Find + Seek | Puzzle Adventure Room

My cousin, Kevin, his wife and their two business partners have just launched a new spin on the "exit room" phenomenon that has hit Greater Vancouver. The outcome - Find+Seek, an adventure puzzle room!

When they told me about their new business venture, I was not only (obviously) impressed that they were starting their own business, but I was also intrigued by the idea of a puzzle room that wasn't connected to the theme of the horror movie, "Saw" - find your way out, or saw your foot off, or DIE.  It's way more family-friendly with no sense of death looming around you.

So I gathered a couple girlfriends to try it out. None of us have ever done anything like this before, and we went in with no prior knowledge of puzzle/exit rooms.

Here are the basics: 45 mins to solve the mystery. If you get stuck, they'll provide you with some hints (we received a lot of these hints haha). Be prepared to think - strategically, mathematically, with logic and plain common sense. Sometimes the answers were easier to solve than we expected - right under our noses!

Being the naturally competitive girls we are (we're basketball and football teammates), we wanted to win. Little did we know, the more people you have in the room, the more collective brain power you have, therefore the faster you'll succeed. We only had three players, including myself. Doh!

After being briefed on the game, we were ushered into a room that was fully decked out - decor, furnishings, trinkets - everything in the room had a purpose. Even the TV screen, which was a means of communication between us and the "Watchtower". If we were stuck, we'd call for the Watchtower and they would give us clues. Once we passed a step, another task would appear, getting us closer to solving the mystery.

Verdict? All three of us had feelings of complete excitement, competitiveness, happiness of being rewarded after every successful passed step, but, ultimately, disappointment that we failed. 60% complete isn't good enough!

Needless to say, we'll be back again to solve "The Mystery at the Majestic Theater", and again when Find+Seek releases their other chapters.

Marie's hints? You're allowed up to 10 people at one time, so build a collective brain by bringing more people in. Study the room for clues - everything is there for a reason. Lastly, enjoy the mystery!

If you're interested in going, don't hesitate to check out their website, or their social media pages. You can also get 20% off the booking with discount code "GOMARIEGO" if you go before September 30. Book here. Don't forget to say HI to my cousin Kevin!

Find+Seek Adventure Puzzle Room
Unit 2075 - 88 West Pender Street, Vancouver
Tinseltown (International Village Mall), 2nd floor
Steps away from Stadium Skytrain Station, or 2 hours free underground parking

June Cover - Boulevard Magazine

Last month, I was asked if I would be interested in being photographed on the cover of Boulevard Magazine (a Chinese luxury lifestyle publication), in addition to a full 2 page interview. Read the blog post about my reaction here.

The online magazine came out today. With a lot of love from the magazine, my social media family, and my family and friends, I'd like to present to you, my first magazine cover.

Even if you don't read Chinese, pick up a copy! They distribute all over Greater Vancouver.



LoggerXross: Orofino, Idaho

What did you get up to this weekend? I spent mine with some of the most generous and kind people I've ever encountered, in Orofino, Idaho - a small town with big hearts. 

On Feb 1, I received a request off my Facebook page to sing both the Canadian and American anthems for the annual LoggerXross event, which included the generous offer of a flight for me and my guy, hotel room and all the fixin's, and it was an offer I couldn't resist! I've never been to Idaho before, and a chance to go somewhere new, and to meet a city of new people is something totally down my alley!

Highlights of the trip - meeting the organizer/promoter of the event, Jim Engle and his wife Linda, hearing all of his stories of growing up in Orofino and his Army adventures and the personal tour of the Dworshak Dam. Another highlight was the actual performance - standing at the front of a bridge made with giant logs (with heels on to boot), singing the anthems while trying my hardest not to bail in front of a crowd of people. 

Can't wait to come back next year!

Jim Engle, organizer/promoter for the Orofino Loggercross  

The view of Clearwater River from 717 feet above ground, 17 feet higher than The Wall at Castle Black
(Game Of Thrones nerd-alert!)


Cover Model?! Get Out Of Here!

Last weekend marked my very first cover shoot for a magazine. When I received the call from the producer of Boulevard Magazine, I was beside myself. "Me? You want ME to be on the cover of your magazine? Get out of here! Are you sure?!"

