Style: Garbe Luxe 


Garbe Luxe Fall 2016
Garbe Luxe (Fall 2016 Campaign)

A STYLISH LINE of comfortable, functional athletic/lifestyle wear that I think you should know about if you don’t already since it’s been getting press in magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Redbook and Shape.  I’ve basically been living in my Garbe Luxe basic, seam and moto leggings and not just for going to the gym.  For evening you can find me in the Luca pant – a little too often.

Cambridge Jacket, Henley T, Heide Sweatpant
Cambridge Jacket, Henley T, Heidi Sweatpant

Garbe Luxe is not only well made, the clothing fits beautifully (which let’s be honest, is our main objective) and looks good in all the right places.  I wear the short & long bra tops for yoga or running and in the summer I love the various tanks and t-shirts.  No doubt that they’re current and fashionable because they’re designed by my unfussy stylish friend Natalia MacLeod who is originally from Montreal and now makes her home in Los Angeles where everything is made.  As soon as I found out that she was creating an athletic wear line I wanted it – whatever she wears I want because I always admired her simple, elegant style.  She’s also exotically beautiful.

Ruby V Neck, Pocket Sweaty
Ruby V Neck, Pocket Sweaty


GARBE LUXE is a contemporary collection of sporty edge styles perfect to take you from your workout and into your day. The collection is all about helping your athletic wear gracefully make the transition to the world beyond the exercise studio (très L.A.). Whether heading to a morning meeting, dropping off the kids or joining friends for lunch, GARBE LUXE has you covered so you always feel polished, confident and comfortable.

Paired back minimalism, luxurious fabrics, and mix-and-match options create sophisticated options for your on-the-go life.

Some of my go-to’s:

Low-Back Tank
Low-Back Tank
Luca Pant
Luca Pant
Seam Legging
Seam Legging
Long Bra Top
Long Bra Top
Chloe Cardigan
Chloe Cardigan

To VIEW current styles and to Purchase:

Get your GARBE on!



Grill Talk: Barn Burner BBQ!

I enjoy the competition when it’s worthwhile!  

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

We’re not in Kansas anymore – but it sure feels like it!  


Word must have gotten out that I’ve either done the barbeque circuit or that I just like to eat a lot of barbequed foods.  Both are true.  For this reason, it makes sense that I’m one of the chosen ones to judge a “best of barbeque” contest.  I take this position very seriously and in doing so must sample all of the participating chefs “best of”.  Tough work.

From Farm to Table

The second annual Barn Burner BBQ, co-presented by Johnston’s Pork and Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry is back Sunday, March 20 at the Farm Store, 4540 Simmons Rd (in Chilliwack, BC) to kick off the 2016 BBQ season.

This free-to-attend, family-friendly BBQ extravaganza is officially sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society. Donations will be accepted upon entry for Envision Financial’s Full Cupboard, which benefits the Chilliwack care and share community food bank.barbeque2The competition will witness the battle of the BBQs in four main categories: Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken, and Ribs. The winning team with the highest total points in all four categories will take home their share of $5000 in prize money along with the Barn Burner BBQ Grand Championship trophy and bragging rights.

Teams will also compete in a BBQ “Black Box” cook-off (this is where I come in). This “Iron Chef” style competition gives these BBQ competitors a chance to show off their more creative side. It is sure to be a very tasty battle.

Chef Dez, local celebrity and cookbook author, will be returning as the emcee, while meat lovers of all ages are invited to join the festivities including a live band performance, (climbing wall & face-painting for the kiddies) and free samples of delicious BBQ meat. If the samples don’t quite fill you up, Poomba’s Smokehouse Food Truck will be on site selling even more bbq.

BBQ is NOT grilling!!

Got that?
Got that?

A bit about BBQ:

There is a very distinct difference between the two. Just ask anyone that knows BBQ and they will tell you all about it.

