I met Adam Swanson, Founder of QRZones via Instagram as it has now become the norm — networking business contacts and meeting new friends online. After exchanging several messages with Adam, I interviewed him on Zoom and was delighted with how much we had in common.
He was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC. Adam recently graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science.
Last summer during the chaos of the pandemic and one of the BLM (Black Lives Matter) marches that he participated in, he was inspired to spread POSITIVITY, to uplift people and build a platform to give back to the community. This is when QRZones was born …
Adam is not motivated by money. He enjoys teaching others and sharing his knowledge of computers. He loved leading a workshop for kindergarten to grade 7 children and developing a curriculum of computer science and coding.
He wants to propel people to open their minds and drive home his message that technology doesn’t have to be hard to learn. Adam uses easy to understand language to make people more comfortable with computers and how they can help us — to show us, laymen that it is a matter of ‘learnability’.
Adam is full of exciting new ideas and opportunities for Small Businesses to grow by saving money and the environment with QR Codes. I have met a kindred spirit who demonstrates my Love of Local! During our meeting we discussed working together to promote and market Local Businesses. Our shared love of building community, spreading positivity, and bringing people up can ONLY grow stronger.
This is the core of Adam’s mission, “lifting others up because when we do, we lift ourselves with them.”
To learn more how Adam Swanson and his team at QRZones can expand your business, visit their website and follow their Instagram.
Ahh, January, the month where we all decide to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Maybe lose some weight? Start a new fitness regime? Get better sleep? Meditate?
It can be overwhelming trying to decide where to focus our efforts. We know we want to feel better, but there are so many different options out there it can quickly lead to analysis paralysis and we end up doing nothing because we don’t know where to start.
On the other hand, it is possible to take on too much at once. Starting a fitness program, cooking all your meals at home and trying to get 2 more hours of sleep every night, when you previously weren’t doing any of these things consistently, probably isn’t the recipe for success that you’re hoping for.
Extreme or time-consuming changes to your daily routine may be overwhelming when piled on top of all your regular responsibilities and commitments, to the point that you’ll likely end up abandoning your new healthy habits before you have time to reap the benefits.
So what are we to do? I recommend choosing one new habit or behavior that feels manageable right out of the gate. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is ‘never gonna happen’ and 10 is ‘I can do this all day long’ it should be at least an 8, otherwise you need to scale back.
When we are successful at improving our habits and behaviors, we get motivated to make more changes. I know if feels like radical change will be the most effective, but it rarely is. Small, manageable changes will lead to lasting results.
You’re also more likely to keep doing something you enjoy, rather than grinding through something you hate; even the most disciplined person in the world will crack eventually if they don’t enjoy what they’re doing.
Let’s say you decide you’d like to get in better shape; going to the gym 5 days a week for an hour will surely get you results – right? Well maybe, but it will also probably get you injured and discouraged if you don’t really like going to the gym.
What if instead you signed up for a fun weekly exercise class, or tennis lesson, or set up a standing date to meet a friend for a walk? Seems like it wouldn’t be nearly as effective to get you to your goal as the gym option, but guess what? If you stop going to the gym after 2 weeks, you’re never going to reach your goal.
But maybe, after doing the exercise class for a month, you find another one to add to your week, and then you meet some like-minded people in the class and decide to get together on the weekend to go for a hike…you see where I’m going with this.
The same principle goes for your nutrition – if your eating habits need an overhaul, think about what small changes you could make easily. Do you eat out too much? Set a limit as to how many meals a week you’re going to eat out.
Don’t eat enough vegetables? Set a goal of trying 1 new vegetable a week or eating a certain number servings a day. Don’t buy 10 new vegetables at the grocery store with the expectation that you’re suddenly going to be eating them all day every day, chances are at weeks end you’ll be staring at a fridge full of rotten produce.
If you’re still tempted to bite off more than you can chew, try to narrow down your priorities – what single behavior change or new habit would have the biggest overall impact on your health and lifestyle?
If you’re struggling with injury or pain, working on your mobility would be a great place to start – if you’re not in pain, you’ll sleep better, feel more like exercising, and probably not be cranky all the time.
