Feel-good Friday: little differences

To err is human—to forgive, canine.

Getting cleaned up for the holidays

Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.

Christopher Hitchens, The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever

Natasha (Tasha for short) is the new addition to my friend Rosa’s life. And you can bet she’s a princess.  So is the cat.

Jia Jia models a gift from uncle Michael

Not to be outdone by Layla who definitely has attitude.

Just give me a comfortable couch, a dog, a good book, and a woman. Then if you can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book, I might have a little fun. – Groucho Marx

Wishing you a warm and cuddly holiday season

 

Beauty: Erno Laszlo – the original skin maestro

The Hungarian-born dermatologist and skin care guru who founded the Ernő László Institute may be living no longer, but his skincare line is alive and thriving at high end department stores such as Holt Renfrew (Canada) and Saks Fifth Avenue (USA). Now celebrating 90 years of glamour.

Ava, Audrey, Greta, Marilyn, Jackie O – they were all devotees.

With numerous choices at the beauty counter and abundance of new lines cropping up it’s nice to look back to an influential original.  Some of the product line was gifted at a recent women’s fundraising luncheon so I’m testing them out.  So far, no complaints.

I OWE 50% OF MY BEAUTY TO MY MOTHER AND THE OTHER 50% TO ERNO LASZLO, – AUDREY HEPBURN

The philosophy is that there’s more to skincare than meets the eye. Skincare isn’t just about taking care of your skin at the surface: it’s about total body wellness. Taking care of your skin begins from the inside out. Good diet, nutrition, and dedication to a skincare ritual will keep your skin healthy, clear, and glowing.

The Laszlo bespoke double cleansing duos let you customize your routine to meet your skin’s unique needs.

why cleansing oils?

Nourishing Cleansing Oils soothe and soften skin by gently breaking up dirt, makeup and other impurities without stripping your complexion of precious moisture.  Yes, I knew that! I thought I was the one who invented that idea.

why cleansing bars?

Indulgent Cleansing Bars boast game-changing antioxidants and botanicals, plus soap inherently combats oil on contact. Translation? Bye-bye bacteria, hello fresh glow. Okay, I didn’t know that.  My mom always told me to stay away from using soap on my face but maybe this is a whole different bar of soap.

why together?

Depending on your skin care need they help to exfoliate, brighten, firm, hydrate or soothe. When combined, the cleansing oil and cleansing bar create a rich cleansing mask that gently washes away oil and debris from pores.  They impart active ingredients to your skin that work to target your skin concern long after cleansing is done.

And of course there’s everything else in the line such as serums, creams and such.

Have you tried anything in this line?

 

Style: a parody for non conformists

Genderless, androgynous, intersexual..whatever you want to call it,

Ryan Gosling on SNL

designers have been creating collections that both men and women can wear for a while now. Infact my last style post was about the dual jumpsuit which I personally prefer on women but still.  And we know girls like to borrow their boyfriends jeans .

We also know real style is personal but when it comes to wearing jeans everything goes.  Depending on our mood and our body type we can choose from skinny to slightly sloppy boyfriend style, cropped, high waisted, wide-legged and everything in-between.  And for purists Levi’s are still #1.

So when SNL recently did a skit on Woke jeans, made for a generation that defies labels, I had a good laugh. Because sometimes we need to take fashion with a grain of humor.

https://vimeo.com/236776084

What do you think?

 

Food: One-Pan Salmon with potatoes and romaine

Dinner Simplified

This easy salmon recipe gives you the main course and sides all at once, so fewer pots and pans to clean later.  Plus I happened to have tiny potatoes and romaine to use up in my fridge. And sometimes all you need are just three ingredients. 

Makes 4 servings

1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or other bite-sized)

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Four 6-ounce salmon fillets

1 tablespoon melted butter

¼ teaspoon paprika

2 hearts romaine lettuce

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

3. Roast the potatoes in the oven until slightly golden and fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the potatoes roast, cut 2 romaine hearts in half and rub with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Brush the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season each fillet with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Arrange the romaine and salmon on the baking sheet with the potatoes. Continue roasting for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the lettuce is tender and the fish is cooked through.

7. To serve, divide the potatoes, romaine and salmon among four plates.

For when you fancy nothing fancy; just good!

Monday Mood Board #14

Christmas is coming….just sayin

Sharon Stone in Casino

Gotta love Ginger! She did self-care the old fashioned way.

 

 

 

 

Self-care: take this!

I always thought of self care as more than mud masks and bubble baths.

contributed image – thecord.ca

It really is a total package encompassing mind/body/spirit + other life essentials.  So when I saw this article from another website it was only fitting to share it with you.  Because life is simple and complicated at the same time.  We need to focus on what needs to be fixed on the outside in order to feel good on the inside.  I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing – by Brianna Wiest: thoughtcatalog.com

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be everything, all the time and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from living to do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t.

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends.  It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

The act of self-care has become yet another thing women are expected to be good at. Did you use the right filter for that ‘gram of your impeccably prepared acai bowl? Are the candles you just lit in your Snap story made from organic hand-poured soy or are they that mass-produced factory shit? And how can we stem the inevitable capitalist tide from turning something as simple as self-care into yet another thing to be bought and sold? These are all things I wrestle with as I order Dominos in sweatpants under the guise of ‘being good to myself.’ –  Amil Niazi

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.

