Flipping over Triple Flip! Fun and funky active wear for preteen girls

Move over Lululemon, Triple Flip is in town!

On Thursday evening, my 9-year old daughter and I attended a VIP event at the newest shop to hit the mall; Triple Flip!

Triple Flip is Canada’s leading active wear retailer for preteen girls. Founded in 2005 by two moms who were tired of being unable to find good quality, well-fitting clothing for their active ‘tween daughters, Triple Flip now boasts 9 retail outlets in Canada. And lucky us, the newest  just happens to be in our neighbourhood mall!

After a (long) day of anticipation (my daughter, who cares nothing for fashion, somehow knew all about Triple Flip; I blame her fashionista friends), we arrived at the store to find one of Clara’s BFF’s and her mom waiting to go in.

After finding our names on the guest list (my daughter  was so impressed that they knew who we were; one of the benefits of being a blogger!), the owners introduced themselves and told the girls to choose a gym bag as a gift to take home! (Looks a lot like my Lulu bag…)

Inside the bag was a bottle of water (much appreciated later, as the lights and bodies in the shop made it feel absolutely tropical), a Triple Flip lip balm and a coupon for a free pair of pants! We were also given 20% off any purchases made that evening.

The girls were in heaven. Bright, fun and funky clothing; shorts, tanks, capris, skirts, dresses, hats, bathing suits and Toms (the only other brand my daughter knows anything about).


All made from stretchy, breathable materials and perfect for school, playtime, dance class and just hanging around. I saw quite a few things I wouldn’t mind wearing myself (a friend suggested that I might be able to wear the largest size and that I should try something on too; maybe another day when there aren’t so many moms around!).

Clara chose a bright blue pair of dance pants as her gift and we found a matching T-shirt to complete the ensemble. Pretty funky, don’t you think? (This girl is like her mama; preferring to wear yoga pants, tanks and stretchy clothes over dressing up!)

 girls active wear

The shop had a great party vibe going, with live mannequins (local girls who were chosen to wear and move in the clothing while we shopped),

active wear for girls

cool light fixtures and tiny cupcakes (handed out after we paid for our purchases, presumably to keep icing-covered fingers off the clothes!).

bubble light fixtures

 Our favourite? The furry purses, bags and book covers; they reminded us of the Muppets!

 accessories for girls

Thanks so much to Triple Flip for including us in this special mother-daughter shopping event! We’ll certainly be back (probably sooner than my credit card would prefer!).

P.S. Where were you when I was a preteen???

Have you ever shopped at Triple Flip?

If not, where do you buy active wear for your preteen children?


Tank top Tuesday: tricks for adding shape to your arms

So it’s possible, just possible, that I went shopping at Lululemon last week.

A class participant of mine just happened to be shopping there too. While I was in the change room trying on a pair of Wunder Unders (which somehow, came home with me… can you ever have enough black tights?), she was scouring the sale rack for items that she thought would look good on me. My own personal shopper! How great is that?

She came back with a bright, pink tank top and told me that I should try it on because (1) I wear too much black, (2) it was on sale ($29 less my R&D discount), (3) it was the last one and (4) it was my size. How could I refuse? Thanks so much June!

Great call, don’t you think?

I know, you want arms that you’d be proud to show off in a tank top too, right? Well you’re in luck. Today, Tuesday Trainer is featuring exercises guaranteed to strengthen your upper half.

I submitted my favorite upper body exercise; the pushup. In my opinion, pushups are the perfect exercise. They not only target your arms, chest and back, they’re also great for tightening up your midsection and butt. Check out my demo video and add some variety to your pushups.

Now head on over to Lindsay’s List to get your complete, upper body workout! Practice these moves three times a week, with weights/variations heavy enough to fatigue your muscles within 10-12 repetitions. You’ll be ready to rock those tank tops in no time!

What’s your favorite upper body move?

Weekly wrap up: what I did, wore, ate and read this week!

The other day I was at the grocery store and I ran into a woman who comes to one of my step classes. I looked her straight in the face and said hello. She stared blankly at me for several (long) seconds before I (finally) saw the hint of recognition in her eyes.

Turns out she didn’t recognize me because I was showered, made up and wearing non-exercise clothes!

The whole episode made me think that (1) maybe I need to ‘dress up’ more often and (2) you all might like to see what I wear when I’m not in my Lululemon‘s (all the better to recognize me when we meet in places other than the gym!).

I thought it might be fun to write the occasional post that has nothing to do with exercise and clean eating. A post to share with you my non-fitness interests, including what I’ve been up to when I’m not in the gym. This will be the first installment. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comments section below!

