Archive for the 'life' Category

P.I.N.K. Method – Update

Posted by Heather
In events, life
27Jun 12

     For those of you that didn’t know, I started a new workout routine that has a nutritional component to it, back in February.  I think I was just about 3 weeks into it when I wrote my first post about the P.I.N.K. Method.

PINK METHOD - Heather Doré Pic 1

Heather Doré P.I.N.K. Method 1

     I finished the program around the third week of April, after completing the initial Reset Phase, and Phases 1, 2, and 3 ( with Resets in between ).  I have to laugh now, looking back on my original post where I mentioned that some of the workouts in Phase 1 were challenging … I had no idea at that point what was in store for me. Phases 2 and 3 really ramped up the workouts, and not only did I notice lots of great changes in how I felt, but suddenly, my clothes were all enormous on me. This meant I had to go shopping – what a drag. 😉

     I was down a couple of pant sizes part way through Phase 2, and went out and bought 4 new pairs of dress pants for work.  A few weeks later, I went down yet another 2 sizes, and got more pants. After completion, I’m down 2 more sizes.  I’ve lost a total of 28 pounds, which seems crazy, as weight loss was not my intention at all.

     After the program is over, you can do the ” 7 Day Shred” if you are within 5 pounds of your “goal weight”.  Since I didn’t plan on losing weight, and I already lost plenty, I didn’t do this.  I just went straight to “P.I.N.K. Preservation”, which is basically your long term plan for maintaining your new shape, and healthy lifestyle.  It is pretty straightforward: you continue to make healthy food choices, control your portion size, monitor your weight ( if that is a concern ) and stay active for life.

     I was pretty much “winging it”, and just decided to continue eating as I did while on the program, and cutting my workouts down to only 3 ( 1 hour intense sessions ) per week.  I was hoping this would maintain things, and that I wouldn’t lose any more weight. At first, I continued to lose a few more pounds, but thankfully, I seem to have “levelled off” now.  Obviously, everyone is different, and has to figure this out for themselves, to see what works for them.

     I am fortunate – I have never been “overweight” in my entire life, but clearly, I wasn’t in the best shape I was capable of being. I only know that now, looking back, and knowing how different I feel. I am stronger, more fit and healthy, and I don’t ever want to lose this feeling. This is a lifestyle change, plain and simple. It feels good to do something for yourself – most of us tend to neglect ourselves – caring about your health and well-being is important.

     So, whether you have low energy, want to lose some weight, or just start taking good care of yourself, I would highly recommend the P.I.N.K. Method. It truly has changed my life, and I feel great!

PINK Method - Heather Doré Pic 2

Heather Doré P.I.N.K. Method 2

In events, life, music
21Apr 12

     My good friend and Producer Jarome Matthew and his amazing team at Pro Soul have just sent out a Press Release for my most recent song, “Cool and Careless”, to various press and media.

     If you haven’t heard the song yet, you can listen to it here. Here’s a bit of background to how the song came about.

     I just found out about this, and there are already several links to it online. I’d like to thank Jarome, and the Pro Soul Team, for all their hard work in promoting my latest track.  I would also like to thank all of you that have already downloaded the song, and written so many amazing e-mails to me about it.  It’s always great to hear your feedback, and your continued support is much appreciated!

     You can read the Press Release here.

Comments Off on “Cool and Careless” Press Release

Rose Schwarz Fundraiser

Posted by Heather
In events, life, music
18Mar 12

     We have known Rose Schwarz and her family for about 3 years – we met them shortly after we moved up here to B.C.’s Sunshine Coast.  They are good, decent, hardworking, kind, generous people, and they have been through so much in the last few years.  We care very much about them, and that is why I am writing this post.

     Rose suffers from a very rare disease called gastroparesis, and as a result, is unable to eat. ( she survives via a feeding tube )  She is constantly in pain, and suffers a variety of symptoms – none of which are pleasant.  Because she is so tiny, people wrongly make assumptions that she has an eating disorder. If they only knew the truth, perhaps they would be more compassionate.