If you’re always low energy and tired, then improving your sleep would be beneficial – you’ll be less tired (obviously), keep your hunger in check, and have more energy to exercise more. Lots of benefits from one doable change.
So pick something you can start working on tomorrow, and make sure you’ll nail it. Define what you’re going to do, how often you’re going to do it, and how you’ll measure your success.
Once you reach this goal, then, and only then, will it be time to add another. Maybe it’s something you can master in 2 weeks, or maybe 2 months, it doesn’t matter. I’ve said it before, but it really bears repeating: small, incremental changes are so much more effective and sustainable over the long term than big radical ones.
They may not be as exciting (for sure no one else wants to hear about your goal to eat 6 servings of vegetables a day for the next 4 weeks) but who cares? What is exciting is that you’ve set yourself up to reach your goals and still enjoy life while getting there.
Kristin Ames is a certified Nutrition Coach, Personal Trainer and Health Coach living in North Vancouver. Her company, Fit Life Coaching, helps people achieve their best body and health with personalized nutrition and fitness programs. If you would like to learn more about the programs she offers, contact her on her website or Instagram.
I came to know the wonderful family behind Coache Collision in 2011 when I was the Assistant Branch Manager at Hertz Car Rental. Because Hertz was ICBC’s (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) preferred rental company, most of our business was with the body shops in North Vancouver. Out of the many shops that made reservations for their customers, they were one of my favourites.
The luxury automotive body shop specializes in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles with special certifications from both German brands. They have loyal customers that are three generations long just as the Tietze family business.
Coache Collsion was opened in 1975 by Norbert Sr. and Greti Tietze, a hard-working couple, that emigrated from Germany with a suitcase, $50, and a dream to better provide for their family by pursuing the opportunities that Canada offered.
Their longevity can be attributed to Opa and Omi Tietze’s work ethics. They didn’t cut any corners. They repaired their customer’s vehicles right from the beginning, provided German quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service. Omi worked in the office running the administrative, and front end of the shop. Opa had a Type-A personality, was a perfectionist and brought the vehicles back beautifully to pre-damaged condition. Before they opened Coache, he fixed anything with different parts that he could get his hands on.
Growing up, Opa’s son, Norbert Tietze Jr, spent a lot of time at Coache and took over the shop around 2012 – 2013 with his wife, Chantal. They originally met in Williams Lake, BC when she worked as a waitress in a Chinese Restaurant and Norbert came in for lunch. Opa had a cabin there and he spent a lot of summers in his youth fishing and hunting.
Norbert continued Opa’s tradion of German quality and perfection during his 30 to 35 years in the industry and passed these along to one of his three sons, Taylor. The grandson of Opa Tietze is an estimator. He tells me with pride that, “We’ve had many family members working [here]: my grandparents, my mom and dad, my uncle… one of my brothers has been with us, and now I’m the last of the third generation left.”
Just like his Papa before him, Taylor grew up in the body shop. One of the technicians held him as a baby shortly after he was born. He started working in 2006 as a detailer during the summers and in January 2013, he began his full-time career as an estimator. Most of what Taylor learned about estimating was on the job but he also attended courses at the Automotive Training Centre in Surrey, BC.
Sadly, on October 1st, 2019 there was a change of ownership. Norbert and Chantal Tietze sold their family business to the Raydar Collision Group, another family owned business. Opa’s grandson explains that, “My parents wouldn’t have handed over the shop to just anyone, they wanted to make sure all of Coache’s employees were taken care of after they were gone.” All of the staff remains the same as well as the name of the business, only the owners have changed.
Taylor elaborates that, Bill Davidson from the Raydar Group has shown an unmatched passion for the industry, as well … he values his employees. I’ve personally been to one of his other shops, and it’s clear that he takes every step to ensure that not only the business is successful, but the employees are successful within it. I can only see us becoming a more tight-knit team under his leadership.”
To learn more about the luxury automotive repair shop, Coache or book an appointment, visit their website and follow their Instagram. They are located at: 1172 W 3 St, North Vancouver, BC.
