Feel-good Friday: feeling good all week

 My Week started off with an invite to the annual California Wine Fair presented by Vancouver Arts Club.  Followed by dancing…and more drinking….and dancing (but no driving).

Couldn't decide between the lime or fruit punch Jarritos (Mexican soft drink which may have included a bit of Tequila) while my handsome date prefered to stick with refreshing Dos Equis XX beer.

Couldn’t decide between the lime or the fruit punch Jarritos at Joe Fortes (Mexican soft drink which may have included a little Tequila) while my handsome date standing behind me prefered to stick with a bottle of refreshing Dos Equis XX beer.    Photo: Claude Duke Photography

It is their signature spring fundraiser where all proceeds from ticket sales and auction packages go toward the development of new Canadian plays and staging world-class theatre created by local artists.  I’m already familiar with many of the wineries from having visited them on several occasions around the beautiful Napa and Sonoma wine regions. Some of the properties are really amazing.  One winery is a chateau that looks more like a castle and the Francis Ford Coppola estate winery is very Hollywood glamour.  They’re fun to visit and of course, sample some fine tasting wines.

From the Wine Fair

From the California Wine Fair....in Vancouver photo: d. king

The very next afternoon it was off to the Tequila Expo Media Event at Joe Fortes rooftop deck with some of the world’s finest and smoothest tasting tequilas, excellent food, great company & conversation.  This was my second time around and it was thoroughly enjoyable especially since the day was so lovely.

The actual event will take place Saturday, May 28th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

From the Rooftop at Joe Fortes. Photo: d. king

From the Rooftop at Joe Fortes.  Photo: d. king

The celebration of all things Agave is open to connoisseurs and those who enjoy tequila in general with exclusive offerings not yet available in BC.

We’re pleased to be the largest event of our kind in Canada”, says founding partner Manuel Otero, President of the Mexican Business Association of Canada. “As a dual citizen of Mexico and Canada, I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this event that celebrates the best of Mexico by introducing Vancouverites to an amazing range of unique Mexican flavours – both culinary and spirits based.” The full week of events runs from May 23 to May 28.  The Grand Tasting Event at the Hyatt features top Vancouver restaurants offering unique small bite food pairings created specifically to pair with Tequila and Mezcal.

Featured restaurants are The Edge Social Grille & Lounge, El Santo, Joe Fortes, La Mezcaleria, Las Margaritas, Mosaic Bar & Grille and Showcase Restaurant.

New this year! Ticket purchasers will be entered to win a fantastic trip for two to Puerto Vallarta. AeroMexico, the premier airline of Mexico, is generously providing direct flights from Vancouver. The winner’s stay will be hosted by Velas Vallarta and Casa velas. Tickets are now on sale through Tickets Tonight. Single tickets are $79, with a group rate available for only $69 each for groups of 6 or more.  All prices include service charges.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough.. the very next day I got to feeling even more light headed.

Hair by Safa - Enchanté Hair by Design. http://enchantehair.com

Hair by SafaEnchanté Hair by Design.
http://enchantehair.ca

What am I up to this evening? A Tango 10-year Anniversary Celebration Milonga on the Drive.

joefortes5

SALUT!    Enjoy your weekend

Celestial Beauty

The universe works in mysterious ways  

just be daily cleanser - a powder cleanser energized with reiki, crystals, positive words and music. $65 justbeskinline.com

just be daily cleanser – a powder cleanser energized with reiki, crystals, positive words and music. $65 –  justbeskinline.com

$72 - urban outfitters

$72 – urban outfitters: add it to your drink to calm nerves and assist in collagen production.

It’s the new trend in the beauty and wellness community.

Something that promises to deliver spiritual meaning along with a clear complexion.

Whatever works right?  I think the marketing idea is divine and in all honestly you will probably come across a few transcendent finds.

Oils blended to balance the sixth chakra - which governs intuition, imagination and perception. $42

A body mist with oils blended to balance the sixth chakra – which governs intuition, imagination and perception. $42

Chakra 4 (above) is the center of sympathy, empathy and love. When the heart chakra is balanced, one feels love and connection to self and others.

