Contemplating Songbirds – Nina and Amy

Next up on my doc list are these two, which also happen to be about two of my favourite singers:

High Priestess of Soul – Nina Simone song1

The documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.  It chronicles her extraordinary life using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs.

The film examines the woman behind the legend, from her childhood as a musical prodigy to her role as a prominent civil rights activist, touching on the beautiful and also troubling moments of her life. It paints a more complex portrait of the famous musician than you might imagine, even spotlighting her complicated relationship with her daughter. It’s just been released on NetflixTake a moment to WATCH THE CLIP:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moOQXZxriKY

FADE to BLACK:

Singer Amy Winehouse performs during the MTV Europe Awards ceremony in Munich in this November 1, 2007 file photo.  Winehouse has been found dead at her home in north London, Sky News reported on July 23, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/Files  (GERMANY - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT OBITUARY) BRITAIN-WINEHOUSE/ BRITAIN-WINEHOUSE/ BRITAIN-WINEHOUSE/

Singer Amy Winehouse performs during the MTV Europe Awards ceremony in Munich in this November 1, 2007 file photo.

An original! Brilliant, troubled Amy Winehouse sadly passed on way too early.  The more people see me the more they’ll realize all I’m good for is making music.”

The world would have embraced a lot more where that came from.

Have a PEEK:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Za3lZcrzzcM

I never get tired of listening to these two artists.  Their music is timeless.

How about you – Is there a documentary high up on your list that you can’t wait to watch?

what MATTERS…in your DREAMS

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night – Edgar Allan Poedream1Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities – FRANK BAUM, intro, The Lost Princess of Oz.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE LIVING INSIDE ME DURING THE WEE HOURS?

I’ve always been curious about what dreams mean and lately I’ve been having some very poignant dreams so it was timely that I happened to come across this:

“IF YOU LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THESE LIVELY CHARACTERS, THEY WILL LEAD YOU TOWARDS WHOLENESS, BALANCE, AND REGENERATION.”

Carder Stout came late to the world of psychotherapy: After working for Warner Brothers and then branching out to do his own thing in the film industry, he went back to school for his Masters in Psychology in 2004 (he’ll be completing his PhD in August). One of the lovely things about Carder’s approach is that his goal with all patients (he’s a licensed psychotherapist and dream analyst, who also specializes in addiction) is to ensure that they don’t need him for long—he coaches people until they can get off the couch, rather than enabling them to settle in too deeply. As part of this (and as a Jung disciple), he urges his clients to look inside. As he explains, the method “focuses on deciphering the origins of recurring thoughts, behavioral patterns, negative feelings, and images from both waking life and dreams. The object of depth psychotherapy is to shine a light on the unknown and bring the unconscious parts of psyche into consciousness. This helps to restore balance and increase levels of happiness in all aspects of life.” In short, Carder believes dreams are as real as anything else you might experience over the course of a day. Below, he explains how to decode the imagery.

All of the figures in our dreams represent aspects of ourselves. We are incredibly diverse and complicated beings. There is not one but many of us present at any given moment. You are a mother, a businesswoman, a friend, a chef, an artist, a diva, and a romantic all in the same breath. The multiple people living inside you are called personas. So, if you dream about an encounter with a painter or writer, you are dreaming about the creative energy inside your psyche. If you dream about having lunch with a group of children, you are viewing the childlike qualities that remain with you. A dream filled with angels corresponds to your most spiritual nature. You can glean hidden insight from these wonderful sleepy-time excursions with your personas. Perhaps you need to pay more attention to that childlike essence, artistic nature, or spiritual side. If you listen carefully to these lively characters, they will lead you towards wholeness, balance, and regeneration.

The symbols that we dream about have significance as well. If you dream about traveling in a red car to a house with a blue door, mind the details. What do the colors red and blue mean to you? A door may symbolize making a transition in your life. Are you on your way to enter this new phase? Think about each element in the dream and see how it resonates. Are there any feelings attached with these objects? Are they real memories from your conscious life? If so, what do they represent? We call this process unpacking the dream images. Find how the images traverse the actual lines of your life. What do you remember? Often dream images will unlock memories from our childhood. Perhaps our earliest memories. What a blessing this is when it happens. Imagine that psyche is presenting you with something you forgot even existed. Maybe it was your old crusty sled or the wisp of a feather you held in your hand. Remember, it is appearing in your dream for a reason.

Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. – Oscar Wilde, The Critic as ArtistFullSizeRender

THE DREAM GLOSSARY

Common Themes

These are common dreams that many people have during different phases in their lives.

Losing teeth: This is a dream you may have when moving through a transition in life, i.e. moving, changing jobs, breaking up, etc. It simply means that you are growing out of one phase and into the next—like a child losing his/her teeth. Embrace the change!

Falling: This is a dream you may have when you are feeling overwhelmed. Symbolically, the earth beneath your feet has vanished and you don’t feel like you have solid footing or a firm foundation in life. Maybe you have taken on too much and need to slow down. Take care of yourself.

People You Know: When you dream about people you know it is only natural to interpret this at face value. This is not the case. Remember that the people in your dreams represent aspects of yourself. If you dream about a close friend, then think about their strongest character traits. If you think of them as being humble then you are dreaming about the humble side of yourself.

Flying: This can be a wonderful or scary dream. If you’re up in the sky looking down and feeling blissful like a bird, this simply means you’re gaining a new perspective on something. If you’re afraid, then this could mean you’re holding onto old ideas and do not want to change your understanding.

Losing Someone: This is another unsettling dream. We tend to be afraid that we will never find them again. If you dream that you are losing your child it refers to ignoring those childlike qualities in yourself. So, play more and stop being such a grown-up. If you lose your spouse there may be a need for you to address the masculine or feminine energy that pulses through you. Remember, you are the perfect blend of both.

Being Chased: This can be a frightening dream, often demonstrating that some unresolved part of your personality needs attention. Perhaps you are being dishonest with someone or are ignoring something that has been difficult to admit. This is a shadow dream and whatever chases you is simply an unwanted aspect of yourself. Do not ignore this or it will get bigger. If you feel you cannot move and are stuck this means that you feel helpless and are not sure how to address the issue.

Dying/Being Killed/Death: These can be disturbing and confusing dreams. Do not worry—this is not a premonition that your death is near. These dreams refer to a part of yourself having a symbolic death. What in your life that is slowly slipping away? Is it your anger or your lust? Is it your dream of becoming an actress? When something in us dies we go through a natural grieving process so don’t be surprised if you feel sad. You are saying good-bye to something you have known. This can actually be a good thing as you may be losing something that was not serving you anymore. If it is someone who is killing you then you are probably in conflict about letting go. Your narcissistic need for adoration could be killing your hope for real intimacy.

Naked: This can be an unsettling dream. It refers to the fact that you feel unprotected and vulnerable, as though the shield you have put up is not working and people can now see the real you. This may create anxiety, because in our most natural form we are exposed for all to see. You may feel unprepared and shy to show the real you. Don’t worry, you’re beautiful.

Home: If you’re dreaming about a house, castle, or other structure you are usually dreaming about the unconscious part of yourself called psyche. There may be many rooms filled with different artifacts, furniture, or people. These may represent different times in your life, your personas, feelings, or character traits. Look around you and pay attention to what you see. Bring those wonderful elements back with you into consciousness. They will be fun to play with.

Water: Water represents the unconscious. Submerging in any body of water means exploring your psyche. Enjoy!

Common Archetypes

Keep in mind that all of these Archetypes live inside you and may appear at different moments in your life.

The Soul: This is our most authentic being and spiritual essence. In a woman’s dream the soul is represented by an attractive, alluring, confident, dashing man. In a man’s dream the soul is represented by a beautiful, kind, nurturing woman. Are you feeling centered, balanced, and whole? Will you pass that loving energy on to those around you?