     Rose has endured many procedures and surgeries in the quest to find a way to make her life less difficult, but so far, nothing has really helped.  It has all come down to a surgery that is booked for April 25th in Calgary – a gastroectomy, which will mean removal of her stomach. Her esophagus will be attached to her small intestine, and eventually, she’ll be able to actually eat small amounts of food for the first time in ages.

     The bottom line is: the family needs help with funds to get to Calgary, meals, accommodations etc.  They don’t like to ask for help, but this is their daughter’s life at stake, quite literally.

     Next Saturday, there will be a Fundraiser for Rose at Robert’s Creek Hall, from 7:30-11:00 p.m.  Tickets are $20 each, and include entertainment by some wonderful local musicians, as well as a Silent Auction.    Tickets can only be purchased in advance at: Gaia’s Fair Trade in Gibsons, MELOmania in Roberts Creek, or Strait Music in Sechelt.  It will be a fun night out, for a very worthy cause.

     If you are unable to attend but would like to help, cheques can be made out to “The Rose Fund” at the Sunshine Coast Credit Union, P.O. Box 375 Sechelt, B.C. V0N3A0.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

     Here are a couple of more in-depth articles recently written about Rose: in the Coast Reporter , and in The Province.

     As I’ve mentioned, we know Rose personally, and think the world of her. She is beautiful, intelligent, creative, funny, and has so much to give to this world.  I hope that some of you out there are able to help out – it would mean so much to them, and to us.

     Thankyou for taking the time to read this, and for your kindness and compassion.

     We love you, Rose !!!

     My Husband and I are like most people – we try and take care of ourselves, despite a busy life. We make an effort to eat fairly healthy foods, get exercise, and some proper sleep. We love the outdoors, and enjoy hiking in the fresh air and sunshine during the Spring and Summer. When it’s warm out, taking care of yourself seems so much easier!

     Once the cold weather hits, it’s natural to crave “comfort foods”, and just want to stay in where it’s warm and dry. Whenever I start eating the wrong kind of foods, and exercising less, my energy level just goes way down, and I feel sluggish. This has been the case the past couple of months – I have just been feeling kind of “blah” after being really sick for a couple weeks over the holidays. It’s not just a physical feeling – it almost feels like you don’t care about much of anything, and one day just blends into the next. Clearly, this is not a nice way to be feeling.

     Every couple of years, we try and mix up our workout routine. There is nothing worse than getting bored of something, because naturally, you won’t stick to it. We used some exercise videos about 4 years ago which were really good, then we bought a home gym and used that for a couple of years. The time for something new and different is here once again.

     We were watching Dr. Phil about 3 months ago, and he had a show about a new workout/nutrition program aimed directly at women, called The P.I.N.K. Method. It looked really interesting ( and fun! ) so I went online and did some more research on it. I liked what I saw, so decided to order it for the New Year. I had planned on starting in January, but ended up getting so sick in Dec/Jan that I had to wait a while to get my strength back. The last thing I wanted to do was start something when my body wasn’t ready for it.

     I started the Reset Phase at the start of Feb. – this is a time period before you start the workouts, and all you do is eat better, and consume fewer calories. I repeat – there is no working out during this Phase. The length of your Reset Phase is determined by your height, weight etc. My main purpose for doing this workout program is to get my energy back, but I have to tell you – they were not joking when they said that you will likely lose some weight even in the Reset Phase – I certainly did. I couldn’t believe it – I was not doing anything different, just eating much better. ( and I have to add – they have lots of “menu suggestions” and recipes, so you never get bored, or feel you are “missing out” on anything.)

     After that, I moved onto Phase 1 of the Workouts. There are 3 Phases, and each one lasts 3 weeks. After each Phase, you go back on Reset for a few days, to let your body recover. On a normal week, you work out for 6 days, and get one day of rest. I have just finished my second ( of 3 weeks ) of Phase 1. The food is delicious, and the workouts are great – challenging, yes, but awesome!

     Most importantly, I am feeling much better, both physically, and emotionally. My mood has improved drastically, and I can actually fall asleep at night – often out of sheer exhaustion, but I’ll take it, as a chronic Insomniac! I am really enjoying The P.I.N.K. Method, and would absolutely recommend it to any ladies out there who are looking to get rid of the Winter “blahs”, or if you feel the need to do so for other reasons. ( health/weight loss etc. ) The bottom line is: it works!

