Beauty Wardrobe: TIPS for Spring changeover

When transitioning into Spring I begin to obsess about making changes to my wardrobe bit by bit.  Spring cleaning on a whole other level. 

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

I start to put away my heavy sweaters, wool clothing and switch my hefty luxury cotton bathrobe for a lighter waffle cotton, but not before making sure everything is stored away clean.  Which brings me to some products to help in the process.

I am one who takes care of her belongings in every possible sense.  I’ve been using Wolford wash for delicates like good nylons (namely Wolford) and undies for ages and Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena concentrated laundry detergent which is gentle on fabrics as well as the earth.  I take all of that into consideration as a lifestyle choice.  Also I prefer natural clean products with a delicate scent.

Which brings me to something that recently caught my eye when I walked into Hill’s Dry Goods Clothing Store on 4th (in Vancouver).  Aside from noticing the obvious clothing labels I discovered a new cleaning product for clothing.  It’s called The Laundress.  I looked into the product further and thought I’d share some tips from the people over there that might help benefit you when springing into Spring:


  • Our spring wardrobes are in full bloom with this much welcomed warm weather, but are they really ready to be worn? If your garments were in storage throughout the winter, chances are they’ll need a bit of freshening up! Here’s how to rejuvenate your pieces:
  • Be on team “steam”
    Steaming has MANY benefits and we love treating stored garments to a quick session before adding them back to our daily outfit rotation. The process removes wrinkles and kills most germs and bacteria, which helps eliminate odours. Add a capful of The Laundress Ironing Water, scented in our Classic scent, to steamer’s water tank for fragrance.
  • Spritz to achieve the ultimate “clean laundry” smell
    Banish musty odours and freshen garments by spritzing one of our fabric sprays – Fabric Fresh Classic is perfect for this task! It’s scented in a unique blend of lily of the valley, jasmine, sweet musk and sandalwood with a touch of citrus. Added bonus: it’s allergen-free so it’s appropriate for even the most sensitive of noses.
  • “Yikes” moment? Here’s how to conquer yellowing…
  • On Cotton, Linen & Durable Synthetics
  • Treating very yellowed items
    Presoak the item in a basin of hot water mixed with 1 capful of The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternative. Then wash as normal.
  • Treating moderately yellowed items
    Add 2 capfuls of The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternativeto a wash load (without detergent). Then wash again (using detergent) as normal.
  • Treating mildly yellowed items
    Add 2 capfuls of The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternativeto the wash load along with detergent.
  • On Silks and Delicate Synthetics
  • Treating very or moderately yellowed items
    Presoak the item in a basin of tepid/lukewarm water mixed with ¼ cup white vinegar. We use The Laundress Scented Vinegar. Then wash as normal. For extra stain fighting when treating synthetics, add 1 capful of The Laundress All-Purpose Bleach Alternative to the basin of warm water. Do not use on silk or wool.
  • Treating mildly yellowed items
    Add ¼ cup of white vinegar to the wash load or handwashing basin along with detergent. Wash as normal.
  • The Laundress Product of Perfection
    Even if everything looks clean, your nose can sense when things are going sour. Spray stubborn smells away with our nontoxic formula that freshens items by eliminating odor-causing organisms. It’s free of allergens and skin-irritating sodium phosphate typically associated with fabric fresheners.


We love our winter woolies and wish to keep wearing them for months (and years) to come! That’s why we at The Laundress take storing, both long term and short term, seriously.

Improper storage can result in the deterioration and yellowing of fabrics or prompt the growth of mold and mildew. As we can’t imagine our sweaters enduring discoloration and more (and know that you can’t either!), we’ve perfected the art of prepping and packing away seasonal wardrobes. Learn the start to finish process and the products we recommend for best results!

Wash garments before storing long term
Washing before storing prevents mystery stains from appearing over time – even if no stains are visible we recommend including these pieces in your laundry load! Perfume, body products, body oil, food, and dirt can show up after some time and they are much harder to remove. Storing clothes clean also decreases the likelihood of a bug or moth attack.

