The Crème de la Crème SHOPApt1Here is another very versatile shop I want to share with you.apt2

 I’m a BIG advocate of one-stop shopping Apt3apt5In this place you can not
only get something great to wear or carry….apt6but you can pick up some pretty nice herbal teas,apt9 a gift for a mom-to-be,apt4dishes for your dog, apt7a lavatory mist and a little something to read.

Or a HAT!
Or a HAT!

Not bad right?

1199 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver

Photos: d. king

Food: Wolfgang Puck’s Asparagus Soup

I hope you enjoy this *pheremone enhancing recipe with added Leeks and Herbsasparagussoup

For the past five years Wolfgang Puck, long-reigning king at the L.A. institution Spago, has been on a new path, working out with a trainer and revamping his menus to emphasize fresh produce and whole grains.  “I like to buy high-quality ingredients and simply enhance them rather than alter their flavor or color,” says Puck.  His new cookbook, Wolfgang Puck Makes it Healthy, offers all the details.  Asparagus creates an ultra-bright soup. Cooling it in an ice bath as soon as it’s blended, keeps the hue vivid and preserves the chlorophyll so that the dish will be healthier and taste even better according to Puck.


20141102_212656What to do with them:20141102_212735

*Link to last Tuesday’s post – Foods that affect Pheremones:

Asparagus was one of them.  Asparagus is high in Vitamin E, which is believed to stimulate sex hormones…enough said!

Photos: d. king (ha, ha…….not my usual style but I’m traveling).

Words…Happiness as a Role vs. True Happiness

How are you?”  Just great.  Couldn’t be better.”  True or False?happy

In many cases, happiness is a role people play, and behind the smiling façade, there is a great deal of pain.  Depression, breakdowns, and overreactions are common when unhappiness is covered up behind a smiling exterior and brilliant white teeth, when there is denial, sometimes even to one’s self, that there is much unhappiness.

“Just fine” is a role the ego plays more commonly in America than in certain other countries where being and looking miserable is almost the norm and therefore more socially acceptable.

Be aware that what you think, to a large extent, creates the emotions that you feel.  See the link between your thinking and your emotions.  Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them.

Don’t seek happiness.  If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.  Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is, rather than making stories about it.  Unhappiness covers up your natural state of well-being and inner peace, the source of true happiness.

Source: Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” (the Life Purpose Bible).



Travel/Lifestyle – PET PEEVES

How you can make traveling with your PET EASIER.travel1

Yes, this is a little bit out of the norm but why not shake it up a bit.  The holidays are fast approaching and too many people have animals they want to travel with including me.  So this piece written by Rebecca Ledger (Vancouver Sun – Arts & Life, Tuesday, October 7th, 2014) will probably help those who wish to take their pets along for the ride.

Dogs are always excited to go for a car ride but, getting travel-phobic pets from A to B without barking, whining, pacing and throwing up en route is already on many owners’ minds.  Nausea, anxiety and unruly behaviour on car journeys are common problems, affecting around 20 per cent of pet dogs. This equates not only to thousands of miserable animals, but more critically, a lot of distracted driving.

What can we do to ensure that we reach our destination relaxed, in one piece and without the car smelling of vomit? Many solutions are available, but which ones actually work?

The first step is to identify if and why your dog is distressed, as different causes require different treatments. If your dog experiences motion sickness, recognizable by hyper-salivation, retching, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea, a visit to your veterinarian to get an anti-nausea product is a good call. Currently, Cerenia is the only FDA-approved product for the treatment motion sickness in dogs, although your veterinarian may recommend other products instead, such as Gravol or Benadryl. Some anti-nausea medications also sedate, so your veterinarian will need to know what shape your dog needs to be in when it reaches its destination.  Bear in mind that not all anti-nausea products made for humans are safe for all pets, so check with your veterinarian first what and how much to give.

Even if an anti-nausea product is effective, some dogs continue to dread getting into the car, sometimes anticipating the nausea of journeys-past. Travel anxiety also occurs in dogs that have suffered a traumatic event in a vehicle, such as an accident, or that have shocked by an electronic collar as they pass through an ‘invisible fence’ at the perimeter of their property. Dogs that have not got used to car rides from a young age and puppies too are at a greater risk of having travel-related anxiety and nausea.

Anxious dogs behave in a variety of ways. Once having been lured or perhaps forced into the car, some pets develop a full-blown stress response. Keep an eye out for excessive salivation, panting, trembling and an elevated heart rate. Seeing your windows fog up and covered in slobber are telltale signs.  Some anxious dogs will also whine, whimper, pin their ears back and tuck their tails between their legs. Also, watch for dogs that raise their front paw, yawn and lick their lips frequently.

Anxious dogs require weeks, if not months, of ‘systematic desensitization training’ to eventually feel safe in their vehicle. This involves gradual exposure to being in a parked vehicle, being in a parked vehicle with the engine running, and eventually short, tolerable trips that end before a panic attack is underway. However, when time is of the essence, again there are band-aid products that can help to alleviate the discomfort for stressed pets.

