Getting To Know Nicolle

Nicolle Hodges copy

Vancouver has such a wonderful group of talented bloggers and journalists. Here at Pink Tank, we’re always keeping our eyes open for a great article to read and as if by default, the majority of us begin our day by getting our daily dose of Vancity Buzz. Upon reading an article by Nicolle Hodges, we quickly appreciated her wit and sent her a quick email to let her know so and introduced her to Pink Tank. She’s quickly become a member of our book club and after getting to know her a bit better, we just had to share her story with you! Read on to find out all about how Nicolle began her journey into the world of journalism and her advice for balancing a busy work life.

Meet Nicolle Hodges, Freelance Journalist/Reporter of Vancity Buzz and CTV Promotions Host

Written By Ashley Basran

At six years old, Nicolle began to write. At the age of 12, she sold her first ever written book and was able to buy a trip to Quebec with her earnings. “That was my first experience getting paid for my writing. I thought it was cool and wanted to make a living out of it. I knew I wanted to be a journalist,” explains Nicolle. After graduating high school, she went on a mission trip to Africa. “My trip to Africa was an eye opening experience. I realized that I wanted to tell stories after that experience, but didn’t know how,” says Nicolle.

She also travelled to New York to nanny where she stayed for three months. “I remember one moment in particular when I was walking in Manhattan. I saw people looking at the tall buildings and looking lost and I saw people looking down at their watches and walking with others. It was then when I saw my life in two separate paths,” explains Nicolle. That’s when she decided that she would be the person looking at her watch and thinking of the next place to be and the next person to meet. This led to her enrollment into BCIT’s two-year Broadcast and Online Journalism program, where Nicolle was selected as one of 42 students into the program amongst 1500 applicants.

Fast forward two years later and Nicolle is now working with Vancity Buzz! In her role with the largest online Vancouver magazine in the city, she’s had the opportunity to report from red carpet events like The JUNO Awards and the Leo Awards. She’s also taken part in interviews with rapper Madchild to DJ Nicky Romero, Jann Arden, George Stroumboulopoulos, Tech N9ne, David Childton (The Wealthy Barber/Dragon’s Den) and Jason Priestley (to just name a few)! “I love the fact that I get to meet so many interesting people,” says Nicolle of her experience with Vancity Buzz. “I’ve had the privilege to be with a company that I’ve grown with. I get to pursue anything that I’m interested in or I feel is important,” says Nicolle.

Nicolle also has some advice for anyone who is interested in tapping into the world of media. “Seeking out mentorship is so important. I know it’s cliché but you would be surprised as to how many people say, “yes” if you just ask the question,” says Nicolle. Mentorships are extremely valuable as your mentor can help you with creating a solid foundation that’ll lead you to your end goal. “Another tip is to have an open mind when networking. I don’t see networking as me against them. If you go into a conversation wanting something, you won’t leave with anything. You’re an energy taker not a giver,” advises Nicolle.

With impressive work experience like Nicolle’s, we couldn’t help but wonder how she balances her busy work life. “It’s strange because I feel like it should be harder with all of the things I have going on. I should feel like I’m always stressed out, but I’m not. That’s because I love what I’m doing,” says Nicolle. We admire Nicolle’s encouraging attitude and it’s a great reminder to have passion for your work and what you do everyday! “You can’t make your life work because life is so unpredictable. At the same time there’s a way to intertwine the two to love what your doing. The more lists the better. Manage your madness!” suggests Nicolle.

As we sipped the last bit of our lattes, Nicolle began to tell us what motivates her. “Ever since I was a little girl I just knew what I had to do – I had a dream to write and be heard and now I can finally do something about it. I’m motivated by the fear of not accomplishing the life I imagine in my mind. I want to live a fulfilling life of love and success, and I want to keep learning and making a difference in some way,” says Nicolle. Throughout our interview, Nicolle was extremely genuine with all of her answers and took the time to reflect on her past experiences. We were extremely impressed and truly believe that Nicolle is the person she chose to be in Manhattan, who’s always thinking of the next person/place to see. We can only imagine what’s in store next. Pink Tank Group wishes Nicolle all of the best in her future endeavors!

Planning Life with Style and Love



Meet Marissa Grootes, Creative Director and Designer of Design Love Planner

 Written by Ashley Basran

When Marissa was 14 years old she began to create her own planners. She was always on the hunt for the perfect day planner, but it was something she could never find. This led Marissa to buy multiple planners at a time. She would add her own covers and pockets that were designed to fit her needs. Pulling papers from her binder that included 100 different samples, she would create planners that reflected her creativity and style. Who would of thought that her habits at 14 years old would one day turn into her own business?