When washing woolens and down, we suggest using The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo. For cotton, linen, and durable synthetics, The Laundress Signature Detergent is ideal. Always wash items that are starched before storing – moths love starch!

Pack items in a breathable, cotton bag
When storing wool, cashmere, and all fabrics to be stored folded, it is best to pack in a breathable fabric, such as cotton or linen, with a zip closure. We opt against plastic bins as this material can cause textiles to discolor over time. The Laundress Large Zip Storage & Laundry Bag and All-Purpose Storage Bag will work to protect the fabric’s integrity by shielding dust and critters. Did you know that moths can’t eat through cotton?

Delicate pieces and those prone to wrinkling are best stored folded with acid-free tissue. This practice is ideal for long term storage. Do not hang knits, silks, or synthetics as this will alter the pieces’ shape.

Fur, leather, and outerwear are best stored hung. Improper storage of such pieces can result in their drying out which causes the loss of natural oils. We recommend.  The Laundress Hanging Storage & Garment Bag – it fits up to 6 jackets – over traditional, plastic garment bags as they can cause yellowing and prompt mold growth.

Store in rooms that are clean, cool, dark, and dry
Avoid storing in attics or basements as humid areas are optimal environments for moth breeding, mold, and mildew. Areas that experience extreme temperatures or direct sunlight are not ideal as both will lead to the deterioration of fabrics. It is best opt for rooms that are clean, cool, dark, and dry.

Prepare for silverfish, moth, and bug issues before they happen
Take preventative measures against critters by storing clothing with The Laundress Cedar Drawer Sheet or Lavender Pouch. Both cedar and lavender are scents that naturally repel bugs and moths. Spritzing garments with The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray, our nontoxic, allergen-free fabric spray, is helpful as well! Avoid using moth balls as they are toxic, deadly, and have a noxious odour (which is nearly impossible to remove). We do not recommend cedar blocks/chips as their oil can transfer to fabric and create stains.

If your closet has been attacked by critters, you’ll need to quarantine the scene.

Treat mold and mildew growth on garments
If mold or mildew becomes an issue, worry not as such pieces can often be salvaged. The Laundress Stain Solution, Stain Brush, and Scented Vinegar are our go-to for mold removal.

Reorganize closets and drawers each season
Clean drawers, closets, and clothes with each season to freshen items and ensure the absence of critters! Remove clothing and accessories from storage and launder as normal. While waiting on the wash cycles, vacuum and wipe down drawers. We use The Laundress Surface Cleaner and Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth to lift dust and lint. The Surface Cleaner is safe for all surfaces throughout your home, and is made with natural ingredients so it won’t harm fabrics!

Source: The Laundress 


















Style: Spring in a Box

Everyone knows I love a surprise just as much as the next gal.box1

Not a scary surprise like someone jumping at you from out of nowhere and gives you a mild heart attack – just a fun pleasant kind of surprise.  So you can imagine how happy I was to receive a…………..

Mystery girly Gift Box to celebrate Spring from the people over at the Zoe Report.  The Zoe Report (if you don’t already know) is an online style destination curated by none other than designer, celebrity stylist, editor and all-around business woman extraordinaire, Rachel Zoe.

Of course I’m going to share with you all the goodies inside the beautifully wrapped box that everything came in.  Even the tissue paper (above) is stylish.  So adorably cute!

photo: d. king
photo: d. king

First I should tell you that anyone can order (up to a limited amount as they sell out) the set (s) online although the Spring Box of Style (shown above) is now sold out. The boxes will cost anywhere from $100USD for a one-time only gift box or $350USD for an annual set for each season (that’s 4 boxes).  What you get inside is worth more than what you would pay for everything retail. Everything is chic and useful and the retail value of the contents are revealed as prices and links to websites are provided. The box I received was valued at $344 USD (before taxes) not including a deluxe size sample of La Mer Skin Concentrate (I’ll review this later on the beauty post). You can also get additional discounts (anywhere from 15 to 30%) off further orders on most items for a limited time should you desire.