Mama and I decided to go to Sula Indian Restaurant on Commercial Drive for the fourth installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures. “The Drive” as it’s affectionately called by many locals, is in Vancouver’s iconic Little Italy and is chalked full of restaurants of all ethnicities, grocery stores, clothing shops and boutiques.
It was my first time but Mama had been before with one of her foodie friends. As soon as we stepped inside the dark, exotic entrance, we were greeted warmly by Sujata. She was also our server and after a few minutes of seating us with our menus, she asked us if we had any questions. No, we were ready to order. Mama Izumi usually leaves it up to me to choose our entrees.
I chose their Butter Chicken and Fish Malabari which is a traditional yellow curry with roasted coconut, black mustard & tamarind that is dairy and gluten free, and ordered Basmati rice and Naan bread to accompany the curries in medium spiciness.
The curries were piping hot and stayed so because they were served in stainless steel bowls that had tea light candles under them. Both dishes were delicious loaded with umami and we, foodies were in bliss. And to top it off, the generous portions allowed us to bring leftovers home.
We will definitely be back and recommend this restaurant to fans of Indian cuisine. The intriguing ambiance, delectable curries, and great customer service, Sula has it all!
To have a look at Sula’s other yummy noms on their menu, visit their website and follow them on their Instagram.
If you have lived in our beautiful city for any amount of time, you will come to learn about Vancouver’s local favourite and long-time provider of our dine-out food staples, White Spot restaurants. I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and ever since I was a little girl, I have loved and nommed on their yummy. comfort food.
I started with their Pirate Paks, progressed to the Legendary Burger, OMG … Triple-O heaven … and as their menu evolved so did my foodie palette. I have recently revisited my longtime beloved dish, Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese, a hint of curry served with Basmati rice.
My foodie cohort and I decided for our third installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures that we would go to our preferred location at Pemberton Plaza in North Vancouver. We love it here because it’s comfy, cozy, and especially because of the wonderful team of servers they have on board: Morgan, Shauna, Grace, Katiee, and Gemma to name a few.
Smiling faces, warm, sincere attention to their customers & their needs, and they exhibit a real joy while they work to serve us. These are some of the reasons Mama and I love the girls at this particular White Spot.
We also love to support and promote local businesses. And we hold the restaurant that was founded by Nat Bailey dear to our hearts. He started the first drive-in restaurant and the accompanying car-hop tray.on 70th and Granville in 1928 — the first of its kind in Canada.
To learn more about White Spot visit their website and follow them on their Instagram. Pemberton Plaza, Mama & my favourite location is at #107 – 1226 Marine Dr, in North Vancouver.
I’m very excited to share with you all the second installment of Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures. Today we went to Famoso Pizzeria & Bar in Little Italy’s Commercial Drive.
It was the first time for both of us and it was a wonderful dining experience! We were the first customers there and were greeted by Daytime Manager, James.
We started our lunch off with Caesars. Not only were they TASTY but they were also on special for only $5 AND just happen to be our favourite cocktail! Lucky us!
Because we were first timers to the pizzeria, James asked if we would like to hear his recommendations, so I explained that we would like to order a pasta and a pizza pie and share them.
He recommended a few different pastas they have such as their Fettucine Alfredo, a Linguini Rose with Prawns, and Rigatoni Ragu made with their beef & pork meatballs. We decided on their Ragu and for pizza we ordered the Prawn Pesto … OMG both were delish BUT their pie was like an explosion of flavour in my mouth with different notes and layers of umami (Japanese for savouriness)! Prawns, pesto, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes … YUM!
James asked us if we would like dessert. I said you have dessert?! We were both full but I said that we take a look. Although I had scanned their QR Code to order from their online menu earlier, I forgot that I needed to look on my iPhone.
So he explained that they had Tiramisu, Blood Orange Cheesecake, Nutella Pizza and Gelato. I was a little conflicted because where else can you get a cheescake with blood orange?! We wanted to order their Tiramisu and almost did but decided not to because we were stuffed.
To our delight, James brought us a slice of their Tiramisu in a take-out container on the house! And he added, so we don’t have to worry about deciding… How sweet!
Mama Izumi & I appreciated James’ intuitive customer service, enjoyed the umami of their food, their ambience (they played music from greats Bob Marley & Rolling Stones), comfortable booths, and the pizza of course!
