Health & Happiness MATTER – How Happy Are You?

The writing is on the walls…literally.  Scribbled all over the MOV’s latest exhibit.  

I am usually rather bored with DEFINITIONS

I am usually rather bored with DEFINITIONS

why? will that add to my happiness?

Why? wouldn’t that work against happiness?

Health, wealth and happiness (usually signed on cards) are the three best wishes in the world but only one of those wishes are we able to be more in control of.  

I think mine stopped at 9

I’m leaving room for improvement

If you could rate your overall happiness on a scale between 1 and 10 (10 being the highest score), what would it be? If you were given a post-it note to write down what makes you happy, what would you write?  If you had to choose your happiest activity (besides having sex) what would you do?

You might be surprised to find out that attending a religious service ranked higher than having sex, according to a happiness graph meter at the Museum of Vancouver’s (MOV) latest exhibit appropriately entitled “THE HAPPY SHOW.”

Not being the religious type, I was surprised but not totally shocked since happiness means different things to different people.  Although when it comes to relationships with other people like family and friends, it seems we are all the same in rating it highest for personal happiness.

the screen changes while you pedal the stationery bike.

the screen changes while you pedal the stationery bike.

I was happy to be inside the MOV on an unpredictable Vancouver day that had periods of rain, hail and everything else in between.  Snippets of happiness include gumballs and ginger candy which were at the exhibit and made everything better.  This show is interesting, introspective, interactive and informative However, the exhibit will not make you happier or take away any anxieties.  A couple of hours spent there flew by so quickly.

If you're happy and you know it write a note

If you’re happy and you know it write a note

The exhibit reflects a 10-year exploration of happiness by award-winning designer, Stefan Sagmeister.  Sagmeister’s clients include HBO, the Rolling Stones (he designed album covers for them among other groups) and the Guggenheim Museum.  He has also delivered several popular and disarming TED talks, a few of which you can watch and listen to (with headphones) at this exhibit.  You will also get a sneak peek at the soon-to-be-released documentary, The Happy Film  (depicting experiments with meditation, cognitive therapy and mood-altering pharmaceuticals) which I will definitely go do see.happy2

A few interactive tidbits:

My friend and I were looking at a graph that indicated the happiness levels of those who were single, to those who were married or in a relationship. It claimed that men, if given the complete freedom to do exactly as they please, would do exactly as they please (surprise, surprise). A woman standing right behind me sighed and said “so true; my husband left me for my best friend.” She was on the low end of the happiness meter.happy8

Then while reading a wall that said the ancient Indian Sanskrit language contains sixteen words for happiness, while German includes none…..a man visiting from Germany standing right behind me said that that’s not true.  The German language apparently has three words and he wrote them down for me.  glücklich (happy), freude (which actually means pleasure) and frohlich (merry).  So I learned three German words today which mean almost the same thing – which made me somewhat happier to know.happy9

 I highly recommend this show which runs April 23 to Sept. 7happy3

In closing, it might seem crazy what I’m about to say but the link below is bound to give you a HAPPY lift:images (1)

We had to pick a random card.  My chosen card told me to try to make a stranger in the museum smile.  Does laughing count?

Photos: d. king

Feel-good Friday: Poetry in Motion

The next time someone tells you to go fly a kite “does anyone still say that?”

d. king - Kits Point

d. king – Kits Point

just do it!

A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;
because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.

A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won’t give up,
or the wind die down.

A kite is the last poem you’ve written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.”                                                                                                  – Leonard Cohen, The Spice Box of Earth

Speaking about flying high & feeling good:

It’s nearly time to raise a glass at the ever popular California Wine Fair featuring award-winning vintners , happening at the Vancouver Convention Centre on Monday, April 27. The fair is presented in partnership with California Wine, an organization not only committed to showcasing the fine wines of the Golden State, but also giving back to the communities.  Meet you there!

beauty – Divine Skincare

I’m very pleased to announce the launch of my new skincare lineSkin so Divine.skinsodivine - Copy - Copymakeup1It’s been in the works for many months being tested and approved by people of all ages with all sorts of different complexions and skin types.  I wanted to make sure it was fit for sale before announcing it on my blog.  It’s been meticulously but lovingly formulated and re-formulated to finally acquire the perfection it has now become. Yes, I’m aware of the multitude of products out there and have probably tried hundreds of them myself.  From Crème De La Mer to Dr. Hauschka,  you name it!  There are many good ones on the market.