When I first heard about this I thought “what a fabulous, fun idea” and I knew that it would be geared to fashion forward “women in the know.”  So now to share:

In Photo above:

I can cross this off my bucket list
I can now cross this one off my “bucket bag” list

“The Sidekick” Leather Bucket Bag designed and made in L.A.  Gorgeous custom go-with-anything caramel leather with suede lining.  The best thing is that it’s super light, just big enough to carry all essentials and I love that I can wear it cross-body (especially good for dog walking).  Cross body is my latest obsession.  I know I’ll get so much wear out of this simple bag all Spring/Summer long.bucket2

Jouer Crème Eyeshadow Crayon – sultry with a little shimmer, perfect for evening.

Delicate Pave and Stone Cuff gold plated bracelet by Jules Smith – chic enough to stand on its own or layer with other jewelry.  In other words, simply perfect.

Chic pair of great sound headphones by LSTN Sound Co – Wembley Earbuds.

A hair saviour dry shampoo by Klorane – discovered by RZ in Paris during fashion week.  The one she recommends as “the one.”  Who am I to argue?

Something to blot that midday all day shine with – Hollywood oil blotting tissues for a photo-ready look.

And if that wasn’t enough, a deluxe size sample (luckily a little goes a very long way) of the very expensive but effective miracle broth known as La Mer Concentrate.  Ooh la labucket3

  Obsessed already?

Summer Box of Style will be shipped out in June.  To Order:   Don’t forget to tell them that girlwhowouldbeking recommended you. XO




Food: Avocado Showdown


Everyone knows that avocados are good for you – they’re known as a superfoodavo4

I mean even avocado toast is a thing. I don’t feel like I need to reiterate all the benefits but I’d love to tell you about an upcoming event in Vancouver to do specifically with avocados from Mexico because let’s face it, they’re the best! An event I’m invited to attend and sample all of the dishes.  Good thing I love avocados!

avo3The second annual  Avoshowdownhosted by Avocados from Mexico, returns to Vancouver , B.C. on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver (2725 Main St, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m)

Local food lovers and culinary leaders will participate on Sunday April 10th, as 16 of Vancouver’s talented cooks and bakers showcase their creativity by creating an avocado dish for competition.  Six food and lifestyle experts will judge by a blind-tasting.

With the success and popularity of last year’s culinary competition, Avocados from Mexico is celebrating the return of the Avoshowdown  with bigger prizes, including roundtrip travels to a Mexican all-inclusive resort, courtesy of Club Med Canada.  This time, the competition is open to the public.

Did you know?

Of all avocados consumed in Canada, 80% of avocados come from Mexico. Mexico is the world’s top avocado producer (over 1,200 growers in the Michoacán region), far outranking the United States and Chile. Currently, Canada is the second biggest importer of Mexican avocados, ranking under the United States and just above Japan. Venue host chef Jonathan Kinney from the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver will teach attendees to create their own avocado dish; and  cocktail master, Justin Darnes of Drinks Undressed will reveal a spectacular avocado cocktail that he is creating exclusively for this event . An assortment of avocado appetizers will be created by the team at Northwest Culinary Academy to showcase the versatility of using Avocados from Mexico in every meal.

This year’s competing categories:

  • Savoury Dish (voted by judges)
  • Dessert/Pastry (voted by judges)
  • Foodie’s Choice (voted by entrants and spectators)

For more recipe ideas, nutritional information and tips, visit

Here is the link to my vegetarian ceviche recipe (with Avocados of course):

d. king
d. king





Friday is my second favourite F word!

FABULOUS is my first favourite F word.  What were you thinking?



Enjoy your long weekend and if you celebrate Easter try to lay off eating too many chocolate eggs!