If you would like to taste their savoury pizzas and pastas for yourself have a look at Famoso‘s website, visit them at 1380 Commerical Drive, and you can also follow them on their Instagram.
MY MISSION: To motivate and inspire Boss Babes in the making. To uplift, encourage, and promote entrepreneurs, both male & female and to share aspirations, goals and dreams with them, and you, my subscribers.
To provide and build a warm, loving, and supportive community of CREATORS. Creators of a business, art, or a NEW YOU …
I “met” Cindy Stibbard via Instagram. We started following each other and became a part of each other’s online communities. I have met a few other Local Business Owners this way last year. And especially now during the pandemic, building community and networking has shifted to mostly online interactions.
M:What’s your story? Where were you born, where were you raised? What was your childhood, growing up years like?
I was born in Toronto, Ontario but I grew up in Tsawwssen, British Columbia with my parents, two brothers, one sister and a house full of cats and a dog!
I held numerous part-time jobs as a teenager delivering newspapers for the Delta Optimist, working the drive-thru at McDonald’s, a clerk at Phamasave Drugs, a server at a local Chinese Restaurant and a dancer on the BC Lions Pride Dance Team until the Grey Cup in 1994.
In 1993 I graduated with Honours from South Delta Senior Secondary School. I then attended Simon Fraser University while I worked part-time at Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver during the day, and served at Earls Tin Palace in West Van at night.
M: What did you want to do when you grew up?
C: Growing up I always wanted to be a TV news anchor. I thought that it would be a fun job and I used to set up mock newsrooms with my siblings. We would pretend we were reporting on the day’s events.
M: What did you studyinuniversity?
C: I really wanted to go to Carlton University or Ryerson because they were known for their broadcasting programs; however, my family’s finances didn’t allow it.
I started out pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Communications at SFU. When I realized that it wasn’t the direction I wanted to go in, I changed my majors to Psychology and Education and followed the path to become a teacher.
After completing a B.A. in Psychology, I went into the PDP (Profession Development Program) for teachers and completed my B.Ed with specializations in Learning Disabilities and Primary French Language.
M: When did you move to Vancouver? Why did you move to Vancouver?
C:My family was transferred here about 36 years ago, when I was 8 years old, from Toronto. My dad was in the construction industry and development was thriving in BC, so we settled in Tsawwassen about 40 minutes outside of Vancouver.
M: When did you start your business? What was your inspiration?
C: Actually, getting divorced was my inspiration for starting both of my businesses. StudySpot Vancouver came first in 2019 – an Executive Function & Academic Coaching business – spawned out of my decades of experience in the field of Education.
I knew I was going to have to go back to work, after being at home for 11 years raising my kids. I wanted to develop something that would allow me the flexibility to continue to raise my kids, become self sufficient, and at the same time support students in an environment that didn’t confine me to the four walls of a classroom.
While I was going through my divorce, I was faced with many people around me going through a similar experience and I wanted to be able to help them. That’s when I discovered the CDC Intensive Divorce Coaching Training program and dove right in.
It opened up many new doors of opportunity and empowerment for me as I walked the path of entrepreneurship as a newly single mother. Nothing has been more life altering and powerful to me than pursuing my career aspirations during what has been the most difficult transition of my life.
M: What do you love the most about being a Boss Babe?
C: I absolutely LOVE connecting with women who empower other women. There is nothing like the support of women when we truly embrace each other, our strengths, and our bonds.
Through this journey the last 2 1/2 years, I have grown substantially as a person and have made connections all over the world with people who have changed my perspective of myself and who have given me the courage to believe that I can do anything in this life of mine.
M: What would your advice be for Boss Babes in the making? If they are contemplating leaving a secure 9-5 job with benefits – what would you say to them? Should they take the leap?
C:START UGLY. I was always the type of person who needed to have all my ducks in a row before beginning anything. Everything had to be in place, I needed to have loose ends, tied and processes followed and systems set up. But what I have discovered in my entrepreneurial journey is that none of that really matters at the beginning.
