style – Middle Sister

A NEW BOUTIQUE on Vancouver’s 4th Ave.middle8

middle9Like any middle child knows, the central position in the sibling hierarchy has its challenges – constantly seeking approval from older siblings and trying (and often failing) to establish some sort of dominance over the “baby” of the family. Linda, who is the owner and stylist knows this all too well: when you’re in the middle of the pack you have to shout a little louder in order to be heard.

Luckily I never had to do this. I’m the eldest of three – I have a brother and sister so I got to boss them around which was my established right.  But back to the boutique…


Middle Sister is the culmination of Linda’s desire to express herself. Inspired by the places she’s travelled and the people and things she’s fallen in love with, the boutique is a love letter to the life she’s lived and an invitation to those wanting to join her on her journey.  There is a nice cross section of everything from clothing (local and international designs), accessories (I bought a beautiful leather wrap-around belt with tassles), home accents and cool cards for every occasion.

Fun Leggings

Fun Couture Leggings – the logo certainly appeals to me


At Middle Sister, the focus is exploration and discovery, of being introduced to something new and stimulating. Here, you won’t have to shout to be heard. The focus is always on you.  That speaks to my heart!

FO.BE - handcrafted in Athens

FO.BE – statement jewelery handcrafted in Athens.  


Address: 2137 West 4th Ave

Photos: d. king





Holiday Dessert – Pumpkin Ice Cream

Do you remember my homemade coffee and chocolate ice cream made easy recipes?  pumpkinicecream3Since then I’ve made homemade French vanilla which turned out very tasty and a great base to making lavender/honey, green tea and cinnamon – all delicious!  I decided not to post those recipes just yet – they are a bit more involved.  However…

Thanksgiving in America in this Thursday November 26th, so if you want to switch up your pumpkin pie at a late notice (assuming that is what you are planning to serve for dessert – many people do) then I have the most perfect, light, easy and presentable after dinner treat. And you don’t have the time to make a homemade vanilla ice cream on top of it right now.

I love pumpkin pie but this is a welcome change and has been tested (by some impatient people):


Dad’s Secret (& Most Yummy) Pumpkin Ice Cream

– Serves 10-




½ GALLON HAAGEN-DAZS, or other high-quality vanilla ice cream (1.89 liter, or 4 of the normal-size H-D containers).

1 PUMPKIN. This is optional, because you can just use a bowl to serve the dessert. But the pumpkin makes for a nice serving dish, and reinforces the “home-made” fallacy. See picture below for an idea of pumpkin scale.pumpkinicecream2


1) You will need some space in the freezer for the pumpkin, so make room in your freezer.

2) Clean the pumpkin out like you would a Halloween pumpkin: cut off the top, and clean the insides out. The seeds are fun to roast with salt and a little olive oil, while you make the rest of the ice-cream. If you don’t want a pumpkin as a serving dish, you can skip this step and it all becomes even easier.

3) Place the pumpkin in the freezer so it starts getting cold.

4) In a large mixing bowl, mix: the ice-cream, 1 ½ cans of pumpkin, and 2 Tablespoons nutmeg. Mix it around good until it is a uniform pumpkin color.

5) Taste it  – add more pumpkin and/or nutmeg if you want.

6) Take the pumpkin out of the freezer, and spoon the now semi-melted pumpkin ice-cream into the pumpkin

7) Place the top on the pumpkin, and put in the freezer. It takes a while for it to get to a normal consistency. I like making this ice-cream the day before any event so you don’t worry about it being too soupy.

8) Bring to the party and relish all the compliments/Enjoy.

Source (recipe & photos):

If you make it I would appreciate your comments.