I’ve invited a few friends and family over for dinner on Sunday and each place setting will have an easter egg filled with starburst jelly beans – just because. The dogs will hunt for toys and treats (Jack already knew how to play hide ‘n seek so now Jia Jia plays too). They’re told to sit and wait while I hide something and then they run excitedly trying to find it. Sometimes I make it more challenging for them. AND I’m trying out a brand new dessert which I’ll tell you about later providing it turns out.  Something I’ve been wanting to make for a long time but never got around to.

Isn’t every Friday a good friday?

Beauty: Celebrating 40 Years at L’OCCITANE!

Talking about the beauty company founded in Provence, France. Not me. I’m nowhere near 40!

Robson Street Location
The Beautiful Corner Location at Robson & Burrard – always loved the baskets

40 is the age of genius!

Many great artists created the majority of their works once they passed this milestone. Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Nanas, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup CansThe Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi to name a few.

Lemon Verbena hand wash & hand lotion gift set
Lemon Verbena hand wash & hand lotion gift set

No one is young after forty, but one can be irresistible at any age.” Coco Chanel

Anyway, some things get better with age.   Certainly that would be true for the company known and loved for its irresistible French pampering products.  I once visited the original L’Occitane location where you could smell fields of heavenly lavender from miles away.

Almond Concentrate
Almond Concentrate


I always carry a hand cream in my purse. These all have Shea Butter.
I always carry a hand cream in my purse. These all have Shea Butter.

To help celebrate, L’Occitane held an evening in their flagship Vancouver location last week – with hor d’oeuvres, glasses of rosé, dried lavender bouquets, free gel manis and surprise gift cards offering anywhere from $10 to $100 worth of product.  It was a fun few hours with like minded women. Translation: we who want to be pampered.

For its 40th anniversary, L’Occitane is retracing the roots of its greatest products.

Time to uncover the secrets behind one of my all time favourites: 

Almond Milk Concentrate body cream with its luxurious scent of the South.L'Occitane5

Renowned since ancient times for its fruits’ softening and smoothing properties, the almond tree is a key part of the Provençal landscape. First to blossom, the trees adorn themselves in February with a delicately scented white veil, as the orchards continue to sleep. The flowers herald the start of Spring, before giving way to beautiful soft green shells, the nut of which is bursting with useful cosmetic properties.L'Occitane2
Yet at one time the almond tree all but disappeared from the region. Threatened by the mechanisation of agriculture and the expansion of more profitable crops, it gradually began disappearing in the 1930s. In the 2000s, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region pioneered an initiative, supported by L’Occitane, to get this symbolic tree back to its rightful place in the Provençal landscape.


Combining smooth, creamy oil with meltingly soft almond milk, this formula has the ability to both strengthen and soften. Its secret? A luxurious, almost addictive fragrance. Like covering skin with a satin-smooth veil, Almond Milk Concentrate hydrates for more than 48 hours, while at the same time smoothing, firming and restoring the skin’s natural density.

Voilà! Straight From the fields of Provence to your favourite L’Occitane store.

Age does not protect you from the dangers of love. But love, to some extent, protects you from the dangers of age.” Jeanne Moreau.

Photos: d. king

Source for Concentrate: L’





Style: Wearable Art

The Black Leather Jacket Revised

Left: Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. Middle: Joseph Alturzzara. Right: Dries Van Noten
Left: Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci (men’s). Middle: Joseph Altuzarra.  Right: Dries Van Noten

Never has the classic black leather jacket looked so good in so many different interpretations – 23 to be exact.

Barneys has collaborated with some of today’s top designers and most noted artists to create their own versions of the quintessential black leather jacket. The jackets were being auctioned off by International auction house Christie’s with proceeds from the sales going to benefit two art institutions (*White Columns and **The Centre).

