Beauty: Orchids

Aren’t orchids special?  orchid1The exotic flowers certainly brighten up any room. And they make beautiful centerpieces….for a while.

So, why until now have I not had any orchids in my home? 

Probably because they intimidated me a little bit. In a flowery kind of way. I thought they’d be a lot more difficult to look after and also there is a longish waiting period once the delicate flowers start to fall off until the next bloom.  The time in between where you can’t be too sure if you’ve over or under watered them and if they’ll ever come back.  They don’t look so pretty in the awkward stage with only long branches – and then you have to find a place to put them where they’ll be less noticeable.

My first orchid is when a friend brought one over as a hostess gift almost a year ago.  I loved it.  It lasted for what seemed like months…until it didn’t.  Then I moved it around from window to window to make sure it was getting the right light but no matter what I did it was still looking sad and I was sure I killed it.  That’s why you never see one that’s not in bloom in any florist shop. No one would buy them!

So I decided to hand it over to another friend who is known as a plant doctor.  She managed to bring it back to life and then instructed me how to properly care for it.  I left it with her until the time I guiltily took it back  – once it was perfectly full of flowers. Now the proud owner of one very good looking orchid.  It was going to be my one and only and I found the perfect spot to showcase it – in my bathroom window.

But this is all to say that since that time I’ve received two more orchid gifts.I think people come over and notice how great you look after your orchid and want to give you more.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them “no, please no more orchids”.  That sounds so insensitive but when all three plants lose their flowers I need to find two more places to hide them. I know; so ungrateful sounding.

However…..the latest one is in full bloom and the other two are starting up again and I really appreciate and love looking at them. I have one white and two purple plants.

Did you know?

Charles Darwin used orchids to help prove his theories of natural selection and evolution. Scientists today follow in Darwin’s footsteps and use orchids to learn more about how plants have evolved and adapted to live in almost every type of environment around the world.

The history surrounding the Orchid is as vast as the species range, with Charles Darwin even studying the cross-pollination that is used by this amazing plant; this, in turn, prompted a novel he wrote on the subject – Darwin’s Orchids.

Significance of Colour Variation (whether the gift giver meant it that way or not):

Orchids make magical arrangements and bouquets. While as a species of flower orchids hold a meaning of their own, each colour variation carries a slightly different meaning with it, making them ideal gifts and a beautiful surprise for your loved ones. These exotic and stunning flowers can convey a silent message, symbolising a special moment between you and your recipient – whether strength, beauty or love. The Ancient Greeks held the orchids in an extremely high regard and had specific meaning for the size and shape of these stunning flowers. The large orchid tubers were believed to ensure the birth of a boy, while the smaller represented the birth of a girl.

Orchids are available in every colour of the rainbow, excluding true blue. There is, however, a blue toned orchidthey are extremely rare, so they represent rarity, as well as spirituality and meditation.

Pink: The pink Orchid has the honour of representing innocence, femininity, grace, joy and happiness. It also represents the celebration of the 14th and 28th wedding anniversary.

**Purple: Purple flowers often represent royalty, respect, admiration and dignity and the same is true for purple orchids. These stunning blooms are ideal to show someone that you admire them and have respect for them.

Red: Red roses have come to universally represent passion and desire, and the meaning of this colour is no different when it comes to orchid symbolism. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Red orchids are also symbolic of courage and strength.

*White: White orchids signify innocence, elegance and beauty – ideal for a christening or the birth of a baby. White also signifies reverence and humility.

Yellow: The sunny, bright colour of yellow orchids is synonymous with joy and new beginnings. This orchid colour is also the traditional symbol for friendship. Perfect for giving to a friend who has just succeeded with a joyous achievement.

Orange: The orange orchid represents pride, enthusiasm and boldness. Perfect for giving to someone who is just about to do something nerve-racking.

Green: Represents health, nature, life and longevity. This gorgeous coloured orchid is also thought to represent good fortune and happy blessings.

On another beauty note:

Radiant orchid is the ‘It’ flower in beauty products Orchids are trending in fragrances and products for skin, nails, lips, eyes and more.

Guerlain, the reputable French beauty company has had an orchid skincare line for as long as I can remember called Orchidée Impériale.

A rare flower that foils time – the orchid – a wonder of longevity, an incredible source of discoveries for science. Guerlain has been the expert in orchids and skin longevity for years: three orchids selected from 30,000 and a new one – the Gold Orchid – known to regenerate cell life.

Orchids also signify good luck

And on that note I will willingly accept orchid plants (or skincare) if anyone is so generous to gift me with more. Providing they’re aware that when they visit, should the orchid not be in plain sight it will be brought out again…and again…over time.

