Happy Halloween

HALLOWEEN is the one time of the year where you can be whoever you want

20151027_150103My dog Jia Jia has been bugging me to go trick or treating as a cat so I pulled together a last minute costume using an oversize long sleeved t-shirt, cat ears and bowtie (because only cool cats wear bowties)  He’s expecting to get lots of treats since he’s a bit limited in the trick department.

cat1So it was only fitting that I become his sidekick and transform myself into….CattyWoman!

bad blurry selfie
hands free selfie

We might not win first prize in the best costume department but it’s fun to play dressup for the evening and the kiddies love it.  I don’t think I’ve ever been a cat before but Meeooww.

You can’t really tell in these frightfully grainy photos just how pretty my dolce & gabbana inspired fishnet lace & crystal mask is.  Take my word for it.


Will your bag of candy be half empty or half full?

Have a scary evening!
Pumpkin Patch                            Photos: d. king

Have a scary evening!  

But watch out for the weirdos



Feel-good Friday: Reflecting

A FRAME is a frame, but what you see inside can change depending on a persons viewpoint – d. king

Photo: d. king   Perceptions: at a distance I was sure the writing said
Perceptions: at a distance I was sure the writing said Bon Voyage. Photo: d. king
or allow ourselves to think
or allow ourselves to think


That depends on how 'real' it was to begin with
That depends on how real it was to begin with.  Some people take a year to get over something, others take a week. Ahhh some people. C’est la vie!

Sometimes you’ve got to take a longer look to get the full picture

Have a lovely LOVERley weekend!  

beauty – the classics

Some PEOPLE, BRANDS and COLORS are classic and if they’re extra special some even turn out to be LEGENDS. What becomes a legend most – if not Sophia Loren?

October Issue of Bazaar
Two Italian Beauties.  An Ad in the October Issue of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine.                       Sophia is #1 and so is this lipstick.

The current trend with magazines is to showcase classic movie stars and current IT-girl celebrities to help promote certain luxury skincare and cosmetics lines – for a double dose of glamour.

It’s quite brilliant actually.

Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is anything but the SHY type

While regular models are appealing, there’s something memorable about having a classic like Sophia Lauren (this is a woman) promote a classic lip color or having a younger modern movie actor like Jennifer Lawrence (who I think is great) to call attention to a luxury makeup brand.

It goes to prove that certain shades, brands and people transcend age and time – which defines classic. 

With Isabella Rosselini - she was the face of Lancome for 14 years
The Natural – with Isabella Rossellini this past April. She was the face of Lancome for 14 years.  We first met 26 years ago.  She still glows.

While on the subject, there’s a certain allure with not being too perfect as in having a slightly asymmetrical face or a nose that’s maybe considered a bit too big for your face or lips that are just….normal.  We shouldn’t strive to all look the same.  Beauty is built out of character, resolve and confidence.  I’ve always believed that. Women like Lauren Hutten, Isabella Rossellini and Barbra Streisand are not classic beauties in a conventional sense but they are true to themselves, strong, intelligent and extremely attractive. They’ve turned their little imperfections into their personal branding. And men love them! So more power to them.

Style ICON – Catherine Deneuve

The CLASSICS never fadedeneuve15

I’m on a classic kick…with everything. deneuve11966CorbisIn fact, my two best friends growing up in Montreal were compared to the likes of a young Rita Hayworth and Catherine Deneuve so I’ve always been aware of these timeless beauties.  I think there was more to them than just their loooks; like a strong character and an ease with style.  They embodied charm, appeal and a bit of mystery. 

deneuve5So for style; who is best to exemplify classic cool French girl chic better than Catherine Deneuve?  Even today at 72 (she just celebrated her birthday this month), she’s still glamming it up, as per her appearance on the red carpet at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, an event she has been attending since the 1960’s.  When she stepped out at the festival’s opening ceremony and the premiere of her new film,  Le Tête Haute, cinema goers and fans experienced a little Deneuve déjà vu.deneuve16

deneuve4resusa1968So looking back no words are needed because the photos speak for themselves.  Une belle du vie.