Seek Spirit Essence - $128. A scent blend of bergamot, labdanum and neroli said to be "grounding" and help one find "wildness of the soul"

Seek Spirit Essence – $128. A scent blend of bergamot, labdanum and neroli said to be “grounding” and help one find “wildness of the soul”  intelligentnutrients.ca

This simply divine facial oil will bless your skin with nothing but pure goodness. Shop page.

This simply divine facial oil will bless your skin with nothing but pure goodness. $75 Shop page.

Couldn’t resist.  Must have felt this one coming.

It helps to believe in something beautiful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style Crush: Kit and Ace

Craving….

Clean-cut,  Cool, Comfortable, Casual, Chic, Cost effective Contemporary clothing for everyday wear.

wear what feels right

wear what feels right

I’ve walked by this nicely laid out store on many occasions stopping to admire what appeals to me…. clothing that looks attractively simple, functional and well made. Clothing you must try on to experience the fit.  I’ve seen their glossy ads in high fashion magazines and out of curiosity I went in yesterday to have a good look around.  There was a familiarity about the store.  Now I understand why.kitandace1

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Kit and Ace is a Canadian apparel brand founded in 2014 by the former lead designer of Lululemon Athletica Inc. Shannon Wilson and her stepson JJ Wilson.  Shannon brings her aesthetic to the line. So the philosophy is similar to Lululemon even though the clothing is more elegantly casual everyday wear.

For men & women

For men & women

I was interested to see lightweight technical cashmere that you can put right into the washing machine and not worry about it piillng or stretching.  Apparently it does not.  They also feature washable silk and many fabrics have 4-way stretch for comfort.  The tees come with a guarantee that they won’t shrink or warp even after being washed and put in the dryer.  So no dry cleaning necessary.

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kitandace7Their STORY

Your time is precious and your comfort is paramount.
We create designs that look good and feel amazing, so you can
forget the small stuff and get on with the big stuff.


The Art Wall is a nice touch:kitandace8

Art is the opportunity to inspire and perhaps start a conversation.

The wall showcases beautiful art created in Vancouver.  They change it every 3 months to feature a new local artist.

Shop Local!

Locations:

Kit and Ace
Clothing Store
151 Water St.
Kit and Ace
Corporate Office
123 W 7th Ave
Kit and Ace
Clothing Store
2235 W 4th Ave

Food + Wine Crush

Fresh, Pure, Clean, Local, Love

The certified organic four-hectare (nice acres) Switchback Vineyard is home to sheep, chickens and ducks.

The certified organic four-hectare (9 acres) Switchback Vineyard is home to sheep, chickens and ducks, each playing their role in maintaining a healthy site.

I love afternoons like the one I just spent on a rainy Friday at Granville Island’s Edible Artisan Bistro.  I was one of a lucky few invited to sample the launch of premium new earth friendly wines from Okanagan Crush Pad, Haywire and Edible Canada’s new private label along with elegant food pairings inspired by the wines and seasonal goodies offered by Eric Pateman’s culinary team at Edible Canada.crush10crush7

This was fittingly done on earth day where those in attendance celebrated and toasted BC’s natural & sustainable bounty as we were introduced to the winery’s first wine crafted from certified organic grapes: Haywire Switchback Organic Vineyard Pinot Gris 2014, Narrative XC Method, a charmat sparkling wine and Edible Canada’s appropriately named new private label, Market Fresh.  A totally inspiring afternoon along with like-minded people who love to savour the new and unexpected.crush3

Already familiar with Okanagan Crush Pad wines (they supply the dinner wine for the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) yearly fundraising gala of which I’m a committee member), it was nice to finally meet the owners in person and get to try something fresh and different. I like their approach to wine making.

lovely servers

lovely servers

Asparagus coulis

Asparagus coulis

Located in Summerland, B.C., Okanagan Crush Pad is quickly gaining a reputation as a game changer crafting wines that tell a story of a very unique wine growing region; a rare place that offers both desert landscape and snow.  If you’re visiting British Columbia you should add the Okanagan to your list of places to visit even if you don’t drink wine.crush4crush2crush6

Their story:

From a small vineyard project in 2006, Okanagan Crush Pad has grown to become a recognized leader in Canada’s Okanagan.  The winery was created in 2011, as a shared workspace for vintners and is also home to Haywire and Narrative. Owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie have assembled a team with global experience: chief winemaker Matt Dumayne, a New Zealand native; Italian consultant Alberto Antonini; Chilean, Pedro Parra, and, Vancouver-based David Scholefield.

