Vancouver Is Expensive AF – Thrifting Is My Solution!

What was once just for fun, has turned into a lifestyle and necessity for me. Through one of my Instagram alter egos, Miss M: https://www.instagram.com/missmsthriftyfinds/ – I am your guide to thrifting and share my thrifty finds that I purchase mainly via Facebook Marketplace sellers, but also at my favourite thrift store, Clothes For Change in North Vancouver and various other thrift stores sprinkled throughout our city such as BC SOS Thrift Stores in Steveston.

Thrifting brings me such joy. I plan a whole day around my Facebook Marketplace appointments and make it an adventure! On Saturday, I had two appointments in Port Coquitlam and invited my Mom, Mako to join me in my modern day treasure hunt.

We picked up a NYX eyeshadow palette for $10.00, an IKEA rug for ONLY $5.00, enjoyed lunch at Arisu where the food was so yummy that it immediately became my new favourite Korean restaurant. After lunch we went downstairs and did some grocery shopping at Hanam Supermarket.

The pricing was good at the market, fresh produce AND best of all they have a customer loyalty program in which they reward us with points and exclusive special prices. They gave me 3 key tags so I gave one to my Mom.

Hanam customer service actually recommended sharing their loyalty program with family and friends when they gave me the key tags. Great for sustainability and since Mako would be coming with me it only made sense that we would open just one loyalty account.

Thrift shopping, even if you’re just looking is a great way to spend the afternoon with friends or family. On Sunday, I met up with one of my BFFs and Big Sis, Mona on Commercial Drive in the heart of Vancouver thrift.

We went to Miscellany Finds for the first time and it is a huge store with lots of great thrifty finds! And the best part we didn’t spend a dime. A truly thrifty experience – we were just window shopping …

Family means EVERYTHING to me…

My family is very small. It’s just me and my Mom, Mako or Mama Izumi as I affectionately call her in my Instagram posts. My father, Hiroaki lives in Japan with his second wife but he didn’t have any other children – just me.

I’m the last Izumi and because of this I have decided to keep my last name if I get married. As I get older, marriage is not my goal but having children is of utmost importance to me.

I already have my children’s names picked out Ryder, for my son – my “big sis” and bff, Mona suggested it and I agreed. And my daughter will be named, Mia.

Who’s my baby daddy?! He shall remain unnamed and a mystery… Lol!

Subscribe and stay tuned for MORE on my family stories …

Procrastination – Why am I doing it?!

I thought I had beat my Enemy – my self-saboteur … But apparently NOT. I am a Communications student at Capilano University in North Vancouver and for reasons not clear to me I am procrastinating doing my assignments. So much so that it becomes too late to submit them.

And my wonderful professor had even given me extensions on our first two assignments due even though I didn’t ask! And then we just had our midterm. It was a straight forward exam and had I studied properly I could have aced it. Nope, I failed it by 1.5 marks!

Although, these marks say something about me as a student it is sending the wrong message. It’s painting the wrong picture. I am a former honor roll student, winner of top 100 student in my school district, highest mark in my English 12 class and awarded 3 English awards during my high school years.

After high school, I studied Fashion Design at the International Academy of Design & Technology in Toronto, Ontario, Fashion Merchandising and How to Start a Small Business at VCC in Vancouver, BC.

Last year I enrolled in the Applied Digital Communications & Social Media program at Capilano University and just one course shy of completing the program and receiving the Award of Achievement. I just registered for the last course, Effective Writing for Web Content. I can’t wait! It will be taught at our new campus, at the historical Shipyards District.

Possible reasons for my self-sabotage: fear of success, fear that I may truly get EVERYTHING THAT I DESIRE, or to balance the success I am experiencing in my life …. I’m not sure why I am doing it.

I was hoping that by the end of this blog I would have it figured out … Apparently not. I will keep you in the loop when I know the answer. Stay tuned …

When you subscribe to www.mayumiizumi.com you will receive our Fall Newsletter.

4 Myths That are Keeping You Fat! – Monthly Fitness Contributor, Fawn Gill

Are you working your butt off but still fat? I hear so many people complain about doing all the right things but not losing weight. This all leads to feeling frustrated, being overwhelmed and eventually the ‘forget this’ attitude that then leads to eating the whole bag of chips.  Sound familiar?

If so, then maybe you’re buying into these four myths.

Myth #1:  If I eat fat, I’ll get fat.

Truth:  Incorporating healthy fats into your diet will actually help you lose fat. Eating fat from sources like avocados, olives and coconuts can actually help you increase your metabolism, keep you full longer and each your body how to burn fat when you remove sugar from your diet. Choose fats like nuts, seeds, fatty fish, eggs, full fat yogurt and grass-fed beef. Remember, that non-fat foods actually have crazy high level of sugars and it’s sugar that makes you fat.

Myth #2: I need to do tons of cardio to burn fat.