The Shadow: This is the repressed and unwanted part of our personality. The things we do not like about ourselves. Our dishonesty, addictions, fear, and anger. In a woman’s dream this is represented by a frightening, strange, decrepit woman. In a man’s dream this is represented by an ugly, destructive, and undesirable man. What unwanted character trait is knocking at the door? If you try to hide, the knocks will get louder.

The Hero: Represented by a dominant male/female figure who is valiant and brave. A rescuer or a champion. A warrior. Someone who can slay the dragon. This figure may show up when you’re feeling challenged in your life and have to overcome difficult obstacles. Are you battling something difficult in your life?

The Divine Child: This image is represented by a beautiful boy or girl with radiance and hope. This figure may appear during periods of new beginnings, reinventing yourself, a spiritual rebirth, and a time of cleansing. Would a change be good for you?

The Wise Old Man: This image is represented by a kind, aged, softened man or woman. This figure will appear when you are learning something new about yourself, acquiring wisdom, making a smart choice, or have a thirst for knowledge and understanding. Is it time to remember what you have learned?

The Trickster: This dream image is often represented by a coyote or a slick, shifty-looking character. When there is dishonesty deceit, or a sense of betrayal in your life the trickster may appear in your dream. Do you not trust someone who is close to you?

The Good Mother: When you are filled with maternal energy, the archetype of the good mother may appear as a wholesome, loving, nurturing, kind woman who is a protector and teacher. Do you need to mother some aspect of yourself that feels neglected?

The Good Father: The dream image is of a powerful, decisive, strong man who takes control. This archetype may be present when you feel a need to surge forward and get things done without too much thought or emotion. Is it time to take control and be proactive about that thing you have been putting off?

God Image: This dream image may be represented by a Divine Maternal or Paternal figure, a shining star, a planet, the sun, or Mother Nature. This archetype appears in our dreams when we are ready to embrace and surrender to our most spiritual side. Do you believe in God?

The Orphan: Represented as a sad boy or girl who is lost and alone. This powerful archetype may appear in our dreams when we feel left out, disconnected with others, ignored by someone we love, and in need of guidance. Is there some aspect of yourself that needs attention? A part of you that feels lonely?

The Lover: If you are feeling a swell of sexual energy, being intimate with a partner, or have new romance in your life, you may dream about the lover archetype. This will be represented by images of flowers, sexual encounters, intertwined hands, and a sense of belonging. Is it time for a romantic getaway?

“IF YOU ARE A WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN DREAMING ABOUT A MALE FIGURE WHO IS HANDSOME, INTRIGUING, SEXY, WHOLESOME, AND FAMILIAR, YOU ARE DREAMING ABOUT YOUR SOUL.”  Shucks!

The Rebel: This is shown as the rule breaker, free, and uninhibited, the wild child who calls for the revolution. If you are at a crossroads in your life and are frustrated with conventional living this archetype may show up. Do you need to stand up for your beliefs and tell the truth?

How about a Mermaid that flies above the sky and is afraid of water?

Source (Carder Stout): goop.com

And to my FRIENDS and FAMILY in the USA:

HAPPY 4th of JULY

HAPPY 4th of JULY

Feel-good Friday: HELP?!

I just met this cool new guy a few days ago and it’s already moving so quickly.

Bangkok Jack

Bangkok Jack

His name is Jack. He’s much younger than my current guy but I like his energy. He’s adorable, lean & muscular with tons of personality, makes me laugh only he’s a bit of a player.  I was warned he has a way with the ladies.

Also, isn’t it a bit too early for him to be showing signs of possessiveness?Jack5Jack & Jia Jia

I like it here

I like it here

He no sooner got off the plane from Thailand that our eyes met, love at first sight and then what do we do? We end up sleeping together, but only cuddling. It’s a bonus that he gets along with my dog.

He was looking for some action here in Vancouver so I took him to Mahony and Sons on his second night for the view. What did he do? He got bored and fell asleep right on my lap then after a few rounds he ended up under the table.

This is how we roll

This is how we roll

?

Before we rolled out of here & my hat fell overboard and I almost went overboard

Is he ever going home? Or don't tell me....

Is he ever going home? Or don’t tell me….because then I might have to throw him overboard.