If you have a dream, or a passion that you are afraid to start, know this – it doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you START! And it’s HARD work, really hard work. It’s many hours of unpaid determination day in and day out, but if you’re in it for the right reasons, if you truly love what you are doing with your soul… If you are confident with your WHY and your vision is rooted in passion and the genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of others, then success will follow. Start ugly, as long as you start!
M: Any last words? What’s your favourite positive/motivational quote or book?
C: My favorite quote of all time comes from an unknown source but it is one that has resonated deeply with me for quite some time… I have it framed over my bed and I read it every day:
“It’s impossible,” said pride.
“It’s risky,” said experience.
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart.
Cindy Stibbard, BA, BEd, CDC, CHCC, ABA of StudySpot Vancouver is a Certified Divorce, Career, & Transition Coach. If you would like to learn more, you can follow her on Instagram.
How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind – Nutrition Expert Kristin Ames
Diet and fitness are more top of mind for people than they ever have been. With many of us trapped at home for the last 6 months with nothing but the refrigerator to keep us company, the COVID 15 is no joke. And fitness? It’s been a slippery slope to the couch.
So, you’ve decided it’s time to reign it all in, drop some body fat and get back in shape – fantastic! You’ve started researching the best way to reach your goals but have quickly become overwhelmed with all the options: Keto, Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Intermittent Fasting, and the Juice Cleanse.
You’ve heard accounts of how your coworker’s uncle’s cousin lost 40 pounds on Keto, and your best friend swears she can eat whatever she wants on using Intermittent Fasting and not gain weight! Compelling for sure, but before you go all in on MCT oil or the ’16:8 plan’, I ask you to consider one question “Can I do what this diet asks of me for the rest of my life?”.
We tend to over complicate things when it comes to our diet. There are definitely situations that call for precise weighing and measuring, attention to meal timing, and detailed macro-nutrient tracking, but unless you’re a bodybuilder or training for the Olympics, those protocols likely won’t apply to you.
The key to changing your body lies in adopting habits and practices you can sustain for life: a balanced program that makes room for dinners out with friends and celebrations with family, includes all the food groups, regular exercise, and whole unprocessed foods most of the time … unsexy yes, but effective.
For most people, most of the time, simple wins the race. One of my favorite quotes is from a fellow online trainer Ren Jones at Fitness Jones Training:
“If we don’t have the basic habits established for our nutrition choices, why would we think a more complicated method is the solution? “I can’t get the hang of driving a car, so I think I’ll try flying a helicopter instead?”
And yet most of us are standing in line to fly the helicopter.
So what are the basics? What is the 4-door Toyota Hybrid of the diet world? The following guidelines are the foundation for all our programs focused on fat loss:
Eat until you’re 80% full. We’ve been taught from a young age to ‘finish your dinner’. Eating until we’re full is comforting and makes us feel happy – if we’re eating a tasty meal we want to keep eating because the pleasure receptors in our brain tell us to keep going! But this also leads many people to eat in a calorie surplus. The simple practice of stopping when you’re satisfied instead of when you’re full will yield surprising results. Studies show it takes about 15-20 minutes for most people to feel full, so if you don’t stop eating until you’re full, you’ll likely be stuffed in 20 minutes. Put the brakes on at satisfied, and there’s 20% fewer calories in your day, easily.
Eat protein with every meal. Protein is the most filling macro-nutrient and is the least likely to be converted to fat in the body. When you’re not hungry, you’ll stop thinking about food all the time, and as a result eat/snack less. It’s also critical for muscle growth and repair – a priority if you’re exercising regularly. There is literally no downside to eating protein.
Exercise 3-5 days a week. Workouts will vary depending on your goals and where you’re starting from, but some form of activity on a regular basis is part of every program – from a daily walk for some to an intense lifting session for others. In addition to the physical benefits, its shown people usually make better food choices when exercise is part of their day.
Be clear on your ‘Why’. If you’re just trying to ‘get back to’ a number on the scale that you once were, you’re likely not going to have the motivation and discipline for stick with your program for long. Dig deep and figure out why you really want to lose weight. Nothing wrong with wanting to look better if that’s the reason, but why do you want to? Put it down on paper so when you need some extra motivation you can remind yourself, in your own words, exactly what your goal is.
