B Well – The Good, the Bad and the Bacteria.

What can be aggressive, multiply rapidly but the naked eye cannot see? Bacteria!

Only viruses are smaller than bacteria.  A tiny drop of water can contain billions of these usually single-celled organisms that have only one chain of DNA and no nucleus (control center of a cell).  In favorable environments they multiple rapidly and are either aerobic (must have oxygen to live) or anaerobic which means they can flourish without oxygen.

How to get less bacteria in your diet:  The Cook’s Illustrated kitchen ran a test on the best way to wash fruits and vegetables using apples and pears an an example.  They tried four ways:

Washing with tap water, scrubbing with a brush, washing with antibacterial soap or spraying with a vinegar solution.  They took surface samples, grew the bacteria in Petri dishes and compared results to a non-washed control group.  Here’s what they found after four days:

A cold water rinse eliminated 25 percent of the bacteria and scrubbing with a brush removed 85 percent.  The best way was with something we all have at home: a 1:3 distilled vinegar-water mix (sprayed) which removed 98 percent.  Don’t forget to wash off the vinegar mix before eating.  There was no comment on using the anti-bacterial soap.

Bad Bacteria – better known are the harmful bacteria in our world like Clostridium tetani (which causes tetanus) or Clostridium botulinum (which causes botulism). These bacteria are responsible for causing illness and death since the beginning.  But with the bad there is always some good so…

Good Bacteria – are either harmless or helpful to humans.  Our digestive system is full of billions of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (commonly known as E. coli), which helps us digest our food. Bacteria are also useful in producing some of our favorite foods, like yogurt, cheese and sauerkraut. Some bacteria are decomposers, cleaning our environment of dead and decaying plant and animal material. Some beneficial bacteria are known as probiotics, live and active cultures that promote the body’s digestive system.

It’s like a really bad relationship that you just can’t get rid of. Try to make the most of a bad situation by eating more probiotic yogurt, buying organic as much as possible and properly washing your fruits and veggies.

Also: Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health experts – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

Personal Post – In good company

From “Vogue” photo shoot

Nice to know I’m not alone in my love and enjoyment of scooters.  It’s a no brainer!

Raquel Welch

Easy on gas, easy on the eyes, easy to park and easy to scoot in and out of traffic  alleys.

Ursula Andress

Lets see who besides me loves to pose ride.

JLoves Vespa

Hugh Jackman

In general  what’s not to love?

Mickey Rourke

Allright maybe not out in the pouring rain or the dead of winter but other than that –  ANY time is a good time for riding a scooter.

Gwyneth Paltrow

 

Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber

Julia Roberts & hubby

Owen Wilson

Kelly Ripa

James Gandolfino (Tony Soprano)
Ha; and you thought he’d be riding a Harley?

MIO My…I can definitely relate.

Jia Jia however is way TOO cool.  He says
“Get me on a Harley dammit!”

See my Pinterest page at:  http://pinterest.com/intrigueimports/

Scooters…seriously!

More photos below

INtrigue INsider – the Long & the Short of it

Decadence short kimono in stretch satin.  Wild Khaki in two sizes: S/M & L/XL

by blush      

There have been a few questions lately on whether women really do wear robes and if so, why?

Robes are not just for stepping out of the bathtub anymore. They are portrayed on TV and in films as convenient cover ups for slipping into just after having sex.  Yes, they are conveniently reliable for that reason but they also provide a bit more warmth and style to wear over our silk nighties.

Naked Envy long kimono in gorgeous stretch lace & eyelash lace.  Two sizes: S/M &  L/XL.

They tend to leave a little bit to the   imagination just before disrobing and maybe they just make us feel a bit less exposed to walk around the house in.

Great Expectations short kimono in stretch satin & banded stretch lace.  Two sizes: S/M & L/XL.

No more boring cover ups.  If you’re in the market for one you must consider these from blush.

Midnight Kiss elegant long kimono in stretch satin & banded stretch lace.  Two sizes: S/M & L/XL.  Deep Indigo.

These and more available online at:

http://intrigueimports.com

 

décor – aquarium window

So I don’t own an actual aquarium BUT I do have the next best thingan aquarium window.

A fish tank offers a serene feeling so I tried to create something along those lines by sticking plastic fish decals to my bathroom window.

It might appear childish but it’s my little way of re-creating the tranquility of a genuine fish tank.

The only problem is the fish never move but it’s very pleasant to look at with a theme of beachy  shells and rocks on the mantle. The coral was found washed up on a Jamaican beach.  I could use more fish!

Do you think this is a crazy idea?
What would you stick on your windowsill?

Simple and Satisfying – Halibut en Papillote

Have you ever tried cooking “en papillote?”  which in French means “in parchment.”  Let’s stick with papillote – it sounds more French fou fou.