Truth: While cardio burns calories, if you want to burn fat, choose HIIT (high-intensity interval training).  Incorporating HIIT into your workouts will make your body and metabolism function at a higher rate of burned calories for hours and hours afterward. So yes, you could be reading AND burning fat at the same time! Lifting weights will also help you increase your resting metabolism. When you have more lean muscle on your body, your metabolism increases. This basically means you could be burning fat while sitting and watching Netflix.

Myth #3: I need to significantly reduce my calorie intake.

Truth: This is actually partially true. The reality is, we eat too much. Take a look at how much you actually consume in a day. We often underestimate how much we eat and overestimate how much we burn.  And ultimately to lose fat, you do need to be in a calorie deficit. The calories you take in need to be nutrient dense meaning that they are full of the good stuff the body needs. Not empty calories from things like non-fat foods, processed foods, sugar, and pop.

Ultimately, what you eat is truly the most important factor when losing fat. Be sure to eat a diet high in lean proteins (whatever your source), vegetables, healthy fats, and carbs from plant sources. Don’t forget to move your body daily, get plenty of uninterrupted sleep, reduce your stress levels and you will find the weight will drop off.

Myth #4: It’s too late to start.

Truth: SO NOT TRUE! It’s never too late to start an exercise program or healthy eating! We CAN reverse the damage done AND move forward feeling better than we ever have! The trick is to get help! You can’t do it alone. Grab a friend and just start walking every day. Hire a trainer. Workout with a YouTube workout. Or join a program that will help you get there.

No matter what you choose, you can start today! Right now!!! 

If you have not taken the time to invest in yourself yet, today is the day.


Fawn Gill is the Group Fitness Manager of Steve Nash Fitness Clubs for the North Shore. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness instructor, Pilates Instructor, Barre instructor & Accountability Coach. Fawn has over 25 years experience teaching others the benefits of living healthy and has helped thousands of people lose weight & get fit. Check her out at www.fawngillfitness.com

Carson Graham Grad Reunion – Doing Now What I Wanted to Back Then …

Carson Grad Reunion

Last night I attended my high school reunion at Seymour’s Pub in North Vancouver, BC. And I feel like I have been given a 2nd chance to do EVERYTHING I wanted to back when I was in my final year at Carson:

  1. I was the organizer of our reunion and I had really wanted to be on our Grad Committee back in high school.
  2. I am attending Capilano University and I had wanted to when the Cap U reps came to Carson to talk to the soon to be grads.
  3. I am on the Board of Directors for Capilano Students’ Union and I had wanted to be on Students’ Council at Carson.
  4. I am a Contributor on Capilano Courier’s monthly magazine and I had wanted to be part of the year book committee.
  5. I am part of the Capilano Radio Club and I had wanted to get involved in clubs.
  6. I am the Social Media & Events Consultant for Cap U’s YWIB (Young Women In Business) and I had wanted to be a group leader.
  7. Last night I spoke to everyone that came out to Our Reunion even though I didn’t recognize some of them initially. I am now the social butterfly with the gift of gab and schmoozing that I always wanted to be.

I am so happy that I organized last night’s event because it made EVERYONE THAT CAME HAPPY TOO! There was a comfort seeing my former classmates because we are all the same age (all of us holding our cell phones & yearbook that Candi brought at a distance for us to SEE! Hahaha… ), no one-up man-ship, and a unity that I think we ALL FELT.

Start With A Dream

I am optimistic, spiritual, and AMBITIOUS AS F@%*! Great combination, right?! Hahaha …

My life is charmed. Everyday I am happy just to wake up. Grateful for everything that God/Universe brings to me. My life journey has not always been so blissful. I have faced many challenges and hurdles. Depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, insomnia …

But I conquered all of those conditions AND FAR WORSE … How did I do it?! Perseverance, a lot of pain, and tears. The key is to keep busy, doing something you love, enjoy, and get involved in something, someone, a cause you believe in …

When you have these negative thoughts it’s important to remember you ARE NOT ALONE! And DO NOT ISOLATE, HIBERNATE, AVOID PEOPLE… I know that when depression has you in it’s clutches ALL YOU WANT IS TO BE ALONE. BUT trust me when I say that is the worst thing you can do! You will go deeper into the hole and it will get harder and harder to climb your way out when you isolate.

In 1999 my dream was to be a Famous Fashion Designer. I grew up watching Jeanne Becker’s “Fashion Television” & “Fashion File” … I have a different dream$ now … AND some of them I am making come true everyday through writing & editing my blogs, posting short stories/snippets on Instagram, taking photos, and through Creating Content & Digitally Marketing,

Work, School, Life Balance

Being a mature student is challenging. But I am embracing the challenge with open arms. I work full time for a software company and I am taking one class in the School of Communications at Capilano University that meets twice a week.

On the suggestion of the President of Capilano Students’ Union I am a candidate and running for Mature Student and Student Parent Representative. My candidacy was made official by the Chief Returning Officer and my Election Campaign began yesterday, Friday, September 27th .