2015 - getty images
2015 – getty images

deneuve 17

Just like a good perfume that never changes
Just like a good perfume that never changes


Besides there is no one who has been able to pull off le trench as well as Deneuve.  I try, I trydeneuve8

Do you have a favorite STYLE ICON?

Photos: google images

Food – a twist on the Classics

Classic dishes are like Madonna: They don’t go away, they just reinvent themselves.damn1

First we’re going to start with 3 basics that have been around forever and probably everyone has eaten at least once in their lifetime.  I’m talking Caesar Salad, the BLT and good ol’ Southern fried chicken.  Then we’re going to put a bit of a twist on them and turn each into a sandwich because there’s something to be said about a great sandwich.  Of course the BLT is already a sandwich…but it’s where the bacon is grilled that’s the ticket.

This is how it’s done

The Caesar Salad
Transformed into a genius sandwich on toasted brioche at Damn the Weather in Seattle.

Damn the Weather, Seattle
Damn the Weather, Seattle

According to Bon Appétit:

Not only does this place win the title of best bar name of 2015, it’s also home to some of the best bar food we ate all year. After being lured to this brick building in Pioneer Square by its outstanding cocktail program, we ended up ditching our dinner plans and hunkering down at the bar for a meal. Would you walk out on a duck chili dog? Didn’t think so. Sure, you can get a killer burger and fries. But you won’t want to miss daring dishes like a spaghetti-and-meatball burger, and salt-and-pepper chicken skins. Should you need more courage to ditch your comfort zone, consult the cocktail list, which is heavy on food-friendly aperitifs like Calvados and tonic or Zucca amaro and soda.

damn6This time, the bacon’s grilled at The Polo Bar in NYC. This one is owned by fashion legend Ralph Lauren

Lauren’s third restaurant (after Ralph’s in Paris and RL in Chicago) includes all the ingredients that make his style so quintessentially American. Think equestrian vibes, country club-style leather accents and luxuriously-crafted interiors. It’s an ode to the preppy American, the Wild West (saddle leather & equestrian art) and the stylish sportif Lauren best represents in his collections. The staff is, of course, outfitted in Ralph Lauren.

It would help to dress in RL
DRESS CODE: It would help to dress in RL

Fittingly, the new restaurant is located beside the Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store at Fifth Avenue and East 55th Street, where Lauren launched his own coffee shop, Ralph’s Coffee—serving up organic espressos and Americanos—last fall. But The Polo Bar serves much more than coffee. American fare such as locally-raised steaks and burgers (from his own cattle ranch in Colorado, whenever possible), fresh oysters, crab cakes, Alaskan black cod, corned beef sandwiches, Loch Duart wild salmon and BLT salads are among the choices offered on the menu. The designer’s favorite item on the menu is rumored to be the corned beef sandwich, toasted on rye bread with classic mustard and coleslaw. One thing is clear: the menu and the décor are drenched in tradition. Other options include the dover sole—one of the most delicate-tasting fish available—and the caviar and fingerling potatoes, another classic yet hard-to-find offering. Source: Harper’s Bazaar Magazine

Fried Chicken Sandwich – a la Chicken Milanese 

Photo: Crystal Coser
Photo: Crystal Coser

Apparently L.A. is having a current obsession with fried-chicken sandwiches.  Who knew? Those cravings can be satisfied at Alimento  where  chef  Zach Pollack  makes a killer Milanese version at the bar – a new addition to his Italian menu.

A review in Los Angeles Eater has this to say:  The richness of super crisp fried chicken and layer of prosciutto is perfectly balanced by the bite of pepperoncini and a pleasantly bitter puntarelle slaw.  damn4

But Pollack’s biggest contribution to modern thought might just be his tortellini, a soup-dumpling heist in which rich broth is tucked inside delicate pasta dough. These culinary feats (and others) all take place in a chic, fuss-free room—the kind of grown-up, date-night spot that any neighborhood would be lucky to have.