After all the shock and surprise subsided, I accepted the challenge. We would meet in the inner harbour in Victoria on  Sunday, board a yacht during the Victoria Boat Show, start hair and makeup by the wonderful Melodie of Elate Cosmetics (you must check her beauty company out - all cruelty and chemical free products), dress up in something pretty and then I'd have to "work it" for the camera. Sexy, with a touch of class and luxury. Let me tell you...I had to try really hard!

It was definitely an experience to remember. Dressing up in a vibrant, bright red full length gown, performing twirls with different arm/hand gestures, head up or down, look left, look right, all the while, remembering to "smize", sucking it in, making sure my hair isn't stuck on my lipstick, and trying really hard not to squint because of the glaring sunshine. I can't forget about the spectators on the other boats around us, the people in their kayaks paddling over to get a good look and the Victorians walking around the inner harbour taking photos and staring. 

I can't wait to see how the cover turned out. There's a 4 page editorial on me too. Man, am I lucky and forever grateful. Boulevard Magazine, June 2015 edition.

In the meantime, here are some behind the scenes shots. Enjoy!

FIFA - Canadian Women's National Soccer Team - Roster Announcement

I recently had the utmost privilege to sing the bilingual anthem for the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team, for their roster announcement. It was held on a typical rainy Vancouver Monday morning in April, but the event was anything but typical. With at least a hundred little girls in soccer gear on, red banners and Canadian flags everywhere, the roster was revealed, and at the end of the event, I walked out onto the stage and sang our Canadian anthem with the girls, the team, and the audience singing like a choir with me.

What a unique and memorable experience! It was nationally televised, to boot. I keep telling myself how lucky I am to have such exciting opportunities. I am truly thankful.

Spring 2015 Live Shows

Do you love live music? Have you seen me sing the anthems or parodies for sports teams and wonder if I sing other songs? If you do, please click here to see my live show listings with upcoming public show dates in and around town. I'd love to meet you!

This coming Thursday April 16th, LeftCoast will be playing at Lulu's Lounge at the River Rock Casino from 9pm - 1am.

Then on Friday April 17th, we'll be at Guilt & Company, one of the best live music venues in Vancouver.

Make sure to come and say hello if you come out!


Vancouver Canucks Playoffs

It's that time of year... The Stanley Cup Playoffs. After missing a season (due to a multitude of reasons), our precious and beloved home team, the Vancouver Canucks are at it again, this time against another Canadian rival, the Calgary Flames.

Just in time for their first game, myself and some good friends, Clayton Imoo and Arielle Tuliao have released another parody to support the team's efforts to make it through to the finals, to the tune of Shawn Mendes' hit, Something Big.


My 5th Vancouver Whitecaps FC Anniversary

Where has the time gone?!

On the eve of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC's home opening match of it's 5th MLS season, I'm left reminiscing the experiences I've had, the great people I've encountered along the way (fellow fans, club staff and players), the magnificent football playing from our boys in blue & white, and the wonderful opportunities that I've been gratefully given.

Singing the anthems before each game isn't just a gig - it's way more than that. I'm immersed in the culture. I'm committed to the team. I'm a fan in every sense, and I'm so thankful that I get to be a part of the game day experience at every single match. It's a privilege and an honour.

See you tomorrow! GoCaps!


Official Vancouver Canucks Anthem Footage

Thanks to a good friend on the inside, I now have some official footage of last night's performance on both the Canadian and American anthems at the Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild NHL game.

Hope you enjoy!

Super Bowl XLIX

I'm about to embark on a brand new experience for the first time - the Super Bowl!!! Ok, ok, I'm not really going to the Super Bowl (I mean...who can afford to buy a $3,000 single ticket), but I will be there to revel in all the football excitement, to cheer on and support my team, the Seattle Seahawks, and to take a short vacation to a warm, sunny resort town with some good friends.

When we booked our flights in June, we obviously didn't know the Seahawks would secure a back-to-back spot in the SB, but we hoped...and prayed...and throughout the season, we knew that we would be down in Phoenix for the SB, regardless of who made it to the finals. It just means that much more to us that it's our team. I'm ready to take it all in! Bring it, #SB49!

In case you missed it, Clay Imoo, Arielle Tuliao and I recorded another Seahawks parody/tribute to help celebrate their SB progression and to help the impending fight to win back-to-back Lombardi Trophies!! If you haven't seen our last year's video for the Seahawks (that has garnered, as of right now, 206,980 views), check it out here - SOAR - Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Song.