Because I’m sure even the cream doesn’t last forever.  And the pure beauty will be not taken for granted! Especially since I now know how to properly care for them.

 

 

 

Style: freshly pressed

We’re always looking for ways to get rid of wrinkles. How about keeping your clothes, specifically linen looking neat and nicely pressed.linen3  I have a love/hate relationship with linen. Linen is the unofficial fabric of summer.  A perfect blend of sophisticated, natural and cool. Allegedly, it gets softer with each wash. But anyone who wears it knows how easy it is for creases to form which is the only downside to wearing linen.  It’s part and parcel of the material but too many creases can look sloppy.

linen4linen1I don’t know about you but I hate ironing.  I own an ironing board and an iron but can’t remember the last time I used them.  My wrinkle prone clothes are left to dry while they’re still damp or I steam iron with clothing on the hanger.  Much easier.

Except for men’s dress shirts and men’s dress pants and men’s dress jackets oh; men I don’t see the need for ironing. It might be relaxing but there’s simply no joy to it.

And it’s summer – who wants to iron?

Since linen is the fabric most likely to wilt and get all wrinkly within hours of putting it on:

Here’s how to bring it back to life in ten minutes (or less).

What you need: Access to a dryer, plus an ice cube

What you do: Toss your linen pants (or shirt or jacket) with the ice cube in the dryer on low. In ten minutes, all the wrinkles will be gone.

Why this works: As the ice melts, it lets off steam and creates its own de-wrinkling system in the process.

Whoa, your pants look freshly pressed. Hello, summer genius.wrinkle1

 Have any other material tricks up your linen sleeves?

Food: Simplified

Maybe it’s a temporary phase but…

This is the first time that I’ve struggled with what to write about for my food post.  Pretty sad right? This coming from the woman who loves to cook, owns tons of interesting cookbooks and has tried almost everything and likes to be creative in the kitchen. This coming from someone who embraces food from every culture,  has made spices from scratch and then questioned why on earth afterwards.simple4I just don’t want to throw any little thing at you for the sake of posting something. The recipes I post are ones I’ve made or at least appeal to me that I’m about to make.  And to be honest I’ve been cooking very simply lately and you know what…it’s great!  It just doesn’t make for a fantastic post so maybe I’ll just talk about food in general.  No, no don’t leave yet.  Let’s discuss.

Quick cooking rarely comes from a recipe so much as it does from intuition and time spent mulling around in the kitchen.  So…simple6

Instead of covering food in fancy sauces sometimes it’s nice to really taste the food itself.  I’m not so sure a simple cookbook would be a best seller but I do think people are going back to basics.  It feels healthier too. The days of Julia Child and her extravagantly rich sauces are lessening at least for me. For now.  Almost to the point of being boring but what I’ve discovered is that not only is it a breeze to make something with less fuss, but the taste is fresher.  Anything good does not require covering up. Let’s make one thing clear, simple doesn’t have to mean bland.  For instance, if you steam fresh vegetables like carrots which are naturally sweet you really don’t need to add anything else to them. Maybe a squeeze of lemon and that’s it.  Taste the vegetable itself. Also, it’s summer so we want things easy breezy where salads and barbeques are major. With steak you can barbeque just using salt + pepper but if you want to add more zing just add crushed fennel & smoked paprika along with s+p.  You only need a few good quality basics. Cooked properly with variety and colour on the plate is all it takes to make a meal more appealing.

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On another note, I recently planned a surprise birthday party for my husband who hates surprises.  I really had to give some thought as to where to book a restaurant (it was on the same day as Fathers Day) for 10-12 people where everyone could enjoy something from the menu, be reasonably priced and have ambience.  Not so easy.  Anyway, I first chose a new trendy place which incorporated unusual food pairings.  But when I looked at their website it seemed almost too elaborate…and I think that men in general prefer a “real” meal instead of something showy.  So I changed it to another restaurant – something a little less formal where everyone ended up feeling relaxed and satisfied. Luckily, no complaints.  Except for the friend (and her friends) who arrived late.

They were celebrating Fathers Day having dinner at another restaurant – one that was on my Foodie list of  places to eat.  I heard wonderful things and have been meaning to go for ages.  Well….they all complained about the portions being way too small and in general were disappointed in the food considering the cost.  And they complained about it while filling up their plates with our leftovers (we ordered too much) as well as ordering more food.  Which brings me to my next question…

How do you enjoy your food in general?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ART – Natures Greatest Artist

He’s a small fish in a big sea with one thing on his mind (not unlike other male species) – what can I do to attract a mate? hardwork4Ahhh….think I’ll create a masterpiece like all the greats before me.  