The team farms organically, seeks biodiversity, and respects the land with the purpose of allowing the unique terroir of Canada’s Okanagan to shine.  Time-honoured winemaking techniques are used, benefitted by the most advanced technology, and adhering to a “less is more” philosophy.  They use organically grown grapes, native yeasts for fermentation, no additives and zero to minimal SO2.

And their wines taste so good!

Photos: d. king (except for the vineyard photo compilation at very top)

Crush Pad Website: http://okanagancrushpad.com

At Edible Canada you’ll find some unusual tasty tidbits like:

Not just for monkeys

Not just for monkeys – designer peanut butters

designer salts

designer salts

designer chocolate inspired by Vancouver neighbourhoods

designer chocolate inspired by popular Vancouver neighbourhoods

About Edible Canada: locals and visitors, professional chefs and passionate foodies congregate to experience the best in BC and Canadian cuisine. With more than 12 million visitors a year, Granville Island is truly one of the top public markets anywhere in the world, and Edible Canada is proud to be a key part of its vibrant, dynamic setting.

As Canada’s largest culinary tourism and locavore retail company, Edible Canada is dedicated to sourcing the highest quality culinary products from coast to coast for their customers.

Website: http://ediblecanada.com

 

Addition: WHAT’S HAPPENING VANCOUVER? 

We know Tequila loves you, but if you love Tequila here’s an event not to be missed:

The 5th Vancouver International Tequila Expo: Grand tasting (with food) takes place Saturday, May 28th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Burrard.  To Purchase Tickets for this and other tequila foodie events please visit:

https://ticketstonight.ticketforce.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=3173

I will attend a media reception this afternoon at Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House.  I’m looking forward as last year’s gathering was tons of fun. Casa Amigos…here I come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art/Culture/Fashion – Bellissima

Italy High Fashion 1945 – 1968.  Okay, if you must know…this to me is emozionante.

milan

A new exhibit offers an up-close look at dresses, handbags, and jewelry from some of Italy’s most iconic fashion houses.  How can I not find this exciting?

Milan 3 Photo by Steven Brooke Jewelry from Bulgari is shown alongside elegant gowns.

Photo by Steven Brooke
Jewelry from Bulgari is shown alongside elegant gowns.

Photo by Steven Brooke Italian design gets the front row in Fort Lauderdale.

Photo by Steven Brooke
Italian design gets the front row in Fort Lauderdale.

Didn’t make it to Milan for Fashion Week? Good news: “Bellissima,” an exhibit focusing on Italian style, will make its sole American appearance at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Bellissima highlights looks from the 1945–1968 period of groundbreaking Italian design and features pieces from houses like Pucci, Fendi, Valentino, and Simonetta. And the big names aren’t only represented on labels: one of the exhibit’s curators is W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, and the whole project is a partnership with Maxxi, the buzzy Rome contemporary art museum designed by Zaha Hadid. Of the 230 garments on display, many were custom pieces handmade for movie stars like Ingrid Bergman and Ava Gardner. And because no Italian fashion exhibit would be complete without them, there will also be handbags and leather goods in the show, plus plenty of jewels from corporate sponsor Bulgari. (It’s not just necklaces and earrings—be on the lookout for a gem-encrusted cigarette case.) Many of the looks will be displayed alongside film clips, fashion magazine spreads, or gorgeous black-and-white photos of Elizabeth Taylor to give a sense of context.

This moment in history laid the foundation for Italy’s future ready-to-wear fashion, and the exhibition traces its beginnings within the social and cultural context,” Tonchi said in a statement. “The high fashion of that time was grounded in a strong sense of reality: They were luxury creations, but nonetheless practical; precious, embroidered textiles that had a certain simplicity; short cocktail dresses that allowed for movement; and warm, roomy coats accompanied by oversized handbags. This awareness of reality created an opportunity for a fashion system that truly served its patrons, with garments designed for the life of the modern woman.” The post-World War II period was crucial in Italy, as the country built its economy back up largely by encouraging manufacturing, especially for textiles—which gave the country’s emerging design stars plenty of local goods to work with.

