Posts in Life

Ombrelle: A Weekend On The Sunshine Coast

Summer is here, and so are weekend getaways with the girls. For this adventure, we chose the Sunshine Coast in beautiful British Columbia. Not only is the Sunshine Coast really easy to get to from Vancouver, it also has everything you need: the ocean, many lakes, and a world-famous oyster bar ; ). With sunshine and oysters on the brain, I grabbed six of my friends and hit the road. We caught the 6:40 pm ferry out of Horseshoe Bay (which means you get to watch the sunset from the boat!) and arrived at the cabin by 9 pm with just enough time to settle in, lite some candles and break out a deck of cards. As the night progressed so did the group consensus for a mandatory skinny dip to ring in the weekend.


The next morning welcomed us with the sound of the ocean and the smell of fresh hot coffee. Once the gang was all ready, we hopped in the car and headed for Ruby Lake, which is just 20 minutes north of the cabin. Here the water is a touch warmer than the ocean and there are some great rocks to sunbathe on. We set up our towels and applied some Ombrelle Ultra Light Face Lotion in SPF 60 to keep our faces from burning. To protect the rest of our skin we used the Ombrelle Ultra Light Body Spray in SPF 60. Thankfully we screened up as it was super hot and sunny all day as we laid out, swam and played on the floaty. On our way back to the cabin, we stopped at Hotel Lake in search of a rope swing and lucky for us it was the perfect size for even the few scaredy-cats in the group to give it a try.


Later that night we got ready and headed to Gibsons for a fresh seafood dinner at Smitty’s Oyster House. If it isn’t obvious from the name… get the oysters! They’re so good and fresh. Alongside the oysters, we ordered mussels, halibut fritters, salmon cakes and washed it down with a local BC white wine. Talk about a great way to end an amazing day in the sun.

The next morning was bittersweet as it was beautiful and sunny but the weekend was already coming to an end. The fact that we were leaving later that day didn’t stop us from getting up early, making crepes with fresh local berries and laying out on the beach. We even braved the cold ocean and swam all the way to a floating dock and back. Eventually, the day came to an end and we kissed the Sunshine Coast goodbye to take the ferry back to Vancouver. Till next time sunshine : )

DIY Copper Accent Candle


Looking for a few more copper accents to place around your apartment? Enjoy this super simple DIY for copper accent candles to help add the perfect touch of copper to your space.


What you need:

– Soy Wax Flakes
– Inexpensive Metal Bowl
– Essential Oil (I used eucalyptus from Saje)
– Copper Pipe Tube Caps (I used 1 inch and 1 3/4 inch caps)
– Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue
– Wicks
– Skewer Sticks or Bobby Pins


How to make it:

– Hot glue the wick to the centre of the copper tube cap. Ensure the wick is longer than needed, as you can cut it down later.
– Place a skewer stick or bobby pin across the top of the cap to guide the wick to the centre and to keep it in place while drying.
– Place a pot on the stove with water and bring it to a boil.
– Place your inexpensive metal bowl in the boiling water.
– Slowly scoop soy wax flakes into the bowl.
– Stir wax flakes frequently until melted to a consistent liquid.
– Add in 10 drops of essential oils for every 6 cups of soy wax flakes added and stir to combine.
– Remove bowl from water using oven mitts.
– Slowly and carefully, pour melted wax into copper tube caps.
– Allow wax to cool completely and then trim the wick to about a 1/2 inch.
– Then, place them throughout your apartment & enjoy!


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Did this DIY inspire you to create your own? Submit pictures of your DIY Copper Accent Candles by tagging @CaleyVanular #CopperCandles on Twitter.

Portland To Do List

Almost everyone I know asks me what to do in Portland, OR. Although I am not from Portland, I have frequented the city for the amazing coffee, shopping, food and proximity to snowboarding, hiking and surfing. This list fell into my hands a few years ago and has been added to throughout the years. If you have any suggestions or new places that are better please contribute in the comments below…

Portland To Do List: 

