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Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview with Neil Snape, Talented Photographer in France

Neil Snape is a very talented editorial, beauty, commercial and fashion photographer based in France. He has done ad campaigns, magazine work, and much much more!

I am thrilled to have been able to interview him.

Photo: Neil Snape, Make-up: Sally Stone

AVIVA: How long have you been a photographer?
I had my first SLR when I was 20. I went through photo books, magazines, and tried as hard as I could to make nice pictures. Assisted when I was 24, and had my first professional studio at 26.

AVIVA:Have you always wanted to be a photographer, or did you want to do something else before?
I think my destiny was to be a photographer but ignored it or denied it. I did go to school for engineering and did work for 6 years as an engineer before going full time.

Photo: Neil Snape

AVIVA: What inspires you as a photographer?
Anything, and everything done well, pictures, of course, that take my breath away due to the beauty of the image.

AVIVA: Do you pre-visualize your photos, or do you put all the components together as you go?
I try to always make a collection of possible images that would work for the pictures to be done. For magazines, I often draw out the story beforehand to show to others, as well as have a clear direction on set.

Photo: Neil Snape

AVIVA: What achievements are you most proud of? (publications, etc)
The goal when leaving Vancouver for Paris was to shoot for Vogue. I did for Vogue Homme, yet stayed on in Paris doing lots of ads and editorials. Recently an unexpected award for a competition in PDN, was a milestone. Another turning point is the first exposition I’ve had in Milan.

AVIVA: Do you have any crazy/funny/weird photoshoot experience that is memorable and you can share?
Once while shooting in Kamloops B.C. in a desert where there are sand dunes and tumbleweed, I was shooting some swimwear. The model was to change over by one of the bushes, and came running back stark naked screaming help. She left the swimwear in the bush, as there was a 1.5 metre rattlesnake at the base of the bush!

Photo: Neil Snape

AVIVA: What would you do if you won the lottery?
Be able to take the pictures I want without constraints.

AVIVA: What do you believe are/is the biggest challenge(s) faced by photographers?
Change in how things are done, what media types will exist and how we deal with an all electronic future.

AVIVA: Do you have any additional comments?
If anyone has some advice on which agents in NY would be good to contact, that would advance the project of moving there!

You can check out Neil's WEBSITE, BLOG, FACEBOOK, and MODEL MAYHEM.
I would like to thank Neil for this interview, and I wish him all the best for many years to come.

Aviva :)

***Photos on this page are copyright of Neil Snape***

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guest Post: Review of Handbook of Women’s Health: An Evidence-Based Approach

This review was submitted by blogger Eschelle Westwood.

I really enjoyed sitting down to read Handbook of Women's Health: An Evidence-Based Approach by: Jo Ann Rosenfeld. It gives a really interesting insight into many aspects of women’s health over a broad range of ages and over a bunch of very broad topics. Jo Ann Rosenfeld really manages to give a very technical and easy to understand point of view to all of these very general, and sometimes overwhelming, topics.

Jo Ann Rosenfeld did a great job at touching on many aspects of preventative care for all ages of women from teen to the elderly. The author gives great points that anyone can use in their own preventative care, even though this book is based on fact upon fact, it does really get its point across. With all the topics with preventative care that were discussed Jo Ann did a great job at giving you useful information on all of the aspects of the differing care. I was impressed; even though reading was a slight struggle with all those facts being thrown at you, luckily the great informative content keeps you hanging on.

I particularly enjoyed the section “cigarette smoking and cessation,” which resonated with me since I lost my mother to lung cancer. Jo Ann Rosenfeld puts out facts like: “22 million adult women in USA are smokers.” What an intense number then you learn; “Smoking contributes 17% of all women’s deaths and significantly to at least on third of all cancer deaths in the U.S.” With facts such as those echoing throughout this book it makes it all very difficult to just push under a carpet. When the “smoking age is getting younger and younger,” it is hard to swallow sometimes how the smoking culture has taken over.

Since we are on the topic of worrying about our younger generation, Jo Ann Rosenfeld’s book also has a great portion dedicated to “Sexuality,” covering all things to infertility to contraception. Contraception being a topic that should be discussed thoroughly when raising girls; prevention is our friend. Another growing concern with young ladies is something that this book also touches on; eating disorders. Something that is a growing concern in this world of distorted body image ideals and the like.