This past Wednesday, I had the day off work, and rather than spend it at home, in front of my computer, I got dressed up and attended a local ‘mompreneur’ event (hosted by momcafe Tricities) called “Evolution, Re-creation and Re-invention”. After a light breakfast and some socializing, two local business women shared their stories and insights about changing directions in their careers and starting new businesses. I left with some great ideas about moving forward in my own life and have already started to create my ‘five year vision’ (hint, it involves more writing, some public speaking and moving my blog to self-hosted!).

I traded in my spandex tights for cotton (In Wear), a leather mini-skirt (Esprit), grey turtleneck (Kersh) and pink handknit, beaded scarf (in honor of pink shirt day; the pattern is Rose Lace Stole knit in Jojoland Melody’s fingering weight sock yarn). I clean up pretty well, if I don’t say so myself!

One of my goals for this year is to read more frequently. Books that is. Not blog posts or Facebook status updates. I have a tall stack on my bedside table and I’ve been enjoying tucking into a book before bed most nights this winter. Amazing how it helps with my peri menopausal sleep issues…

For Christmas, my husband gave me a copy of the newest Diana Gabaldon book, The Scottish Prisoner. Diana’s the author of the wonderful ‘Outlander’ series that has occupied much of my reading time (and daydreams; Jamie Fraser makes my heart pound) over the past few years. If you’re not familiar with this series, it’s historical fiction, romance and time travel all wrapped up in an amazing attention to character and detail. I’m about half way through and loving how it fills in some of the backstory left out of the previous six books.

I’ve also been reading Working Out Sucks (a very tongue-in-cheek title), but since my focus today is on non-fitness activities, I’ll leave the description and review of that book for another day (although you can read my Amazon review here if you just can’t wait).

My knitting has been getting a little more attention as of late. I’ve just finished a pair of socks for my youngest son; purposefully made a bit too big because kids outgrow socks faster than I can knit! And I cast on for a new, long, drapey wrap for me as well. Not enough done to warrant a picture, but the yarn is the most beautiful, rich purple I’ve ever seen!

Saturday night was ‘treat’ night for me. I picked up some fresh dough from my neighborhood Italian bakery and made pizza for dinner. Mmmm. Roast veggies, chicken breast and a little feta on top for taste! Dessert was a slice of bakery pound cake, topped with fresh berries and ice cream (for the kids only; ice cream upsets my tummy 🙁 ).

Hope you had a wonderful week and you’re rested and ready for Monday! We’ll be continuing the weekend at our house; teachers are on strike for at least three days beginning tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Did you do something special this week? I’d love to know what YOU’RE up to! Comments below please.

Favorite fitness Xmas presents

I love Boxing Day! After all the cooking, cleaning, traveling and entertaining of the past week, it’s wonderful to have a day when you have nowhere to go and nothing much to do.

The children are happily (!) playing with their new toys. Hubby has retired to his study to get a jump start on next week’s teaching duties. I’m leisurely reading blogs and knitting and taking yet another day off from the gym.

But just one. Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to a visit to the weight room so I can break in a couple of my new fitness inspired gifts.

Pink Lulu workout top and headband (thanks to my sister Tracy) and fresh-smelling weight training gloves (from hubby, who must have noticed how stinky and holey my old ones were).

Hope you had a fabulous day with your family too!


On proper gym attire and fitness snobbery


The other morning, I was training a client in the gym and I overhead a couple of women discussing the workout attire of another gym member. A gym member who was not dressed in brand new, body hugging spandex. A middle-aged woman (as were the two having the conversation), wearing baggy, thread-bare sweat pants, a coffee stained t-shirt, dirty old tennis shoes and very flamboyant socks.

The conversation went something like this;

“Can you believe what she’s wearing? I’d be embarrassed to leave my house dressed like that, let alone be seen in the gym.”

“Obviously, she’s not very serious about exercise.”

“I wish she’d hurry up and get off the bench; there are regulars waiting to use the equipment.”

“Oh, and be sure to wipe off those weights she was using before you pick them up.”

Since when is gym attire an indicator of a person’s fitness? Does it inform us about their dedication to exercise? Does dressing a certain way give one priority access to equipment? Do dirty gym clothes indicate poor personal hygiene?

To say I was shocked would be an understatement.

Yes, the gym that I work at happens to be in a fairly affluent neighbourhood. Participants are more likely to be seen wearing Lululemon than tennis shorts and t-shirts. I myself, like to come to the gym in form-flattering athletic wear (you would too, if you had to wear it 6 days of the week; for me, Lululemon is ‘business attire’).