Getting ready for the oven

You will basically be wrapping the fish in parchment paper. The beauty of cooking this way is that once you seal the paper then the fish will cook evenly at a higher heat for less time and still stay moist.

I don’t have a specific recipe but you can start with placing the fish (halibut, salmon or other fish) on top of a bed of sliced tomatoes and/or thinly sliced onions that sit on top of a piece of parchment paper large enough to seal around it.  Coat the fish with capers/lemon/butter or a pesto sauce and a few sliced lemons over top.  Then seal the parchment tightly with lightly brushed on egg white. Bake at 375 until done. It can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the size fish.  You can always open the parchment to check but make sure to re-seal it again if not yet done. How to tell: pierce fish with a fork and if the fork meets resistance it’s not yet done.

Halibut baked in parchment topped with sundried-tomato-pesto & served over sliced sweet onions & campari tomatoes. Side: crisped roasted brussels sprouts.

For sides serve with rice & veggie of your liking.

I’d like to hear back from you to find out how your recipe turned out.

Scene in the City – I’ve gone NUTS

for AYOUB’S Dried Fruit & Nuts –  and other Persian delights.

The window on Denman first caught my eye with its exotic display of Persian glass, ceramic and metal stemware showcasing a wide variety of delectable dried treats.

Through the window you can view the large goblets containing everything which was intriguing enough to make me want to step inside.  You are in for a treat – literally.

For Ayoub Hosseini who is the president of this company and a professional chef it is a way of life.

His simple idea: select only the highest quality raw ingredients from only the most trusted suppliers from around the world, and combine those quality ingredients with a  variety of sophisticated flavours and textures.  A snack food sensation second to none.  You can literally taste the difference.

I know I’ve been going nuts for some time but this confirms it.

Not your regular bulk food store

Store locations:

Kitsilano: 2048 West 4th Ave.

Downtown: 986 Denman Street

North Vancouver: 1332 Lonsdale

Kits Window

Wisdom: The Power of Aroma

THERAPY: ‘Flower Power‘ is more than just a catchy phrase: it reflects the potent healing properties of aromatic essence.

It’s interesting to note that as far back as medieval times in the Middle East, medical texts took note of the fact that people who worked in perfume and incense shops were the only ones who never succumbed to the various contagious plagues that periodically swept through the ancient world, and even today it is often noted that clerks who work in fresh flower shops rarely seem to catch the flu and other infectious ailments.

The smoke produced by burning white sage, used by native tribes of North America for purification, sublimates the dense, heavy energies generated by negative thoughts and conflicting emotions and lifts them away from the body, thereby clearing the human energy system.

Meditators throughout the world use incense to enhance their practice due to the balancing effects it has on human energies.

Aromatic essences extracted from flowers and medicinal herbs have been used for millennia to cure disease and balance human energies. The volatile aroma extracted by a flower or the essential oil of a plant carries the essential energy of that plant in the air in a way similar to negative ion energy, and this energy is assimilated into the human system through the same sensitive olfactory receptors in the nasal passages.

Depending on their natural affinities for various organs and tissues, different aromatic essences may be used to cure specific diseases, balance particular energies, and stimulate various functions. This is the basic principle involved in aromatherapy, but it only works when using aromas derived from natural sources, such as plants and minerals. Artificial fragrances have smell but no *chi.

*chi: The circulating life energy flow that in Chinese philosophy is thought to be inherent in all things.

How do you feel when you have fresh flowers in your home? Do you use floral essential oils in your bath or skincare products?

Excerpts taken from “Helping you Transform Your Life” by Ken Lauher

B Well – Essentially speaking

ESSENTIAL OILS are PURE PLANT oils released from the flowers, berries, roots or other parts of a fragrant plant by steam distillation or expression. Essential oils are used in many different ways to support health–including in aromatherapy, added to bath water, and in skin lotions. Essential oils can aid in maintaining a bright, clear complexion.

CARRIER OILS known as base or vegetable oils, are used to dilute essential oils before they are applied to the skin in aromatherapy.  They are so named because they carry the essential oil onto the skin. Carrier oils do not contain a concentrated aroma although olive has a mildly distinctive smell.

Last week I posted about our brand new facial oil & essence spray (bottle & label to be updated) called “spoiled” & “étoile“.  Listed below are all the beneficial ingredients found in these exceptional face products. Now you can spOIL your skin with:

SpOILed: Organic Olive Oil:  Extra virgin olive oil penetrates deep into the skin on your face, providing needed moisture as well as a shield to protect your skin, keeping it smooth. With antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, it can help repair skin damage from sun exposure, cigarette smoke and pollutants.

Virgin Coconut Oil is  useful in the treatment of virus, fungi and bacteria, all of which can cause acne and skin problems.