     Like I said, I have done the Reset so far, and am about to start week 3 of Phase 1 Workouts, but I’ll keep you posted as to how things go. If this sounds interesting to you, you can find out more about going P.I.N.K here.

Comments Off on P.I.N.K. Method – A New Workout For Women

Highlights Of 2011

Posted by Heather
In events, life, music
31Dec 11

Now that 2011 is coming to an end, I’m thinking back on this year, and trying to pick out the “highlights”. I don’t want to focus on the bad things, because we all know there are plenty of those in each of our lives, and far too many people dwell on those things. I refuse to be one of those people. Life is difficult enough on its own without wasting even more time being negative. ( Life is also far too short and precious for that! ) So, I choose to mention a few of the good things that happened in 2011, in my life.

We all know that when a new year comes, we promise ourselves that “this will be the year” we start to take better care of ourselves. We simply want to be healthy, and fit. The older we get, the more we realize how important getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising are. Most years, we get back into our exercise routine, and that lasts maybe a month or two. I am happy to say that my husband and I worked out regularly for the first 6 months of 2011 – a big improvement over past years. When we got tired of the gym workout, we began getting out for more frequent walks, and did a lot more hiking this year, as well. There is room for improvement, but we absolutely did more than in past years.

I made a point this year of making more regular plans with girlfriends. We aimed for once a month – this didn’t happen, but we did get together more often than last year, which is great. We’d meet to share a few plates of appies and maybe a glass of wine, “catch up”, have a few laughs – you know, stuff that’s good for the soul. We are all very busy, but we all acknowledged the need for our “girl time”.

As always, Karaoke played a big part in my life this year. I can’t begin to tell you how many wonderful people I have met because of this night out – especially when it is at the local Legion. Where else can you go to sing and dance, be surrounded by wonderful, supportive people, and pay no cover? We have made some really good friendships from this, and have had a lot of fun!

This year, I was lucky enough to sing backup vocals with a couple close girlfriends for a friend’s band’s gig, as well as sing one of my favourite songs ( by their request ) at their Wedding. It’s always great to be given the opportunity to sing live in front of a new audience. Witnessing our friends getting married in a magical setting with the sun setting over the water was absolutely unforgettable. Everything was just perfect – especially the amazing people we got to spend the evening celebrating with – such special friends.

As many of you know, I love to dance. ( yes, that’s a HUGE understatement !!! ) I have already taken Ballroom, Swing and Jive, and Tap Lessons over the years. The one form of dance I have always longed to take is Bellydancing. I have looked long and hard, could never find lessons in the small town I live in, so decided to research instructional videos online. I found a good one, ordered it for myself, also acquired some jingling gold coin hip scarves and bracelets etc. and decided I would learn in the comfort of my own Living Room. I was tired of letting “roadblocks” keep me from my goals. I found a way around it. I will learn at my own pace, and practice on my own.

I recorded a new song in the Summer – our first non-cover. It was written by the talented Darryl Kromm of Canadian Band “Strange Advance”. I was so grateful that he let us use one of his original songs, that no one had ever heard. This was huge – no other versions to compete with on iTunes etc. It was great to see my Producer Jarome again – we met up in Vancouver to record, after he flew in from Beijing, where he now lives and works.

We had a visit from someone very special for 6 days in July. The 3 of us went on countless hikes, went out for lunches and dinners, took hundreds of photographs, talked, laughed, cried, and just thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of the time we had together. This was definitely one of the high points of the year! Talk about time well spent!

There were Barbecues and other family dinners with my husband’s family – lots of good times spent with wonderful people. I am so grateful to have them so closeby – they have accepted me and loved me unconditionally since day one. I can totally be myself with them – and they are amazing, kind, loving people – I feel so very lucky!

One of my favourite Gals at the Office is in Roller Derby – I swear the entire town went to their bout, and it was AWESOME !!!! It was so great to see the Community come together to support these phenomenal Ladies ! After the match, we all headed to the local pub to hang out, dance, and there was even Karaoke on the other side – sweet! One of the most fun nights of the year!