1. Washington Park/International Rose Test Garden – really gorgeous on a clear day you can see Mt. Hood.

2. Self-guided Beer Tour

  •     Bailey’s Tap Room (downtown) – tons and tons of beers on tap
  •     Cascade Brewery – this is one is one of our favorites because they are one of the few bars in the country that sell sour beer – def. a must try! You also get the unique experience of seeing the Portland Goats that are across from the brewery.
  •     Apex – on division – good selection of beer and great outdoor seating
  •     McMennimins (sp?) – they are all over town. I recommend going to the Kennedy School. location. It is an interesting experience. They have a soaking pool there where you can buy a pitcher before going into the soaking pool. We love to do this on rainy days.
  •     Green Dragon – near Cascade – goo selection of beers
  •     Tug  Boat – near Baileys – very funky weird place
  •     Dechutes Brewery – in the pearl district
  •     Bridgeport – there is one on the SE and SW side

3. Multnomah Falls/The Gorge – millions of fun hikes. If it is your first time, doing the Horsethief loop that passes the falls is a great 1/2 day hike and it is a gorgeous time of year. I also recommend doing the Angel’s Rest Hike around that same areas.

4. Wine Tours in Willamette Valley

5. Chinese Garden – Chinatown Downtown PDX

6. Japanese Garden – in Washington Park

4. Walking Tours on Fun Streets

  • Hawthorne – fun to walk from ~33rd to ~49th   (if you continue past 49th – keep going all the way up to Mt. Tabor – it is a GREAT lookout and a fun walk)
  • Belmont – 33rd area are some shops. Highly recommend you walk to Stumptown Coffee at 34th and Belmont and get a cupcake on that same block at SAINT Cupcake and take a stroll around Laurelhurst Park (keep heading North from Stumptown and you will hit the park after Stark ) Belmont also hosts two awesome bars – Sweet Hereafter & Alto Lounge – always a good place to go any night.
  • Alberta st. – Lots of funky shops and great restaurants
  • NW 23rd – Again more shops and restaurants

Mississippi – NE area – very hip and trendy with good food and bars

Alberta – further North still on the East side – very artsy, lots of fun

NW 22nd and 23rd – very shishi but fun shops – great shopping for the ladies

Pearl – the utmost in shishi and fancy – but it’s where Powell’s Books and Dechutes Brewery are located

Best of List (as of 2013)

Best Cocktails – Kask – near SW 13th Ave area and Beaker and Flask – near burnside

Best Food Cart turned Restaurant – Lardo at 12th and Hawthorne

Best Food Cart area – Downtown Washington and Alder area

Best Sour Beer – Cascade

Best Beer Selection – Baileys Tap Room

Best Mexican Food – Pandoria Taqueria in St. John’s or Por Qui No on Hawthorne St ( the Bryan’s bowl is soo yum )

Best Fancy and Different Restaurant – Racion (downtown)

Best Fancy and Italian Restaurant – DOC ( in NE )

Best Date Night Fancy Restaurant – Tabla (SE 28th)

Best Coffee – Stumptown (any location) and Heart Coffee (downtown or Belmont)

Best Specialty Market – Pasta Works (SE Hawthorne)

Best Restaurant to get your Meat on: Laurelhurst Market

Best not so avg. brunch – Broder (SE Clinton)

Best Southern Goodness: Pine State Biscuits for breakfast or Screen Door for Dinner

Best Sushi: Bamboo

Best Pizza: Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Dove Vivi or Sizzle Pie.

Fun Place to Get a Drink – SE Ash and SE Ankeny area (where Voodoo doughnuts is located on the Westside – it is a street blocked off for the restaurants)

Best Strip Club – Devils Point (it is a coop too!) or Sassy’s is pretty popular

Best Ice Cream – Salt and Straw (Skip the line by buying a pint)

Best Indian – Bollywood (next to Salt and Straw)

Popular Things in PDX

Sushi – Bamboo Sushi (SE 28th)

Pizza – Ken’s Pizza (SE 28th)

Voodoo Doughnuts – Downtown and SE location. SE location will have less of a line

Distillery Tours – Just google all the Distilleries on the SE side

Portland Saturday Market – near the Waterfront

Rose Test Garden in Washington Park

Powell’s Bookstore

Portland City Grill (great view on clear day (go early for happy hour)

Bike rentals are pretty cheap and it is fun to rent one for the half day and ride it around the waterfront park and SE side.