Southern style BBQ is a technique in which meat is cooked at low temperatures (about 225 F) for a long time over indirect heat. The heat source is charcoal and wood. No gas/propane is allowed. The Barn Burner BBQ competition consists of four main categories: Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, Chicken and Ribs. Brisket is cooked for 12 – 16 hours. Ribs take approx. 6 hours & chicken approx. 4 hours.

About The Full Cupboard:

Established by Envision Financial, The Full Cupboard is an innovative community program designed to raise food, funds, and awareness for food banks in the communities where Envision Financial operates. Their goal is to raise 1 million dollars and 100,000 pounds of food by 2023. Since 2013 they’ve raised more than $340,000 and 30,000 pounds of food. Donations are accepted online or at any Envision Financial Branch location.

About Barn Burner:

The Second Annual Barn Burner BBQ competition brings together fiercely competitive BBQ Pitmasters from all over the Pacific Northwest, Alberta and Saskatchewan. They will gather in Chilliwack to showcase their BBQ skills and compete for the ultimate prize- the Grand Championship of the Barn Burner BBQ. This local event is fully sanctioned by the Kansas City BBQ Society and expects to attract thousands of BBQ lovers from the Lower Mainland. Visitors will experience a fun-filled day of tasting BBQ samples, family activities and live music. Learn more at

Parking will be available near the event. There will be a free shuttle to take you from the parking lot to the event site.

It’s free (or by donation), it’s food, it’s fun, it’s family, it’s farm, it’s far (but not too far to enjoy an outing that invites Summer a little early on in the season). With an excuse to wear my cowboy boots.  It’s Fabulous.

Do you love Barbeque?











ART/Design – Applauding Art Deco Style

Ultimately it’s the image of decadence that appeals to me.


Timing is funny. If not for the simple fact that I would no longer be alive, I think living in the 20-30’s might have been a perfect time for me.  I’ve been meaning to do a post on art deco style for months now.   I’ve kept these photos on file for when the timing struck me right to do something on it.  I find the era and the architecture very significant.

South Beach, Miami
South Beach, Miami

After all, the roaring twenties conjures up images of glamour, vast ocean liners and prohibition-era hedonism.  That period in time is specifically what attracted me to hanging around South Beach, that they’ve managed to keep the flavour alive through design and the remodelling of buildings and the ambiance in general.artdeco2

When I lived in Montreal I was part of a dance scene in a made for TV movie (written by Mordecai Richler and directed by Claude Jutra) which involved hiring a dance instructor to teach us the Jitterbug and Charleston while dressed up in full costume – it was a blast.  That was my first experience going back in time.

Dapper Men
Dapper Men

Fast forward to today. I’m part of a committee which puts on a big fundraiser once a year with a theme.  As it so happens the theme everyone decided on for this year’s gala is Art Deco.  So I can’t wait to get dressed up in some kind of attire that will invoke a refined elegance.  Should be lots of fun with some research involved.

Rockefeller Center, including its centerpiece tower (seen here shortly before its 1933 opening and now familiarly known as 30 Rock) was primarily designed by architect Raymond Hood
Rockefeller Center, including its centerpiece tower (opened in 1933 & now familiarly known as 30 Rock) was primarily designed by architect Raymond Hood

Until then I will share some images of things I find interesting from that time period.

I have a bathtub just like this. I always wanted an old fashioned tub.
I have a bathtub just like this. I always wanted an old fashioned tub.
One of my other expressions of Art Deco are these statues on a Juliet balcony.
One of my other expressions of Art Deco fascination are these statues on Juliet balcony overlooking living area.
Georges Fouquet’s 1923 jade, onyx and diamond dress ornament is in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Georges Fouquet’s 1923 jade, onyx and diamond dress ornament is in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Funny; polka dots never go out of style.  Maybe my next dog will be a Dalmation.







A Piece of my Mind

Finding Peace of Mind.  Isn’t that what we all want? Yesterday I went to my first clinical hypnosis therapy session.  I posted about the process last week but hadn’t experienced it until now. Told you I’d follow up on it.peaceofmind2

The practitioner is in the process of writing a book on the subject of which she has been practicing for 16 years.  Her office was calming as expected, her music soft and relaxing and her voice ever so soothing.