Pure Jojoba Oil:  This “oil” which is not an oil at all, but a liquid wax–mimics human sebum, or skin oil, more closely than any other compound in nature. When you apply it, it is widely believed to curb excess oil production by fooling the skin into believing it has produced enough sebum, thus bringing balanced moisture to all skin types.

Vitamin E Oil contains powerful antioxidants that are necessary to fight the free radicals that cause damage on a cellular level. Regular application of vitamin E oil to the face can help counteract signs of aging by smoothing out existing fine lines and wrinkles, as well as preventing new lines and wrinkles from forming in the future. It also helps to keep your skin tight and firm.

Avocado Oil has a natural hydrating ability and is deeply absorbed by the squamous layer of the skin. Because of its chemical properties and its ability to retain water, avocado oil acts as an emollient, and promotes soft and supple tissue. For this reason, individuals suffering from itchy dry skin benefit by using cosmetics and lotions that contain avocado oil.  Avocado Oil is also high in “sterolins” which help to produce more skin collagen and reduces the incidence of age spots. This property again makes avocado oil suitable for dry itchy skin.

Sweet Almond Oil contains several essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and E. It helps in treating dry skin. All these vitamins rejuvenate the skin. It can be used by all except those who have a nut allergy.

Evening Primrose Oil is one of the most concentrated sources of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA), which is an essential fatty acid of the omega 6 family with anti-inflammatory properties and plays an important role to maintain hormone balance and healthy skin.  One of the most proven benefits of evening primrose oil appears to be its ability to treat dry, scaly, or itchy skin conditions, such as rosacea, acne and atopic dermatitis. It also reportedly, has some modest benefits for eczema. In addition evening primrose oil may also help clear skin allergies, rashes and even prevent pores from becoming clogged.

Argan (Moroccan) Oil is famous for rehydrating the skin and regenerating skin cells. Its anti-aging power is exceptional. For hundreds of years, women of all ages have been using argan oil for its anti-aging powers to help prevent and treat wrinkles.  Argan oil is pressed from the nut of the fruit of the Argan Tree, which is only found in Morocco. The argan tree lives to be about 150 to 200 years old and does not start producing the fruit until it is 30 to 50 years old. Because the tree is found only in a limited area, the oil itself is quite rare.

baobab

Baobab” (bow-bob) oil is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds from what is probably the best known tree in Africa.  This is a pricey “fixed” (or base) oil which contains vitamins A, D, E and F. Vitamins A and F (which are polyunsaturated fatty acids) are actively involved in the rejuvenation and renewal of cell membranes, while vitamin E is a superior antioxidant, which helps to fight aging.  Baobab oil is ideal to help treat dry and damaged skin and its soothing properties are helpful for eczema and psoriasis treatments due to the Omega 3, 6 and 9 contained in the oil.  Does not clog pores and has quick absorption.

Lavender is great for the skin. Some of its skin benefits include that of being antiseptic and anti-fungal which helps to reduce scarring and speeds healing. The essential oil is also an anti-inflammatory and circulatory stimulant.  Plus it has a beautiful clean scent.

Geranium essential oil is known as the herb of Aphrodite and symbolizes certain female qualities, such as intuition and sensuality. It helps restore emotional balance, removes negative energy, relieves from stress and has an invigorating action. At the same time it is an extraordinary essential oil for face treatment, because it is ideal for all skin types. It leaves the skin smooth and supple.

Rose Oil has been shown in studies to inhibit cortisol, the stress hormone that causes inflammation (which causes zits). It also blunted transepidermal water loss, which happens when your skin’s barrier function is compromised.  It has a soothing effect on a highly sensitive skin caused due to sunburn. It cools down the burning skin sensation and heals up the skin damage.  Rose oil is a rich source of vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant and improves skin condition.

Jasmine oil is good for sensitive skin, as it has ant-inflammatory properties. Although expensive, this essential oil does more than just smell exquisite – it deeply relaxes, lifts depression and boosts confidence, and tones and improves skin elasticity, while helping to reduce scars.

Maracuja

Maracuja (passion flower) has been used medicinally for hundreds of years, and its benefits are scientifically documented. Passionfruit Seed Oil, Passiflora incarnata, also known as Passionfruit Oil or Maracuja Oil, is a superior emollient rich in vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus. The high content of essential fatty acids and light texture of Maracuja Oil makes it a valuable contribution to a wide array of personal care products intended to nourish the skin and treat dry skin conditions.

Chamomile is a natural skin soother that works well for treating sun or wind burn.  Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory and thus works well as a soother for a variety of skin irritations, including eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and blisters.

Sweet Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) is extremely effective in treating skin disorders as basil enlivens dull-looking skin and improves skin tone. Sweet Basil oil has been found to stimulate the adrenal cortex and is probably one of the best tonics for the nerves, possessing uplifting, clarifying, strengthening and restorative properties. It sharpens the senses yet calms hysterical states of mind.