Relive the era of Alta Moda at NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida until June 5th.

While in south Florida, might we suggest staying in one of these Traveler-approved hotels and resorts?

Source: Lilit Marcus for CN Traveler

AdditionWHAT’S HAPPENING VANCOUVER?

Tonight (April 25th) join me at the fun annual Arts Club California Wine Fair taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Rounding out the rich array of 400 premium wines is an extensive silent auction featuring  premium California wines, luxury goods, and entertainment and travel packages.

As the Arts Club’s signature spring fundraiser, all proceeds from event ticket sales and auction packages go toward the development of new Canadian plays and staging world-class theatre created by Vancouver artists.

A few tickets are still available. Price: $90  To purchase please visit: http://artsclub.com

 

Feel-good Friday: go Crazy!

Oh man; it’s hard to believe that Prince is dead.  A trailblazing talent with such avant-garde style, he was almost impossible to categorize.  Prince will continue to live on through his feel-good music.  Love his music!prince2

In the opening lines of his Billboard Top 10 1984 single “I Would Die 4 U” he sang:

“I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am something that you’ll never understand”prince1

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called “life”

Electric word, life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else,
The afterworld

A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life,
You’re on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy (Punch a higher floor!)

Woo!

If you don’t like
The world you’re living in
Take a look around
At least you got friends

Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no lets go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look for the purple banana
Until they put us in the truck, let’s go!

We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s cause
We’re all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What’s it all for (What’s it all for)
You better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no let’s go!

Let’s go crazy!

(shortened – lyrics by Prince & taken from the album Purple Rain)

RIP

On another note……it’s EARTH DAY Todayearthday2

Let’s each do our part to make the world we’re living in a BETTER PLACE!

Food– risotto cakes

I have a great idea for your leftover risotto….and don’t ever tell me you never have leftovers!

Risotto Cakes from "Verve"

Risotto Cakes from “Verve” in Vancouver

I make risotto from time to time and there’s always more left over for another meal.  It’s so rich on its own so it’s nice to have an alternative for it, otherwise it can get boring.

I had the pleasure of visiting a new place called Verve (previously Central on Denman in West End, Vancouver).  I was looking for a place to listen to jazz and grab a decent bite to eat and luckily this place did not disappoint.

Verve chef Peter Chun sent a few plates over our way when I ended up there with a friend one evening.  Everything was good but the standout share plate were the risotto cakes.  Granted we didn’t try every single thing on the menu but hey…what a clever way to use leftover risotto.  I don’t have his recipe but I found one that you can use and bend to your own liking since I know whoever is reading this is a creative type person who loves trying different things.

Here it is:

Ingredients
3 cups leftover risotto (roasted garlic, mushroom, etc.)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil

Directions
In a large bowl add the leftover risotto, eggs, corn, bread crumbs, and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Mix to combine well. Form into 12 balls about the size of a walnut, then flatten into patties and arrange on a baking sheet.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until they are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the patties from the oil to a baking sheet lined with a brown bag or paper towels to drain the excess oil. Transfer to a serving tray and serve hot.

Source: courtesy of Sandra Lee, Food Network

Verve: 1072 Denman St, Vancouver
Phone:(604) 673-0859

Art – unfinished

“Art completes what nature cannot bring to a finish” –  Aristotle

Leonardo da Vinci is credited with the catchy quote, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.”

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519) Head and Shoulders of a Woman (La Scapigliata) ca. 1500–1505 Oil, earth, and white lead pigments on poplar 9 3/4 × 8 1/4 in. (24.7 × 21 cm)

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452–1519)
Head and Shoulders of a Woman (La Scapigliata)
ca. 1500–1505 Oil, earth, and white lead pigments on poplar
9 3/4 × 8 1/4 in. (24.7 × 21 cm)

But I say….”along with our perception for beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder.”

Intriguing, as a new exhibit features famous artists who’ve left works of art undone.  But to an untrained eye how are we to know the difference? Even unfinished works are breathtakingly beautiful and you have to wonder what they’d look like complete. Or at least what would the artist have liked us to see, feel and think?