All in all, this book is filled with some great information, though tedious to read at times the information you gain from reading it is definitely worth it. Covering such a board range of topics is a difficult thing to do and Jo Ann Rosenfeld did a great job delivering the key and important points on all of them.

You can read Eschelle's fitness & health blog HERE, and her Mumfection blog HERE.
You can get your own copy of the book HERE

We hope that you found this review helpful,

Monday, April 25, 2011

5 Tips on How to Get in Shape for the Bikini Season

It's that time of the year again...
The sun is coming out more often, it is getting warmer, and people are planning their summer getaways.

Are you looking for ways to tone up your body so that you can be confident that you look good in a bikini when you hit the beaches this summer?

Although there is no quick fix (since fitness is a lifestyle), check out these tips that can help you get into shape for the summer (and beyond).

1. First, take a hard look at your diet. Diet is just as important (if not more so)as exercise when it comes to getting in shape and staying there. I am not an advocate of depriving yourself of things that you like to eat, but if you are eating cake, ice cream, Kraft dinner, chocolate cookies, and potato chips every day, you are doing yourself a disservice.

I find it helpful to write down what you are eating every day, and adjusting your portions accordingly. Often times, we don't realize how many calories we are actually taking in, and by writing it down, we are able to think about what we are eating and how much we can cut out without depriving ourselves.

I believe that it is not very hard to cut out about 250 calories from your diet per day. 1 Chocolate chip cookie and a can of soda equate to approximately 250 calories.

2. Try not to drink anything with calories. It does not mean that you can't enjoy a glass of juice once in a while, but did you know that a glass of juice is anywhere between 100-200 calories, not to mention that there is often sugar added? Instead, substitute your juice (and other caloric beverages) with water or green tea, both of which are good for your health.

If you are still craving juice, you can dilute it by adding water to it, and that way, the concentration of sugar will be reduced and you can still enjoy the flavour.

According to my nutrition notes, you should divide your weight in half, and that is the number of ounces of water that you should drink. So, I'm 118 lbs, which means that I should be drinking 59 ounces of water per day.

3. Figure out what exercises you enjoy doing. I hope that my earlier post on "creative ways to get fit" can give you a few ideas.

4. Write down what you did for a workout every day. Personally, I find it useful to get a calendar and put a check mark on every day that I worked out. If you really want to get detailed, you can actually write down what you did for that day... for example: Wednesday, April 20th-went for a jog. Writing things down keeps you aligned with your goal and keeps you on track.

5. Find someone to work out with. Working out is much more fun when you have someone else with you who enjoys the same activities as you do.

What do you like to do for exercise?

I hope you found this helpful!

Aviva =)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Setting a Realistic Goal Weight for You

Before deciding how to lose weight, it is important to set a realistic goal weight. Many people start an exercise & diet program with unrealistic expectations of the speed at which they want to lose weight, and a goal weight that is too low for their body type. Such unrealistic expectations set people up for disappointment, binge eating, are demotivating, and not to mention can be bad for your health.

Some people can be big and fit at the same time, and no matter what they do they will not be a size 2, because that is not their body type. Your body type is genetically determined, and although you can tone up and look great, you may not reach your goal weight if it is unrealistic.

Generally, if you are able to exercise every day, your BMI is under 25 (but don't go below 19, that's not healthy either), and your waist is smaller than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men, then your risk of obesity-related health problems decreases and you are OK.

Also, if you are a woman, and your waist-to-hip ratio is greater than 0.8, then you may be at risk of serious health conditions (cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, etc).

It is good to have a weight loss goal, but a goal has to be SMART. A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Without the aforementioned, a goal is not really a goal.

It is important to note that a healthy weight for me is not necessarily a healthy weight for you, and it's not necessarily a healthy weight for someone else. When you reach your optimal weight, you should feel great about your body and your health. Every person is different, so every person's workout, diet and weight loss program should be customized to suit their needs.