Art/Culture – East Side Cultural Crawl

Enjoying ART & CULTURE on Vancouver’s EAST SIDEeastvan5

In it’s 19th year now, this year marked the biggest ever for the Vancouver Eastside Cultural Crawl, with artists showing off the best of their craft, and thousands of people in attendance.eastvan4

The crawl has grown from what started out as only three buildings and a handful of artists to over 80 buildings and almost 500 artists. Last year was the very first time I attended and I couldn’t believe the diversity of art and the number of people.  It was very lively and educational.  It was a good example of what this city has to offer for ART’s sake.  We have quite a few talented artists to be proud of.eastvan10

The crawl began on Thursday November 19th and ran through until Sunday, the 22nd giving the public four days to check out the various work of these artists in all the locations for free.

'Pieta' by sculptor David Robinson, one of the artists whose studio is open to the public for the Eastside Culture Crawl. (David Robinson )

‘Pieta’ by sculptor David Robinson

The massive building at 1000 Parker has the densest collection of artist studios on the map every year and so starting the crawl experience here is always advisable.  Not only was there something magical about this building on the opening night of the crawl (crowds were thick and fast with energy, studios full and artists ready to chat) but to cover as much ground as possible, Parker Street gives you that solid start.

Zoe Pawlak | Show Me with Your Eyes | Parker Street Studios

Zoe Pawlak | Show Me with Your Eyes | Parker Street Studios

There’s a lot to take in – so much to see.

Tanis Saxton's sculptures have been referred to as visual poems that inspire and often leave the viewer with a thoughtful stillness. Taken from website  

Tanis Saxby sculpts ethereal works of art.  They have been referred to as visual poems that inspire and often leave the viewer with a thoughtful stillness.  Taken from website.

 There really is something for everyone’s taste and budget. If you missed it, there’s always next year. eastvan9

If you attended I’d be interested in your comments









Happiness RULES! – Part Two

Following yesterdays post re the ancient philosophy of Vedantamind2

Peace of Mind is the most important factor for feeling grounded and achieving happiness.

What disturbs your peace of mind?

No external factors can disturb you except yourself. You make yourself, you mark yourself. The world cannot disturb you.mind1

Rule #1: If you operate on likes and dislikes, you will face the consequences thereof.

A man picks up a cigarette and finds so much pleasure in it; another guy can’t stand smoking. A man goes to a lawyer to divorce his wife, and he finds great pleasure in getting rid of her; another guy is desperately waiting to marry the same lady.

This happens everywhere: The lady produces joy to one, sorrow to another. Therefore, it is not in the object or in the being—it is in how you relate to it. It’s your mind that wreaks havoc on your peace, not the external world. It is a mistake to believe that joy or sorrow is in the external world.

The mind is replete with likes and dislikes. So when you’re operating at the level of the mind, you do what you like, and you avoid what you don’t like. And when you’re dependent on your likes and dislikes, it’s miserable. For example, an Indian comes to the United States and he only likes rice and dal, but you give him pasta. What is this pasta? Meanwhile, the pasta-lover doesn’t like rice. If you operate on likes and dislikes, you’re dependent on the world. The world is in a flux of change. It can’t cater to your likes all the time. Therefore, you will be frustrated. If you only like summer, you will enjoy three months and suffer for nine. When you operate on likes and dislikes, you operate on the mind. But when you operate on the intellect, you choose the right course of action.

See, what is pleasant to you in the beginning is not so in the end. Junk food is pleasant in the beginning, but not so much in the end. You don’t like exercise, and you avoid it, but it becomes a problem later. What you like is detrimental; what you don’t like is beneficial. This is not to say that you shouldn’t do what you like—I’m only asking that you examine whether it is proper.

One Indian man heard my lecture and he went home and he looked at his wife. She said, “Why are you looking at me like that?” And he said: “I was liking you very much, but Swamiji said that I should throw out my likes and so I’m going to throw you away.”

Crazy! I didn’t say that! For heaven’s sake, don’t throw your partner away! All I said is to examine your likes and dislikes. If you don’t like exercise, you can’t just throw it away. If you like junk food, and you eat it all the time, there are consequences.

