Feel-good Friday: FUN

Highlight of my week in photos:

Starting with…forblog24

On the ferry ride over to Victoria we were lucky and so delighted to spot from a distance a pod of Orcas – not once, but twice!

Church + State Vineyards

Church + State Vineyards

We were joined by others for tastings and a great outdoor lunch with a view at Church & State Wines:1445 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC.  Then off to…

De Vine Vineyards6181B Old West Saanich Rd, Saanichton, BC.

Simply Devine

Simply De vine

Sitting on the grass outside

Lying Sitting on the grass outside winery (these are my checkered picnic shoes).  Aren’t they cute or at least quaint?

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A frog jumped up on my skirt.   I would have kissed him but I already have my prince.forblog6

We went via private boat to stay at this Rustic  Oceanfront Cottage on a remote Gulf Island.forblog27

Cruising by Moonlight (this photo does not compare to how gorgeous it actually was). The night before the moon was red & I could not capture its incredible brilliance.forblog7

Turns out a next door neighbour scratched at my door during the wee hours.  He was cute so I let him in and he made himself at home…right next to me in bed.forblog15

I woke up to this.  Unfortunately my little friend went home shortly after sunrise.  Guess he just wanted to curl up to a warm body.forblog12

Everyone seems to enjoy themselves when they have the freedom to do exactly as they please…..or just enjoy the peace and quiet.forblog13

And nature on the island.  Looking towards the beach with 4 deer and 2 fawns.

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This is grocery shopping island style at the local Sunday market.  The honour system is alive and well and besides everyone knows where you live.forblog16

But I picked these myself –  literally from several different trees.forblog19Then it was off camping in an even more rustic fashion.  I can’t pretend it was glamping.  At least by gorgeous waterfalls and lots of hiking trails.  No time to makeup.
forblog28We bathed in this calm crystal clear river.

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More island shopping at Coombs Old Country Market (they have everything you can imagine) even goats up on the roof.forblog18

This one is saying “p…. off”forblog23Then a visit with my one & only sis on return with me sitting and her lying down on her lovely deck with a fluffy friend named Rufus – a labradoodle.forblog22

She gifted me with tickets to Gwen Stefani last night at Rogers Arena.  My friend and I & millions of millennials among us really enjoyed the energy in that stadium.  Gwen is not even real – at 46 she rocks in every single capacity!  My friend asked “where have we gone wrong?

The week is still going strong!

Photos: d. king

 

Think: mean girls grow up to be mean women

It has to start somewhere……meangirls4

This might be a little off my regular subject matter but it has a lot to do with life and how women treat and regard one another.  I’m questioning why some women are intentionally not supportive of other women, why some will go behind your back, deliberately try to make you look bad and play one against the other in a sneaky manner.  And think they can get away with it.  It’s so high school!  Speaking of which…meangirls1And you have to wonder where it all comes from. Why do some women purposely work against you instead of with you? Why are women so competitive?  Maybe the same way men are?  It’s a competitive world no doubt.  But you don’t have to be nasty about it.

I don’t relate to this type of negative behaviour but I’m willing to bet most women reading this have experienced some type of purposeful hurt caused by another woman with the main intent to make you look less than, embarrass you or try to one-up you.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about right?  It’s not a feel-good feeling.  Here is a recent example of an unpleasant experience of mine:

A woman I know but who is not a close friend  (even though it seemed like she wanted my friendship) was starting to call me on a regular basis to complain about another woman we know who did not treat her in a very respectful manner.  I listened to her and it seemed that she was being treated unfairly by adult bullying (sadly, there is such a thing). I offered my opinion in that I suggested that she not come down to the mean womans level. It felt uncomfortable but I thought she was a little shy at standing up for herself so tried to help as best I could.  Well….

In a strange twist of events the next time I saw these two women together they appeared buddy buddy and the woman who was calling me to complain ended up turning around in front of the one who bullied her and ended up acting just like her.  She behaved in the exact manner which bothered her – she put me down right in front of this other woman. This happened shortly after I listened to all her complaining and offered the best advice I knew.  And it was so unnecessary and immature of her to do so.

Did she perhaps think that by acting this way she would gain some respect?  Who knows?  I stepped away from the matter a little befuddled.  But…at the same time knowing who not to trust.  And…

This is all to say…..what gives girls?meangirls7

Let’s rethink how we want to be regarded.  Stop playing silly games.  Your boyfriend, husband, friend, whoever will eventually get to know the real you.  It may take a while but believe me…mean girls who turn into mean women never end up winning in the end.