But today we went for a rum run and he kept up right alongside me.  So far so good, but we’ll see how it goes. You never know with these smooth types. I might be in trouble.

Happy Birthday Beautiful!

I’m talking about you, CANADA! 

Celebrate which ever way you see fit

Celebrate whichever way you see fit

You’ve got a lot going for you.  You’re still relatively young compared to your peers,  attractive in a natural sense, multi-cultural, well mannered, fairly safe place to live compared to most & as the second largest country in the world, you boast endless lakes and rivers, access to three oceans, and one of the few places in the world where you can ski, surf and play golf on the same day.

Here are a few other reasons to love you:

You have a lot of talent:

Funny mad men like Jim Carrey (below), Mike Myers, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Seth Rogan and Will Arnett. Just to name a few.  Hey, we are funny aren’t we?

AppleMark

Canadians make music that’s heard all over the world. Just to name a few – from Paul Anka to Justin Bieber, this country knows how to make music that sells. We’re well represented by such diverse artists as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Diana Krall, David Foster, Bryan Adams,  Alanis Morissette, Michael Buble, k.d. lang, Gordon Lightfoot, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan, Drake and Anne Murray.

And there’s always hockey, beer and let’s not forget about poutine.  I won’t talk about politics though (uggh!).

And we’re always very sorry.  I don’t know why politics? but we are a sorry lot.  I guess we have a lot to be sorry about ay?

Well I’m not sorry to be Canadian, having lived in three great cities (Montreal, Toronto & Vancouver) and travelled all over this country.  We have a lot to be proud of.

célébrations d’anniversaire heureux

Capital Hill - Ottawa

Capital Hill – Ottawa

July & August on the blog :  From now until the end of August I will post what I want when I want which could turn out to be every day, every other day or a few times a week. Just wanted to let you know in case I miss a day here and there.  S U M M E R T I M E

Confectionately Yours: MEYER LEMON TART

Lemon tarts are one of my favourite desserts. Chef James Henry from the restaurant Bones in Paris has perfected the lemon tart, according to Garance Doré and her team who visited the restaurant while in Paris. He shares his recipe which is big enough for a large dinner party, or to last you a while if you’d prefer not to share.  

bones_lemon-tart_garance-dore_11

For Pastry:

2 ¾ cups of pastry flour (preferably *type 55 bio which is an organic lump-free wheat flour from France – which is what they used for this recipe).  You can use all-purpose.

5 oz. malted barley powder

2 ¾ cups butter

2 ¾ cups sugar    

1/4 tsp. salt      

1 egg yolk

5 oz. milk  

Mix dry ingredients, stir.  Add butter and fold in.  Finish with wet ingredients, stirring to an even consistency.

For Frangipane (filling):
1 1/8 cup almond powder
1 1/8 cup soft butter
1 1/8 cup icing sugar
4 eggs
Zest of two lemons

Mix sugar, flour and butter until combined to a good consistency
Add eggs and stir to finish

Plus: 10 meyer lemons for slicing

Directions:

Roll out pastry and fit evenly to a large tart shell, put in fridge to rest for two hours
Slice 10 meyer lemons finely crosswise and remove all seeds
Blind bake shell until golden, let cool and then fill with frangipane
Layer thin lemon slices on top of frangipane
Bake in oven at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil and bake for another 20 minutes
Check regularly by inserting a small knife – if it comes out dry, tart is ready

*the type flour they use

*the type flour used for this recipe – see #’s below.

Voila ! Bon appetit !

Bones / 43, Rue Godefroy Cavaignac – 75011 Paris, France

 

 

 

 

A lesson in numbers – for popular European flour types:

French flour type numbers indicate the ash content (in milligrams) per 10 g flour. The numbers are a factor 10 lower than the German types. Type 55 is the standard, hard-wheat white flour for baking, including puff pastries (“pâte feuilletée”). Type 45 is often called pastry flour, and is generally from a softer wheat (this corresponds to what older French texts call “farine de gruau”). Some recipes use Type 45 for croissants although many French bakers use Type 55 or a combination of Types 45 and 55. Types 65, 80, and 110 are strong bread flours of increasing darkness, and type 150 is a wholemeal flour. Note that there is no type 40 French flour like the German type 405, the closest is type 45.