Oh right; date night….

Well looks like I’ll  start with the Caesar sandwich in Seattle and work my way down or is it up?  Doesn’t matter – I’ll work my way around it all.

Where would you start?

Damn the Weather: 116 1st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98104, United States      Phone:+1 206-946-1283

Alimento: 1710 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026, United States             Phone:+1 323-928-2888

 The Polo Bar: 1 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022, United States

ART/LifeSTYLE – Rolling with Emilio PUCCI

I’m not so sure what to make of this…but would it be so wrong to hang a skateboard on my wall as an ART piece? I mean we hang masks, why not a skateboard?

Emilio Pucci Limited Edition Skateboards
Emilio Pucci Limited Edition Skateboards

I can ice skate and rollerblade, but I have never skated on a board and my dog barks at anyone who does.  But if I did (and was still in my 20’s or under), I would be attracted to this limited-edition Pucci skateboard collection.  pucci3

It wouldn’t be the first time a luxury brand has put its stamp on a recreational item (Chanel surfboards, Alexander Wang pool toys, Louis Vuitton golf bags, the list goes on). It is, however, the first time a brand tapped art students to reimagine its archives as something entirely new for the younger set. The resulting street decks are emblazoned with seven graphic takes on Pucci’s classic, color-happy prints. And while each one easily qualifies as an enjoy-from-afar art piece, they’re constructed from scratch-resistant Balkan beech wood and equipped with durable, trick-friendly wheels—in short, they’re meant for riding.

Instead of a traditional announcement, Pucci collaborated with NOWNESS on a short film to break the news.  HERE:


maybe I'll stick to the ART scarves
maybe I’ll stick to the ART scarves which not only fame your neck but can also be framed on your wall.


What MATTERS: Friends who have HEART

This photo was taken 3 days ago with my very dear friend Colleen.  

In a pet store with my dog Jia Jia & an adopted dog from Taiwan, Nina.
With my dog Jia Jia & Nina, an adopted dog from Taiwan at My Fluffy Friend’s pet store.

We’ve been friends for over 20 years and have gone on several adventures together; among them a swamp tour in the bayou where we got to hold a baby alligator, a birthday cruise where we met up with another friend and sailed from Miami to Cayman Islands and swam with countless Stingrays, a side trip from Jamaice to Havana where Colleen taught me how to light up a cigar (first & last time) and a nighttime pub crawl through the mossy tree lined streets of Savannah, Ga. while our guide related creepy scary story after story.  Colleen is an inspiration; she doesn’t take life for granted and she’s the first person to say “YES” to going somewhere and doing something fun.  She has no time for sweating the small stuff. Her family is amazing. The only time I don’t want to be around Colleen is when I’m feeling the slightest bit rundown. But there’s a reason for that.

Saturday at Pirate Joe's getting a bag of TJ goodies for the gala - silent auction table
Yesterday at Pirate Joe’s getting a bag full of TJ goodies for the silent auction table.

We first met 27 years ago, just before she left for London, England to undergo a heart & double lung transplant; a surgery that was not performed here in Canada at the time. She was celebrating her 27 year anniversary which was on October 22nd.  Colleen suffered a deadly disease called cystic fibrosis (commonly known as CF) and London was where her knighted surgeon, Sir Magi Yacoub (of Egyptian & English descent) was located. Along with her mother, Colleen waited there 2 months before receiving her transplant. Colleen always had a good heart but at that time the surgeon felt it better for the lungs to keep same heart attached so he gave her the heart and lungs as one unit. Colleen’s donor was British and Colleen’s good heart went to a Greek man who was so grateful he gave her a gold heart pendant and earrings as a thank you. Organ donors can give people a second chance at life. Colleen is one of only a few living heart donors. She has been back to visit both her surgeon and her heart recipient (he had two kids and lived 17 longer years) since.