 That’ll grab her attention!

Unfortunately the small Japanese Puffer Fish is apparently dull almost to the point of invisibility, but to compensate he’s probably nature’s greatest Artist.   To get a female’s attention he creates something in the ocean floor which almost defies belief…with his only tool – his fins in order to attract her.  How charming is that?

In his head a pound of mathematical perfection.  He plows the sand, breaking it up into the finest of particles.  He uses shells to decorate the bridges of his construction.

He can’t rest for more than a moment.  He’s a total workhorse fish. He must work for 24 hours a day for one week or the current will destroy his creation.

A final tidy up and his masterpiece is complete!  Because…hardwork1

I would definitely go out with him..if I were a little fish.  Looks aren’t everything!hardwork3

Source: Blue Planet Wildlife

WATCH this amazing short video clip:

So….know any man who can top this??hardwork2

Feel-good Friday: with Good Company

If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” – Robert Frost (way before Jimmy Buffett sang it).

The best thing is to laugh with friends. I was in such good company on Saturday listening to Carol Burnett reminisce about her successful career in show business, specifically hilarious stories revolving around her weekly TV comedy “the Carol Burnett Show.” 

carolburnettThe same show I used to watch with my parents. The one which set the bar for other comedians like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but maybe not Amy Schumer .  And laugh we did.

Hopefully most of you remember it, or at least know who I’m referring to.  Carol Burnett is not only familiar but she’s a classic and a legend and a really warm person, in person.  She makes you feel like you’re a friend, which you are, even if you aren’t if that makes any sense. She reminds you of family.

On a style note, it was interesting to learn that Bob Mackie designed all the costumes for every single episode for eleven straight running years.  He’s the same designer who was responsible for the stunning gowns that Cher used to wear on her show.  Blah, blah, blah…yeah, lots of stories. Lots of famous names, sadly many no longer around. And lots of questions answered in a witty & wonderful manner.

And then just before you know it two hours later came the time Carol had to say good night.  Awwww…all good things come to an end.   I could have listened to her all night.

So thought I’d share a few of my favourite clips from the series.  One is a very short spoof from the movie classic “Gone With the Wind” (the one where Carol takes the curtain down literally to make a dress to greet Rhett Butler played by Harvey Korman) and the other is a full episode (I couldn’t find a shorten version) of a spoof from the old beach party movie “Beach Blanket Bingo” starring Annette Funicello.  But this one has Carol playing Annette and Steve Martin as Frankie Avalon – too too funny.  You can always skim through it.  The scene with Carol & Steve on a surfboard……………had me in stitches!

Let’s just say…we all can use a good laugh!

On that note, wishing you a wacky wonderful weekend!

Carol Burnett: Went with the Wind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTKhw-v5h2I

The Making of Beach Blanket Boo Boo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHEFepmIpsI

She’s 83 now. In Such Good Company is the name of Carol’s new memoir celebrating eleven years (and more) of laughter.  Available anywhere books are sold.

A good comedian is a treasure.  The challenge to make us laugh, a pleasure – d. king

 

beauty: face time

Yesterday I wrote about doing a wardrobe check – to clear out what is no longer useful and keep only what works to bring out our best selves for a more polished look.  Now I want to talk about polishing up our complexions.

Products for all seasons and all reasons.

Products for all seasons and all reasons.

Change of season means using lighter products and doing a makeover check.  First off…

I’m told that half of all women wear the wrong shoe size (can that be true, really?) and two thirds wear the wrong size bra (we know we’re really 34B but we’ll buy a 34D…wishful thinking?).  And I don’t know exactly how many of us use the wrong facial products but I’m guessing the numbers are pretty high.

Do you know your skin type?

Maybe you think you do but chances are your skin type falls into more than one category.  Even those of us with so-called “normal” complexions experience flare ups and we all have battles from time to time.  Some more than others.   Skin is a living organ and it mirrors what’s happening in our lives and in our bodies.  It constantly changes – hormones one week, stress the next.  Taking medication, a change in diet, smoking, drinking, not sleeping, all of it can effect our mood and in turn, our skin.

General classifications are normal, combination, oily, dry, sensitive.

Most people will experience combination skin at some point. The ‘T Zone’ around the nose, forehead and eyes is naturally a bit oilier than the rest of the skin on your face, so one way to find out what mood your skin is in is to clean this area with a light cleanser, followed by a good toner and then leave it for a couple of hours. The results may not be what you’re expecting.

If you find that the skin is very tight, it may be that you need to start using a richer formula for a while to deal with any excess dryness.