ART of the Billionaire and the BROAD

Eli Broad inspires both admiration and fear in the L.A. art scene.

John Baldessari’s “Overlap Series: Palms (with Cityscape) and Climbers,” from Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection.COURTESY MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY

John Baldessari’s “Overlap Series: Palms (with Cityscape) and Climbers,” from Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection.  COURTESY MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY

Despite the enormous sprawl and diversity of Los Angeles, it still has the power dynamics of a small town. When people refer to “Eli,” everyone knows whom they mean.

Broad, a multibillionaire who made his money in the decidedly unglamorous businesses of tract housing and insurance, is the Lorenzo de’ Medici of Los Angeles—the city’s singular patron, especially of the arts – a man who can close his eyes and see the future.

Photo: Martin Schoeller

Photo: Martin Schoeller

After creating shareholder wealth by providing vital homebuilding and retirement savings services through the two Fortune 500 companies he created – KB Home and SunAmerica, Inc. – Eli Broad and Edythe, his wife of 57 years, are now devoting their time, energy and resources to philanthropy.

Although Broad is the subject of constant conversation, few people are willing to criticize him openly. He often declares that Los Angeles should not be a “one-philanthropist town,” but the lack of competition has worked to his advantage.

Los Angeles ranks forty-first in charitable giving among American cities, behind Minneapolis and Detroit. Still, Broad envisages L.A. as comparable to New York in its prominence and its cultural reach, and, in the past decade or so, it has indeed joined the world’s great art centers, with a thriving artists’ community, art schools, museums, and a rapidly increasing number of galleries and collectors.

In the sixties, when Broad started building his fortune in Los Angeles, the city had no serious opera, ballet, or theatre. It had a flourishing group of artists—Ed Ruscha, Robert Irwin, John Baldessari, Ken Price, Larry Bell, Edward Kienholz, and others—but they relied on New York galleries to show their work. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) didn’t open as an independent institution until 1965, nearly a hundred years after the Metropolitan Museum; it was built not with old money, like such institutions as the Whitney and the Frick, but, in part, with funds from an entertainment-business committee headed by Tony Curtis and Billy Wilder. The local attitude toward contemporary art was often unwelcoming. In 1966, LACMA showed Kienholz’s “Back Seat Dodge ’38,” which depicted a couple having sex in a car, and it provoked such an outcry that the county threatened to withdraw funding.

Broad apparently found a lot of contemporary art ridiculous.  In the beginning, he thought Roy Lichtenstein was a joke; now he has a major collection of Lichtenstein. He would ask everybody who was informed what their opinion was and put together his world view based on that. That’s what a good C.E.O. does.

For more than half a century, Broad has taken inspiration from a paperweight on his desk. On it is a quote from George Bernard Shaw: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

The Broads’ first major purchases were a van Gogh, a Miró, a Matisse, and a Modigliani. Broad saw that art brought entrée into a different kind of social life—one in which, travelling to any city in the world, he could have connections to artists, collectors, and dealers. “When you’ve got the big house, and you’re driving a Jaguar, what differentiates you from every asshole dentist in the Valley?” Shelley De Angelus, who worked for Broad as his curator in the eighties and nineties, said. “Art was a way for Eli to distinguish himself.”

Now the Broad’s are the philanthropists behind a new contemporary art museum being built on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles named appropriately, The BROAD.