With a background in Graphic Design and Communications, Marissa began to work for herself last year and was in need of a new planner. She made her way to Chapters (like most of us would) but didn’t find anything. “Nothing made sense for the amount of work I had to do,” says Marissa. She decided to buy multiple planners. “I laid them out on my floor and decided what was working and what wasn’t. I smooshed them all together and made one,” explains Marissa. She had her new planner printed at Kinkos after assembling it together and applying gold polka dots (each one by hand).

Marissa decided to put her passion to the test and sold her planners on Etsy. “It was a success! I sold out and then manufactured a few more and was able to get a few stores on board,” says Marissa. Design Love Planner was born and is now Marissa’s full-time job. She pours her heart and soul into her business and has created the new it day planner.

Design Love Planner includes two pockets to store notes and business cards. Each month always features an inspirational print that is perforated, which you can take out or give to a friend. A monthly calendar, weekly checklist, a weekly schedule and a budgeting and to-do list are included. Marissa has literally thought of it all in creating a sophisticated day planner for the modern professional woman.

Having the opportunity to work for herself, Marissa enjoys having the ability to create her own schedule. “I respond to myself and I’m my own boss. It forces me to be the best version of myself because no one is going to do my work unless I’m proactive about it,” says Marissa.

While owning her business and facing many new learning curves, Marissa still has some advice to offer. “You have to give up a lot in order to gain a lot. You’ll have to give up your social life if you want to make it. You have to be invested 150 percent because if you’re not invested in the beginning you’ll never really get there,” says Marissa. She also says, “Not everyone is going to understand the choices you’ve made and a lot of people will judge you. Remember to look past it and remember why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. Especially as a woman.”

As Design Love Planner continues to grow, Marissa is always looking for lovely young ladies who are just as much in love with stationary as she is. If you’re interested in a different experience and want a first hand look at what it’s like to run a small business contact Marissa!

Click the links below to learn more about Design Love Planner.

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Meet Ashley Basran


Welcome to our new Meet The Team feature! The Pink Tank team consists of 4 wonderful ladies who spend their free creating and implementing for Pink Tank. We love it so much we wish it could be our full time gig! Up first, is the beauty and the brains behind our blog. Ashley has been with Pink Tank for the last year and is such a pleasure to work with. Extremely creative, always up for any challenge and wonderful with people. A perfect mix for our Digital Coordinator!  Read on to find out all about Ashley.

Say my name:



By Day – Promotions Assistant, Bell Media

By Night – Digital Coordinator, Pink Tank

Three words that describe yourself:

honest, trustworthy, reliable

 Your last purchase:

A Tall White Chocolate Mocha (it’s safe to say I’m addicted).

 Who inspires you:

Easy! My mom (she’s literally superwoman).

 Three things that are always in your purse:

  1. Hand Sanitizer (I’m not a fan of germs)
  2. Gum (I’m not a fan of stinky breath)
  3. Lipstick (a bright lip makes the day better)

 Your favourite moment with Pink Tank:

I have two!

  1. The Pink Tank Photo Shoot
  2. Our most recent NextGen Event (I’m still feeling inspired)

 Name a goal of yours:

To create something on my own that will inspire others.

 Your go-to drink at Starbucks:

White Chocolate Mocha and/or a Chai Tea Latte.

 A must have app:

I love photos and being creative with them. #NoCrop and PicLab are great photo apps.

 Cat or dog lover:

Dog lover! (Cats kind of scare me).

 Name somewhere you would love to travel to:

Greece looks amazing in photos… so I can only imagine what it would be like in person!

 Favourite quote:

The dream is free…But the hustle is sold separately.



Its all about Xpocity!


Ladies, there is a new event concept in town! Have you heard about XpoCity? It is the “new” trade show concept that is evolving to the next generation. Gone are the days of the old expo’s that focus on solely one concept. XpoCity represents the everyday woman of Vancouver and all aspects of her life including: Home, Health/Fitness, Beauty/Fashion, Business/Career and Food. By showcasing local premium businesses and highlighting some of the best products and services the city has to offer, XpoCity is designed to bring the ultimate social experience to the Vancouver woman.

We love how this is a chance for networking combined with exclusive promotions and services including a mini manicure bar, last extensions, hair styling with Moroccan Oil, and wine tasting. Did we mention that our favourite author, Megan Williams will also be there signing “Our Interrupted Fairytale“?

XpoCity was created by the Socialettes, Prinka and Sonal, who have impressed us from our very first introduction. We know you will love them as well as the concept behind XopCity.

The event is this Thursday, September 25th and starts at 4:00pm. For anyone in the Pink Tank Community, we have a special promo code that will help you get a 20% off your ticket. Click HERE to get your ticket and enter your promo code “pinktankcity”.