Your veterinarian may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication or sedative to help your pet stay calm. But, these products do not always have the desired effect. Recall the child on the airplane bouncing off the cabin walls instead of sleeping soundly after a dose of Benadryl? Well, some dogs can show similar paradoxical effects to sedatives. For this reason, make time to test these medications in advance of your trip.

For owners who prefer to avoid medications, low-risk, non-prescription products are also available. However, peer-reviewed clinical studies suggest that their effect is slight, with some pets failing to respond at all.

DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone, available from your veterinary clinic) calms dogs without sedating them. But, when clinically tested, while some nauseas dogs improved, it had no significant impact on excitable dogs. Conversely, diffused lavender oil reduces dog activity during car rides, but has no proven effect on anxiety. In one clinical trial, dogs treated with lavender aromatherapy spent more time sitting or lying down quietly than a Control group.

The Thundershirt also claims to help calm anxious dogs during travel, although, a study published this year in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour found that its effects were minimal. This body-hugging wrap had no significant effect on a dog’s heart rate or behaviour during transit, unless the dog was already on an anti-anxiety medication, in which case it helped a little.

To conclude, if your dog is distressed on car rides, prescription products work best. And, while non-prescription solutions can chip away at mild issues, they don’t provide as much value for money and have insufficient effect in more severe cases. So, if you can’t see your veterinarian in time for your trip, and the non-prescription items don’t quite cut it for your dog, try to stick to the highways — drivers can do their part by avoiding erratic movements, sharp turns and bumpy roads. Transporting your pet on an empty stomach can also help avert problems. Or, if all else fails, maybe think about spending the holidays at home with your dog this year!

Rebecca Ledger is an animal behaviour scientist.  Read her blog at

Butterflies of Pismo Beach – Long Live our Monarch

the BUTTERFLY!birds7

I couldn’t believe my eyes when the leaves in the trees started to come to life!  It is a natural phenomenon – a sight to behold.

Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch Butterflies flock to Pismo Beach, seeking shelter from the freezing northern winters. From late October to February, the butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees at Pismo State Beach.  A beautiful place where I camped on several occasions.


The butterflies form dense clusters (as in the above photo) with each one hanging with its wing down over the one below it to form a shingle effect. This provides shelter from the rain and warmth for the group. The weight of the cluster help keeps it from whipping in the wind and dislodging the butterflies.

Waking up!
Waking up!  This photo from website

The colony at Pismo Beach (home of the beach blanket bingo movies with Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello in the mid 60’s should anyone care) is one of the largest in the nation, hosting an average of 25,000 butterflies over the years but the numbers have exceeded a quarter million.

The annual Monarch butterfly migration in Michoacan, Mexico is the largest in the world and is a famous top attraction for visitors.  I have yet to see it. Can there be anything more beautiful?

Photos: d. king

Beauty biz – Chanel LES OMBRES

Eyeshadow redefined20141015_122551and inspired by threads of Chanel tweed.  And who can resist that?

I was testing out the Chanel Rouge Allure Lip colors (more on this later) when this exquisite eye palette caught my attention.  Normally I’m not one to get too excited about eye shadow. Concentrating on eye makeup takes time, precision and knowing what works for you.  And when it cakes or runs it looks god awful.  So I don’t spend time on this however I was drawn to the endless possiblilities of these new versatile multi-effect compacts with rich pigment shade combinations ranging from matte to satin to shimmer. The formula can be applied dry for subtle shading, or dampened for more intense colour. Dermatologist tested.  Simply Stylish!20141015_122031New LES 4 OMBRES Multi-Effect Quadra Eyeshadow in Tissé Vendôme, Tissé Gabrielle, Tissé Cambon, and Tissé Vénitien.Chanel Poesie and Tisse Rivoli

 Available in Canada at Holt Renfrew
Have you tried them?

Style: Hooray for HOLLYWOOD

Who can blame us for getting sidetracked in Hollywood, the SHOP?!hollywood1

On the way to the Vancouver Home & Design show my sister took me to one of her favourite little boutiques that is sure to become one of mine.  It is chock full with a wide variety of stuff we love. Here are some photos:

289 Davie Street FACEBOOK: hollywood boutique
289 Davie Street
FACEBOOK: hollywood boutique
like beauty products
like beauty products
Lingerie (on sale)
Lingerie (on sale)



cute perfumy evening bags
cute perfumy evening bags – Milan





Which of the perfume bottle evening bags do you like best?  

Foods That Affect Pheromones

What do Pheremones and Food have in common?pheremone1

We know that pheromones are chemicals secreted by the body that influence the behavior of others of the same species. Apparently this also includes insects. Each persons (or animals/insects) pheromones are biologically different, and have a different effect on other people/animals/insects. Scientists believe that human sexual orientation and sexual attraction may be partially based on pheromones.