Rule #2: Know the mind has a tendency to ramble.

When I’m talking to you, it’s impossible to follow everything I say, even though you might want to follow. The mind rambles. It’s natural. It rambles into worries of the past, and anxieties for the future. That tires you. Action doesn’t tire you. Action can never tire you.

Therefore, you are making the biggest blunder by getting away from action for weekends and rest. In my entire life, I’ve never taken a vacation. Every day is vacation. At the Institution, students are in a three-year course. They’re up at 4am and we go until 9pm, 365 days a year. There are no breaks for weekends or vacations. Come and examine the students—nobody wants a break.

If you don’t find rest in action, you will never rest by getting out of action. In fact, you’re working for weekend and vacations. But if you don’t know how to control your mind and act in the present, you will always feel tired.

Do you want proof? Examine your own children. Your children are never tired. They are bristling with activity. Because of the simple fact that children have no worries of the past and anxieties for the future, they’re happy. But you all have the worries of the past and anxieties for the future, and it tires and fatigues you. So you need rest. It’s as simple as that.

Rule #3: Uncontrolled desires create havoc.

Without desires, you can’t live. You can’t survive. So what do you do with desire? You have to monitor and control your desires, because when unmonitored, desire becomes lust, greed, and avarice.

That’s what happened in 2008—the greed mounted to the point where there was a crash, and crash after crash. But if you control your desires, it becomes an aim, an ambition, or aspiration, and that is alright. You have to watch your desires before they mount to greed.

Rule #4: Preferential attachment is deadly.

What you pass off as love is nothing but preferential attachment. And preferential attachment is deadly.

When there is love, I serve you.
When there is attachment, I look for your service; what can I get out of you?

The husband says: This is my right, I married you.
The wife says: This is my right, I married you.

It’s more a life based on rights than on duties. It’s because of preferential attachment. It’s passed off as love.

Love + Selfishness = Attachment

Attachment – Selfishness = Love

Get that straight!

I’m not against love, I’m against this deadly thing called attachment.

The home should be the center, not the boundary of your affection/love. It becomes the boundary when you can’t see anything or anyone beyond it.

When you change yourself, you change the world

You cannot change the world without changing yourself. Everyone has the ambition of changing everything except for themselves.

All the great prophets, they changed themselves, then changed the world. If you change yourself, you change the world. If you want to change your children, you need to lead by example.

There is an inscription on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in England:

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.

But it, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.

If you want to change the world, you must change yourself first.






























Health: how does one achieve LASTING Happiness?

By practicing Vedantahappiness2Vedanta is an ancient philosophy that is based on the end of the four Vedas. (It literally means “the end of knowledge.”) The scholar comes from the Vedanta Academy, a school just outside of Mumbai established by Swami A. Parthasarathy, a nearly 90-year-old guru who has been traveling the world explaining how to eradicate unhappiness for more than 60 years.

At its heart, Vedanta revolves around developing the intellect: That we are all unhappy because we drive our lives forward using only our minds, which are the seat of emotion, likes, and dislikeswe need our intellect, the seat of reason and rationality—to keep the rambling and anxiety in check.

It is simple and profound, and incredibly relevant to life today—in fact, Parthasarathy (respectfully known as Swamiji) spends most of his time working with business leaders and CEOs, who are struggling to scale companies and embrace the tenets of real leadership.

Parthasarathy is incredibly prolific and has written 10 books, dealing with everything from love versus attachment, to business and relationships, as well as mentoring his ever-expanding pool of scholars. It’s going to expand even faster, as they’ve just introduced an e-learning portal where anyone, anywhere can access 368 lectures, to be consumed over the course of three years. If you want to get a baseline understanding, he recommends that you start with four books, in this order: The Fall of the Human IntellectThe Holocaust of Attachment, Governing Business & Relationships, and The Vedanta Treatise: The Eternities.happiness1

PART ONE (it’s quite lengthy so I had to cut it into two parts) – excerpted from a talk by Swami A. Parthasarathy.  