This was also the year I did something I have never done before – I planned a very last minute trip. ( literally 2 days in advance ) If you know me, you know this is not me at all. A couple of very special people made this decision a lot easier, and I have to admit, it was very liberating. I usually like things planned out in minute detail weeks, if not months, in advance. We didn’t even tell anyone until we returned home. ( o.k., almost anyone ) It was a fabulous holiday, much-needed, long overdue, and very close to my heart, for reasons that the special people involved know. Another promise kept to someone we loved very much. 🙂

The year started winding down, we had the most fun Office Party since I’ve lived here on The Sunshine Coast, followed a few weeks later by the Company Christmas Party, which was also loads of fun! It’s always good to see everyone out of the workplace, relaxed, letting loose a little, and getting to know each other as people, not just co-workers. I have met a lot of incredibly kind, lovely ladies this year because of work – we have a great group there! ( and yes, there are those that left that I miss terribly !!! )

2011 has been a year of changes for me, in so many ways. I have learned a lot this year, probably more than any year so far. The most important thing I have learned is that friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Sometimes, the people we think will/should be there for us, aren’t, ( or can’t be, for various reasons ) and sometimes, people we barely know can show us such kindness and compassion that it almost blows your mind. I have seen both.

My favourite people are the ones that care enough to ask how you are doing, the ones that give real, good, genuine hugs, and the ones that aren’t afraid to say “I love you” . These are the people that matter in my life, and I feel very blessed to know you. I wish you health, happiness, love, laughter, joy, prosperity, peace, and light in 2012!

Wait Your Turn

Posted by Heather
In life
25Nov 11

If you have a job that involves dealing with the Public, then you no doubt have countless horror stories of miserable people taking their frustrations out on you. This is hardly the first time I have discussed this subject, nor will it likely be the last. Sadly, as time goes by, people seem to have become more self-absorbed, less patient, and often, downright rude.

Just when you think you have the craziest possible story to share with your co-workers, one of them will tell a tale of a worse encounter with an ill-mannered customer. It truly boggles the mind to think that so many people actually believe that they are more important than others, or that their time is more important than someone else’s. If there is a lineup, rather than politely and quietly waiting, people will yell over the heads of other people, asking how long it will take. If someone is not first in line, and another person is being helped, they’ll say “I just need this” or “I just need to ask a quick question”. One of our favourite lines is “I’m in a hurry” or “I have a ferry to catch”. ( well, I guess you should have planned out your day a little better to account for the fact that maybe, just maybe, there may be other people needing help at the same time you chose to come in at the last minute )

I have never understood how some people think they have the right to treat others badly. If someone is trying to help you, why would you yell and swear at them? Do you really think that’s going to make them go faster, or want to assist you more? More to the point, why does society accept this kind of behaviour? Why must someone that is there to provide “Customer Service” be forced to stand there and smile sweetly while someone else verbally abuses them? What is wrong with people that they think this kind of behaviour is acceptable?

I’ve been in many lineups at many places, and I always wait patiently and quietly. I don’t try and cram too many errands into a lunch break, or stop in somewhere right before racing for a ferry. Why would you put that kind of pressure on yourself? ( and if you did, then it would be your own fault, so why take it out on the person trying to help you? ) Once my turn comes, I make sure I treat the person “serving” me ( I can’t stand that term, personally ) with patience, understanding, and kindness. I know all too well how it feels to be working your butt off at a frantic pace, and still being overwhelmed when the lineup seems neverending.

I just wish people would have a little compassion for others. If there is a waiting area, sit down, be quiet, and wait your turn. Everyone is equal: you are not more important or valuable than anyone else. Being loud and obnoxious and yelling and cursing does not make you seem important to others, and it certainly won’t get you anywhere with me. All it does is make it blatantly obvious that you are not happy with yourself, and for that, I feel sorry for you. It is not my fault, or the fault of anyone else that is trying to help you. If you messed up and need us to fix something for you, or if you are running late ( or whatever the case may be ) that is on you – don’t blame us.

Think of others, whether it be the other people waiting in line, or the person behind the counter with the huge lineup of people vying for their time and attention. Yes, they are people too, who have thoughts, feelings and needs, just like you. Try a little patience, kindness, and please, learn to wait your turn. It’s really not that hard.