Well said! Who else agrees?

ART Facts

Words to the Wise

Art is not a pleasure, or an amusement, art is a great matter.  Art is an organ of human life transmitting man’s reasonable perception into feeling. Leo Tolstoy – 1898

Mark Rothko, Four Darks in Red

His (Tolstoy’s) definition of art is in the inverse of the truth; the task of art is to transform not perception into feeling, but feeling into perception.  Sir Herbert Read – 1960.

I found the above phrases transcribed by perfect penmanship into a beautifully gifted art book from a gallery in Washingon, D.C. I hadn’t opened up the hard cover book in a long while and re discovered it again recently as it was tucked away amongst other belongings.

The nice thing about art is that it never gets old.

ART is an appreciated respite from all the craziness in the universe right now.

How do you feel about that? Yup; me too!

 

 

Beauty: Blueberry Exfoliant

Blueberries and Acai berries

are normally reserved for my smoothies, not my face.  But this was a nice alteration.

I’m usually a bit skeptical of “too good to be true” deals but recently on a shopping trip to Washington State I stopped in at Trader Joe’s and found this little beauty. T.J’s Blueberry & Acai facial scrub is surprisingly effective, smells great and the price is right.

Essentially, it’s an antioxidant rich gentle exfoliant that helps to slough off dead skin cells and leave you feeling smooth and pampered. It also contains alpha-hydroxy acids, which is supposed to treat acne and improve the appearance of scars. I quite like it.

What It Claims To Do
Here’s what it says on the Trader Joe’s website: “While this Scrub is exfoliating, save for a few stray blueberry seeds and its very slight general graininess, it’s not really its texture that does the exfoliating—it’s the alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs. We also include colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and various plant extracts to soothe and pamper that beautiful mug of yours.”

Beauty Bonus: the break-up

My powder blush broke into a million pieces.  What do I do?

Gather all of the broken pieces of makeup into its original container, and crush the whole thing up (even the parts that may not have broken). 2. Add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to the compact, and let it soak in. Use your finger (pre-wash hands of course), the back of a spoon, or anything, really, to rub and smooth down the makeup. Leave it overnight for best results. Apply.

Your welcome!

 

 

Style: the Jumpsuit

I’m not even sure the words style and jumpsuit belong in the same sentence, but here we have it.

I’m torn with the same feeling I have for overalls. I’m not a big fan.  A catsuit; now we’re talking! It’s sexy. Although a good jumpsuit (a tad more upscale than overalls but definitely laid-back) worn a certain way can carry itself. Maybe this should be entitled “how to style a jumpsuit.”

And let’s keep in mind worn in the desert with combat boots, a fashion statement it does make.

For me a style post is getting harder and harder to do, if only because the best style is personal, and while one person can pull something off, another person can look totally ridiculous wearing.  And trends come and go, as we’re well aware.

jumpsuit3

Image: atelier dore

So when I spotted this jumpsuit on another website, I had to re-think the whole thing. Because it looks fabulous.  And in pinstripes; you can’t go wrong. The fact that the model is in Morocco with the sun shining certainly doesn’t hurt.

But honestly, I was interested enough to go online to find out who the manufacturer was.  Then to my surprise I found out that the one-piece is unisex no less.

I wasn’t aware that men wore jumpsuits, so this is all new to me.

Honestly, how do you feel about this statement piece?

https://www.marrakshilife.com/desert-collection/drawstring-jumpsuit

 

Afternoon Delight: High on Tea

High TEA,

as opposed to having an ordinary cup of tea and a biscuit, is a welcome time-out to a dreary afternoon. Complete with finger sandwiches, scones and sweets, let’s just say it’s a bit more indulgent.

I’ve always taken advantage of any good recommended ‘high-tea’ in any city I’ve been to that happens to have one.  Some of my past favorites have been at the Empress hotel in Victoria, B.C., Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aries, Claridge’s in London and the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal.

In Vancouver we have the Secret Garden Tea Company. I like that it’s a family run business with a story. Owned and run by Sisters-in-law Kathy and Erin Wyder, who were inspired by their two remarkable grandmothers (Gammy Bentall + Nan McBeath). I recently ordered several dozen sandwiches for a gathering that did not disappoint.  But I think the best thing is to actually go there in person to take in the ambiance.

A brief history – the British tradition began in mid 1700’s as an afternoon meal usually served between 3 and 4 o’clock. Initially, it was a meal for the working man, taken standing up or sitting on tall stools, thus the term ‘high’. Tea. Me; I’ll take mine sitting down.

From the website:

In a world of franchising and fleeting trends, the values at the core of The Secret Garden Tea Company are timeless: Stay small. Be good at what you do. If it sounds like The Secret Garden is a bit of a throwback to simpler times, it is.

Maybe that’s why, since it’s inception in 1995, people come from miles around to the cozy little teahouse. Certainly for the delicious food and soothing tea, but also for the good feeling they take home with them. A feeling that comes from relaxing instead of rushing, and from reflecting on all the sweet little good things of life. Like family. Like friends.

And a lovely cup of tea.

Kathy and Erin Wyder.

The Secret Garden Tea Company

Location: Kerrisdale Village

2138 West 40th Ave.
Vancouver BC
V6M 1W5

(604) 261-3070