Sample Itinerary:

Wake and walk to Stumptown on Se 34th and Belmont – check-out Belmont area

Walk/Drive to Broader on SE Clinton for brunch

Drive/Public Transit to Washington Park/Rose Test Garden

Walk down from Garden through Westside (pretty houses)

Go to Food Carts on Alder and Washington area and eat snack/late lunch

Visit Powell Books in Pearl District and Dechutes Brewery

Walk through Park Blocks close to PDX Art Museum (I think Wed. is the Farmer’s Market) – pick-up some food

Walk to Waterfront (passing through Pioneer Square area)

Rent some bikes (Bike shop on 10 SE Ash Street (Waterfront Bikes) is good)

Bike around waterfront

Go to Ash Street and have a drink at one of the many bars OR go up to SW 13th area to visit Kask

Head back SE and stop at Cascade for Sour Beer

Keep heading East and visit one of the restaurants on 28th

Walk around Laurelhurst Park

Get IceCream (Salt and Straw on Division)

Scan Willamett Weekly or Mercury for listing of music.


In the summer there is most likely farmers markets or free concerts/plays/movies going on in one of the many parks. These sites have some listings:


Have any suggestions for spots? Leave them in the comments below.

Tamanawas Falls, Oregon

Earlier this summer Cale, Maya, Bryan and I went on a hike to Tamanawas Falls right off the Sherwood Trailhead near Mt. Hood, Oregon. The hike in is pretty mellow,  it is only about two miles to the waterfall with very little  incline.  Take a moment to view some of the photos I shot using a Nikon F camera with Portra 400 film…

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For full details on how to get to the Tamanawas Waterfall in Oregon click here. For more of my photography check out and follow my photography Tumblr. 

Top 20 Instagram Influencer Hashtags

Hashtags, love them or hate them they are a useful tool in digital marketing. Hashtags can be used  to organize niche content,  expand your reach, amplify your brand, target your market, get your content found, improve your SEO, and more.. Although they are generally abused by 15-year-old Instagram stars to gain followers, there is a positive side to the ‘hashtag’ formally known as the pound sign.

Using a popular niche hashtag can get your post seen by a lot of like-minded people. In this case I have complied a list of trending niche photography Instagram hashtags where you can connect with like-minded users and Influencers.  Take a look at the top Instagram Influencer Hashtags  list below..


1. #MakePortraits







6. #Bluronpurpose

7. #Throughthefence












16. #CampVibes



19. #LetsGoSomewhere 

20. #LiveAuthentic 


If the above wasn’t enough for you, here are some more resources to help find trending and influencer generated hashtags:

  •  – Find trending, declining and constant trends, as well as metrics about your social brand.
  • Statigram  –  Search for Instagram hashtags trends and get alternatives for hashtag words, so you can choose the most popular tags.
  • Trendsmap –  See a visual map of geographic hashtag trends. As a local business, this is a great way to quickly know what’s trending in your area.


Know some other Instagram Influencer Hashtags to find great social media photography? Write it in the comments below.

Cape Kiwanda, OR


My favourite part of Oregon is the coast. I have spent some of the best days of my life wondering around that coast line, looking for trees to hang my cold wet wetsuit on. The coast has so many beautiful coves and hiding places. One of our favourite places to surf ( due to the drive on beach access) is Pacific City, Oregon which is also called Cape Kiwanda. Cape Kiwanda has this beautiful escarpment you can climb and take in the power of the ocean and the wild colours of the rock. Here are some photos I found from a few of us wondering around the rocks… 0215139-R1-31-5 0215139-R1-32-4 0215139-R1-33-3

How To Create An E-Marketing Strategy


Do you want to better market your brand online? The success to any e-marketing is segmenting, targeting and positioning. Don’t bring your brand to the internet without a plan of attack! Here are six steps to create an e-marketing strategy to better market your business online:

How To Create An E-Marketing Strategy In Six Steps:

1. What Is Your Brands Vision?

Where do you want your company to be in the future? The vision statement should describe your future desired state of business.

2. Complete A Situation Analysis

To better understand your brand and it’s market you need to complete a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Make a list under each heading, be honest with your weaknesses and strengths. This information will help you better market your brand in the long-run.

Next go over the 5C Analysis of your brand:


And lastly write out your Porter’s Five Forces:


3. Set Your Objectives.

Set out your e-marketing strategic goals and make them S.M.A.R.T goals: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

Think about the following:

– Enhancing your online image to better convey your marketing message.

– Providing useful content/information to increase website traffic.

– Generate interest in your brand, gain PR or inbound links.

– Promote your brand, product and lifestyle.

– Selling product online


4. Develop Your Strategies & Tactics.

Strategies are how you are going to achieve goals in the long-term, big picture. Tactics are what you are going to use for short-term specific goals.