In events, life
9Sep 11

     When people visit us up here on the Sunshine Coast of B.C., we often take them on a hike to the Skookumchuck.  It is almost an hour’s drive up the Coast from Sechelt, but well worth it.  Once you park, it is a bit of a walk in before the trail starts, so you want to wear your most comfy shoes.  One good thing is that there is a portable washroom both at the start and the end of this trail – many up here only have them at the beginning, so this is a real bonus. ( important stuff to know when you are drinking lots of water …;)

The Obligatory Sign

One of our favourite parts of the hike was seeing what my Husband called “The Skookumtruck”, which for the longest time, was parked at the side of the road into the trail.  It has been moved a bit – I’m sure you’ll spot it when you go.


If you are looking for a nice, easy hike, this is the trail for you.  It takes a while to get in, but it is one of the most wide and flat trails we have encountered on the Coast so far.  You can see this in the next picture.

Lovely People Hiking

There are a lot of great photo opportunities while going throught the forest in here – the trees are gigantic, and many are covered in moss.

Trees at Skookumchuck

Part way along the trail, you go past Brown Lake, which is always a good place to get a picture, no matter what the season.  I have probably taken a couple hundred pictures in this area, and they always look a little different each time.

Brown Lake

As with most of the hikes up here, the end is always the best part.  (You are once again rewarded with a fabulous view.)  This one is a little different than most others, though, as it is all about the tides.  Depending on what time of day you go, you’ll either see the Ebb ( outgoing ) – which brings swirling whirlpools –  or the Flood ( incoming ) which creates a standing wave. The following sign explains a bit about it:

Skookumchuck Rapids Sign

Pretty much every time we’ve hiked the Skookumchuck, we’ve been there during the Ebb tide.  It is very cool to watch the water churning and swirling around like crazy.  The last time we went, in July, my Brother-In-Law was visiting, so we wanted to show him something different. It started with some waves …

Flood Tide Waves

… and then came the Kayakers, who always draw a crowd of eager photographers from all over the world.  This is what most people come to see.  Theses kayaks are very small, and are made specifically for doing  “tricks”.

Photographer at Skookumchuck

My camera isn’t the greatest, but I managed to get 40 – 50 decent shots of these guys riding the standing waves.  It was really cool to watch.

Trick Kayak - Red

Trick Kayak - Yellow

The 3 of us must have sat and watched these guys take turns riding the waves for well over an hour, with a bunch of other people.  It was absolutely amazing, and we were so glad we got to finally see the Flood tide for the first time – so different from the Ebb we’d always seen before.
It was a great day, and after stopping for some dinner on the way home ( at the Back Eddy Pub ) we could see the sun going down by Ruby Lake.  We just had to stop for a couple of minutes so I could snap a couple more pictures.  This is one of my favourites:

Sunset at Ruby Lake

So, if you’re up here on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, and looking for a great ( but not too difficult ) hike, pack a lunch, and check this place out.  We locals think it’s pretty skookum. 🙂
Comments Off on Take A Hike – Part 3 – Skookumchuck

Waiting For Summer

Posted by Heather
In events, life
20Jul 11

     I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, and I am used to nice, hot Summers.  I have many wonderful memories of trips to the beach at one of the nearby lakes: laying on the soft, warm sand, swimming, laughing, and having fun.  We would play beach Volleyball, have a picnic, or just bask in the warm rays, and relax.

      When I was 16, our family moved to B.C.  My parents said it would be a “milder climate” – not such hot Summers, or such cold Winters.  Well, I loved the heat, and I also loved the beautiful, sparkling, fluffy white snow, in the Winter time. ( Christmas is just not the same when it’s green out. )  In short, it was a big adjustment for me living out here after spending so many years in Ontario.

     Fast – forward to today.  This has to be the absolute worst “Summer” I have ever had since living in B.C.  The temperatures have been ridiculously low, most days have been full of grey skies, wind, and showers.  The sun has come out a handful of times – I have literally walked upstairs to put on shorts and a tank top, and by the time I get to the deck, the sun has gone under the clouds again – no joke.