What makes these any better?  It’s my personal choice to want to create something completely natural and effective from scratch using high quality ingredients that are proven to be beneficial. I’m pretty picky – that’s all.natural1

About Skin so Divine:

The ingredients used to create these four products were sourced from the world’s finest from my various travels. I’m always curious wherever I go to find out what local natural products women with beautiful skin are using.  For instance in Brazil I discovered (well apparently I wasn’t the first one) the benefits of Maracuja oil. Maracuja oil contains 72.6 % linoleic acid, which is an omega- 6 fatty acid. This data comes from just one source. This makes maracuja oil undoubtedly one of the best sources of linoleic acid on earth.  In Hawaii it was Kukui Nut Oil (This oil contains vitamins A, C, and E) and in Africa it was Pure Unrefined Organic Shea Butter which now many other skincare lines are incorporating into their product line but you have to make sure you get the right kind.  The face oil contains Baobab Oil from Africa. If you haven’t heard of it, the baobab is the most intriguing and probably the best known tree in Africa.  It is often referred to as the “upside-down” tree which can have a lifespan of up to 6,000 years.  Of course this doesn’t mean that if you use this oil you’ll live longer but the oil from this tree contains nearly equal amounts of saturated (33%), mono-unsaturated (36%) and poly-unsaturated (31%) fatty acids, and the essential linoleic acid is of special interest.

I found a great supplier for Camelia Oil which is made from the seeds of actual green tea and has outstanding moisture and emollient properties. It has been used for centuries for beautifying purposes by women in China and Japan. Geishas of Kyoto used to moisturize their skin and hair with this Camelia oil. Enough said! Samurai used to wipe their swords with the oil to protect it from rusting and corrosion, which is early evidence of its excellent antioxidant qualities. This is assurance that your face won’t rust.  I had to say this. It penetrates skin as fast as water, leaving it supple and hydrated. The oil contains mono-saturated essential fatty acids and very high in oleic acid (Omega 9 fatty acid). Camellia oil contains vitamins, A, B, and E and  Squalene, which is a natural component of human sebum. With age the deficiency of squalene results in dry skin, premature aging and wrinkles. So applying just a few drops of camellia seed oil replenishes this deficiency, protecting, nourishing and moisturizing skin.

Some of the other exotic oils used are Rosehip Seed, Sea Buckthorn and good old Coconut.  Some old standbys like Avocado, Jojoba and Apricot Kernel even out the line.

Many of these oils you have already heard of, now that they’ve gone mainstream but that doesn’t make them any less effective.  Some are easy to buy (like Lavender) and others are more difficult (like good carrot seed oil) and quite expensive (like Frankincense).  Some smell incredible (like Jasmine).  I enjoy the whole process.  I’m not looking to change the marketplace, just want to find my niche within the market and hope other women, like me will appreciate something simple, straightforward but rich in quality.skinsodivine - Copy - Copy (2)

What makes these products unique:

The Divine Makeup Remover is not only 100% natural but it will remove all your makeup (even waterproof mascara) gently, quickly and efficiently.  It’s a complete makeup remover to be used all over your face including eye area.

The Divine Facial Mist is beautifully hydrating, uplifting and smells heavenly.  It doubles as a toner (which you can use to remove any extra makeup remover if you feel like it).

The Divine Facial Oil is just that!  Use it alone at night after cleaning & spraying your face or in conjunction with your daytime moisturizer with SPF.  I like to mix a little with my daytime tinted moisturizer that has SPF.

The Divine Balm is the closest thing to a miracle product that I’ve come across so far (even if I dare say so myself). It completely melts into the skin around your eyes, lips and cuticles.  I even put it on my eyelashes before bedtime and sometimes during the day instead of mascara (just use your eyelash curler right after).

The products, even though completely natural do not have to be kept in your fridge.  Just try to keep them away from direct heat or sunlight.  A cooler dark place (like your bathroom cabinet or in the bedroom) is best.  For the time being they are being sold exclusively online.