Some Tactics To Use:

Social Media

Email Marketing

Website Redesign

SEO Marketing

Paid Advertising



5. Implement Your E-Marketing Plan.

You have the goals and strategy now put them to work. Set realistic time-frames to complete goals and stay on track. Follow through with your e-marketing plan and you will see results.

6.Evaluation & Control

This is a very important final step to e-marketing plans. Once you have implemented your strategies and the campaigns and changes are complete do an evaluation of your brands stats and standings. Find out what works and what didn’t and learn from it. Everything you did good and bad will teach you a lesson to better do it next time.


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Did this help you get started on your E-Marketing Strategy? Leave questions or comments below…

10 Tips To Promote Your Website, Off Your Website

10 Tips To Promote Your Website, Off Your Website.

Marketing your website requires a marketing mix using various tactics to make it successful. First ensure you have your website set up so you are promoting yourself on your website. Now, take a look at 10 tips to promote your website, off your website:


1. Keyword Advertising

Keyword Advertising can refer to any advertising that is linked to any words or phrases using a pay per click (PPC) or cost per click (CPC) system. Top sites for keyword advertising are Google Adwords or Yahoo! Search Marketing.

2. Email Marketing

When you send out a tweet your message is one of maybe a 1000 tweets your followers see in a day. If you send an email you are one out of maybe a 100. The chance your customer will receive your message is far greater through email marketing, making it an important tool for promoting your website. Want to learn more? Check out my blog post on Email Marketing, here. 

3. Online Advertisements

Retarget marketing and online advertisements are a great way to have your brand viewed off your own website. Buying retargeting ads, or static ads on popular websites will increase traffic to your website simply from consumers clicking through to learn more. Retargeted ads follow your consumer’s IP address as they browse other websites keeping your products fresh in their mind to help increase conversion.  You can purchase these types of ads at

4. Link Building and Directories

Get the link to your website out there! Link building aims at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to your website. You can do this by reciprocal linking, resource linking, directory link building and social bookmarking. What all that means is, share the link to your website with directories like or Create real connections with corresponding brands and bloggers, create networks and share their links on your website so they will share your link on their website. The more inbound links to your website on the internet the better.

5. Community Participation

It is important to connect and communicate online, as the online space is a conversation, not just a place of shameless self promotion. Get out there and interact with your target market on blogs and forms. A great place for this is

6. Email Signature

This is an easy way to promote your website and yourself all the thousands of emails you send. Your email signature is your online business card. Use this space to promote your business, website and social media networks by creating easy to click-through hyperlinks.


Caley Vanular – Digital Marketing Consultant

w. <href=””>

i. @caleyvanular

c. 555 555 5555

7. Blogs, Articles, Event Recaps & Reports.

Content is king! Contribute to websites, write blogs, write event recaps and create reports on subjects related to your brand. You don’t have to directly promote your brand/product to market them online. By creating content online you are building your brand and therefore building the brand of your business you represent. Along with building a better reputation, with every piece of content you create there is room to leave a link in your sign off to direct more inbound traffic to your website.

8. Referral & Loyalty Programs

Also known as affiliate marketing, referrals are a great way to get the word out about your website by paying influencers a commission or percentage of sales to refer new customers to your website. This can achieved by signing up for affiliate management websites like <a” href=””>CJ Affiliate or Clickbank. If you aren’t quite ready for affiliate marketing yet, try to start with a simple rewards program. Consumers love being rewarded for being loyal. Create a stamp card, point system, referral discount or coupon club where consumer can get special discounts on your products.

9. Social Media

This is a given. If you want to be online you have to be in the social sphere. Don’t just sign up for every social media platform you have ever heard of, create a strategy, locate where your target market lives on which social media platforms and join. Less is more if aren’t going to give your social media 100% effort cut down and only be active on one or two instead of ten.

10. Traditional Marketing

Simply sharing your work in the real, offline world will help create interest and bring people back to your website to learn more. Network, travel and share your ideas ensuring you leave a mark on their brain intriguing them to head to the internet to learn more. This can be done using advertising, word-of-mouth, free samples or the classic business card.

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Want to know 10 ways to promote your website, on your website? Find out how, here.


How do you promote your website off your website? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.


10 Tips To Promote Your Website, On Your Website.

10 Tips To Promote Your Website, On Your Website.

So you have a website and social networks, great. Now you need to let people know about them.

Here are 10 easy tips to help you promote your website, on your website:


1. Search Engine Optimization ( SEO )

SEO is the process of changing the coding and keywords used on your website to affect the visibility of your website in search engines search results. Ensuring your website and content is SEO optimized will help your website end up at the top of the search results to help new customers find you.