It was a case of deep relaxation while opening the subconscious to work with the mind in order to achieve a peaceful feeling to overcome symptoms such as (in my case) anxiety, some stress and loss of sleep.  Others use it to manage pain, kick bad habits such as smoking and change harmful attitudes.  If you’re familiar with meditation and make it your practice you will find it much easier to achieve an hypnotic state.

I decided to do this because someone very close to me has a recurring cancer and I wanted to offer support and something positive to go along with the auto-immune therapy that this person is undergoing.  A therapy not yet approved here in Canada, only successful in 4 cancer types with a 30% success rate and a multitude of possible side effects. After yesterday I realized the hypnotherapy could help me deal with the situation as well.

This could not have come at a better time for me because I had no more than one hour of restful sleep the night before for no apparent reason other than over-thinking and worry.  But you can train your mind to push worry aside with training and diligence.

Most people in general find it easier to attain a restful body but the mind seems to stay active.  The idea is to quiet the mind while a part of your subconscious guides you along to a restful place to offer helpful suggestions.  It’s not meditation.  Meditation is a blank state while in hypnosis part of your mind stays awake. 

woman meditating on the beach in the Caribbean
woman meditating on the beach in the Caribbean

The session lasted one hour.  The tiny group of two other people and I were told that 15 minutes of hypnotherapy is the equivalent of 4 hours of restful sleep.  We were under for at least 30 minutes so I figure by way of this, I was able to get my full 8 hours after all. I actually felt much more rested after the session ended.  Good thing too because I had a very full day ahead and was able to make it through remaining alert (along with some coffee).

I will continue this journey longer by going to sessions and setting aside a specific time (5 to 15 minutes a day) to sit back, relax, imagine my colour (we choose a colour theme – mine was shades of fuchsia before she said to make it a relaxing colour so it became violet), a vision (private although I shared it with the others in the room) and see where this guides me.  I can tell you that my set visual is the most wonderful inspiring sensation.peaceofmind3It wasn’t this but I love this dream like illustration and since I live partially in a dream world it inspired me to include it.  

Have you tried this?

Practitioner: Louise Evans  Address: Suite #205, 2902 West Broadway                            Phone: 604 773 5595 Website:

Beauty break –  wash your face without all the hassle

LAST NIGHT I was wondering what to put in the beauty post today.  I didn’t really have a clue as I stopped to wash my face with yet another hotel face wipe before bedtime. It wasn’t really washing more than it was wiping away the remains of the day….that’s why they’re called wipes.  Then a little light came on...before it went out.

My stash
My stash

There comes an evening when you just don’t have the time, it’s too late or you’re too tired read LAZY to clean up properly. I’m so happy these makeup removers come in convenient non-spill travel packs and they must be more popular than I ever imagined because just take a look at all the varieties:

the varieties, not all of them either
the varieties, and only some of them

So you can gently clean your face when you’re on the go….or not (I mean even when you’re still at home).

The Cleansing Cloths or towelettes will leave your skin feeling fresh and clean – without drying out or disturbing your skin’s natural pH balance.

The cetaphil cloths (like most of the others) are ultra-soft and gentle, dermatologist developed and tested, as well as ophthalmologist tested. So you can be confident in their ability to remove dirt and makeup without irritation. They’re also fragrance-free, non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic.

So this is the next best thing to actually taking a few minutes to really clean your face.  Just hoping I don’t become too dependant on them.

How about you?

Style: COACH gets a reborn identity at 75!

At 75 years old COACH is looking better than ever!

COACH VINTAGE Circa-1971 Coach Mahogany Leather Fringed Duffle Shoulder Bag - $995
Circa-1971  Mahogany Leather Fringed Duffle Shoulder Bag – $995 USD

That can be due to a recent much needed facelift.  It happens as we become more tired looking over time. However the Coach bags that I own have remained in very good shape over the years with no signs of diminishing. Almost like new. Of course it helps that I look after my stuff with kid gloves but mostly it has to do with the overall craftmanship.  I always thought Coach never got the credit it deserves.  Similar to another brand that makes beautifully well-made leather bags, Furlacoach4.