Below, an abridged version of a lecture Swamiji recently gave in Southern California that gives an overview of what Vedanta is all about.

Tonight, we are going to discuss Vedanta, a word that you won’t find in the English dictionary. Vedanta is ancient wisdom, laid down thousands of years ago. It’s made up of two words—veda and anta—which mean, respectively, knowledge and end. So the word Vedanta simply means the end of knowledge, the culmination of knowledge. It is ancient, but it is relevant in modern life—in our day-to-day living.

Now when you purchase a machine—any gadget, really—you’re given a manual for how to operate it, whether it’s a shaver or a coffee pot. If you don’t have the manual, you are in trouble. Now, you have the subtlest of machines within you—and nobody has a clue what it is. And what’s more, this machine is operating you throughout your life. There is no reference to it in school or universities. Nowhere are you taught what it is, or how it operates in your life. Even the most intelligent people have no clue.

And therefore we get into all sorts of problems. And problems, problems, and more problems. For the last 60 years, I’ve been listening to only problems.

It’s interesting because a human being is a masterpiece of creation—but a human being has all the problems. Look at the animal world: No problems at all. And that is because all creatures are protected by nature. But humans…humans do what they like—exactly what they like. Have you found one zebra in the animal planet that is overweight or underweight? One impala? They all have the same weight. Because nature takes care of them.

But no two people are the same—some are underweight and some are overweight—because nature does not take care of humans. Why has this happened? Well, as I said, a human is a masterpiece, so nature has left it to us to handle our own lives. It’s exactly like when your son or daughter reaches the age of 18 and you hand over the finances and tell them to operate on their own. They are grown-up, they can handle their affairs. Similarly, nature leaves us to ourselves because we have been provided with an intellect.

We get to do what we want. But we sure have messed it up. Because here is the rub: There is nothing in the world that can disturb you except yourself. You are the architect of your fortune and the architect of your misfortune. You can entertain yourself, and you can also disturb yourself.

Vedanta deals with the subject of YOU, and your life.

How do you define your life?

Your life is a series of experiences. That’s your life. That’s my life. A stream of experiences, just as water flowing is a river. Your experiences flowing, one after another: That is life.

So what is an experience? It consists of two factors. You and the world. You alone cannot have an experience—for example, in deep sleep you don’t have an experience. The world is what you experience. So there is a subject/object relationship that brings about an experience. The subject is you. The object is the world.

When you contact the world, there is an experience. So ancient scientists went about beautifying the world and making it a better place for us all to live. I’ve seen the world evolve in the past 70 or 80 years—there’s been a phenomenal change, it’s really incredible. But as the world has been improved, human beings are not as happy or comfortable as they once were. It’s a paradox. Our ancestors were much happier. It’s a contradiction.

The world has been improved, but the individual has been neglected. We live in a beautiful world but are unable to make use of it properly. It’s like having excellent food, but no appetite.

What compels us to act?

We must continue contacting the world—action is the insignia of life, while inaction is death. You have to act. So the question is really, how do you act? The body performs the action. When I’m talking to you, it’s an action. When you are listening to me, you’re performing an action. But all that said, my body cannot come here and talk to you by itself. There is something other than the body that propels it and compels it to act. What is it? You are not taught this in school or university; you were not taught this by your parents when you were a child. No government takes up the subject. We are all left high and dry in the world without knowing that which enables us to act in the world. It’s like being blindfolded. So learn this today: You have two equipments, and one is the mind, and one is the intellect.

The mind consists of emotions. It is the seat of feeling, of likes and dislikes. You’ve been collecting likes and dislikes since childhood. The intellect, on the other hand, is for reasoning. You’ve just never bothered to deal with it.

There are three living species. Plant, Animal, and Human.

A plant has only a body; it has no mind and no intellect.