And remember, you can be allergic to anything in any product, natural or otherwise.  Look at the ingredient listing to make sure.

For a complete listing please visit website:

Or; SHOP page on blogsite:

Style: Glamming up Gingham

When I think of gingham the first things that come to mind are usually old fashioned picnic table cloths and quaint Italian restaurants and the frock Dorothy wore from the Wizard of Oz (one of my & my mom’s favourite movies of all time). gingham2Then I came across these photos of Audrey Hepburn and Jane Fonda and these women look stylish & glamorous.
The fabric that’s been around forever and is more cutesy than sexy, is getting a makeover.

Diane von Furstenberg, Altuzarra and Michael Kors were all inspired to show gingham on their Spring 2015 runways, collectively creating the pattern's renaissance in the fashion world.

Diane von Furstenberg, Altuzarra and Michael Kors were all inspired to show gingham on their Spring 2015 runways, collectively creating the pattern’s renaissance in the fashion world.

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall

It’s been showing up on designer runways and on everything from cropped pants to suits and dresses. For me, the best way to wear it would be a little bit of fabric here and there like on the heel of a pair of shoes or on a shirt (which seems farm girl style when worn with jeans).

Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner

But these photos are giving us a few more ideas of ways to incorporate it into a wardrobe. From the photos you can see different looks from movie stars of yesteryear to today’s glamour girls.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

THE FASHION SHOOT Model Candice Swanepoel is captured by Terry Richardson at the Grand Canyon in Dior for Harper's Bazaar's August 2013 issue, proving gingham can work in almost any location.

Model Candice Swanepoel is captured by Terry Richardson at Monument Valley in Dior for Harper’s Bazaar’s August 2013 issue, proving gingham can work in almost any location.

Brigitte Bardot inspired dozens of style moments, from her iconic cat eye makeup to bouffant hair and black headbands. Here, she proves that a sweet gingham dress can have a sultry side.

Brigitte Bardot inspired dozens of style moments, from her iconic cat eye makeup to bouffant hair and black headbands. Here, she proves that a sweet gingham dress can have a sultry side.

What goes around comes around…or never left.

It fashion girl Alexa Chung

It fashion girl Alexa Chung from “House of Style”

I’m liking it.

Diane Von Furstenburg Spring/Summer 2015 Ad Campaign.

Diane Von Furstenberg Spring/Summer 2015 Ad Campaign.

Source: Bazaar Magazine

CooKing – Crazy for Curry

It’s been too long since I made an Indian curry. curry3Now that I have I won’t leave it so long until the next time.  Kind of crazy because curries are one of my favourite foods.

This recipe from scratch comes courtesy (sort of) from a friend’s grandmother who was from England and lived in India for many years.  When I used to visit her she always fed me this amazing curry and I always wanted her recipe.  Only thing was she didn’t have one.  So I asked her to invite me over the next time she made it and I sat and watched and copied down everything she put into it.  This is the way I work sometimes.

A lot of the spices you might already have.  If not, buy them and you’ll be using them over and over again.  Plus these are so beneficial (especially turmeric) for you health wise.

Chicken Currycurry4Chicken (either 1 medium chicken, disjointed with the skin removed, or boneless chicken pieces).

3 Tbsp. organic coconut oil

3 medium onions (finely sliced – they boil down)

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1 tsp. powdered ginger

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. coriander

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. allspice

½ tsp. dried mustard


Juice from ½ squeezed lemon

3 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. ketchup

  • Season dry chicken with dry spices (mix of lemon pepper, masala curry powder & everyday seasoning). Rub all over chicken.
  • Brown chicken with a bit of oil in an oven-proof skillet. Sauté on all sides until nicely browned & remove from pan.
  • Next, in the same skillet heat the 3 Tbsp. of oil & sauté the onions until slightly brown.
  • Mix all ingredients (omitting the lemon juice, yogurt & ketchup) with half vinegar & half cold water to form a paste. About 4 tsp. of each (not too thick but not watery).
  • Drop paste into skillet with onions & fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring over medium heat.
  • Place cut up chicken pieces in skillet & cook on both sides – stirring to prevent sticking.
  • Add 1 cup of hot water or *chicken stock (I prefer using stock) and simmer with lid on and cook until tender. At least 30 minutes. Do not let liquid dry out – if so then add more water.
  • When cooked through add the lemon juice, plain yogurt & ketchup to skillet and stir well until mixed thoroughly.
  • Serve with plain white *basmati rice (well rinsed) or savoury rice. Don’t forget to get your add-ons like lime pickle & mango chutney.  Also Tandoori Naan bread. Some of the breads now you can put right into the toaster. Garnish with cilantro.

    sweet mango chutney, lime pickle & mango/coconut sauce.

    sweet mango chutney, lime pickle & mango/coconut sauce.