Photo: Garance Dore
Photo: Garance Dore

Coach is more widely known than Furla though, and loved by many. Most of us are familiar with the Coach logo (although I’ve never loved their bags with the highly recognizable logo written all over them – I prefer the hidden logo) and the attractive leather handbags are readily found in almost every city.  Even though they’re well made using high quality leather and come in many colours and price points they never quite reached the “tops” in the designer bag category.  They were considered a “starter” bag which sounds kind of snobby but I think it’s because you can find them everywhere and they have so many outlets.  Also younger women can more afford them and if that’s the case and they’re made so readily available to the masses they are not deemed so ‘exclusive’. But that may change now as the brand becomes more upscale.  It will be interesting to see what happens.  They never had a problem selling but now they may become more sought after and appeal to a different demographic – a more sophisticated crowd.

COACH VINTAGE Circa-1973 Coach British Tan Leather Rip & Repair Small Dinky Bag $695
Circa-1973 British Tan Leather Rip & Repair Small Dinky Bag – $695 USD

Not all about the BAG

They make more than bags you know and they have Stuart Vevers. Entering his third year as creative director for the brand, Stuart Vevers has revamped an American Classic into a brand every girl wants to wear again.  A major feat.  He is in charge of all creative aspects of the Coach brand, including Women’s and Men’s product design, brand imagery, and store environments. Since his takeover we can expect to see mini skirts and mod square-toed boots with a hint of bohemia & rock n’ roll details (studs, metallic, floral prints and leather – lots of it).  It helps that cool girl Dree Hemingway is a model for them.

The ultimate nod is that they’re re-introducing some popular styles from the past – available exclusively at the exclusive department store Barneys no less.

COACH VINTAGE Circa-1972 Coach Black Leather Fringed Stewardess Bag $1,195 USD
Circa-1972  Black Leather Fringed Stewardess Bag – $1,195 USD

On the occasion of celebrating 75 years in the leather biz, the brand is taking a look back by launching three customized iconic vintage bags. The Dinky, Stewardess and Duffle were selected for the “Coach Vintage Collection,” sourced from collections all over the world, but originally created in NYC in the 1970s and 80s. Over 18 months, the bags underwent authentication and restoration processes before each was given one of three hand-applied motifs—Fringe, an homage to the American West, Rip and Repair, a nod to the baseball mitts that inspired the original founders of Coach and Vintage Stripe, a reference to classic Ivy League style. “This feels like the perfect way to honor our 75th anniversary by bringing together our heritage with something new in one project, “Vevers explains, “It was lots of fun creating these one of a kind pieces for Barneys.”

The limited-edition collection retails for $595-$1,195 and will be available exclusively at Barneys New York locations on Madison Avenue and Beverly Hills, as well as

THE BOOT: BANDIT Chelsea by Coach

Coach Bandit Chelsea Boot
Coach Bandit Chelsea Boot

Traditional Americana goes downtown in a cropped cowboy boot (always loved the cropped cowboy – maybe I’m a cowgirl at heart) colorblocked in black and oxblood leathers with a saddle leather gore and exotic embossing on the heel. This statement limited edition is finished with a low heel for all-day ease.  Niiiice!

What do you think?  Like or no like?


FOOD Fad: I’ve Got a Bone to Pick

FOOD FANATICS see trends come and go, but sometimes chefs can take a good thing and turn it into a cliché. Case in point: these bone dishes we’ve been seeing a little too much of:


Marrow Overkill — A giant shank cut lengthwise is too much of a good thing.                        (I went to a top buffet in Vegas where they had platters of bone marrow).  My friend was like “omg they have bone marrow…I’m so going for that”.  I did too but it wasn’t the high point of my dinner.