An animal has a body and a mind, but no intellect.

Only a human being has all three.

But human beings don’t know how to use their intellect. And you need your intellect for success and for peace, which we all want.

What is this intellect?

First, you must understand the difference between intellect and what you all know—what you all know is intelligence. Intelligence is knowledge.

Intelligence is just information you gain from your predecessors. You gain intelligence from external agencies like teachers and textbooks, from schools and universities. That knowledge and information provide you with intelligence. No amount of intelligence can make up the intellect. It is impossible. They are on two different wavelengths.

So you have intelligence and you’re making a living off of it. And you’re complacent. You have a good business. You have this, you have that. Let’s talk about that.

You have a pen. And you leave it behind today. Are you going to drive back and get it? Probably not, it’s just a pen.

Let’s say you leave your wristwatch here. You’re going to call the hotel and give a description and ask them to keep it safe so you can come and pick it up.

Let’s say you have your wristwatch and you go out to the parking lot and your car is missing. What is the loss of a car to you?

Let’s say the car is there, and you drive home and your new beautiful, fully paid-off home has burned to the ground. What is the loss of a house to you?

Let’s say you drive home and your friend calls you to tell you that your wife and two children have met with a fatal accident. What is the loss of family to you?

Draw the line from the loss of a pen to the loss of your family and then find out where you stand. No amount of intelligence is going to help you tackle that problem. If you are buckling after the loss of a wristwatch, or the loss of a car, and it is causing you sleepless nights, that’s a pretty bad state. No amount of intelligence is going to help you handle your affairs. You need an intellect to help you handle the faculties of the mind, for it is the mind that troubles you and destroys your peace. It is nothing else. You must know how to deal with your mind.

The only real value of intelligence is to help you make a living. You might go to medical school to gain the knowledge of medicine so that you can make a living. Same with engineering school, or law school. But all animals make a living without going to university.

Millions of doctors have passed through medical school, but one guy found out how to transplant a kidney, one guy found the cure for tuberculosis. How about that? Those men had intellect, besides intelligence.

So how do you develop the intellect?

You need to start developing your intellect at the age of 7, of 8, of 9. And these are the two most important points.

  1. Never take anything for granted.
    2. Question everything.

I can prove to you that you have taken everything for granted and that you don’t question. It’s called herd instinct. You follow the herd. You follow your predecessors. You go to primary and secondary school. I ask, “Why do you go to school?” You reply, “Everyone goes to school.” You brother, your sister, your mother, your father. I ask, “Why did you get a job?” You reply: “Because after school that is what everyone does.” And then you get married and have children.

Herd instinct. I’m not saying that going to school is wrong. Or that getting married and having children is wrong. But have you thought about why you have done these things?

Here are some words from Galileo:

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

What are you working for?

So once you provide yourself with intellect, what do you do? First of all have you have to fix an ideal in life: What are you doing? What do you want? Everybody in the world is running around with no time, just running and running. But what are you all working for?

Most of you are probably working for your husband or wife and children. You are working for your family—everything else is a blur. Your home is the boundary of your affection. But it should really just be the center of affection.

With the intellect, you have to fix an ideal. And an ideal requires working beyond yourself. You can work for your family, you can work for the community, you can work for the country, you can work for humanity…you can even work for all living creatures.

The higher the ideal, the greater the initiative to work. The problem is that people don’t have ideals or a higher focus and there is no initiative for them to come to work. They work instead through incentives. You jump from company to company because they provide better perks. The boss, herself, has no initiative to work.

So you really work for perks and weekends and vacations. Thank God It’s Friday. TGIF. It’s even come to India, can you believe that?

You don’t want to work, the CEO doesn’t want to work, the manager doesn’t want to work…nobody wants to work! If you don’t find rest in action, you will never find it. You are trying to find rest by getting away from action.

But before we get to that, you are all looking for success and peace. You need the intellect for both.