To suggest that someone not conforming to the ‘dress code’ has less right to be there than those wearing the ‘uniform’ is ludicrous. Perhaps she’s new to exercise. Maybe she had a rough morning with the kids and didn’t have time to change into something else. Maybe she or her husband are out of work and they can only afford a gym membership OR the fancy clothes. Kudos to her for choosing fitness over fashion.

I would hate to think that lack of stylish exercise clothing was keeping someone from going to the gym. In fact, the only rules about dress that we enforce at my gym are those related to safety and health; you can’t wear open-toed shoes and you must wear a shirt.

While I didn’t say anything to the women having this particular conversation (I mean really, what would you say?), I did notice that their workout was a bit ‘light’ when compared to that of the woman whose dress so offended them. Perhaps they should spend a bit less time criticizing the appearance of others and a little more time getting their fancy exercise clothes sweaty!

P.S. I live in Vancouver, home of Lululemon and laid back attire. Ironically, we have been recently tagged as the third worst dressed city in the world, primarily because everyone wears exercise clothes most of the time (and many of those sporting Lulu’s heftily priced clothes clearly don’t spend any time in the gym!).

Do you ‘dress’ for exercise or are you ambivalent about your appearance at the gym?

What’s your favorite brand of exercise clothes?

Welcome to the ‘other side’; when nutrition and exercise become second nature

On every successful journey towards health and fitness, there seems to be a ‘switch point‘; that morning when you wake up and realize that you’ve been eating well and exercising regularly not because you have to but because you want to. You know longer equate eating with dieting. Exercise is like brushing your teeth; you just do it!

How can you tell when you’ve reached the other side? It’s simple;

  • You own more pairs of black spandex pants/capris/shorts than you do jeans

  • Shopping for new running shoes excites you more than shopping for dress shoes (Fluevogs being the exception)

  • You bypass all the cute clothing stores in the mall and head directly for Lulu
  • Your kids’ activities are planned around your favourite spin class time
  • You get together with your girlfriends over skinny lattes rather than cosmopolitans
  • When there’s not enough time in the day to workout, shower, wash and style your hair and get dressed to go on the field trip you choose the workout and once again show up at school (yet again) in damp exercise clothes, a dirty pony tail and a baseball cap

  • The seasonal return of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte sends you searching through Clean Eating magazine for a recipe for pumpkin pie oats (rather than ordering the high fat, high sugar coffee)
  • Your back-to-school shopping results in another Power Y tank (my absolute favourite workout top in a great new colour) rather than a cute top or cuddly sweater (‘you can’t wear those to the gym’, says the common sense voice in my head)

Happy ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’ Friday Fitness Blog Hop (you scurvy dog, you!)

Life As I See It [Fitness, Health and Happiness]

A few of my favorite (green) things

Well, spring has finally arrived on the west coast. Tank tops and flip flops, here I come! Everywhere I look I see green. Wanna know what my favourite green things are?

Creamy, ripe avocado. One of the best heart-healthy fats out there and a great addition to your favourite salad or sandwich. I use it as a replacement for mayonnaise in tuna, salmon or chicken salad. Yum, yum!

My kitchen garden. Full of an incredible assortment of beautiful plants, including my favourites, Solomon’s Seal and Hostas. Now that spring’s finally here (I did mention that, didn’t I?), I can finally spend time in my garden, sipping tea (green tea!) and perhaps, knitting a bit…

A spinach salad. Pair your iron-rich spinach with tomatoes, peppers or some other source of vitamin C to really up your absorption of this much needed mineral. I dress mine with a combination of home-made pesto, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

My gym buddies; Lululemon gym bag, Pearl Izumi spin shoes and Nathan water bottle. There isn’t a day that I leave home without this winsome trio. And no, I didn’t purchase them to match, it just happened that way!

A recently finished shawl. Knit in Saffron Dyeworks Enya. The colour is ‘Frog Blancmange’, perfect for the leaf-inspired stitch pattern. Doesn’t it just scream spring?

This knit is a gift for my son’s grade 1 teacher, who retires at the end of the school year. She has done so much to nurture him through kindergarten and grade 1, as well as being his older sister’s kindergarten teacher too. I thought it would be appropriate to knit her something to place around her shoulders as a way of thanking her for all the hugs she has bestowed on my children over the years.

Happy retirement Cathy and happy spring (yes, it’s finally spring!) to you all!