Humans produce pheromones called aphrodisiacs that affect the sexual behavior of other humans. Though each person produces pheromones with a unique chemical formula, there are certain foods that can affect human pheromones.


Chocolate has long been regarded as a romantic gift. Research indicates that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a stimulant that causes a sense of excitement and well-being.


Asparagus with Tomatoes
Asparagus with Tomatoes

Asparagus is high in Vitamin E, which is believed to stimulate sex hormones. In ancient societies, asparagus was considered to be an erotic stimulant because of its phallic shape.  Next Tuesday: Recipe for Asparagus Soup.
pheremone4RED HOT Chili Peppers

Chilies contain capsaicin, the chemical that adds heat to peppers and other spicy foods. Capsaicin stimulates nerve endings and raises the heart rate, causing the release of endorphins.

RED WINEpheremone6

Burly red wines, evoking the scents of leather, tobacco and earth, are said to act as aphrodisiacs. It is believed that the musky bouquet of red wine imitates male hormones.


Celery Heart
Celery Heart

The nutrients found in celery are believed to stimulate the pituitary gland, which releases sexual hormones. There is also some evidence to indicate that the scent of celery suggests androstenone, a primary male pheromone. In the Middle Ages, celery was advised as a treatment for impotence.


According to legend, Casanova ate oysters everyday, using them to seduce vestal virgins. Oysters are high in zinc, which is used to produce testosterone.

My order of preference for the above would be 1) Chocolate 2) Red Wine (1 + 2 preferably together) 3) Chili Peppers (but not raw) 4) Asparagus         5) Oysters (with wine) 6) Celery (preferably cooked or in a salad).

How about you?

Sources: Lane Madison, Discovery Health, CNN, Eat Something

Images: celery heart by Less Random Imagery

All other Images by


ART – Phantom Inspiration

“Energy and motion made visible – memories arrested in space” – Jackson Pollock

Patrice LesickSometimes a painting does not need an introduction. Such is the case with this stimulating “Phantom” abstract by Patrice Lesick (Acrylic on Canvas 77 x 64 inches – 1990).  Elan Fine Art – Vancouver.

Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes.…Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.” – Arshile Gorky (Armenian-American painter).

Do you GET abstract ART?

Health MATTERS – raising awareness: Key to a Cure for CF

That’s Cystic Fibrosis, commonly known as CF. Last Saturday I attended an event in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada.  It was the 14th Annual 65 Roses Gala held at the Pan Pacific Hotel.  The theme was Oh, what-a-night and it was! cf1


An all-around great evening met with reception champagne cocktail or pomegranate martini while busy perusing all the silent auction items, then delicious 3 course dinner with free flowing wine (supplied by Okanagan Crush Pad), live auction bidding and finally dancing to the excellent live band – SideOne.

But there was more to this evening.  The intention was to raise awareness for a life threatening disease affecting children and adults to which there is no cure. Also I have a personal connection as a good friend of mine has CF. So I just wanted to let you know about it because it is not so prevalent as Cancer – something we’re all too familiar with.  It is a terrible and fatal genetic disease.

People with CF spend the equivalent of four months of full time work every year on life-sustaining therapies.  Despite this intensive work to stay well, less than half are expected to reach middle age.  I’m happy to report that my friend has reached middle age, looks good and is doing well.

Cystic fibrosis causes various effects on the body, but mainly affects the digestive system and lungs. The degree of cystic fibrosis involvement differs from person to person. However, the persistence and ongoing infection in the lungs, with destruction of lungs and loss of lung function, eventually causes death in the majority of people who have cystic fibrosis.

Typical complications are difficulty in digesting fats and proteins; vitamin deficiencies due to loss of pancreatic enzymes; and progressive loss of lung function.

Since the first 65 Roses Gala in 2001, the Gala has raised over $2.5 million to fund research and clinical care here in B.C. and across Canada.  CF Canada supports the transplant center at Vancouver General Hospital, one of only five centers in Canada.  A double lung transplant is “THE ONLY OPTION” (can you imagine?) for many people with end stage CF.  It is not a cure; it buys time and it is not available to all.  Can you even imagine?  They can always use more support in their desire to find a cure.cf3


Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that occurs when a child inherits two abnormal genes, one from each parent. Approximately, one in 25 Canadians carry an abnormal version of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. Carriers do not have cystic fibrosis, nor do they exhibit any of the symptoms of the disease.

When two parents who are carriers have a child, there is a 25 percent chance that the child will be born with cystic fibrosis; there is also a 50 percent chance that the child will be a carrier; and a 25 percent chance that the child will neither be a carrier nor have cystic fibrosis.


Cystic fibrosis is a multi-system disorder that produces a variety of symptoms including:

  • Persistent cough with productive thick mucous
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Frequent chest infections, which may include pneumonia
  • Bowel disturbances, such as intestinal obstruction
  • Weight loss or failure to gain weight despite possible increased appetite
  • Salty tasting sweat
  • Infertility (men) and decreased fertility (women)

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