The BROAD

The Broad

The Broad

The Broad has suffered some significant delays in opening, but on September 20th, when the doors do finally swing open, Angelenos can expect to find an entirely columnless, sky-lit gallery  designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. And then all the impatience will  surely be forgotten. The museum will house and continually exhibit Eli and Edythe (aka Edye) Broad’s collection of contemporary art, which is one of the largest and most significant worldwide. Plus, they’ve got great taste and have amassed large collections of works by artists like Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, and Christopher Wool. The fact that restaurateur Bill Chait of Bestia and Republique fame and Tim Hollingsworth of The French Laundry are teaming up on the restaurant next door should provide LA residents with even more incentive to head downtown.

broad3

The Broads - Eli & Edythe

Eli & Edythe Broad

Source: (for the Billionaire) condensed from a large article How Eli Broad took over Los Angeles by Connie Bruck for NewYorker.com

Something to look forward to in September…

Contemplating fairy godmothers & happy endings

cinderella4

In Charles Perrault’s Cinderella, he concludes the tale with the cynical moral that no personal advantages will suffice without proper connections.

Disney

Disney

When I was very little I was certain that I saw a fairy sitting on my window ledge one morning and it whispered my name. When I ran to the window to take a closer look it flew away.  Maybe it was just a grasshopper making a noise in the wind that sounded like my name, but I can still remember it vividly to this day.  I like to believe it was telling me that it would look out for me.

I still believe in angels

When I was three I was in the back seat of a taxi cab and leaned on the door and fell out onto a busy street wearing one of my little frilly dresses (of course).  My parents didn’t even notice right away perhaps they planned it? but I got up, brushed my dress off and started running like hell towards the car that dumped me. They were horrified as soon as they noticed me missing the next day a few seconds later.  Our family doctor paid a visit to the house to check on me later that day and couldn’t believe my luck – not one single scratch and not a mark on the dress.

Then on another occasion as much as I loved to swim, I almost drowned.  My mom caught me spinning around in the ocean waves (baby sitter nowhere to be seen) and pulled me out grasping for air just in the nick of time. The angels or the universe or a fairy godmother was looking out for me.   I almost changed my name to Deberella.

So let’s just collect our thoughts here for a second:

Disney

Disney

This “Fairy Godmother,” whose whole purpose in life is to make Cinderella happy, showed up for the first time EVER in NINETEEN YEARS to spoil her with materialistic things, FOR A F*****NG DANCE, and it will all only last for a few hours? YOU GAVE THIS POOR ORPHAN HAPPINESS THAT WILL LAST SHORTER THAN A LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIE?

Like where was this Fairy Godmother when she was forced to scrub floors?

Disney

Disney

Disney

Disney

But like all fairytales, there was a happy ending

Source: (for Disney photos & last paragraph) Christian Zamora  Staff Writer for BuzzFeed

what MATTERS: Mind-Body-Spirit

I’ve been giving more thought lately to the fact that there might be something to this mind.body.spirit (MBS) fixation.

to be more at peace

to be more at peace

MBS: It’s nothing new in life but now it seems we’re getting it shoved in our faces more and more. What with almost more yoga studios opening up than coffee shops and the latest trend (which is really an ancient practice) of meditative workshops.  I think it means we need help or at least direction.  MBS pretty much covers everything.  It encompasses our ‘whole’ being.  Infact the three work together as a unit to create a ‘whole’.  If all three are in sync you have more power. I thought I would touch on the subject of how it has affected me personally.  I’m working on all three areas simultaneously to expand my mind and improve my thinking, my body and create a general feeling of lightness and well being.

MIND

The mind is an amazing tool.  There really is no limit to how much you can learn if you set your mind to it.  You have to challenge yourself otherwise it’s too easy to get lazy.  I’m opening a new chapter in my life. I used to read all kinds of books so now I’m trying to get back to reading more often. I prefer non-fiction or fiction based on fact.  Books like Kite-Runner and Poisonwood Bible I couldn’t put down. I like books that teach you something.  I’m interested in language and am trying to make more of an effort to brush up on my Spanish. My blog was created out of having an inquisitive nature and an interest in many topics and a forum for things I care about. I’m wondering if I’ll ever run out of new things to talk about since I’ve written well over 1,000 posts to date. I never gave the numbers much thought until the WordPress people alerted me to that fact and said congrats.

I have an active imagination which sometimes works against me.  It lay dormant for quite some time but it’s being re-activated.