*For this recipe I prefer using plain basmati and mix a bit of raisins or currants, a little peas & carrots and sliced almonds into the pot at the end. Top with saffron.

For savoury just add a bit of curry powder & turmeric.  Use bouillon in hot water for the liquid.



ART Specific: See Sawing around New York Art Galleries

Have you heard about this new ART App, called *See Saw Map that started in New York?

Kiss by Judith Henry

Kiss by Judith Henry

It makes perfect sense since NYC has so many great galleries.

Besides the big ones (MoMa, Guggenheim,The Met) there are tons of smaller galleries that are spread across lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Since it’s one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in New York, many people have already fallen for this new app which shows you all of the exhibitions taking place.install_right_wall_180_dpi_lYou can search by locality or artist — and it will also bring up all of the information on each plus flag any exhibits that might be closing soon (so you don’t miss a thing). It covers all of the art happening in New York City and Brooklyn with plans to soon expand to other cities like Los Angeles. What a great idea!

Here is a current showing I find interesting observing the roles people play (similar to the fly on the wall).


Red Nails

Red Nails



Judith Henry April 9-May 16, 2015
Conceptual Artist Judith Henry brings her fascination with humankind closer to home – casting herself as the protagonist of powerful mixed-media compositions that explore the various roles we play.
Judith Henry has spent her career bringing the proverbial “faces in the crowd” into focus, incorporating snippets of overhead conversation or a snapshot of a passerby into her artworks.
**Bravinlee programs is pleased to present two new series of work by Judith Henry; Me as Her and The Artist is Hiding,
For over 40 years, Judith Henry has created evocative multimedia artworks that explore the friction between our interior lives and public selves. Henry’s projects often re-purpose documentary materials like newspapers, telephone books and film clips in poignant explorations of identity and loss.
In a series of black and white photographs, Me As Her, Henry continues her long-standing practice of remaining hidden/masked within her work. She re-imagines herself behind masks of significant and accomplished women who have died.

Henry as Lucille Ball

Henry as Lucille Ball

The photo-masks themselves reveal very little about the personality they depict, underlining the truth that there is little any of us can know about who we see and who sees us. The photographs are shot in available light, on location near her home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The appearance of Henry’s hands is itself a reflection of her own aging process and an important signature of each piece.

Henry as Josephine Baker

Henry as Josephine Baker

Sometimes the mask informs the painting; sometimes the reverse is true. Once again, Henry’s hands are the only part of her that is visible and thus the only clue to her identity.

For over three decades, Henry traversed the streets of New York City secretly photographing and eavesdropping (so be careful what you say) on the people she encountered, resulting in her Overheard Book Series published by Universe/Rizzoli (2000-2002). The series consists of four books: Overheard at the Museum, Overheard at the Bookstore, Overheard While Shopping and Overheard in Love. In 2006 Atria published Overheard in America; New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami. images

*ART App:
**BravinLee programs is a contemporary art gallery in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.  Address: 526 West 26th Street #211, New York, NY
Source: Introspective Magazine on the website (luxury re-sale website):

Contemplating Impressions

Leave a positive footmark on people’s lives by not stepping on their

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Be aware of people’s patterns. People tend to keep the same patterns.  Some make lovely patterns and some make dreadful ones.

The scariest thing about distance is that you don’t know whether they’ll miss you or forget you.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook (I loved this movie).