If you're interested, here's the amazingly clever lyrics, written by Clay:

Nice to meet you, shake my hand
I can do some incredible things
Hustle, straight-arm, rumble, slam
See me run and you’ll think
Oh my gosh, you’re a beast
Don’t hurt me, pretty please
Marshawn Lynch, watch him play

Richard Sherman, what a guy
He will read you like a magazine
Hey Tom Brady, say goodbye
And I know you’re in trouble deep; good luck
No time for friends
I think I know how this one ends
Seahawks win the Super Bowl
After the game he’s gonna ask “Why You Mad, Bro?”

So it's gonna be a repeat
Pats are gonna go down in flames
We will tell you when it's over
That the win was worth the pain
Got a fan base like no other
The 12s are all insane
'Cause you know we have the players
Who will win the game

'Cause we're young and we're reckless
How you like our game so far?
We'll leave you hurting
Or with a nasty scar
The Vince Lombardi trophy
Is what we look to gain
And in that blank space, baby
We’ll write our name

Russell Wilson, let it fly 
Ready to do some incredible things
Short throw, deep ball, fill the sky
He’s the King, baby, number three; can’t sack
Or make him stop
Baldwin, Kearse, Willson are locks 
Or he can tuck the ball and run

Thomas, Wagner, Chancellor
They can make all the tables turn
Hit you hard, your vision blurs
Keep you second guessing like
Oh my gosh, who are you?
We are the Legion of Boom
Throw at us and you’ll be doomed
Brady you’re gonna look like a fool

So it's gonna be a repeat
Pats are gonna go down in flames
We will tell you when it's over
That the win was worth the pain
Got a fan base like no other
The 12s are all insane
'Cause you know we have the players
Who will win the game

'Cause we're young and we're reckless
How you like our play so far?
We'll leave you hurting
Or with a nasty scar
The Vince Lombardi trophy
Is what we look to gain
And in that blank space, baby
We’ll write our name

LeftCoast Love

My original band, LeftCoast, had a pretty awesome 2014. All of us musicians play for other cover bands in town, so when we get together to play our own original music, it's such a breath of fresh air.

Without letting our audience know beforehand, we played some of our own original tunes live for the first time last year, just to see the organic reaction of the audience. We got bouncing heads and tapping feet and as we finished our last notes, we got claps, and sometimes, lots of it. Oh, what a wondrous feeling that was.

I cannot wait to feel that feeling again.

Here's to another successful year full of creativity, attempts (and probably lots of failures) and open hearts overjoyed with the love of music.

Come join us for our first public event of the year, this Saturday, January 10th at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel's Lobby Lounge from 9pm-1am.


Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Another year has sped past so quickly. How is it almost 2015?! This year has been so good to me. From celebrating a milestone birthday, to making my NFL anthem debut for my favourite football team, the Seattle Seahawks. Celebrating the union of some close friends, to witnessing my little brother graduate from law school. Traveling to new cities and seeing some amazing bands and artists. Being lucky enough to be booked almost every single weekend this year with my incredible bands (and being extremely lucky to be able to play with such talented musicians). And of course, another exciting season with the Whitecaps.

I am so incredibly grateful for everybody that has touched my existence this year. Family, friends, coworkers, facebook, twitter and instagram friends, and everyone in between. Thank you. And thank you to our dog that passed away this year. You brought us so much love and companionship the last 8 years. We miss you every day.

Here's to a brilliant 2015!

...but before the year is over, come celebrate Christmas with me and my band LeftCoast with some Christmas carols at Robson Square on Tuesday December 23rd from 6pm-9pm. Ice skating, hot chocolate, and carols to complete your holiday season - what could be better? More info here.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


The Province Feature & Top Artists On My iPod

I still can't believe people want to write about me in the news - and in the sports section to boot! It's very humbling, and I'm incredibly appreciative.