Once in grade school we had to write a composition incorporating satire so mine was entitled “Jet Black and the Seven Warts” (a rendition of the Snow White fairytale in case you didn’t get it).  It was about a beautiful black girl who had some issues to deal with.  The warts were really euphemisms for her troubles and her not being able to get past what she saw as warts and not feeling worthy.  The teacher took me aside but I got an A+.   

I try to use imagination in cooking too by taking different recipes and making them my own and even inventing new ones.  I like variety.  If I try something in a restaurant that I like I’ll try to re-create it at home as best I can without having the recipe.

When I was little and found out that the meat I was eating came from slaughtering an animal I told my mother I wanted to be a vegetarian.  Luckily I liked vegetables but she didn’t like that idea so she played a harmless little mind game with me telling me that there was another kind of meat that was really made out of vegetables, not animal…not too far off from what you can get today with tofu & tempeh, etc.  Anyway, I believed her and would always ask “what kind of meat are we eating, the kind from the animal or the one they made to taste like that?”  Of course we were really eating the animal but by the time I found out the truth 15 years old it was too late.  To this day I don’t eat veal, rabbit or lamb (unless we go to Stepho’s Greek restaurant and someone else orders the roast lamb & I have to sample it because it’s so good).  I have a thing against eating baby animals – it’s better if they have a life before I dig in.  I do have a conscience but it is somewhat hypocritical.

My mom had a terrible birth with me.  Infact she nearly died and didn’t see me for about a week later.  But then she went on to have two more.  Apparently you can train your mind to forget the pain.

I listened to Shirley Maclaine talk about her own journey at the Unique Lives event and explain how you have to listen to your gut and follow your intuition.  Sometimes your mind tries to play tricks with you so you have to sort out what is real and what is not.  Sometimes that’s a challenge but I think deep down we do know the answer. I believe with a strong mind and will you can create the life you want.

A healthy mind can only be found in a healthy body – Nelson Mandela

BODY

Since I took my first running workshop about 5 years ago I’ve been running ever since.  My very first run was the Vancouver Sun Run 10K and when it was over I went home to a big surprise party that my family and friends threw as if I had just completed running the Boston Marathon.  How could I top that (I mean the party)?  From there the next goal was to train for the Nike Women’s half marathon in San Francisco but the real reason was to get the Tiffany necklace  handed out at the finish line by a handsome fireman wearing a suit. I did this run twice and last year the Vancouver SeaWheeze.  Nike wasn’t only about the necklace only a bit, more the fireman it was a fun run through the streets of San Francisco and went to prove to myself that I could actually complete it.

Now when I’m out running by myself my mind runs right along with me and I think about a lot of things during my much shorter runs.

In the day of the Jane Fonda Workout (I once went to her studio and took a JF class in Beverly Hills – wore a cute outfit with matching headband ) I never felt that yoga was the answer to getting in shape because it wasn’t fast enough.

I used to not be into it so much, preferring workout classes using weights instead but now I’ve gone back.  I’m not a super yogi type girl but I enjoy the variety of styles and postures and am starting to see results especially when we focus on the core.  The core is very important and this time I want to get right down to the abs.  I’ve never really had abs (certainly never a six-pack) but I always knew they were only too shy to come out.  Now I’m starting to see some signs.  I’ve never felt sexier. It makes me want to work harder on getting leaner, more defined and fit.  Not skinny (I don’t like skinny) just in the best shape possible for myself.  It’s a personal goal.  Especially since my last trip when I came back and couldn’t fit into a pair of jeans I wanted to wear.  I just found my tightest pair and was able to not only get into them but do up the zipper (because getting into them doesn’t mean having to do them up). It’s because I don’t hold back on holidays.  For the most part I eat really healthy but I have to have a piece of chocolate or something sweet every day.  I’m crazy about all kinds of cookies. If it’s true that you are what you eat then I’m the United Nations.  I enjoy food too much and don’t exercise any enough self control.  It’s one (there are a few more) of my weaknesses.  It’s just that this last trip it caught up to me.  But now I just have to use my mind to control my body to lift my spirit. 

