held on Granville Island from Tuesday, October 18th to Sunday, October 23rd. It begins with an interactive session with the children’s author, Paulette Bourgeois. Bourgeois is the creator of the ‘Franklin’ series that adults and their children have enjoyed since 1986. The discussion is aimed at young readers. Primary teachers and encouraged to bring their classes down for this midmorning discussion.

The final event of the festival is the Governor General’s Award Party, where four previous recipients of Canada’s highest literary achievement will discuss the award and it’s social merit.  The four writers, Nino Ricci, John Pass, Joan MacLeod and John Vaillant, will each read a short passage from their decorated work.

In between these bookends, will be a number of author seminars, publishing and writing workshops, poetry slams and literary debates.

The Vancouver festival will also host a short story and poetry contest for emerging writers. Deadline for submissions is October 23rd.

For more details on the contest and the festival events, visit http://www.writersfest.bc.ca.

Share Your Words

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. -Lord Byron

Cook With Class

Tired of taco night and boring pasta dishes? Want to rekindle your culinary passions? Looking for things to do around Vancouver that don’t involve a mattress?

The Arts Club Theatre Company is hosting celebrity cooking classes for Vancouverites to learn and indulge in the fine art of food preparation. Head chefs, from a variety of restaurants around the Lower Mainland, are teaching the classes. The lessons include a full meal, wine tasting and a hands-on learning experience.

Hosted at private homes, the lessons are an opportunity to learn cooking techniques in a casual environment, where the product can be enjoyed in the setting it was intended for.

The experience is also a fundraising opportunity for the Arts Club Theatre program.

Tickets are $125 per person. There are five planned events being offered before the New Year. Each class is unique and specific to the chef who is hosting.

Your PVR recordings of Hell’s Kitchen can only take you so far. Learn how to cook extravagant meals without Gordon Ramsey telling you where to stick it.

For more information, visit the Arts Club Theatre website.

Culinary Theatre

Dressing ‘Up’ for Bed

Shah Rukh Khan is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. Appearing in over 70 Hindi films, Khan is considered by many to be the King of Bollywood.

With his new science fiction film, “Ra.One,” premiering on October 26th, the world media is obsessed with everything Kahn.

This week, an article in “Harper’s Bazaar” published some interesting facts about Kahn’s sleeping rituals.

Kahn was asked by Mala Sekhri to describe his bed attire. The middle-aged star, often referred to by his acronym SRK, revealed that he prefers to ‘dress up for bed.’

“I like to wear clean, really nice pair of clothes, so like my Dolce and Gabbana shorts, I will sometime . . . wear my Lululemon track pants and I’ll wear a nice, crisp white T-shirt.”

Kahn also went on to comment that he enjoys putting cologne on before crawling beneath the covers.

Cologne? Dress shirts? DG boxers? The ‘King’ knows how to push the boundaries of extravagant living. And a little shout-out to a local company.

We only hope his mattress is on par with his sweet-smelling wardrobe.

SRK

Vancouver Mattress Shopping Tips

Before you come into shop for a new mattress at Simmons Mattress Gallery, it’s a good idea to compile a few notes on the specifics of what you will be looking for in your new bed. This will help the Simmons professionals suggest the perfect mattress for your needs.

Here is a list of questions you should consider:

1. What sort of sleeping position do you prefer? Do you sleep on your back, your side or on your stomach? Some mattresses are specifically designed for certain sleeping positions, so knowing which one you prefer helps with selection.

2. Do you have chronic back pain? Memory foam is an excellent addition for those suffering neck or back pain.

3. Do you and or your partner move around in your sleep? All of the Beautyrest models are made with non-flip pocket coils that help reduce motion transfer, but some are more sensitive than others.

4. What firmness do you prefer? Think about the most comfortable sleep you’ve had. Was the mattress extra firm or was it the softness that made it so cozy?

5. How much room do you have in your bedroom for your new mattress? You don’t want to buy a king size mattress if it will not fit in your room. Use a tape measure and record the dimensions you will need.

6. How much are you willing to spend? Figure out a budget beforehand. Knowing this number will help the mattress professional suggest mattresses within your price range.

Bring all these facts in with you when you visit one of our two locations. Make sure to sleep test at least five different mattresses in our showroom. Again, this will help you decide on what qualities you prefer.

Wake Up on Your New Simmons Mattress

Sounds to Soothe Your Baby to Sleep

A new baby can turn your sleeping schedule upside down. Finding ways to help your infant fall asleep at times that are suitable for you is a challenge. New research is showing that one of the best aids you can use is soothing noise. This calms the baby and encourages sleep.

The makers of baby related products have reacted to this research and have started producing high-end white noise machines. These little items might make great shower gifts, but for those mothers who don’t receive one, the cost can be a little excessive. Babies are an expensive enterprise and finding ways to cut down on costs is a necessity for new parents.