What defines success?

So what is success? Success is an effect. Success belongs to the future. And what’s the cause? The cause for success is the right action. If the action is perfect, there’s success. If the action is imperfect, there’s failure.

The correct or perfect action boils down to the three C’s:

  1. Concentration
    2. Consistency
    3. Cooperation

So what is concentration? I ask this question all over the world. I always get this answer: Focus! So what is focus? It’s concentration! So nobody really knows what concentration is. They go about in circles.

Think about it. It is directing the mind in one direction, toward one point. The human mind has the tendency to slip into the worries of the past or the anxieties of the future. Everybody’s mind, including mine. Concentration is keeping the mind on the present job and not allowing it to slip. This can only be achieved through the intellect—you must have a powerful intellect to keep the mind in its place.

Similarly, you have to be consistent. If Tiger Woods plays golf for one month, baseball for a second month, and football for a third month, you can probably beat him! You have to be consistent with what you are doing—all your actions must flow in one direction. Only the intellect can keep you on the direction you’ve set.

And the third is the spirit of cooperation. If you don’t have intellect, you have a superiority or an inferiority complex. We are all spokes in the wheel of life and nobody is important, and nobody is unimportant. Who is more important? The person who removes trash from your house, or the person who sits in the White House? For a week or more you can probably do without the person who sits in the White House, but not the person who removes trash from your house. To understand that we are all spokes in the wheel of life is to understand the spirit of cooperation.

If you practice all three C’s, you’ve prepared the cause of the effect of success. Here is an example.

There was a forgery case in India in the ’30s. The lawyer defending it spoke for six hours. The other lawyer? He dozed in the courtroom. The defense lawyer was speaking eloquently and documenting things and the judge kept waiting for the other lawyer to interrupt and contradict him. So the judge asks him if he has anything to complain about and he hasn’t even been listening. He says, “No objection.” The defense lawyer sits down, and the judge turns to the other lawyer and asks him if he has anything now to say.

And he says: “My lord, look at the document against the light.” So he puts it against the light. “Do you see the watermark? This paper was manufactured in 1932. And the document is dated 1930. Is this man Einstein? How did he manage to do that?” He handed over the two samples and walked out of the courtroom. That is the power of the intellect.

You need the intellect to program concentration, consistency, and cooperation. And you also need it for your peace of mind. Every one of you can give a seminar on what disturbs your peace of mind. And it will all be external factors.

Check back tomorrow for Part Two.  Find out what disturbs your peace of mind and some RULES to live by to achieve inner peace.

This is a longer post than usual, but since I find it to be interesting and introspective I wanted to share it with like minded readers. 


Feel-good Friday: Value the Moment

You certainly don’t need me to tell you that living in the moment and being fully present is the key to a successful life.  brad&kiraEasy to say when your life is full and you don’t have health or money issues… but when it’s not going so well – those times when you feel hopeless and feel like you’re living in despair, broke, hungry, out of work, and can’t make ends meet or see the light at the end of the tunnel.  THINK again:

Take a moment to think about those who lost their lives in the recent Paris shooting.  Innocent victims – mostly young and just out enjoying a normal evening.  Never thinking that their lives would end…in such a barbaric manner. Think about the freedom we have and how lucky we are to have the kinds of choices available to us like we do in North America. Our world is changing and we have to adapt and get used to these new changes.  We have to remain strong and we need to prioritize.  I am as guilty as anyone for taking some things for granted and wallowing in some things I don’t have the control to change.  It doesn’t do any of us any good.  But still we do it because we’re human.  Sometimes we need a reminder.brad&kira2

Food for Thought:

The secret of health for both mind & body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly – Buddha.

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future and not enough presence.  Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.   Eckhart Tolle

Have a lovely weekend and value all the good that you now have and try to change what is not working for you

Beauty – DIY coffee/coconut body SCRUB

From Pantry to Personal use. COFFEE and COCONUT oil are two natural ingredients with many benefits that most people have in their kitchen and use on a regular basis.   