If you are very new to working out, don't set goals such as "I will work out 6 days a week for 2 hours a day and lose 15 lbs by the end of the month". Although it is specific, measurable, and timely, it may not be realistic nor attainable. Quick weight loss should not be the goal, because it took you longer than a month to gain the weight, so it will take you longer than a month to lose it.

How do you decide what's a realistic weight goal for you?

Thank you for reading,

Source: My nutrition class notes

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Favorite Pink Top

Photo Credit: IMS FotoGrafix

A while back, I wanted to do a photoshoot that involved my favorite pink shirt (there will most likely be more photos of this shirt). I like to wear this shirt because it is not too dressy, but at the same time it looks nice enough to shoot in. I also like the way the top part of it was designed.

As for the skirt, I got it at a department store a few years ago, and I'm glad it still fits :D


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Blurb About The Body Shop Canada

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, a British businesswoman and human rights activist, who was known for her charitable contributions, as well as campaigns for environmental and social issues. She was promoting ethical consumerism long before it was trendy to do so.

I admire Anita Roddick's business sense, as well as her success as an entrepreneur in general. She started a great company with the right attitude, and the company will continue to thrive.

Between 1976 and now, The Body Shophas grown into a wonderful international company offering hundreds of products including various body butters, make-up, skin care ranges, as well as men's skin care.

I have tried some of the products from The Body Shop and I love many of their body butters because they smell great and have moisturizing qualities that are great for the skin, not to mention that they only use natural ingredients in production.

Between now and April 24th, 2011 receive a Free Gift with Any $30 Purchase at The Body Shop. Valid 4.13.2011–4.24.2011


5 Tips on How to Stay Within Your Calorie Budget

Just 100 extra calories per day for 1 year can add up to 10 extra pounds. After my track & field injury back in 2008, when I continued eating as much as I did before having quit intense training, I noticed that I gained about 10 lbs. Living in a small town, with volleyball being the only sport offered at school, no wonder why the extra calories somehow found their way to the waist, butt and thighs in the form of a few unneeded inches.

Are you having difficulty with a few extra inches and those 10 pounds that seem to have appeared out of nowhere?
The secret to losing those few pounds could lie in your eating habits during food preparation and after dinner. Sure, a spoonful of what you're making here, and an extra piece of bread after supper, and some more spoonfuls after dinner don't seem like much. However, considering that you are eating all your meals, snacks, AND a few extra spoonfuls, you may very well be blowing your calorie budget.

Here are a few tips that will help you avoid unnecessary caloric intake:

1. Don't cook on a completely empty stomach. If you are very hungry while making your dinner, you will start reaching for the chips, bread, cookies, and other high-calorie foods. You will also be more likely to eat what you are cooking, while you are cooking it, before you actually sit down for dinner.

2. Avoid grocery shopping when you are hungry. It is not unusual for a hungry shopper to come back with about 3 bags of different flavours of potato chips, 2 packages of cookies, and a chocolate cake. When junk food is in front of you, you are more likely to eat it.

3. Don't wait until you are hungry to eat. If you are trying to lose weight, you should be eating smaller meals more often so that you don't overeat later in the day.

4. If you are still feeling hungry after dinner, instead of reaching for the bread, make some green tea or water to fill the gap. Green tea is wonderful, and has no calories.

5. If you need to, write down everything you eat, including any calories that you take in before and after your meals. Writing things down helps you see what you are eating, and allows you to make adjustments to your diet if you feel you need to.

I hope you found the above post helpful.
If you have anything to add, feel free to do so in the "comments" section.

Aviva :)

Source: My nutrition notes from my university class.

Monday, April 18, 2011

50 Mother's Day Gift Ideas Under $50

Mother's Day is just around the corner and if you are looking for gift ideas, you have come to the right place. :)

Gifts don't have to be expensive for them to be appreciated by the person that you are giving to. Therefore, I hope that you check out the following 50 gift ideas that I think your mother or wife would like (all under $50).

Fragrances, beauty products, gift cards, and jewelry are definitely great for Mother's Day.

Fragrances: Women like to receive fragrances as gifts. Whenever I am looking for a present for my mom, I always try to get her perfume that I think she will like.

Jewelry: Jewelry that looks nice does not have to be expensive and is great for accessorizing. See below what I found for under $50 (and that I believe looks beautiful).