     We love to go out in a kayak, go for a walk, or a long hike, but these are not things you want to do when it’s cool, windy or rainy out.  I can’t believe it’s 2/3 of the way through July – this is just crazy !  I had some time off in June, and had a lot of outdoor plans, but none of them happened, because of the lousy weather.  Too bad you can’t get a refund on your time off from work if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

     I am really hoping that the sun will come out – and stay out – very soon, and for a while.  There are a lot of people here feeling emotionally drained who could use some sunshine to perk them up.  ( and yes, of course, they will wear their sunscreen, and be smart about it ! )

     What I am really longing for is some hot sun, palm trees, and a comfy lounge chair – somewhere where there is no wind to ruin the amazing heat.  Maybe I should just move to Vegas … 😉  I can dream, can’t I ?

In events, life, music
9Jun 11

     This show just keeps getting better and better !  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please read my previous posts about “The Voice“.   The second one is here.  You can visit the Official site on NBC, as well, here.  Tuesday night was the beginning of the Quarter Finals – Round 1.

     Singers from Team Christina and Team Blake took the stage this time, and both my husband and I had some clear favourites.  Hands down, we agreed that the overall strongest performer of the night was Beverly McClellan, ( on Christina’s Team ) who sang “Im The Only One”.  This was the perfect song for her – she totally rocked it !  This woman has one powerful voice, and knows how to take charge of a stage, and engage the audience. Unbelievable!  She nails everything she does.

     As much as I admire Beverly’s strength and power, I must admit, I love watching quiet, shy people have the chance to shine.  I absolutely understand how difficult it is to love to sing more than anything in the world, but to genuinely be a shy person.  Forcing yourself to keep getting up and doing it because it brings you joy, is at once hard, yet empowering.  This brings me to our next 2 favourite contestants of the night. Dia Frampton sang and played piano to ” Heartless “, and you would never have known that she was the least bit shy. Her voice is unreal – so incredibly beautiful and unique, and her performance seemed effortless.  Xenia, who seems even more nervous, finally came out of her shell a little, used some movement onstage, and smiled a lot more than before, when she sang ” Price Tag “.  This girl is young, and has so much potential. Her voice is phenomenal, and I don’t think she has any idea how good she is, which, in itself, is yet another reason to like her.  The quality and tone she has is just beyond words. Wow!  Both of these girls are on Blake’s Team.

     Although we didn’t think the song choice was the best on this particular night for Team Christina’s Raquel Castro, ( she has sung songs better suited to her previously ) she is still in our Top 4 for the night.  She sang ” Blow “, and did a really  good job, worked the crowd, used the space, and kept the energy up.  At 16, Raquel is the “total package” – she has a great voice, is beautiful, can dance, and knows how to work it.  This girl is going to have one heck of a career ahead of her – no doubt about it.

     All in all, it was a night of really amazing performances, but those were the ones we enjoyed the most.  I can’t wait until next week to see what happens next …

Comments Off on The Voice – Quarter Finals Round 1

In life, music
19Apr 11

     I often get asked what kind of music I like best, and if I had to pick a favourite genre, what would it be?  Well, I like good music, regardless of genre. I think you have to be able to appreciate beauty in all its various forms, and music is no exception to this rule.

     If you’re talking dancing, I love some old school R & B and Funk, one example being Earth Wind and Fire.  I don’t know how anyone could sit still, and not dance to that groove.  I also love Swing n’ Jive music, such as The Stray Cats – all you need is a partner who has some mad skills on the dancefloor. ( and what girl doesn’t appreciate that ? ) Everyone who knows me well, knows that most of my time spent on a dancefloor was in the 80’s, and that I absolutely adore a lot of the music from that decade. I wrote a blog post about the 80’s a while back, and listed some of my favourite bands in it.

     I can admit to liking a good power ballad or two that bring back memories of school dances, and I think Crystal Gayle made me see Country Music in a different light when I was little.  I can appreciate some good old fashioned Rock n’ Roll, and more recently, I’m learning just how sweet The Blues can be, thanks to a Buddy from the Twisters.

     Obviously, there are many other types of music not listed here, but you get the point : most open-minded people can admit to at least liking one or two songs from pretty much every genre of music.  Good music is good music – to heck with the ” labels “.

Comments Off on What Kind Of Music Do You Like Best?

Subscribe to RSS