Juniper oil is derived through the steam distillation of the needles, wood and fruit of the juniper tree. Juniper oil can be used in a number of different ways: The oil acts as an astringent; it tightens muscles and gives a feeling of firmness, fitness and youth. Its antiseptic properties can also kill bacteria, helping to prevent infection in acne sufferers and its antibacterial properties are helpful in treating acne while its astringency helps with oily skin conditions.

Interesting fact: It also offers a relaxing and lively antidote to negativity, and once upon a time, men carried the berries to increase potency. Perhaps that is why the berries were added to gin–so the drinker would feel more potent, positive, and relaxed!

Clary Sage is known to be one of the most relaxing essential oils in aromatherapy, which can fight stress and bring euphoria. The Latin name is derived from the words “clarus”, which means clear and keeps away the worries. It is excellent to restore inner balance and tranquility. In beauty treatments it is used to combat wrinkling and ideal for reducing oiliness in skin.

étoile:

Rose Water is a by product of steam distillation, the process that’s used to isolate the plant’s essential oil. One of the main benefits of rose water is that it acts as an anti-inflammatory, soothing irritated skin. Rosewater is a natural toner and women have been using it for centuries. Those with dry skin sometimes use rose water as a moisturizer. The idea behind this is that sugars found in rose petals add to rose water’s soothing effect, and its natural oils trap moisture in the skin, helping it feel and look smoother. Some experts even believe that rose water can play a role in reducing damage from sun exposure. Too much sun destroys elastin, the fibers that give your skin its ability to stretch. When those fibers break down, they cause your skin to lose firmness and sag. There’s some evidence that rose water may help decrease damage to the skin’s elastin fibers and prevent wrinkles.  Additionally, and perhaps most obviously, rose water has a pleasant aroma.

Orange Blossom Water, sometimes called neroli water, is made from the water used during the steam distillation process to make essential oil from blossoms of the Seville orange.  Its beauty benefits include helping to refine pores and restoring suppleness/vitality.  Due to its mildly astringent properties, orange blossom water also refreshes oily skin and prevents blemishes from forming.  There are claims that it also naturally soothes sensitive, irritated skin.  Because the water contains hydrophilic properties, it acts as a natural surfactant and emulsifier to enhance the application of skin lotions and other cosmetics.

Orange essential oil is shown to promote the production of collagen as well as increase the blood flow to the skin. It is helpful at soothing dry, irritated skin as well as acne-prone skin.  Orange essential oil contains vitamin C because naturally it comes from oranges. D-limonene is a super-nutrient that occurs in Orange Essential Oil. It has been studied extensively for its ability to prevent cellular mutations and combat cancer tumor growth.

Eucalyptus Oil has antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help aid in skin exfoliation.  This oil has been used by aborigine ethnic groups for wounds, asthma, sinus infections, colds, insect bites, headaches, fever, inflammation, and muscle aches. It makes a great addition to any aromatherapy kit as long as it is properly diluted which is the same for all essential oils.

Rose + Geranium – see above.

Now available at http://getspoiled.ca

Personal Post – a Meuse me!

The changing face of 4th Avenue

Meuse at 4th & Maple

Meuse….for beautiful living.  French country meets Victorian elegance in this new 4th Ave. boutique.

This used to be the old “4th Ave” boutique where I had a corner of the store for selling lingerie.  Funny thing is that I can definitely see lingerie in this store. It‘s interesting to see how one store can change so much.  Before this, just after 4th Ave boutique, it was a bedding store.

If you get tired of shopping you can take a rest

This is a beautiful boutique.

pretty nightgowns


INtrigue INsider: Henley by Garbe

What is a Henley?

My very first Henley was a waffle cotton knit bodysuit in dove grey ordered from the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue.  That started my love for this type of casual shirt.

I find this one from Garbe an impeccably constructed shirt in one of the most luxurious mercerized cottons.  It’s a take on the classic henley but with a bit of an edge with details like italian buttons and raw seams.  Comfy yet sophisticated.  Note: It is NOT a bodysuit.

Available in: GREY, CLOUD, ARCTIC WHITE & BLACK at http://intrigueimports.com

grey henley

I wear these 3 more than I’d like to admit.

Monique in her Garbe

Trivia: They were so named because this particular style of shirt was the traditional uniform of rowers in the English town of Henley-on-Thames.

Originally quite popular in the early 1970s, Henley shirts have recently made a fashion comeback.

In his biography of Ralph Lauren, the journalist Michael Gross quotes a New York merchant who recalled showing a vintage shirt to a Ralph Lauren buyer: “I showed this fellow underwear—a three-button long-sleeve shirt by Johnstown Knitting Mills. He said, ‘This is a new shirt.’ That’s where he got the idea for the Henley shirt.”