The project pays homage to an iconic 1986 event in the original downtown NYC store location entitled Decorated Denim—in which customized denim jackets designed by prominent designers and artists were auctioned off to benefit an AIDS organization.

laying on the idea of the iconic black leather jacket, artist Rob Pruitt emblazoned his interpretation, 91 Notables Wearing Biker Jackets, with hand-drawn likenesses of those know for sporting the style, ranging from Marlon Brando and James Dean to Drake and Bart Simpson.
Artist Rob Pruitt emblazoned his interpretation, 91 Notables Wearing Biker Jackets, with hand-drawn likenesses of those know for sporting the style, ranging from Marlon Brando and James Dean to Drake and Bart Simpson.

For the occasion, Barneys partnered with *White Columns, New York’s oldest non-profit art space specializing in emerging artists, as well as with **The Center, New York City’s LGBT community center, for an art-meets-fashion collaboration.

Designers including Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant, along with artists like Helmut Lang, Marilyn Minter, and Rob Pruitt, have all put their own spin on the wardrobe staple, some for men and others for women, and each with phenomenal results. From the edgy to the refined, from wild to elegant, each of these jackets is a true expression of its creator’s vision.

The Los Angeles-based artist Sterling Ruby has been quoted as saying, “I like to think about art as being similar to poetry. It can’t be proven. It just exists, and there’s an aura about it.”

There is definitely an aura about the leather jacket.  I love a slightly tough but sleek black leather jacket that shouts SEXY, CHIC, COOL, EDGY and always in style!

How about you?


Terracotta Clay Pot Cooking & BBQ

A new discovery.  Well for me it might be relatively new, but I believe it’s an ancient tradition having originated in Tuscany, Italy around 800BC.  It involves arranging food in a clay pot and sticking it in the oven.

Photo: d. king Hearty Bolognese Sauce
Photo: d. king
Hearty Bolognese Sauce

My pot resembles a beautiful large bowl. Until recently it was more of a decoration looking so pretty just sitting on top of a burner that I didn’t want to disturb it.  But I decided to do just that.  I was sure that anything this fine looking would make the food equally fine tasting. I felt inspired to actually try cooking with it and so be it!

I’ve been cooking like crazy with it and so far there has been nothing that has not come out other than superb tasting. I know the pot is mostly responsible for this so thought I’d share a few things about clay cooking because I’m not sure how popular it is.  I know that using a pressure-cooker and slow-cooker is more the norm but this is fantastic and since this is also a life/style blog it looks pretty impressive taking it out of the oven.

Photo: d. king Spanish Chicken Marbella
Photo: d. king
Spanish Chicken Marbella (served over wild rice)

“Hey I’ve got a great looking pot and something even better inside it – eat your heart out!” – d. king

Cooking in a clay pot is a lot different than cooking with other materials like ceramic or stainless steel because clay is porous.  In fact, just to be on the safe side I soak the whole pot (lid and all) in water for about 20 minutes before using it.  Then, when all the ingredients are inside, I place the pot in the oven before turning the oven on so everything warms up gradually.

The lack of enamel or glaze means the hard-baked clay “breathes”, enabling water to be absorbed and then released during cooking to achieve moist, intensely flavourful results with little to no seasonings. The slow, steady evaporation of steam from within the clay pot’s unglazed pores and the double sealed lid is what makes this possible.

Slow cooking is so much faster using a clay pot.  It cooked the contents inside set on a low oven temperature of 300F evenly and flavourfully in all of one hour. Unbelievable!

Safety: most risk of lead contamination comes from glazed, ceramic dishes and pots. Make sure your clay pot is unglazed and has been certified by an independent third party lab as lead-free and that no chemical treatments have been applied to the clay during manufacturing of the clay pots.  Then enjoy experimenting with them!

Have you ever cooked using clay?  If so, share your thoughts?