Good news! A new app for your android phone called Relax and Sleep Plus can play soothing sounds through the speaker in your phone for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a white noise machine. The app costs $2 and is available at the Android Marketplace.

The app lets you set how long you want the ambient noise to run. It also has a number of various sounds to choose from. You can mix them together, or have them play one after another. Examples of available sounds are: acoustic guitar, aquarium sounds, ocean and rainforest. There are also animal noises such as frogs and birds. The most bizarre option is the sound of wolves howling, for those Farley Mowat fans.

Consumer guides suggest setting the volume at a low level and keeping the phone well away from the sleeping infants head; the debate on cell phones and stimulating brain cancer is ongoing.

Another tip is to set your phone on airplane mode. You don’t want your infant interrupted by one of your friends calling or texting.

Unfortunately for iPhone users, this app is not currently available on Apple products. We’re sure they will make something similar in the coming months.

Down for at Least a Few Hours

Repeat Customers

Mattresses are one of those things you only need to shop for every five or six years. They are dependable to a point and then it is in your best interest to replace them. When your current mattress reaches that mark, look to Simmons Mattress Gallery to supply you with a new bed.

Simmons has been making beds for the last 130 years. Our beds are leading the industry in mattress innovation; they are also leading to repeat customers.

A Simmons owner knows that their new bed will offer them an undisturbed sleep every night of the week. They have experienced the comfort of a well-crafted product and their choice to buy another Simmons is an easy one.

An easier choice is where to buy their Simmons. With seven consecutive years of being named ‘Best Mattress Store‘ by the Consumers’ Choice Awards, Simmons Mattress Gallery is the number one Vancouver mattress store.

The mattress professionals at Simmons Mattress Gallery can help recommend the perfect bed for your lifestyle. Explain your sleeping preferences, test-lie a few beds and walk away with your favourite.

We won’t see you for a few years, but we will be here when it’s time for another new one.

Napping to Victory: Napoleon’s Little Secret

“If you wish to be a success in this world, promise everything, deliver nothing.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon was a man of infinite energy who made alliances with those he needed and crushed those he didn’t. The ‘Little Corporal’ was a terrier when it came to diplomacy, constantly hustling, solidifying his power in the name of Revolutionary France. His battle strategies are still being studied in military academies around the world for the innovation.

But where did all this energy come from? The answer: naps.

Napoleon could fall asleep anywhere, in any condition; some attribute this ability to be linked to his over the top self-confidence. A quick catnap and the pint-sized leader could be up and ordering troops within minutes. During battle, his naps allowed him to go days without a full night’s sleep. At the end of a siege, Napoleon could sleep up to eighteen hours to bring himself back up to speed.

Would this be considered a healthy lifestyle? No. But it does illustrate the power of a quick bit of shut-eye.

In our modern world, napping is a curious topic. We often partake in naps to make-up for the sleep we missed the night before. A short nap can give us the energy we need to finish our day’s work. A longer nap can cause us to be anxious and interfere with our regular sleep schedule.

Using naps to the degree Napoleon did is ill advised. Using a nap instead of an afternoon coffee, is much more reasonable.

The Napping Emperor

The Necessity of Sleep

“Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.”

These are the profound words offered by James Maas, Ph.D., coauthor of Sleep for Success! Like eating right and getting adequate exercise, the hours you spend asleep are critical for the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.

When we are behind on our sleep, we often neglect our healthy habits. We start making poor choices due to our fatigue.

These poor choices could include missing various appointments for physical activity. This can have a snowball effect and before we know it, two months have passed since we’ve made a trip to the gym.

With a lack of sleep comes a lack of energy to prepare nutritious food. Instead of making a stir-fry and a summer salad, we hit A&W for a double teen burger and onion rings. Poor choices…

We also suddenly crave quick hits of caffeine to keep our mental activity alert. Again, this has a compounding effect. The crash is inevitable.

To avoid this dangerous cycle, make time for at least seven hours a night. The necessity, not the luxury.

Luxury - Clearly Not a Necessity

The Best Place On Earth

British Columbia issued license plates for the Olympic year with the slogan, “Best Place on Earth.” Many Easterners saw this as another west coast hyperbole that proved the level of our conceitedness.

But for those of us who call BC home, the phrase holds more truth than the sharp-tongued retorts of the critics.

BC is one of the most diverse provinces in the country. It has the mildest winter weather and the least humid summers. It is is home to the country’s most beautiful city, Vancouver, and It is also the proud parent of the Vancouver Canucks, the only Canadian team to get past the opening round of the 2011 NHL playoffs.

Our province has some of the lushest parks in the country, the most epic skiing conditions and one of the only stretches of shoreline worth surfing in Canada.

We showed the world we could host a party in 1986 and we did it again in 2010.  The BC acronym is synonymous with a higher level of living that folks from all over the world recognize.

Part of that living experience is the proximity to the most elite mattress store in the country, Simmons Mattress Gallery. The BC mattress store, offers the top Simmons Beautyrest beds at prices that are worth the drive from St. Johns.