With the Whitney now at home in the Meatpacking District, the old building has become an extension of the Metropolitan Museum and a chance for them to expand their contemporary collection. Now called the Met Breuer, the first exhibit is called “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible” which is a compilation of unfinished work from artists throughout history.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) Street in Auvers-sur-Oise 1890 Oil on canvas 29 × 36 3⁄8 in. (73.5 × 92.5 cm)

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890) Street in Auvers-sur-Oise
1890 – Oil on canvas 29 × 36 3⁄8 in. (73.5 × 92.5 cm)

My question is how do they know they’re unfinished unless it’s really obvious?  I guess we’ll leave that to the experts and take their word for granted.  I’m so curious.  Even surviving works of Leonardo da Vinci that look finished to modern eyes (above) in some cases were apparently not.  I find this fascinating.

Running until September 4, 2016, the Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible exhibition assembles 197 works spanning the Renaissance to the present, with the goal of exploring the notion of what it is for a work of art to be “finished.” As the show organizers put it:

“Beginning with the Renaissance masters, this scholarly and innovative exhibition examines the term ‘unfinished’ in its broadest possible sense, including works left incomplete by their makers, which often give insight into the process of their creation, but also those that partake of a non finito—intentionally unfinished—aesthetic that embraces the unresolved and open-ended. Some of history’s greatest artists explored such an aesthetic, among them Titian, Rembrandt, Turner, and Cézanne.

 Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) Gardanne 1885–1886 Oil on canvas 31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (80 x 64.1 cm)  

Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906) Gardanne
1885–1886, Oil on canvas – 31 1/2 x 25 1/4 in. (80 x 64.1 cm)

I never want projects to be finished; I have always believed in unfinished work. I got that from Schubert, you know, the ‘Unfinished Symphony.‘ Yoko Ono

Certainly intriguing… don’t you think?

The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Avenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Supplements – what’s good for:

Okay; super relatively short post.  I haven’t abandoned my health posts entirely it’s just that I must feel excited, a little curious or at least inspired to post anything since that is the whole point of this blog. I think we’re being inundated with too much info.  healthy2

There’s information overload and tons of stuff on health food store shelves so in a nutshell (speaking of nuts,  nuts are good for you) what supplements are good to take for:

Heart Health: omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, niacin
Increased Energy: vitamin B12, acetyl glutathione, ginseng
Improve Skin: probiotics, idebenone, black currant oil
Strengthen hair and nails: biotin, iron, vitamin C
Toning and helping muscles: calcium, magnesium, B vitamins
Weight loss: alpha lipoic acid, chromium picolinate, green tea extract
Sleeping better: cQ10, magnesium, melatonin, L-tryptophan
Bone strength: manganese, vitamin D3, curcurmin
Anti-aging: selenium, Imedeen Prime Renewal, glucosamine, DHEA

So there you have it. Seems that supplements can really be great, but super important to work with your doctor on that, instead of just following trends!healthy1People jump on the bandwagon for the next miracle cure.  Not everything is created equal but at least we have many options which is a good thing.

Oh one more thing…..

My Morning Routine: drinking warm water with lemon has racked up serious buzz in recent years—celebrities from Naomi Campbell to Gwyneth Paltrow are doing it, which is good enough reason for us all (but I swear that is not what started me on this – it was on account of having organic lemon trees on a property rented a year ago and I’ve been doing it ever since). Sipping on this combo is said to help balance your body’s pH levels, wake up your digestive tract and liver, and detox the body. While the claims it helps aid weight loss are dicey, at the very least it can serve as a healthy alternative to a sugary morning latte. I add cayenne, a little honey and sip it through a straw because I’m told the lemon can erode tooth enamel over time.

My Advice

Advice from a KING

Feel-good Friday: feeling ducky

ducky1Some random charming & delightful shots while out and about walking the dogs

an unusual duck

Heron and some quacks

Fond memories of Hy’s Mansion in West End, Vancouver.  I used to love going for dinner here with my mom and her sister when they visited me when I first moved to Vancouver from Montreal. It was a special time and place. The grounds are beautiful.20160405_162451

?ducky2

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

“When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!
Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
Some people are much more…
oh, ever so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!”  – Dr. Seuss

 goodfriday5