SPIRIT

A healthy spirit can only be found in a healthy mind – me

Okay this is a tough one, how do you describe spirit.  It’s just a feeling right? As in you either have a good spirit or you don’t.  No, it’s more complicated than that.

For whatever reason I do believe in karma so I try to be mindful because there’s always that little voice that says “it will come back to you if you’re not careful.”

It’s trying to do the best you can.  I realize that’s it’s very difficult to be all things to all people I’ve at times spread myself too thin and it doesn’t really work to anyone’s advantage, especially mine. I’m trying to let go of some things that are beyond my control and not let my emotions get the better of me – mind over matter.  So far I haven’t successfully succeeded but I will. My intuition is very good and I’m trying to pay attention to tap more into my *psychic ability which I think is about clueing in to the energy around us.  When you’re able to tap in, that’s when things begin to open up and all kinds of magical stuff starts to happen. It’s eerie but fascinating what you can draw to you if you open up your heart. This is truly “the secret.” I was talking to a friend the other day about a person we both know who we find to be emotionally draining and so we discussed having boundaries and having to say “no” and be okay with it.  We have to be giving but we have to protect ourselves at the same time.  Negative energy is not healthy so if you experience that trapped feeling you have to let go.  Looking after yourself is not a case of being egotistical or selfish it just makes you stronger.  I think we have to look after ourselves before we can look after another.

Basically in a nutshell improving our MBS is work in itself but rewarding and it will help to make us better human beings.

Balance your mind, body and soul.  If any of these three things are out of balance our lives will be in a state of constant turmoil and unease – walking my talk.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

 Any thoughts?

Psychic messages: Just as I was typing in the word “SeaWheeze” above I heard my phone message me.  It was from the “SeaWheeze” people letting me know that friends and family can sign up to volunteer at the run adding – “If they’re anything like you, we love them already.”

On Sunday a friend was over for dinner.  As soon as I said “let’s open up some bubbly” her phone had a new message.  She showed me what it was – a friend sent her one of those moving images….of bubbles!

Feel-good Friday: Peace and Passion

Peace and Passion are always in Fashion.  Find your Passion and obtain your Peace.peace1

You cannot find peace by avoiding life – Virginia Woolf

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style – Maya Angelou

Remember that Instagram layout app I told you about? peace2 - CopyWell I’ve expanded on it a little more.

Kite Festival Vanier Park - go fly a CAT!

Kite Festival Vanier Park – go fly a CAT!

Here's looking at that app

They came over to say hello.  Horses have spirit! Maybe that’s why so many of them are named Spirit.

Photos: d. king

https://instagram.com/thegirlwhowouldbeking

beauty biz – honestly

A new beauty launch.  This time by actress-turned-CEO Jessica Alba as she branches out, adding a beauty line to her Honest Company, known for its eco-friendly household and baby products. honest3

Jessica Alba didn’t build a $1 billion company by playing it safe.

The Honesty Company has turned Jessica, 34, into a bona fide entrepreneur – and a rich one at that – and now the gorgeous mom-of-two is set to sell a new line of cosmetics from the all-natural and organic-focused brand.

The Instagram account for Honest Beauty launched and started teasing the new line a week ago, but yesterday the brand shared a sneak peek at the upcoming collection.

Take a first look at the development of our color collection,’ reads the caption under the snap, which features pink and red-pigmented products that appear to be lip glosses and blush powders.

Pretty pigmants: The brand's Instagram account shared this image teasing the line's offerings

Pretty pigmints: The brand’s Instagram account shared this image teasing the line’s offerings

The cosmetics will likely be marketed as eco-friendly, safe, and sustainable, which are all major tenets of the company and characteristics that Jessica has been vocal about in the past.

‘There’s a real need for beauty products that aren’t like piling dirt on your face, are healthy and don’t make you sick but actually work and feel luxurious,’ she told Cosmopolitan.co.uk earlier this year.

Jessica opts for natural or non-toxic makeup products that are free of the following ingredients:makeup1So do I.  Look forward to seeing what the products are like.  I’ll probably be falling for some come Fall.

Source for launch:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/