Judgment day:

My experience as a black box judge in the “creative category” from competing teams at a barbeque fundraising event where the winner received thousands of dollars in prize money along with bragging rights. Sponsored by the Kansas City Barbeque Society:

From Farm to Table

FARMThis happened on Sunday out on a farm with lots of people and great live music. It was an interesting experience because all the cooks and organizers take it quite seriously. Southern style BBQ is a technique in which meat is cooked at low temperatures (about 225F) for a long time over indirect heat.  No gas/propane allowed, the heat source is charcoal and wood. Judges were briefed beforehand and there was a follow-up discussion. Each competing team was given a time limit and received four mystery ingredients to be incorporated into a single dish and submitted to the distinguished panel of judges (at least that’s what was printed in the event schedule, ha!) where points were awarded based on originality, taste, texture and presentation.  I was sitting in between the owner of a winery and a man who is almost certainly a professional food judge who had lots of stories.

 The four main ingredients were pork loin, duck breast, dried tarragon and sushi rice so you can only imagine.  Quite impressive what the participants came up with!  A little glimpse into the world of what it must be like to be on one of those cooking shows – nerve wracking but challenging to have to come up with something under pressure. The real meaning of pressure cooking!  I think I awarded points very fairly although I was a tough critic.

So tonight I’m making something with no more than four ingredients……to witness what turns out! A challenge to myself – no award $$$, possible bragging rights!

Photos: d. king









Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium

One Artist, Two Museums, Many Interpretations

Robert Mapplethorpe, Poppy, 1988, jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, partial gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Robert Mapplethorpe (Poppy, 1988)

He had me at “Some Women” – a hauntingly breathtaking book celebrating female beauty with more than eighty photographs of his friends, fellow artists and celebrities. I bought this to use for a coffee table from a used book store years ago because the images moved me and I also know a few of the women featured in it.

This month, Robert Mapplethorpe will take over Los Angeles, with a major two-part retrospective on view at LACMA  (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and the J. Paul Getty Museum from March 20–July 31, 2016.

The Perfect Medium will present the full scope of the artist’s work, from his earliest collage-based works, through his early Polaroids, to late floral still-lifes and portraits and seldom-seen moving image works. With such rich visual and archival resources on display, visitors will have an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on Mapplethorpe’s legacy, which has been both social and aesthetic.

I love a leather jacket:

Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1980, promised gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation
Robert Mapplethorpe  (Self-Portrait, 1980)

He sought what he called “perfection in form” in everything from acts of sexual fetishism to the elegant contours of flower petals.  The exhibition also highlights the artist’s relationship to New York’s sexual and artistic undergrounds, as well as his experimentation with a variety of media.


Photo #1 Poppy: jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, partial gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.

Photo # 2 Self Portrait: promised gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.



Feel-good Friday: blossom

cherry9The significance of the cherry blossom tree in Japanese culture goes back hundreds of years.20160316_120159

In their country, the cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life.


It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.20160316_140455

Quote: Homaro Cantu  Photos: d. kingcherry6

Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”  Spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place”. – Marianne Williamson


Beauty – Foil Proof

Some of the best things come in the tiniest packages.

On my quest for keeping things simple and especially for travelling, here are two new products you should know about.estee3 - Copy


No offense to the rest of the world, but one thing is abundantly clear: Korean women have the beauty game on lock. Recognizing this, heritage beauty brand Estée Lauder is unleashing its shiny new “Iron Man” mask in Korea a month early as a market test drive.

The metallic, mask-selfie-worthy foil mask—which boasts a dual matrix (yes, MATRIX) technology that locks in the brand’s beloved Advanced Night Repair super serum—is already receiving rave reviews from discerning K-beauty experts. Let the countdown begin.

Coming soon to a store near you:


Kleenex, yes as in the tissue brand, is looking to tend to your face beyond your sniffly nose with a new facial cleansing line. The item women can’t wait to get their hands on? The exfoliating cushions, which in my mind are as lazy-girl-friendly as makeup wipes. With their dual-sided cushions, the sizable rounds gently buff away dead skin and debris, leaving skin smooth, polished, and squeaky clean in the process.

Cleaning, exfoliating and masking your face just got a whole lot easier and a lot more packable.

Source: Marie Claire Magazine