Colleen is Canada’s longest surviving heart and double-lung recipient and many stories have been written about her.  At the time, she travelled to London with her best friend Brandy who also received a heart/double-lung transplant but her body rejected it and very sadly Brandy did not survive.  In a few more weeks from now Colleen will be celebrating her donor kidney replacement (from a different donor).  Some may think she’s taking advantage of too many celebrations but she has good reason to celebrate, don’t you think? 

 She posted on Facebook: it’s great to be alive and well.  I miss all my friends along the way that were not so fortunate, but have wonderful memories.  An auspicious and reflective day.

being a bit crazy at
Spooning at Tavola (on Robson) after a tiring long day.

And I have met many people since with this common, fatal genetic disease that affects mostly young adults and children. I met an incredibly strong natured young woman, a  beautiful red-haired actress Eva Markvoort  who tragically passed away after a long fight five years ago.   She chronicled her combat with CF via a daily blog which people from all over the world followed religiously, many whom had no connection to CF.

Eva Markvoort

It is because of  people like Eva and Colleen that I volunteer  every year by rounding up live and silent auction items for a fundraising event called “65 Roses” to help raise money towards  finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.  As it stands right now there is no cure.

CF is not as widely recognized as Cancer. While I know more people close to me who currently have cancer, or are in remission from it, or people who have died from having cancer, this along with the SPCA, is my charity of choice. We are starting to see some progress here.

So I thought I’d share with  you a little bit about CF and the fundraising event called 65 Roses – because I think it’s important to raise consciousness regarding this.

What is CF?

It is a multi-organ disease, primarily affecting the lungs and digestive system. Ultimately, most CF deaths are due to lung disease.  Each week in Canada two children are diagnosed with CF and one person dies from this life-shortening disease. In 2010, half the Canadians who died of cystic fibrosis were under 26 years old.

About one in every 25 Canadians carries a defective version of the gene responsible for CF, and currently there are more than 4,000 Canadians living with the disease. Many people are not even aware that they have this gene.   Here’s the thing; both parents must carry the gene in order for their child to get CF, and each time they conceive they have a 1 in 4 chance of getting a child with CF.  Carriers may pass on the gene without passing on the disease.  For instance, Colleen has a brother and sister and neither have CF, nor do their children.  Although Colleen’s mother lost a baby son and a teenage daughter to this terrible disease .

What is 65 ROSES?

The annual 65 Roses Gala is Cystic Fibrosis Canada Vancouver Chapter’s signature event, and I am excited to announce that this year marks the 15th ‘Crystal’ Anniversary of the gala.  This amazing event, Presented by B2Gold Corp, is set to take place on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, and to honor this milestone anniversary we have some special surprises and exciting performances lined up which I’m sure everyone will love! Tax receipts will be issued for the charitable portion of each ticket.

Crystal Anniversary.....still some tickets available.
2015 Crystal Anniversary…..still some tickets available.  For tickets: 604.436.1158 or visit http://www.65RosesGala.com

Last year’s Gala was a great success! Over 300 guests gathered to enjoy an evening of fine dining, superb wines, delicious food, and danced the night away. Thanks to guests, sponsors, and donors, we collectively raised more than $400,000 for cystic fibrosis research and care, making this our most successful event to date.  There are still some tickets available.

About the RESEARCH

In 2015/2016, Cystic Fibrosis Canada will invest more than $7.7 million in innovative research and clinical care. Researchers are attacking cystic fibrosis on many fronts.  We know that this research is making a difference in the lives of those with cystic fibrosis because the median age for life expectancy of Canadians living with CF is now 50.9 years, the highest in the world! This research and care is largely funded by our fundraising efforts and events such as this one, and we cannot raise the money that we do without the help of our generous sponsors.

How can you HELP make a difference?