Beauty Products: Girls and women enjoy nice smelling hair products, good quality skin care products, body butters, bath salts, etc. The possibilities are endless.

I hope you found this helpful :)
Click here for more gift ideas for Mother's Day


Sunday, April 17, 2011

A few updates & what's coming up

Hey guys!

You may have noticed that I have not updated this blog for a couple of weeks now. Now that I have some time, I am thrilled to be back at it.

There were a few reasons for my lack of blog posts:

1. The first reason was that I was finishing up my 3rd year final exams, and if you have been to university, you can probably remember how busy the final exam period is. I am very relieved and happy to be done 3rd year. :)

2. Second, I have done a few shoots, and have not yet picked which photos to use in upcoming posts.

3. Third, I was busy interviewing some people for upcoming features and working through guest post submissions. Also, if you would like to submit, take a look at the "submit yours/contribute" tab for the specs.

4. I am always thinking of ways to improve what I am doing (whether it's modeling, blogging, or studying) in every way possible, and sometimes taking a break is the best way to do it.

5. I wanted the Frilly Lilly review to stay up at the front a little bit longer because I am very honoured to have been invited to the store and experience the services. I had a great experience there, and I know you will too.

What is coming up?

1. Fitness posts

2. Interviews with pretty awesome people

3. Updates on some previous interviewees

4. Reviews of products, services, etc.

5. Features of stores that I like

6. Photos from shoots

7. And much more!! :)


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Frilly Lilly Victoria, BC: Review

Above: Frilly Lilly Storefront

A few days ago, I was invited by Karen, the owner of the Victoria Frilly Lilly franchise, to try out the services and products at the store. More specifically, I would receive a bikini or Brazilian wax. Frilly Lilly is well-known for its waxing services, but in addition to waxing, they offer manicures, pedicures and tinting. They also carry a wide variety of nail polishes, beautiful jewelry, shower gels, foot care, as well as lotions and much more!

Above:Pedicure bench at Frilly Lilly

When I first walked into the store, I was greeted by a couple of smiling estheticians and Karen. Everyone was very friendly, which was great! As soon as I walked in, I felt very comfortable. The store was clean, organized, smelled nice and looked beautiful. It had a very feminine atmosphere, which I liked and which added to my comfort.

Having been a shaver, I was at first a little bit skeptical about waxing the bikini area. Mostly, I was worried about how much it would hurt. The esthetician at Frilly Lilly, Jess, who did my Brazilian wax was amazing and very experienced. She made me feel very comfortable and relaxed, in addition to the fact that it did not hurt nearly as much as I would expect. I don't consider myself to be particularly tolerant of pain so I was very happy with the way the esthetician performed the service. As for results, one word-excellent!

While I was at the store, I also tried out some lotions. Because I liked the Sugar Lilly, Karen let me keep a bottle. I also checked out the jewelry and I ended up getting a very nice-looking beaded bracelet which will make a great addition to my accessory collection.

Overall, I would rate Frilly Lilly 10/10 for quality of service, products, atmosphere, and friendliness of staff. If you are considering getting waxing services (just in time for the bikini season), I would definitely recommend you visit Frilly Lilly.

The Victoria, BC location is at 811 Fort Street, in case you wanted to check it out.

I hope that you found this review helpful :)

***Images on this post were submitted by Michael Macdonald of TonicMedia

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Featured Business: Marissa Collections

Marissa Collections is a store featuring beautiful designer clothes. Some of the dsigners sold at Marissa Collections include Lanvin, Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Versace, Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, and many many more.

The reason I chose to write about Marissa Collections is because when I look at their website and the items they sell, I honestly believe that they deserve to be one of the top high-end fashion stores. The store has been around for 30 years, according to their website, and will most likely be around for that long in the future.

If I had an extra $3000 (but being a student I do not at the moment), I would definitely go on a big shopping spree at Marissa Collections. I have always been fascinated by some of their high end wardrobe & shoes (well, which girl isn't?).

Here are some of my favorites from the store aka the items that I would buy:

Alexander McQueen

Lanvin Shoes. I love them. They are gorgeous!



Oscar de la Renta

cuff bracelet

***Note: Images are from Marissa Collections website***
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