That’s it – pretty simple, and yet not necessarily easy. But simple is a great place to get started despite what we think we want. None of these principles require you to clear out your kitchen, buy a bunch of books or expensive equipment, or lock yourself at home for fear of eating something that isn’t ‘approved’ on your diet. Everyone can do this – if you’re thinking of losing some weight, I encourage you to give these basic principles a try. And, when you can do these things consistently, 90% of the time, we’ll talk about the helicopter.
Kristin Ames of Fit Life Coaching is a certified Nutrition Coach and Personal Trainer, PNL1 CPT, living in North Vancouver. If you would like to know more about her, you can visit herInstagram page.
Welcome to my new series, Mayumi & Mama Izumi’s Foodie Adventures! Today marks my first installment and I’m very excited to write about Fets Whiskey Kitchen. It was my second and Mama’s first time at the yummy eatery and bar.
Located in East Vancouver’s Little Italy on ‘the Drive’, Fets is nestled beside Havana and across the street from Grandview Park.
Mama and I ordered their Country Fried Steak and the Cooper’s Breakfast. Fets’ Country Fried Steak is crispy on the outside and the organic meat is moist and tender on the inside — the best I’ve had. It is accompanied by Maker’s Mark Bourbon white gravy, rosemary biscuit & bread, sunny side up egg, hashbrowns (with sauteed onions), and a dash of greens (with pickled onions). Delish!
The Cooper’s Breakfast is so tasty that my mouth is watering reliving my memories of it. It is comprised of braised local pork, black beans, sunny egg, and cornbread. All the flavours in both dishes enhance rather than compete with each other. It is gourmet comfort food and my gourmand compliments go to the chef.
Not only am I a foodie, but also a coffee connoisseur. Fets did not disappoint. They serve Western Canadian, Canterbury coffee that is filled with multi levels of roasted flavour notes.
A definite must if you haven’t already had the pleasure to nom at this wonderful Commercial Drive restaurant. Besides the yummy eats, the customer service is also top notch and they have a heated patio. Need I say more?
I am very excited to announce that Fashion INVESTIGATOR INC has NEW SERVICES to offer you – Mystery Guest services. For those of you, visiting mayumiizumi.com for the first time, this is in addition to the host of other services we provide such as Digital Marketing, Content Creation, Social Media Management, and Public Relations. With the global pandemic not going anywhere, anytime soon, supporting Local Businesses is of utmost importance.
But that also means that Local Business Owners need to ensure their employees’ customer service is up to par. Because if it isn’t — customers will go to another restaurant, clothing or grocery store down the street.
If you are following my Instagram page, you know that I am always giving positive feedback on customer service. Being a Local Promoter I want to recommend the business to my friends and followers, encourage the restaurant server or retail associate that they’re doing a great job and to keep doing what they’re doing. Business Owners benefit by knowing they have trained their staff properly, their business gets a shout-out, and also featured on my social media platform.
Why is it so important to me that businesses provide good customer service? I have been in the customer service industry for over 20 years and in that time I learned a thing or two about what GOOD customer service is.
When I am out in my community as a customer, I expect to receive a certain level of service. Number 1 – greet your customers and ask them how they’re doing! It will form their first impression of your business and brand.
You would think it’s common sense to do so but many a time, I have walked into establishments where I have been completely ignored. The middle of part of the interaction is vital but MOST IMPORTANT is to thank your customers! That is the last impression you make on your potential loyal customer.
There are businesses out there that don’t thank their customers. The cashier or associate says, “Have a nice day”! Have a nice day doesn’t cut it, honey!
You MUST thank your customers. They are contributing to your bottom line. If there is no customer there is no money.
There are other companies that offer Mystery Shoppers — the difference is EXPERIENCE. There are 12 steps to interacting with customers. I will ensure that we provide a full report showing step by step where the server or associate went above and beyond or didn’t meet expectations and detailed suggestions on what areas they can improve on.
If you are an independent Business Owner and do not have a comprehensive training program developed, I will also provide customer service training to your team.
If you have any questions or would like to use our services go to our contact us page.