Can’t wait to see you there!

The Pink Tank Team xo





Do you Bleed For Fashion?


Meet Lilyanne Nguyen – the brains and beauty behind the blog

Written by Ashley Basran

We recently had the pleasure of getting to know Lily Nguyen, Fashion and Lifestyle blogger of the Bleed for Fashion blog. Lily is not only incredibly chic, she is also deeply honest with her audience. We admire her willingness to be extremely truthful and raw about personal experiences and challenges that she faces in her life. Read on to learn more about how Bleed For Fashion came to be, as well as where Lily finds her daily inspiration for her stylish outfits to her heartfelt blog posts.

Q. How did Bleed for Fashion start and how has it become the successful blog that it is today?

A. It all started in 2009. I created an account on Chictopia and was immediately inspired by bloggers like Rumi of Fashion Toast and Lulu of LULU AND YOUR MOM. Wanting a creative outlet of my own, eventually I decided to start my own blog. Incorporating both fashion and lifestyle content, the rest is history.
Q. What kind of tips can you offer to those who want to dabble in the world of blogging? 

A. Well, I can really only speak to fashion blogging. It’s easy to fall victim to the pressure of keeping up with trends, partnerships, etc. This is why I always remind anyone interested in starting a fashion blog of their own to have an objective first. It seems like everyone and their mother has a blog these days, so you really need to work hard at staying true to yourself. In a world where we often lose ourselves in the crowd, it’s important to hold onto your individuality.
Q. If you could give your 21 year old self some advice, what would it be?

A. That’s easy; I’d tell myself to SAVE MY DAMN MONEY. I wrote a blog post about it, too.
Q. Writers block is extremely frustrating. How do you find inspiration and the motivation to keep yourself writing?

A. I experience this often, as I’m not a great writer by any means. When I need inspiration, I’ll go read a few of my favourite blogs and more than often than not, find my motivation there.
Q. Ok so your outfits are always on point (seriously, always). How do you decide to put together your stylish clothes?

A. Haha thanks! When putting together an outfit, I usually start with picking out the shoes I want to wear first, then I work my way up.
Q. What kind of apps can you not go a day without?

A. Facebook and Instagram.
Q. What are two must read novels that you’ve recently read?

#GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.


Finish these sentences… 

Fashion… is not a luxury; it’s a way of life.

When I’m stressed… I like to go for a bike ride and find a nice quiet spot to read.

Blogging… can be so one dimensional sometimes.

I love… my boyfriend and our dog, Maximus.


Follow Lily here:

facebook | twitter | instagram

Behind the Scenes with Megan Williams, author of “Our Interrupted Fairytale”


Girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love, girl and boy live happily ever after. Sound familiar? That is the typical love story that has had made many careers in Hollywood. Our Interrupted Love Story completely goes against this formula and is a true love story in every way imaginable. It takes the reader on a journey from how they meet, the obstacles they encountered, how they fell in love and how they dealt with the “threesome” of multiple myeloma.

Right from the first chapter it taps into the full gamut of emotions ranging from happiness and laughter to incredible, deep sadness. Even writing this we still get overcome with emotion at some parts of the book! Beyond the incredible sadness though is pure inspiration. Inspiration in the sense that Megan wrote this book as a way to capture and honour their memories; in the sense that Megan self published this book (yes, self published!) and in the sense that Megan is so genuine and true to the book.

We had a chance to meet with Megan and jumped on it! Reading the book, it is written in such a way that you feel like you are life long friends with Megan and Chad. Meeting Megan in person was exactly the same way. She is extremely warm and friendly, great sense of humour, fantastic fashion sense (we had to add this!) and very genuine. Excited to meet her, we arrived at Crema, a cozy, delicious café right by the water in West Vancouver that was her home away from home while writing most of the book. Having just finished reading the book, we were empathetic, heart broken, a tad emotional and eager to meet Megan for the “behind-the-scenes” scoop about the book and the woman behind it all. Below is what Megan has to say to our Pink Tank community:

How did the book come to be?

She finished the entire manuscript in a year. With the help of a couple editors, the manuscript became the finished work. After approaching publishers to take on her book, she ran into some road blocks and ended up self publishing her book. Voila! Our Interrupted Fairytale was born. Self publishing turned out to be a gift as she had control over the book, the title (which we absolutely love!), the “characters”, etc. She could literally create the book she envisioned.  Right down to the colour of the wording (the colour of multiple myeloma), the “ribbon” running through the title (which also resembles a heart ECG) and the story as it truly happened.

What are you hoping people take away from reading this book?