2. Interesting & Updated Content

Content, Content, Content. Content is king in the digital world. To keep your website relevant and worth returning to, you need to create interesting and updated content. Updated content helps with SEO and retaining customers while working as an easy way to promote your brand and become a leader in your industry.

3. Free products, Services & Downloads

This can be anything from a song download to free webinars. Give your customers a taste of what you offer. We can call it: website bait.

4. Follow, Share & Subscribe Features

Ensure your website makes it easy for users to sign up for your newsletter, follow your social accounts and share your content. This is the internet’s version of WOMM (Word Of Mouth Marketing), which is considered one of the most effective forms of marketing. If you increase your followers and engagement you increase your chances of people talking to people and selling your products for you.

5. FAQ Page

This one is a no brainer, save your customers time and effort by answering frequently asked questions before they ask them. If you don’y know what your FAQ’s are, listen to your customer service emails. You will see a trend early on, use the most commonly asked questions for your FAQ section. If you do this properly it could save you a sale as customers won’t have to wait for a response to learn about your product warrantee.

6. Photo & Video

A picture tells a 1000 words, still stands true in the internet world. Win over your customers with well photographed products, visual storytelling and worthwhile videos. Tell the story of your brand through your images.

7. Interactive features (login, upload or comment)

Having a login or member feature to your website allows users to save custom settings, leave comments and reviews and save shipping information. This feature makes using your website easier for them, while granting you a complete database of consumer data to use for your online marketing. i.e. your target market’s age and location.

8. Social Media Contests

Social Media Contests are great for you and your customers. Through contests you can gain valuable email lists, customer data, free promotion and social media following by hosting newsworthy contests for your customers to participate in. A great example of this is the ‘dream job’ contests put on by tourism boards to promote their country or remote island. Applicants create videos and content for the brand while telling all there friends to visit the brands website to vote for them to win. This amount of online word of mouth promotion can’t be bought and could potentially only cost you some product.

9. Blogroll & Friends Lists

Help your customers out with recommendations for brands that align with your service. This could be anything from a simple list of hyperlinks to companies/people you like to brands that compliment your product directly. If you sell blenders, recommend a great website to buy bulk frozen fruit or a smoothie recipe blog. It is simple, promote their website and they will promote your website.

10. Newsletter

Set up a newsletter for your website right now. You could harness the advantage of being 1 in 100 vs. 1 in 10000 by simply gathering interested viewers emails. Learn more about setting up a newsletter here. 

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Want to know 10 ways to promote your website, off your website? Find out how, here.


How do you promote your website on your website? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below.

Increase ROI With Pinterest


Brands and Retailers have been observing rapid growth in Pinterest activity, and are quickly discovering the power of Pinterest to drive viral brand awareness, website traffic and sales conversion. Looking to get your brand involved? Check out some tips and stats on Pinterest below..  Read More

How To Brew Kombucha

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Want to create a batch of effervescent, tasty, low calorie tea full of health benefits for under five dollars? Introducing Kombucha, a fermented tea drink that is becoming widely popular in North America for it’s taste and health benefits. Kombucha has been claimed to aid in cancer prevention, joint care, degenerative diseases, detoxification and immune systems. Lucky for you, it is really simple to make, all you need to do is jump on your local craigslist page and search for a Kombucha Scoby (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). These “Scoby’s”, also known as “Kombucha baby’s” are easy to come by and often free, because every batch produces a new one.  Once you have acquired your “Scoby” follow the easy Kombucha recipe below:
1. Boil 3 quarts of water

2. Add four black, white or green tea bags and four fruit tea bags, then let steep for 20 minutes.

3. Remove tea bags and mix in two cups of sugar until dissolved.

4. Cool to room temperature and pour into a 1-gallon glass jar.

5. Add Kombucha ‘Baby/Scoby’ and fluid to jar.

6. Cover with a clean tea towel and seal with a rubber band.

7. Place in a dark, warm environment (ideally 72 to 80 degrees) for 7 to 14 days.

8. After 7-14 days taste the Kombucha. If it is too sweet brew it for a couple more days.

9. When it has reached your desired taste, poor Kombucha to the brim of your glass bottles

10. Store the bottles for five days and then enjoy!


* For those of you who live in the Vancouver area send me an email as I have a new SCOBY every month*