If you are interested in supporting CF by donating an item for auction or purchasing gala tickets,  please contact the Cystic Fibrosis Canada Western Region office at 604.436.1158  Not only will you receive a tax receipt for doing so, but it will make you feel good and *way more attractive too.

There have been great strides towards finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, but we know we can do more, and with your help we can fund critical research and care to help make CF stand for CURE FOUND. 

I’m delighted to do whatever I can to help support CF and it makes me feel good to do something for such a worthwhile cause.  Plus I’m looking forward to another FUN evening.  Because let’s face it, there always has to be some FUN involved. 

*FUN FACT: According to my friend Yanive, DONATING MAKES YOU 65 TIMES MORE ATTRACTIVE TO THE OPPOSITE SEX and adds 125% more goodness to your SOUL.


Documentary about Eva on CBC’s The Passionate Eye


Dance at every opportunity


 I like to make my smoothies NAKED
20151021_112437Have you tried this juice? As far as juices go it’s pretty complete.  They label it a juice smoothie so you can drink it as is but if you have a Vitamix and add a few extras it’s perfect! It has a high percentage of fruit mixed with all the power greens including garlic & ginger for good measure. 140 calories per 8 fl. oz. so it’s not without calories.   Also has plenty of vitamins but no fibre – although you can add fibre to it. It has naturally occurring sugars (from the fruit) but that’s what gives you the energy boost. It’s perfect right after a run, workout or for a pick-me-up.  I love trying out new healthy smoothie recipes that are simple to make. Here, half the work is already done for you in one bottle.

My own concoction for a quick ‘n delicious Energy Smoothie for two:

NAKED (Green Machine)






FILTERED WATER (adjust to desired consistency)

MONKEYS (optional)

Start with 1 cup each of the juices,  add 1 cup of mango and go from there. *I use Brad King’s Ultimate Vegan FibreLean and Ultimate Vegan Protein Powder.  I also added a couple scoops of Vitamin C with L-Lysine (Medi-C Plus) for additional anti-sickness protection

20151019_19041320151019_190441What do you think?  

Not bad right?

Feel-good Friday: Liberally!

Politically speaking, Canada has made a clear choice. We’re off to a fresh start with Justin Trudeau as our new Prime Minister and his wife Sophie appears an authentic, supportive and truly amazing woman.  Looking forward to what will come….

It was time for a change

Speaking of change, politics in the USA is if anything, exciting; and Donald Trump is if anything, entertaining…so I’ve posted two super funny short video clips you may have missed. Something to start your weekend off with a laugh.

Clip from SNL with Hillary Clinton as bartender:

Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon as Donald Trump interviewing Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton is all for women’s issues & Donald Trump says all the women he knows all have issues.

Yeah, I’m all for Hillary. 

Have a wonderful weekend

World beauty – just slap me!

The latest EXTREMEly beautiful trends from around the Globe  

Photo: Bon Duke
Photo: Bon Duke

I warned told you this was coming!

When you give permission to love something simply because it’s fun and not because it’s necessary, a lot of weird things can go down. This becomes the most obvious in the realm of beauty, where, both historically and globally, anything can happen in the name of getting rid of a zit or two. Parisian spas of the 1920s used to offer muscle-stretching machines and would masturbate you for skin health (the writer Colette was a fan of this technique) but who am I to judge.

These days, you can get slapped in the face in the name of anti-aging and bathe in fermented hay to soothe stiff muscles. Our taste for extreme beauty has only grown, thriving as ever in the sweet spot between the mythic and the scientific. When we want to feel pampered, we’ll try anything once. So here’s a collection of 13 stranger-than-fiction things you can do, all around the word, in the name of beauty. Who knows? Some of them might actually work.  (see credits at bottom)

1)   San Francisco— You can get your kisser smacked around for $350 a session by licensed practitioners in the art of the Thai Face Slap. Their website assures us it is “1 million percent safe.” Sign up a mean or sly ex-boyfriend for the service, perhaps? Yes, by all means.  I tried a regular Thai massage and they don’t kid around.