I know I've said this a million times, but social media has really helped create connections with amazing individuals that I would never have met or conversed with otherwise. Case in point - Steve Ewen. He made the connection through Twitter, and after a few twitter messages and emails, the result is a full page article in The Province Newspaper, and an online article and video interview here

In the video, Steve asks me a question that I struggled so hard to answer - who are your top 5 artists on your iPod? If you know me, you'll know that its the hardest question for me to answer. In the end, and because I had to, my answers were:

1. Beyonce - because she is THE QUEEN and the undisputed epitome of talent and entertainment. If I were list my favourite songs by her, the list would last 10 pages!
2. Common - because I still really love hiphop and his voice is one of the most smooth voices in hiphop today. Listen to this one - The Light
3. Erykah Badu - she is the personification of funk & soul - check this song out and tell me you don't feel the same
4. Miguel - he's on heavy rotating right now. If you don't know him, listen to this
5. My band LeftCoast's original songs - we have poured our hearts and souls into the songs we've created. Nothing released yet, but if you come to see us live, we will play them for you!

I know I was only told to choose 5, but because it was so hard, I wanted to list an additional 5 artists that I love, that are in heavy rotation on my iPod.

1. Incognito - this is one band you MUST listen to if you love funk and soul. This is my all time favorite song by them - 1975. The foundation of LeftCoast was built by their music
2. Alicia Keys - I know she's an obvious choice, but man...she started out as a game changer, and she still is. One of my favourite songs by her - Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)
3. Brandy - ask any R&B singer about Brandy, and they'll tell you that she is the queen of harmonies. If you don't believe me, please please please click on this link. Just her voice and an electric guitar - A Capella (Something's Missing) 
4. Sara Bareilles - This woman is simply amazing. Her lyrics are incredibly intricate and thought-provoking. I also love her because she swears like a trucker - just like me haha! Listen to this one and tell me you didn't tear up - Gravity
5. Luther Vandross - his art is timeless. God rest his beautiful soul. He gave us so much in his time on earth. Here are two of my favourites - Never Too Much & If Only For One Night 

These are just a few of the artists that have influenced me along my musical journey. I hope I opened you up to some new music today. I'm always on the lookout for new music and new talented artists. If you have some to share with me, I'd love to listen! Send me a message or leave a comment!

Have a great Sunday, full of sunshine and football!


Rest In Peace, KO

Today was a really rough day.

As I'm writing this, our husky KO's things still lay around our home - his bed, his water bucket and food dish, his squeaky rubber balls, his leash, the box of organic treats we just bought, recently opened. The remnants of him still remain, and I still can't believe he's gone.

A few days ago, he started to display some worrisome behaviour - he was sluggish, wouldn't eat, and breathing extremely hard. After getting blood tests at the vet, we carried him home and he cried all night. This morning he wasn't even able to lift his head up. Our vet took x-rays and delivered the bad news - they found cancer spots in his colon. He was suffering and in so much pain. There was only one decision - and it was the hardest one to make.

He received so much attention everywhere we brought him. His eyes always delighted everyone in his path - his left was white, his right was brown. He'd always push his body up against your legs so you couldn't do anything but pet him, and then he'd look up at you with those gorgeous puppy eyes. He was such a suck for attention. He loved giving us high-fives for treats. That was his only trick, besides sit, lay down and jump, but we didn't care. We loved that one trick. KO didn't lay down like most dogs did. With his front legs out, paws splayed out to either side. I've never seen any other dog lay down like that. When he was young, we'd walk him off leash, and sometimes he wouldn't come back for long periods of time. His primal wolf instincts would kick in, and he would come back with a bloody snout because he was trying to hunt for beavers, but failed.
He loved going for hikes with us, and when he found water, he'd swim in and bite the water like it was a piece of meat. He didn't lap up water like other dogs - he'd bite-drink water. He was the most excitable when the snow started to fall. We'd toss snowballs in the air at him and he'd catch it and eat it. He'd leave bite marks on the pavement from eating all the snow. These are just some of the precious memories I'll always hold dear to my heart.

We took KO in when he was already fully grown, from a family who couldn't take care of him , so we never got to see him as a puppy. That didn't matter to us. He was our puppy and he will always be our puppy. He was 13 years old when we decided that his pain and suffering was too much for him to bear. He passed while in pain, in our arms on the cold floor at the vet. I hope that he is now resting in peace, free of the hurt and suffering he endured the past few days.

We lost a family member today. My heart aches for him. Even though this is the circle of life, you're never prepared to experience the loss of a loved one.  Rest in peace, KO. We love you.