End of story

Respect Ladies!meangirls5

Thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

Style: girls in cocktail dresses

FEMININE ALLURE

Chanel cocktail dress, Vogue May 1926

Chanel cocktail dress, Vogue May 1926

While researching womens elegant evening wear from the 1920’s I came across these glam photos and wanted to share them.  I love this era which embodied elegance, decadence and fabulousness.

Marlene Dietrich, 1932

Marlene Dietrich

Silent film actress Thalia Barbarova, c. 1920s.

Silent film actress Thalia Barbarova

I don't know but I love the look

I don’t know who this is but I love the look

Three Model 1926. Photograph by Edward Steichen for Vogue. From left to right: Alden Gay wearing a black and white chiffon dress by Madame Frances and a wide-brimmed hat; Marion Morehouse, wearing a light-colored chiffon dress by Jay-Thorpe, with a wide-brimmed hat; Miss Collier, holding a parasol, and wearing a printed chiffon and lace dress with a Tuscan straw hat.

Three Models 1926. Photograph by Edward Steichen for Vogue. From left to right: Alden Gay wearing a black and white chiffon dress by Madame Frances and a wide-brimmed hat; Marion Morehouse, wearing a light-colored chiffon dress by Jay-Thorpe, with a wide-brimmed hat; Miss Collier, holding a parasol, and wearing a printed chiffon and lace dress with a Tuscan straw hat.

Myrna Loy, c. 1920s. (with pearls down the back)

Myrna Loy

Because let’s face it…one can never have too many cocktails cocktail dresses.

See you back here very soon!

Feel-good Friday: Fleeting

The BAD NEWS is time fliesfeelgoodfriday3Wow…we’re almost into the second week of August.  How did that happen? 20160720_144000The GOOD NEWS is you’re the pilot or the driver20160721_202359So don’t conk out too soon.  20160716_113940“Whoa………..let’s take the bull by the horns and get a move on partner! No  time for a bath; we’ll just dust off”20160721_140349Make the most of the rest of your SUMMER

Photos: d. king

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Destination: RIO

Rio has one of the most spectacular settings of any city I’ve ever been to.rio1No matter which direction you turn it has the most magnificent scenery.  Dramatic and breath taking. It’s a city famous for its beaches but there is also plenty of culture, great food and of course year round mild temperatures.  The people are vibrant.

I was lucky to have had the opportunity to visit on several occasions while living in São Paulo.  The flight is less than an hour and it made a perfect getaway.

At the time I didn’t have Instagram on my phone so when I saw these photos published in Allure Magazine (a popular womens beauty magazine to do mostly with makeup & skincare) I found them well…alluring to say the least.

With the Olympics starting this Friday in Rio and a friend who has just left to volunteer I thought it would be perfect timing to share Instagram photos and a couple of my own of this fabulous city.

 Pão de Açúcar

Pão de Açúcar

1. Pão de Açúcar

Sugarloaf Mountain, as it’s known in English, gets its name from its shape and is one of the most iconic stops in Rio. You can start your day by taking the cable car up to the top of the rounded peak. But don’t wait until you get to the top to take out your camera—the panoramic views from the car are just as impressive (and Insta-worthy!). People have been enjoying this breathtaking ride since the bubble-shaped cable car opened in 1912—it was even featured in the 1979 James Bond film Moonraker.

Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

2. Christ the Redeemer

This landmark is one of the most recognizable symbols of Rio. Standing 125 feet tall, it’s practically impossible to miss. The sculpture is located atop Corcovado Mountain, and it’s listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This is definitely a place where playing with a camera drone pays off, allowing you to capture both the sculpture and the city at its feet. A view like this can definitely leave you feeling #blessed.

One of my photos taken from a helicopter ride

One of my photos taken from a helicopter ride

 Ipanema Beach

Ipanema Beach

3. Ipanema Beach

Spend the afternoon sunbathing on the steamy shore of Ipanema Beach. This world-famous beach is located in one of the most affluent neighborhoods of Rio. Pack a big sun hat and a teeny bikini and get ready to sip coconut water while the hustle and bustle of the city melts into sea foam. All you have to do is wait for sunset’s magical light to capture the shadows of sunbathers and the mountains in the back.

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

4. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

The Rio Botanical Garden is a tropical jungle you can get lost in and still easily find your way back to the city. The beautiful greenhouse, many gazebos, and flowing fountains are complemented by the lush nature that surrounds them. Find your way to the Avenue of Royal Palms located within the garden. This long road flanked by enormous palm trees makes it easy to spend hours taking amazing photos.