Bone-In Burger — A burger with a bone sticking out just for laughs is…laughable.
Bone Broth — C’mon: Broth was made with bones centuries before the paleo craze.

I’m laughing because all of a sudden “bone broth” is a thing People are drinking the liquid all day long as a medicinal to prevent sickness or keep from getting more sick than they already are (like when you have a basic cold).

Most of us grew up with our grandmothers making soup from scratch which meant first making a stock from chicken or beef bones – same as today (unless you buy “already made” broth from a can or box which every grocery stores sells).  I know people who buy broth from a butcher for $10 a litre.  To make a good batch of soup you’d need at least 3-4 litres. And to make your own don’t forget that marrow no longer comes cheap.  At $4-5 a lb. it doesn’t seem like much but you’ll need several bones to make a large pot of soup and with all the extras you can prepare to spend about $30 to make it worthwhile.  Anything time consuming you want to have lots of.

Making a homemade *stock (or broth) from bones does take time to do properly but it’s so worthwhile.  You cannot recreate a good soup solely from adding Knorr® bouillon cubes to water.  But if a recipe calls for only adding a little stock (eg: rice or risotto) I use “better than bouillon” in its many forms (beef, chicken or veggie depending). It’s the next best thing if homemade is not on hand.

I credit the bone broth trend for giving me a kick to going back to making wholesome soups from scratch.

Homemade Beef Broth - made with bones
Back to Basic Homemade Beef Broth

Nothing replaces it. The ‘bone broth’ most people are now referring to is the kind that you cook for up to two days where the bones begin to disintegrate and then you strain everything through a sieve to get only the liquid.  This has to be done with chicken because beef bones don’t really disintegrate entirely. I can’t even tell you how long it would take if they did. With beef you make sure to get bones with as much marrow in them as possible because the marrow is what gives you the nutritive qualities that have all the healthy benefits. Bone broth builds bones, and the likely reason is it’s high in gelatin — collagen. And collagen is what provides the framework for good bones. That’s what’s needed to lay on calcium and other minerals. Gelatin is one of the healthiest foods you can eat and has benefits ranging from reducing wrinkles (I’m told it’s even better than botox but I wouldn’t know!), healing joints, building stronger bones, and even improving dental health. The biggest benefit of gelatin is that it is apparently a gut healer.bones2I’ve been buying large grass fed beef shanks with marrow and add **oxtail for flavour.  I brown them first before putting them into my large slow cooker set on high for one hour and then low for as long as it takes for the marrow to soften and the meat to fall away from the bones.  Last time it took 36 hours.  This is the original slow cooking. They will create their own juices over time (just make sure you check to make sure they don’t dry out – add water if you need to) but you can always put them into a large pot of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for hours.  Then once cool, remove all the bones, cut up the meat and set aside.  Then cut up your veggies (garlic, onion, celery, carrots) and add spices and 2-3 bay leaves to the pot.  If using a slow cooker you can now add water.  I put some of the bones back in with the vegetables and remove once the veggies are fully cooked.  Once the veggies are soft and the stock is tasting good I then add the meat and a bunch of cut-up kale and sometimes serve over tiny egg noodles or macaroni for added heartiness.  See? It’s so easy – just that everyone is in so much in a hurry now to have it…now.

A great pot of soup is nurturing and at this time of year especially there’s always some on hand in my house either in the fridge or freezer.  And it tastes like what your grandmother used to make.  Which is all the rage.

Nice to know grannies are trending

*The only difference between a stock and a broth is a stock uses bones, and a broth is the liquid the meat was cooked in.

**Oxtail: not only does it add more flavour but it also contains trace amounts of calcium, with 10 milligrams of calcium present in 100 grams of oxtail and is a very good source of iron.

Do you make soup from scratch or try to cut corners? – just wondering.

How ART influences FASHION

And it’s such a drip….figuratively speaking, because I’m talking about Jackson Pollock in this post.