I have embraced student life by becoming active on campus by joining Capilano Radio Club in which I will be managing the radio’s Social Media platforms with another Communications Student & I am hoping to start a podcast of my own . I will be a Consultant for YMIB’s, Young Women In Business, Marketing Department regarding their Social Media & Events and I have attended my first pitch meeting with Capilano Courier, the University’s Monthly Magazine. During my first volunteer shift as a Theatre Usher, I was fortunate to watch a great film by filmmaker, Tom Radford at the University’s theatre, Blue Shore Financial .

I am unapologetically ambitious. But I am grounded. I balance my work, school, and campus activities by:

  • Exercising – taking Pilates & Yoga classes at Lonsdale Steve Nash Fitness Club where I am a Fitness Ambassador.
  • Seeing my family & friends – namely my Ma, Mako and my Big Sis, Mona.
  • Taking & enjoying my alone time. Doing things that make me happy & indulging my inner child.
  • Attending the North Shore Alliance Church, volunteering at their coffee bar and reading spiritual & motivational books.

Finally – FOODIE with Andrea’s Restaurant!

Andrea’s 10 Rich Topping Pizza – Foget about ordering from anywhere else!!!

Finally a foodie blog! It’s about time, rigghhht?! I have loved Andrea’s for a long time … Since high school. I even remember the very first time that I had their pizza – namely their 10 Rich Topping… I was 14 years old and I was sleeping over at one of my BFF’s and her step-dad worked a second job delivering for Andrea’s and got it for us.

It was a Friday pizza & movie night just like tonight… Many unsaid years later …. Hahhahaha… And the best part is it tastes EXACTLY THE SAME! I kid you not!!! The same chef has worked at Andrea’s for 30 years. It is a family owned & operated restaurant that has 2 locations: North Vancouver and Langley. BC. The North Van location has been a staple in Central Lonsdale for 35 years.

Andreas and Matina started their first restaurant in 1984 with a combination of PASSION for food, Andreas’ expert knowledge of butchering meats & Matina’s family recipes. Katie, Andreas’ and Matina’s daughter, who I met for the first time last night embodies the “… fundamental Greek custom (to show) friendship to guests, and the Ancient Greek concept of hospitality … “filoxenia”, translated as hospitality, generosity and courtesy shown to guests. ” – Andreas’ Website

To me, Andrea’s pizza and meals are nostalgic. There are many memories attached to their food, ordering take-out and dining in their restaurant over the years. And my intuition tells me there will be MANY MORE happy memories in my future with them and their delicious, Greek comfort food – said the foodie in ME!

Leah’s Automotive – UPCOMING FEATURE

Leah at Leah’s Automotive

I have another exciting upcoming feature that will be written by my mechanic, Leah Gillanders, Owner & Operator of Leah’s Automotive in North Vancouver, BC. She is an anomaly being a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry and she’s killing it! She opened a second business, Leah’s Nail Lounge right next door so that her customers can get their nails done while they wait for their car to be repaired in her shop. How cool is that?! I am fascinated by this incredible woman. And you will be too!

She has worked on my car and identified and repaired a problem that had the other shops stumped. There was an odour that initially was thought to be a coolant leak. It was a stressful time in my life personally when this happened last year, so when Leah was able to locate, identify the cause, and rid my car of this chemical scent that was like a vapour that was in my mouth every time I drove my car, she brought me peace of mind.

What’s also wonderful is Leah didn’t charge me an arm and a leg for it. She has reasonable rates AND the best part is that I trust her. She explains what was done, what parts were used and Leah will do a thorough breakdown of your bill line by line. She’s AMAZING! Go see her at Leah’s Automotive: 1107 West 14th, North Vancouver, BC off Marine Dr.

10 Reasons to Become a Member at Steve Nash Lonsdale Fitness Club

There are many reasons to become a member at Steve Nash Lonsdate but to keep this blog short and sweet like me I am going to share 10 reasons.

Reason #1 – You will receive awesome customer service from Mikaela, one of the nicest and friendliest staff members at the front desk. She will help you with any questions you may have such as the current promotions/contests, the sign in OR parking app.

Reason #2 – The Lonsdale location has one of the best views of the downtown skyline and Lions Gate Bridge.

Reason #3 – The club has plenty of cardio equipment to use: treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, and step machines and TV’s to watch with closed captioning so we can listen to our music but still watch the news OR see ME & other Steve Nash members and staff featured on the gym’s TV’s.

Reason #4 – If you’re like me and love North Van Firefighters you can ogle them from the gym.

Reason #5 – Great group fitness classes and instructors. Classes such as Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Cycling, Circuit AND many more…

Reason #6 – A stretching room with mats, foam rollers, and giant balls with enough room to stretch, do sit ups, yoga …

Reason #7 – You get points when you download the Steve Nash app onto your smart phone and it also serves as your membership card to sign in with. You can redeem your points for merchandise from the club. personal training sessions.

Reason # 8 – You will also receive free personal training sessions during your birthday month.

Reason #9 – You get 2 hours FREE PARKING when you workout and register your licence plate number into the parking app.

And lastly reason #10 – Shopper’s Drug Mart and Whole Foods are downstairs in the same building and you can pick up necessary items before or after your workout – very convenient.