 Mirante Dona Marta

Mirante Dona Marta

5. Mirante Dona Marta

Who doesn’t love a good panoramic view? Located inside the Tijuca Forest, this lookout offers one of the most all-encompassing views of Rio de Janeiro, covering everything from Christ the Redeemer to Sugarloaf Mountain and the city in between. If sunset photos of this amazing skyline leave you wanting more, the observation deck also functions as a helipad, from which you can take thrilling helicopter tours of the city. Be sure to carry an extra set of memory cards for your camera just in case.

my photo

my photo looking towards Ipanema

Of course the city has its well documented down side with poverty and corruption which should not be forgotten amid the natural beauty and the thrill of the games.

Leave you wanting more?

Source: Julie Cid for Allure.com

Feel-good Friday: YES way Rosé

Hot days call for cool drinks.  Iced tea, Lemonade, and Rosé come to mind.

Photo: Courtesy of Sugarfina / Whispering Angel  

Photo: Courtesy of Sugarfina / Whispering Angel

I must admit I’m really not a rosé wine lover preferring instead a nice white like Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay for patio pre-dinner sipping.  But then I came across this intriguing combo.  At first I thought Whaaaat this is nuts!  But then again it might be the perfect summer pairing.

Everyone’s clamoring to get their hands on Sugarfina’s new Whispering Angel Rosé–infused gummy bears. Someone was on to something.  So if you love gummy bears (as I do, being somewhat of a connoisseur preferring chocolate covered gummies) and you also love rosé then incorporating the two into one recipe might be the answer to your summer confectionary dreams.

From Vogue:

The luxury candy company put the latest batch of pretty, pink-hued gummies, aptly named the Yes Way Rosé collection, on presale on its site on July 11. Though they’re not set to arrive until August, the gummies (which are imported from Germany) currently have a whopping waitlist of over 12,000 people! Yes way, that many people not only want to drink their rosé, but eat it too.

In case you can’t wait until August, there are a few alternatives. If you’re feeling lucky, you could try to win a box or two through the @sugarfina Instagram giveaway contests. A more realistic option, however, is to go for Sugarfina’s Champagne Bears made with Dom Pérignon brut and rosé. They’re just as cute (made in delicate pale pink and white versions) and delicious, and you still get the rosé-infused effect, but you don’t have to deal with a wait time.

If you’re ordering these gummies hoping to get a buzz, however, you’re going to have to get a bit more crafty—the alcohol has been cooked out. A quick and very easy way to make your own is to buy regular gummy bears from your local grocery store and a bottle of rosé (it doesn’t need to be expensive, a $10 Provence style will do just fine). Put the package of gummies in a bowl and just pour the wine on top—just enough to coat the gummies but not completely drench them. Let them soak overnight and they’re ready to go in the morning. Tip: If you keep them in the fridge, the gummies maintain their original texture and consistency better than if they’re left at room temperature.gummyrose2

Feeling slightly more ambitious? Make your own rosé gummies from scratch with this recipe below. It’s much easier than you would ever imagine—they take about 10 minutes to create. Again, no need for expensive wine, just go with an affordable rosé you normally like to drink. Order gummy bear molds on Amazon, or Sur Le Table’s rose chocolate mold, which is perfect for making them extra pretty, like the flower-shaped ones that Sugarfina does. You’ll also need a thermometer (if you want to keep the alcohol from burning off, make sure the temperature stays at around 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and doesn’t go above 159 degrees), gelatin, some sort of sweetener (either honey or maple syrup, or go with granulated sugar), and pink food coloring if you want to boost the color up a bit. Once the mixture is done and in the molds, refrigerate them for at least two hours or until they’re firm. Voilà. They have a slightly different texture and flavor than the actual rosé gummies—a little softer and less sweet—but they certainly make for a fun way to impress dinner party guests.

Rosé Gummies
1 cup rosé
5 T powdered gelatin
One half cup of granulated sugar, or 2 to 4 T maple syrup or honey

Cook the rosé in a small saucepan on low heat. Slowly, add the gelatin, one tablespoon at a time, into the mixture. Once the gelatin has dissolved, add sweetener to your liking (taste the mixture and add accordingly) and pour it in the molds. Allow it to set for at least two hours or more. Keep in mind, these need to stay refrigerated.

Source: Kristin Tice Studeman

 

Style: SHARP Men

Other than GQ magazine, where do men go to get ideas about

S T Y L E

sharp5
sharp6And how to look more, uh, Sharp?

They can try SHARP  which is a Canadian Toronto based magazine published eight times a year. Six regular issues and two “SHARP: The Book for Men” special editions targeting premium and luxury consumers.
Touted as the essential reference for the modern man.  Basically the issues feature the absolute best in not only fashion but travel, drinks, timepieces and automotive.  Man Made!

sharp4Apparently the launch party for the S/S 2016  book in Toronto was fabulous. There aren’t many fashionable events dedicated solely to men, so when one comes around it’s a big deal.