2)  Lithuania — Stop by the Kempinski Hotel and you can exfoliate and bathe in crushed amber to shed impurities. It’s probably as close to bathing in diamonds as we’ll get… for now. Nothing wrong with being second best. Next time I’m in Lithuania I’ll give it a try.

3)  Maldives — As if chilling on a private tropical island wasn’t dreamy enough, at Velaa Private Island’s spa you can curl up in a cocoon cradle surrounded by light-generated visuals to simulate the feeling of floating on a cloud. Please note: it also happens to look like a rainbow vagina.

4)  London — Bird-poop facials originated in Korea a thousand years ago, and the nightingale variety, appropriately named uguisu no fun in Japanese, has become a favourite among celebrities and royalty: Kate Middleton, Victoria Beckham and members of One Direction are all said to be fans of the treatment. For £180 a squat, you can have skin like Posh Spice.

5)  Israel — At Ada Barak’s Carnivorous Plant Farm near Haifa, you can willingly have nonvenomous snakes of all sizes slither over your body as an interesting method of stress relief. This would make an excellent scene in a Nicki Minaj video.  Hey, I went to Haifa once and all I got was a delicious tasting shwarma with fries.

6)  Thailand — At the Snail Spa in Chiang Mai, you can have little slimeballs crawl all over your face in the name of hydration. If you can’t make the trip, snail-based face masks aren’t hard to find nowadays.  Thank god for that!

7)  Italy — At Hotel Heubad in the hills of Northern Italy, you can be wrapped in a bed of hot local fermented hay to sweat out your impurities. It is evidently great for stiff muscles and arthritis, though the treatment has lost the scientific support it once held.  Hay, who cares?  I would do just about anything to even be in Italy!

8)  China — Huo liao, also known as the fire treatment, involves placing a cloth soaked in alcohol and a serum on the skin and igniting it until the therapist decides to smother the flame with a wet towel. Probably a relaxing treatment for arsonists.  Ahhh think I’ll pass!

9)  Over 75 Regions, including Brooklyn — Of course the weirdest borough would have the weirdest facial. A new treatment from Hydrafacial mines precious cells from baby foreskins to help resurface your skin for a “youthful glow.” Maybe too youthful.  Maaaybe we’re taking this anti-aging thing a bit too far?

10) California — Potheads, rejoice! Or, don’t; the marijuana massage uses topical cannabis oil to get you high on life. It won’t actually get you stoned, but it does purport to help with chronic pain, wounds and inflammation. Free bong hit not included; for that particular happy ending, you might have to go to Denver, where the marijuana massage is also available.  And looking like soon right here at home!

11) Kenya — At the Segera Retreat near Mount Kenya, you can bathe in a rock bath of lavender, sage and camel milk and spy on elephants roaming the wildlife sanctuary Segera is a part of. This is Extreme Self Care: Safari Edition.  I’m IN!

12) The World Wide Web — While the Oculus Rift waits in the wings, YouTube is the latest platform for beauty, or at least for immersive beauty tutorials. ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) junkies can feast on the popular channel ASMR Requests, which offers spine-tingling virtual aesthetician visits, and the interstellar Departure series. They’re like spas for sci-fi nerds.

13) North Carolina — Asheville’s Omni Grove Park Inn, with its 43,000-square-foot subterranean spa, features an 80-minute “Color and Light Wrap with Aura Imaging” treatment. Translation: you sit in a pod that vibrates and changes color like a very expensive and all-encompassing Windows screen saver.  I’m intrigued!

Now, tell me which one (or more) of the above would you be most inclined to do?


Photographer: Bon Duke playfully re-imagines (and maybe even invents) a few luxe beauty treatments.

Makeup by Anastasia Durasova at the Wall Group / Hair by Joey George at the Wall Group / Photographer assistants: John Temones and Tiri / Model: Eden Weinhardt at New York Model Management

Source: Arabelle Sicardi for PaperMag.com