If you’ve never slept on a Simmons, you’ve never experienced the west coast. Come see why this truly is the best place on earth. We’ll be waiting with a mattress, two free pillows and some of the BC’s finest (mattress professionals).

“Good Morning, Good Morning!”

Good morning! Two words that sneak from our lips, but often mean far too little.

What is a ‘good morning’? Is it a greeting, a statement of fact or a question?

Well if the Viagra commercials are to be believed, it is a state of being; a post-performance glow. It has gentlemen in suits leaping over hedges, bounding down sidewalks and freely swinging their briefcases.

According to The Beatles it is a mundane rundown of your average day, mixed with a flirty skirt and a barnyard serenade.

Here at Simmons Mattress Gallery, we believe a ‘good morning’ is the product of a peaceful night’s sleep on our superior, non-flip pocket coil mattress. Nothing prepares your mind, body and soul for taking on the new day than an undisturbed rest. And quite simply, that is what a Simmons mattress provides. Our Beautyrest line will provide more spring than any blue pill will.

Try a Simmons today and you will never look back. You will greet your staff with a boastful ‘How was your sleep last night? Mine was amazing!’ That is how to start the day. Leave the chickens and the pill popping to the ill informed.

"Now look to your right..."

The Perfect Anniversary Gift

It’s your parent’s anniversary. Thirty-five years of marriage and they are still sleeping on that old mattress they bought just after you were born.

Surprise them with an anniversary gift they will cherish through their golden years. Buy them a Beautyrest mattress from Simmons Mattress Gallery, Vancouver’s mattress store.

They deserve it. They’ve been through a lot, but they stuck together and always supported you. Now is your chance to repay them.

You will look like the golden child. Those memories of when you wrote-off the family car will be magically erased. In its place will blossom years of ‘thank you’s’.

You can purchase their new mattress at our Broadway location in Vancouver or at our Schoolhouse store in Coquitlam.

Not sure what mattress to choose. Make an event out of the gift. Tell them you need their help picking out a new hardwood floor. Drive them to either of our locations and have them spend an afternoon trying out our beds.

We guarantee they will leave with a smile and a spring in their step.

Directional Advice

On Monday, May 2nd, Canada will return to the polls to vote. The current Conservative government was forced to call an election after the Liberal Party’s no-confidence motion passed on March 25th. The popularity of the Conservatives has remained strong in the wake of the Liberal attack and it seems, even with a failed budget, the populace is prepared to have Stephen Harper maintain his position as Prime Minister of Canada.

But these are early speculations.

If you are wondering where your vote should go, it may be in your interest to log onto the CBC website and use their helpful tool to find out which party’s platform is closest to your own interests. The tool is called the ‘Vote Compass.’ It works as an extended questionnaire. The answers you give are matched with a party and a position on the political spectrum. So far, over one million visitors have used it.

It will be interesting to see if Canadians will move away from their traditional allegiances. Will the results provided by the CBC’s tool really affect their vote? I guess we will need to wait until the 2nd to discover the answer.

Find out where you stand.

Where do you stand?

Visit: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/votecompass/

Queen Size

So we covered the Kings pretty well, but what about all the Queens? How many royal ladies are currently holding power in the world? Do they sleep on King size mattresses? Well we couldn’t come up with that information, but we did find a little info on a few of the world’s most powerful women:

1. Elizabeth II – Queen of the United Kingdom

-She is all over our money and for many Canadians, an important link back to European ancestry. Elizabeth is wort $650 million US. She is currently 84 years old and a mother of four. She is head of the Commonwealth

2. Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard – Queen of Netherlands

-Beatrix may not be Queen for much longer. It is rumoured that she may step down to make room for her son, Willem-Alexander. Her net worth is in the 300 milion US$ range. Fact: It is illegal to quote any statement that Beatrix utters. This law was put in place shortly after her inauguration. (Maybe she stutters? Geoffory Rush might be able to help her.)

3. Margaret II – Queen of Denmark

-Margaret is the first Danish monarch to be female. She has ruled since 1972. Margaret is fluent in Danish, English, French, Swedish and German. She is an established painter and costume designer. She also is said to have a strong addiction for nicotine. This is very evident on her teeth. You think a Queen could afford a better dentist.

4. Oprah Winfrey – Queen of American Media

-Well not quite royalty, Oprah is the reigning leader of a commercial empire that has its fingers in almost every form of media there is. She was the world’s first black billionaire and is rated by many to be the most powerful woman in the world. An endorsement from Oprah is more valuable than a 30 second Super Bowl spot, 2 million YouTube views or top spot on Google. But like the rest of us, she puts her pants on one leg at a time. She also needs a good eight hours of sleep each night to keep her head in the game.

“Think like a Queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone towards greatness.” – Oprah

Oprah Winfrey: Media Queen

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