Smart women know that the secret to soft beautiful skin besides lathering on a winter rich body lotion is to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! At least before applying your special brand of body lotion, cream, oil or body butter.  It makes skin soooo much smoother and you need to do this especially if you plan on using a self tanner.  Did I make that clear?

Okay, so I was having coffee with my sister this past weekend and we were using colourful one-cup bodums.  My sister asked me what I plan to do with the coffee grounds after.  What I don’t use to fertilize plants I put into a recyclable container which eventually gets disposed of. She asked if I have coconut oil.  Of course I do, doesn’t everyone?

Then she asked me for a jar and before we even had a second cup of coffee she whipped me up a delightful and very useful personal body scrub using both the coffee grounds from the bottom of my bodum and some melted coconut oil.  I tried it first by massaging it on my legs in the bathtub and it worked amazingly well – as good or better than any other I’ve ever used – even the most expensive ones!  She added that we can double it to use as a face mask, just by adding a bit of honey to the mix. Hey, sounds delish!  So I say save money where you can and splurge on other products.


A coffee scrub is not only packed with antioxidants making it anti-aging and detoxifying, it is a natural astringent that temporarily makes your skin tighter and firmer. Exfoliating with coffee grounds improves circulation, leaving you with smooth, glowing skin.  Coffee helps to break down fat cells and gets rid of toxins.

Coconut oil has tons of Vitamin E, which is the ultimate anti-aging vitamin. It is a great moisturizer that delays wrinkles and sagging, plus it has antibacterial properties. I would advise using this scrub in the shower, first thing in the morning for an added buzz!scrub3



1/2 Cup of coconut oil

1/2 Cup of ground Coffee


Add coconut oil (if it’s solid melt in a sauce pan or microwave) and coffee into a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

Keep it stored in a jar in the fridge – take it out to come to room temperature before using.

Have you tried it?





































style – HATS rule!

I’ve always been a hat woman.  I go for all kinds of hats depending on my mood, what I’m wearing, the season and the occasion.

A hat can be that one accessory that sets you apart, whether you’re at a formal event or you’re just out running some errands.  Sometimes I feel like wearing a baseball cap even if I’m not out running, but other times a wide-brim felt or fedora does the trick.  Colours are always neutral.

A great hat can add polish to an otherwise basic outfit.  It also keeps our head warm but can add a bit of mystery (a la Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca) and they look so darn chic.

Every woman can find a hat to suit her but if you’re like my sister Lisa, then you look good wearing any hat.  She’s lucky that every single hat that comes in contact with her head looks like it was made for her.

Do you wear hats?  What kind of hat is your preference?

Lifestyle – the 12 people you NEED in your LIFE

I AM NOT A WEAK PERSON although I can be kind of needy at times.  But at least I’m not alone and Barbra was right…People who need people are the neediest luckiest people in the world. people2

When it comes right down to relationships I heard this quote from a strong woman I met many years ago in New York – designer Diane von Furstenberg:

 the most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself – DVF

However true that may be we do need others to offer support and enhance our lives.  Those who love us, encourage us, guide us, instruct us and assist us. And let’s admit that that is not always so easy to obtain.  So here’s the ROUNDUP of the my twelve most needed people in your life which was inspired by an article written for It’s a lovely life….beginning with:people1