“I’m hoping to give people a chance to meet and get to know Chad. And to show people that no matter how big the fight is, it will always be worth it”. Spoiler alert: He’s awesome, and you really get to know Megan and Chad’s relationship throughout the story. It’s not just a book bringing awareness of a certain disease; it’s a book with a life and an inspiring story behind it.

As Bloggers ourselves, we asked Megan what she does to battle writers block and if she had any creative suggestions?

“I focused on writing 1,000 words a day, every day until I was finished writing the book. It gave me a set goal to work with”. Serendipitous advice from a famous author she met while traveling on a bus to NYC.

She also found “listening to podcasts on screenwriting helpful, setting the difference between excuses and discipline (i.e. what you want to get done, versus what you’re going to get done)”. Willpower is a must for an author (and for anyone with a tangible goal!).

What was the biggest surprise in this whole process?

After much thought, she answered that she “was surprised with how well received the book is and that Chapters decided to take it on”. This was not just a “decision” but a strategic effort on Megan who successfully went into territory that only books backed by publishing companies usually take on. She did this with determination and focus (and great negotiation and people skills!) and asked them to give her a target to hit. She crushed the target and the book expanded into other stores in B.C.

Advice for the next generation?

“Being disciplined and not letting excuses get the better of you”.  Simple but effective advice. Megan wrote this book in a year committing to 1,000 words per day. Every single day. She did all of this while working a full time job as well, we might add. This took extreme dedication, focus and commitment.

One thing you want people to leave with?

“Love is always worth it. Doesn’t matter the ending, if you love someone that deeply it will always be worth it”.

Time for some quick and rapid fire one word answer questions!

Vancouver is,,, “awesome. I changed my mind! It is my favourite place in the world”.

I am inspired by… “selflessness”.

I love… “sparkles”.

Favourite tennis stroke… “forehand roller”

Colour of her Jimmy Choos… “nude”

Heels or flats… “flats”

After meeting with Megan, we were more than inspired to write this blog post! Such an incredible story that honours the memories between two amazing people. We hope we have inspired you to run out any buy a copy or order it through Amazon. It will not disappoint. A quick disclaimer: make sure to have tissues nearby when reading!

Did we mention we’re giving you a chance to meet Megan Williams and chat with her yourself? On Thursday evening, September 4th, we’ll be getting together at Salt, Gastown to discuss everything and anything about “Our Interrupted Fairytale”. Tickets for this are $40.00 and include one glass of wine and tapas (and fabulous ladies with conversations!). The remaining 100% of the ticket will be donated to the charity. To RSVP, click HERE

The Inside Scoop…

imageimage 2

The Inside Scoop… on the fabulous woman behind Styling the Inside, Jamie Dunlop.

Ladies, meet Jamie. She was recently nominated one of Vancouver’s Top 30 Mom bloggers after having a blog for less than a year. An impressive feat! Her blog posts are honest and inspiring and written in such a way that you can completely relate to her. We love her recent Fashion Friday post which is all about breaking out of routine which can overcome a lot of us. We love any blog which focuses on a little statement necklace here and there! Read on to find out what inspires her, what she loves most about blogging and her advice for the next generation.

1. Congratulations on becoming one of Vancouver’s Top 30 Mom Bloggers! How has this nomination inspired you and your blog?

Thank you. Becoming one of Vancouver’s Top  30 mom bloggers surprised me, big time! This honour has inspired me to connect more with other bloggers, and to blog more frequently. I daydream in blogs ALL the time.  Everything I do could potentially be my next  post!

2.What do you love most about blogging?

Styling the Inside is my online diary that I get to share with the world! I find blogging very therapeutic. When my words and life experiences are relatable and have an impact on others, it fills my heart with so much joy. I love a good challenge and my blog  definitely challenges me, forces me to become tech savvy and think outside of the box.

3.  What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people who use their lives to make a difference. These types of people are not only living for themselves, but also for the betterment of our world. We all know that making a difference within ourselves is the first step in making a difference around us, therefore I am  especially inspired by individuals who make personal development a top priority.

4.  What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of myself for overcoming my fear of what others think.  This is me, imperfections and all, take it or leave it! The amount of weight you feel when you are wrapped up in what other people think of you, feels like a ton of bricks on your shoulder. When you let go, you feel as light as a feather, ready to tackle more important stuff, like what you think of yourself!

5. Any advice for the next generation?

My advice for the next generation who are living in a world with so much pressure to be like everyone else, where their self-esteem is validated by the number of likes they receive through their social media feeds is this; if you know your own heart and think the truth, you will always have a friend who doesn’t lie.

I love….. CARBS and deep conversations.

Vancouver is…. full of culture, beauty and diversity.

Life is….. what you make it, so make it a memorable one!

If you could go back in time…. I would go back to my adolescent self and tell her that I love her!