What better way to celebrate men at their best than with a party featuring a Breitling Fighter Jet Simulator, interactive Harley-Davidson display, and rare scotch tasting by Balvenie? They also had live cigar rolling and custom shoe painting. Automotive sponsor Jaguar was also on-hand with their latest models: the F-PACE SUV, the XF luxury sedan, and the XE sport sedan.  sharp1sharp2

And where was I?? Elsewhere… but I will try to make the next one. I mean…hello world?

To order a free trial issue:

http://contempomedia.ca/sharp/offers/handbook/?kcod=NW16DGADsharp3

LOOK BETTER FEEL BETTER KNOW MORE
about what SOME MEN like

Food: to Forage or not to Forage

There is no question that foraging for anything edible is not a simple task. It’s a thing.  I mean it’s a lifestyle choice – a healthy one if you are so inclined.  

One with nature, love being in the wild or be....wild.

You are one with nature, love being in the wild or are just plain….wild.

To be totally self-sufficient food wise it would take a lot of work and dedication and you’d have to really know when to look for what, where to look for it and then what to do with it once you find it.  You must be adventurous, outdoorsy and know what the heck you’re doing.  Most likely you’re also a foodie. It’s not for everyone.

Freshly picked wild cherries

Freshly picked wild cherries

Our ancestors who might have been foodies back in the day had to hunt and gather (or forage as we like to call it) like wild animals do in order to survive.  It wasn’t a choice so much as a necessity.  Survival of the fittest.  We lucky folks don’t have to, but lately foraging has piqued my attention and interest.  Even a few of my urban neighbours are getting into it – albeit lightly.  One has chickens (so fresh eggs for sure) and another is building a terrarium to grow edible plants. I also have friends who have fresh figs, other fruits and trees with bay leaves so sometimes you’ll find me foraging around in their garden.

I really like the idea of having a garden to grow vegetables.  It’s the absolute best but since I can hardly keep fresh herbs alive for long I’ll scratch that idea.  Surprisingly enough two herbs I totally ignored all winter long have survived together in one pot – thyme and oregano.  Rosemary is pretty easy too but let’s face it – that does not a complete meal make.  Many of the plants that we know as weeds are both edible and nutritious, and some plants that grow wild have been cultivated into some of the foods we know today (for example, parsnips, garlic and carrots).

Taylor is guarding the bucket of cherries

Taylor guards a bucket of cherries

If there is one fresh fruit (that resembles a vegetable) I really miss eating – it has to be farm fresh Rose tomato.  Large, meaty & delicious.  I remember my dad eating them like apples. I don’t remember eating a good tomato since I was a teenager – too many years of eating only acceptable tomatoes at best that are usually made tastier with a generous drizzling of balsamic.  Pesticides are to blame and early picking.  We really don’t know what we’re eating.

But now I know Bill.  He’s my first foraging friend. He’s also my only foraging friend until I gather more. He refers to himself as a novice forager but from what I’ve witnessed through photos and in person it seems pretty serious to me.  At least a serious hobby. Bill’s Instagram feed is usually chock-full of some type of mushroom, berry or plant.  Also, he’s constantly making jam and lots of other interesting and/or unusual edibles.  Guess you can say he shops local.

Cherry Fruit Leather

Cherry Fruit Leather

I asked if he would mind talking a bit and educating readers about the process for this blog and send a few photos.  Because Bill makes almost everything from scratch and lots of it he finds in the forest. He doesn’t scavage around garbage bins like bears do looking for food just in case you’re one of those who think that’s how people forage.  But I know you guys are more sophisticated than that.  But to let you know how much I knew about foraging, when I first found out Bill was gathering and cooking up hedgehogs I thought it was the animal, not the mushroom.  I was about to dump him as a friend.

When I called him he was high up on a tree not getting high but he still answered the call.

In Bill’s Words:

Yes, I was really up at tree. I was on a 12 foot ladder borrowed from a building nearby. I was harvesting fabulous tiny cherries from the trees growing wild between the road and a parking lot about 1.5 kilometres from my home. These little black cherries are so intensely flavoured compared to cultivated ones!  I continued picking until I had about ten litres, my dog Taylor patiently waiting below. They were too small to use a cherry pitter on, so I boiled them for a few minutes, and after they were cool, put them through my hand crank food mill. I ended up with about four litres of very flavourful puree. I made a big batch of delicious jam with most of it, and then decided to try my hand at some fruit leather just using honey instead of sugar. It took about five days to dry enough, but it was worth the wait.  bill4

And I can hardly wait for MY jars of jam to be personally delivered!

Okay we just got a little taste of what it’s all about. Bill is a busy guy but we spoke about collaborating on more food posts with stories & photos from his adventures in foraging.  Stay tuned…bill5

All Cherry Photos: Bill Milliken