  1. Significant Other or SO (I prefer this term over Spouse, Partner, Boyfriend/Girlfriend, etc.). I’m no role model but I think the journey is a lot more pleasant with someone close by your side.  You don’t have to be married to your SO but it should be as healthy and solid a relationship as possible.  It’s not always easy but when it works out it’s the best thing.  And it helps to have common interests and a comfort zone.  For instance, I don’t smoke and am allergic to smoke so I prefer not to be around someone who does.  Also I’m well aware that many of us don’t have a so-called significant other.  In that case then, a good trusted friend is the next best thing.  Or a dog. Sometimes even better as they offer unconditional love.  At least they don’t talk back and the only smoking dog I knew of in my city no longer exists (it was a French restaurant in Vancouver).  Okay, dog makes the list of people we need! One of my SO’s is very furry!
  1. Family Doctor – You need a good doctor that knows you and your medical history. A family doctor will be able to help you because he knows you personally and knows your medical history.
  2. Dentist – for obvious reasons. Teeth upkeep is of the utmost importance because if we don’t look after them properly our teeth can interfere with our overall health, not to mention the exorbitant cost if something goes wrong.  I make sure to go twice a year for cleaning and general maintenance (sometimes a home whitening touch up too).
  3. Lawyer – No one really wants an attorney/lawyer in their life. The circumstances for hiring a lawyer are rarely pleasant, but not knowing who to call to help you with legal issues is even less pleasant. A good lawyer contact is definitely someone you need in your life.
  4. Counselor/Therapist  for a shoulder to cry on. There are times when you need help. Whether for your marriage, children, life decisions, or just working through your own issues, have a good counselor you can go to who will listen and also give good guidance. They don’t always have to be paid professionals, but a professional counselor would be good too. I’m lucky that one of my best friends just happens to be a professional counsellor however at times we help counsel each other.
  5. Best Friend – You need a good, close friend who knows you in your life. Someone who will laugh and cry with you. Someone who has your back and you have theirs. Best friends don’t have to talk every day, but they know when to step in and be there for you and with you.
  6. Hairstylist (can also double as counsellor or bartender) – An easy way to ruin your day is with a bad haircut. A good hairstylist can put you at ease and help you feel and look great! Finding a new hairdresser is hard.  Just like men/women and dating sites, there are tons of hair salons & stylists out there, but few great ones. Hang on to those good ones! 
  7. Role Model/Mentor (could be your hairdresser?) – Role Models don’t have to be TV stars or superheroes and aren’t just for kids. They can be an older couple with a great marriage who have done a good job raising their kids or someone with drive and success you admire. Give yourself a good role model to follow. Remember: You don’t have to BE them. Just LEARN from them.
  8. Accountability Partner – (could be a best friend or SO) – No one likes to be bugged and held accountable for things in our lives. But sometimes we need someone who will take on the job of encouraging us and pushing us to keep to the goals and decisions we made. They can’t be afraid to confront us when we stop or push us to go a little further then we think we can. Accountability partners can help keep us on track with a new diet, quitting smoking, drinking, saving money, and so much more.
  9. Mechanic – If you have a car, then you need a mechanic. There are so many mechanics out there that either don’t know what they are doing or will charge you for things you do not need. Make friends with a good mechanic! Know that you have someone qualified and reliable to help you keep your vehicle in good working condition.
  10. Handyman (or men) – (aka professional renovator). In my post the other day I mentioned my handyman (Bill) who could repair anything.  To be correct, he’s not mine personally, I selflessly share him with another friend.  But my friend read my post and corrected me: He’s not just a handyman, he’s a professional renovator.  Also, if anyone out there wants him, he’s not available. You may be able to tinker around and beg your dad or boyfriend to help fix a minor plumbing problem or broken outlet. Know a good handyman who can do the big repairs. If your furnace breaks in the middle of winter you will be very glad to have a handyman in your life!
  11. Neighbours (love thy neighbour; maybe not literally) – I’m talking good neighbours and at least one trusted one. One that has an extra key to your place in case of an emergency and who will look out for your place or water your plants and take your mail when you go away. Once I had a neighbour call to alert me that I had left my key in the door.  But again I lucked out because my next door neighbour has become like a member of the family. Many neighbours past and present have become lifelong friends.

Who else would you add to your list of people you must have in your life?

#13 - Dance Partner

#13 – Dance Partner?