Photographed by Cecil Beaton, Vogue, March 1951
Photographed by Cecil Beaton, Vogue, March 1951

 A survey of Pollock’s works is at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) covering early experiments with primal themes and loosely figurative forms from the years 1934 to 1954.  The exhibition also features the highly recognizable drip paintings which made him famous the world over.

These drippings have caught on with fashion designers big time who have been inspired by them and have incorporated Pollock-print paint splatterings on everything from sneakers to ball gowns.

While designers have referenced many artists over the years, there are few so synonymous with Pollock’s style.

Maison Margiela’s popular “Pollock” sneaker Photo: Courtesy of Maison Margiela
Maison Margiela’s popular “Pollock” sneaker
Photo: Courtesy of Maison Margiela

Perhaps the first fashion world adoption of Pollock’s art came in a 1951 issue of Vogue (in photo above), where a model showed off the season’s chicest gowns standing in front of a Pollock painting on view at the Betty Parsons Gallery.

Since then, his signature splashes have infiltrated the runways in many forms. The most unmatched tribute to Pollock’s art, however, came courtesy of Alexander McQueen, who positioned model Shalom Harlow in the center of paint-shooting robots that streaked her ivory gown black and acid green as she rotated on a platform.

Alexander McQueen Spring 1999 Photo: Courtesy of Alexander McQueen
Alexander McQueen Spring 1999
Photo: Courtesy of Alexander McQueen

Now that’s making a statement!

“Jackson Pollock: A Collection Survey, 1934-1954” is on view at the Museum of Modern Art until Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Vancouver OPERA presents Madama Butterfly

Don’t miss Vancouver Opera’s gorgeous production of Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY – a beautiful story of honour, love, heartbreak and sacrifice.    

          As they say; Fall in love at the OPERA.

Middle: Mihoko Kinishita as Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly). Photo: Tim Matheson
Middle: Mihoko Kinishita as Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly).  Photo: Tim Matheson

I went to the opening last night and thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous set, incredible voices and achingly beautiful music brought to life by two of the world’s most in demand sopranos.  There were many women fittingly dressed up in stunning Kimonos.

Mihoko Kinoshita as Cio-Cio-San (butterfly), Gregory Dahl as Sharpless, Richard Trotell as Pinkerton. Photo: Tim Matheson
Mihoko Kinoshita as Cio-Cio-San (butterfly), Gregory Dahl as Sharpless, Richard Trotell as Pinkerton.   Photo: Tim Matheson

About the Performers:

Sharing the role of Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly) for alternating performances will be Jee-Hye Han and Mihoko Kinoshita. Jee-Hye Han will be making her VO début. Mihoko Kinoshita was last seen in VO’s 2010 production of Madama Butterfly. Tenors Adam Luther and Richard Troxell will sing opposite them, sharing the role of Pinkerton.

Madama Butterfly is onstage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, corner of Georgia and Hamilton Streets,Vancouver, B.C. for only 6 performances, March 5 – 13, 2016.

Good seats still remain but are selling quickly for all performances, with the best availability at the Friday, March 11 and Sunday March 13 performances.

Not a kimono but at least it was colourful.
Not a kimono but at least it was colourful.
The Vancouver Opera Orchestra conducted by Leslie Dala. Photo: Tim Matheson
The Vancouver Opera Orchestra conducted by Leslie Dala. Photo: Tim Matheson


Sunday, March 6 • 2:00pm matinée

Thursday, March 10 • 7:30pm

Friday, March 11 • 7:30pm

Saturday, March 12 • 7:30pm

Sunday, March 13 • 2:00pm matinée

Madama Butterfly will be sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

Approximate running time: 2 hours and 40 minutes, including 1 intermission.

Tickets are available exclusively through the Vancouver Opera Ticket Centre: 604-683-0222 or Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. Special pricing for groups of at least 10, and for families, is available by phone.

Follow Vancouver Opera on Twitter and Facebook for exclusive offers such as VO’s Get O.U.T (Opera Under 35) program, with $35 tickets for patrons aged under.