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. – Maya Angelou

Relationships are a Merry-go-Round

Right Person, Wrong Time

Right Time, Wrong Person,

Right Time, Right Person, Wrong Ending

And life goes on…

Health MATTERS: I’ve found my Perfect MATCHA

I’ve gone back to steeping green tea in the afternoon. 20150417_140601I know this trend has been brewing (ha, ha) for years now and I don’t mind taking on a trend that I know (if all the consensus is correct) will benefit me in a healthy way.20150416_191549I’ve been putting matcha green tea powder into smoothies for ages and even add it to melted white chocolate (which turns it a pretty green colour as opposed to when you add it to dark chocolate).
Pouring hot water over the tea leaf itself and/or the bright green matcha powder (I like to mix both) rather than steeping a tea bag delivers more of the signature *antioxidants that have powerful effects on the body.

Why GO GREEN?greentea1The antioxidants (it’s loaded with*metabolism boosting and hard to pronounce names like polyphenols which contain **flavonoids and catechins) found in green tea battle the free radicals that can alter and even kill cells. Green tea has been shown to help fight a number of diseases, from cancer to diabetes. It is unfermented, whereas black or oolong teas are at least partially fermented. This allows green tea to retain its natural antioxidant levels better than the other types.
One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate ( a type of catechin), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.
As an added health benefit, theanine (an amino acid found in particular plant species) in green tea can help you manage stress and stay relaxed. These relaxing effects, which are usually experienced within 40 minutes after drinking green tea, are caused by the ability of theanine to stimulate the generation of alpha brain waves. The generation of alpha brain waves has been directly linked to mental relaxation.

This is good to know as for the last several weeks I’ve been experiencing what can best be described (by me, not a doctor) as tiny and sometimes not so tiny anxiety attacks.  I’ve never had this before and I believe they’re due to a few contributing factors beyond my control that have taken place, that I’m sure over time will come to pass.  I don’t believe in taking pills for every little thing (this goes for even taking common aspirin) unless really needed which is extremely rare.  So tea time is “me time” in the meantime to help reduce unwanted stress.

To double my free radical fighting strategies I am now adding sliced ginger to the pot. Green Tea & Ginger – any reason not to?

*When your metabolism is cranked into high gear, your body will burn more energy, which in turn can help you lose excess body weight (another benefit we don’t mind).

**Antioxidants, as you may already know, are health-benefiting molecules that slow down aging and guard against disease. According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the antioxidant capacity of foods and drinks, green tea is superior to black tea in terms of antioxidant capacity. It appears that the enzymatic oxidation process (fermentation) used in the preparation of black tea leaves is responsible for the weaker antioxidant activity of black tea.

Now I just need to add meditation to the mix.istock
What do you do to help yourself relax?

Feel-good Friday: the Simple Life

Here I am leaving my cozy chateau to get into my car to go for a little spin.  Do you like my outfit?

mercedes1In my Dreams.  But part of this is not so far fetched, because dreams really do come true.images

Am I really that selfish, shallow maybe a teeny bit and self-absorbed? There’s more to life than castles, cars and clothes! Really?

Have a Fabulous Friday!

beauty: J’aime JOUER

Meet JOUER Luminizing Moisture Tint

Jouer or to play in French is the playful name of a beauty line created by beautiful and busy mother of two, Christina Zilber.luminizing-moisture-tint_0_2

I sampled the Jouer golden & pearl tinted moisturizers recently and loved the texture and sheer hint of colour.  Infact, these are more hydrating than the one I previously used from Laura Mercier which is surprising since so many people swear by Laura Mercier.

JOUER has formulas filled with serious skincare ingredients like Ginseng and Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract.  Christina likes to say it is “beauty with skincare included.”  And as a busy mother of two, she wanted her products to do double duty.  And I think many people are looking for this effortless approach to beauty while still maintaining consistency.christina2PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

This lightweight moisturizing tint evens out imperfections and fades the appearance of fine lines with its light-diffusing multi-mineral formula. SPF 20 protects from UVA and UVB rays while natural ingredients deliver antioxidants to skin, promoting a healthy complexion. Light to Medium coverage.  50 mL / 1.7 fl oz

Oil Free. Hypoallergenic. Non comedogenic. Fragrance Free. Perfect for all skin types.


Apply to clean skin to even out skin tone. Layer for additional coverage.

Spotted at Wish List Boutique – 2811 West Broadway, Vancouver. Price: $40.00