Sensitive skin usually benefits from something lighter, like a gel or serum, while skin prone to breakouts or redness may need special attention with regular masks designed to soothe and cleanse the pores.

Customized Skin Care

Customized Skin Care

Then there are problem conditions like acne, rosacea or eczema which can really get in the way of you and your best self. They make you tend to want to hide from the world.

Did you know that you can help ease your problem situation and in some cases clear it up entirely by abiding by some dietary tips and some simple at-home remedies?

This according to skin care guru *Kate Somerville:

Dietary Tips for Treating Acne: be wary of dairy, white sugar, white flour and saturated fats.  Milk contains steroid hormones and other compounds that can contribute to clogged pores, inflammation, and acne.  Sugars boost insulin which can increase oil production and the growth of  pore-clogging cells.

At-Home Remedies for Treating Acne: Find products with different active ingredients to target acne like sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, tea-tree oil and salicylic acid.  it’s essential that products don’t strip or over dry the skin because it will over-compensate by producing excess oil.

Dietary Tips for Treating Rosacea: diet plays a large role in rosacea.  Avoid trigger foods such as caffeine, white sugar, white flour, alcohol and spicy food.  Eat food that encourages the growth of good bacteria like leafy greens, high-fiber foods and probiotics.

At-Home Remedies for Treating Rosacea: Look for products containing calming agents like mineral masks, aloe, lavender and green tea.  For severe rosacea see your dermatologist, there are great topical antibiotics available.

Dietary Tips for Treating Eczema: If you’re having a severe eczema breakout, stop eating all dairy, wheat and sugar.  Eat whole, unprocessed foods and stay away from acidic items like tomatoes and vinegar.  Drinking lemon water will keep you hydrated and make your system more alkaline which is crucial when you’re battling eczema.

At-Home Remedies for Treating Eczema: bathing is better than showering when your skin is dry, because a shower can actually strip oils.  Make sure the temperature isn’t too hot and avoid products with fragrance.  Try adding goat’s milk or colloidal oatmeal to your bath and apply your lotion, oils or eczema cream as soon as you get out of the tub to seal in hydration.

*At the Kate Somerville “Skin Health Experts Clinic” they use blue and red LED light therapy which aids in treating and clearing up acne, eczema and rosacea.

 The treatment is supposed to stimulate cell growth and has an anti-inflammatory effect, which heals and relieves pain.  Have any of you tried it?facetime8

I guess the answer to perfect skin is to never eat sugar, dairy or fat and get at least 8 solid hours of sleep every night, don’t drink any alcohol and try not to stress.  But hey; we’re only human.

What kind of skin type do you think you have?  If you don’t mind sharing I’d like to know and also how you deal with any specific skin care problems.




























Style: are you ready?

Every now and again we have to do a wardrobe check. 

Bette Davis & her eyes wearing a classic leopard-print something or other.

Bette Davis & her eyes wearing classic leopard-print.

It’s not easy to let go of some clothing. I’ve been going through my things and keeping on hand “only” those items which look good, fit properly (= well made), which is mostly comfortable, classic clothing mixed with some trendy pieces. Which leaves me with only two remaining outfits in my closet...but I believe if you have some key attire you can dress it up with great accessories like belts, scarves and all kinds of jewelery.  Of course, shoes and bags are important too, but like houses first you build a foundation.

Stripes are always "on trend" and tend to bring out your "inner French-girl"

Stripes are always “on trend” and tend to bring out your “inner French-girl

Certain things make it so much simpler to get ready when you’re in a hurry to get out the door. No more “what on earth am I going to wear” if you have a few go-to (= basic) pieces that can be mixed and matched with ease.  So here are some wardrobe staples to make it easier.  You probably already have most of them in your closet.

Not saying you should have only these staples in your wardrobe, but if you have them, you’re pretty much ready for anything. And I like to be ready for anything!

Starting with:

THE PERFECT WHITE T

THE PERFECT WHITE T SHIRT(s)

Just like dating men & vice versa, there is loads to choose from but you have to weed through a ton before you come across a good one. Having said that, V-neck or crew, slim fit or oversized, finding the right white tee can be tricky, but it’s totally worth the hunt. This staple is casual and comfortable without looking sloppy, and is perfect for pairing with everything from your favorite jeans to under a business suit.  Buy in multiples.

A NAVY BLAZER

A NAVY BLAZER

If you think blazers are limited to the boardroom, think again. This structured topper is actually pretty versatile, as seen above. Black might read a touch more corporate, but in navy, a tailored blazer (worn with everything from dress pants to boyfriend jeans) says you mean business but also have a keen sense of style.

WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT

WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT

How cool does this girl look? A slightly loose fitting button-down is relaxed, comfortable and super chic, in a crispy, borrowed-from-the-boys way.

CLASSIC TRENCH

CLASSIC TRENCH for Elements meets Elegance.

A timeless addition to any outfit, the classic trench never goes out of style. It also works for pretty much anyone, regardless of personal style. Think: an elegant Audrey Hepburn strolling along the Seine.  The one in photo is a Burberry but there are many other styles with many price points.

TAILORED BLACK PANTS

TAILORED BLACK PANTS

Various black pants will take you from work to the weekend, depending on how you style them. The difference between these and any other pair of pants is tailoring: You want them to be fitted but not overly tight.

clothes14

SILK CAMISOLE for LAYERING

SILK CAMISOLE for LAYERING

Whether peeking out from beneath a blazer or worn on its own, a silky camisole can read sweet (tucked into that A-line midi skirt) or sexy (tucked into a curve-hugging pencil skirt), depending on your mood.

DENIM JACKET

DENIM JACKET

Another all-season piece, a jean jacket adds an element of cool to any outfit. Draped over your shoulders with a breezy summer dress, it’s both relaxed and utilitarian.

WHITE PANTS (optional)

WHITE PANTS (optional) but super chic

JEANS that fit well in all the right places

JEANS that fit well in all the right places

LITTLE BLACK DRESS

LITTLE BLACK DRESS (es)

Ever gotten a last-minute dinner or drinks invitation and had no time to choose your outfit? That’s where the LBD comes in. A total workhorse, this should be a dress you’re comfortable in and can wear a bunch of different ways for a bunch of different occasions. On its own it’s fairly plain and simple, so you can also get a lot of wear out of it without anyone noticing.

Which brings me to some other options like a Tuxedo Jacket, Dressy Dress (for those special occasions) and different length size skirts.  And something edgy like:

Maybe a little SHOW STOPPER like Gene Tierney is wearing

Maybe a little faux SHOW STOPPER like Gene Tierney is wearing

Anything else?

 

 

 

Breakfast: Best Homemade Bagels

You know good bagels especially if you’re from Montreal or New York.

Making homemade bagels takes a little bit of patience, but is so worth it when your kitchen smells like heaven—and you get to eat them.bagels1

Ingredients:

5 cups flour (preferably bread flour)

1 teaspoon yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons honey or *barley malt syrup

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

2 cups of water

Directions:

  1. In a standup mixer fitted with the dough-hook, combine the yeast, and 2 cups water. Give it a quick stir to get the yeast excited. Add the sugar, salt, and honey and stir.
  2. Slowly add the 5 cups flour and mix for 5 minutes (stopping to scrape down the sides if need be). After 5 minutes, the dough should be tacky but not sticky. Drop the dough ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with lightly oiled cellophane and set it in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
  3. After 2 hours, the dough should have doubled in size. At this point, you dump your dough onto the counter and either pinch or cut the dough into 12 approximately equal-sized pieces. Roll them into balls and leave on 2 Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets, topped with a lightly damped towel, for 20 minutes.
  4. They will have puffed a bit and now it’s time to poke the hole in the middle. Poke your finger through and stretch a 2-inch hole.bagels4 Throw ‘em back down on the cookie sheets and let ’em rise for 20 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile…..pre-heat your oven to 500° degrees F and get your ‘everything’ toppings together in a bowl, as well as a large (preferably wide) stockpot 3/4 full of boiling water with 2 tablespoons of honey mixed in. Turn it down to a simmer, and when the bagels have finished their second 20-minute proof, plop 3 or 4 in, making sure not to crowd them. bagels5Simmer them in the water for 30 seconds on each side, then place them back on the cookie sheets. Immediately sprinkle liberally with toppings.
  6. Pop the trays in the oven for 5 minutes then turn the heat down to 350° F degrees. Rotate the pans and let them cook for 10-12 more minutes. They should be golden brown and they should smell like heaven.

Everything Topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon dried garlic flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse salt
  • egg wash:1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water (brushed overtop to prevent toppings from burning)

If you want to get really creative you can create your own cream cheese spreads – eg: sundried tomatoes mixed into softened cream cheese, etc.

*Malt syrup, a sweetener, gives bagels their characteristic flavour. Barley malt syrup is available at most supermarkets, but if you can’t find it, use brown rice syrup, honey, or agave. Though these are not traditionally used in bagel making, they are completely acceptable substitutions. Some people even prefer the flavour of honey or agave to barley malt, especially fans of Montreal-style bagels, which are boiled in honey-sweetened water.

And remember; you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them!

Time: takes about 2 hours.  Serves: 12

Source: The Dinner Bell: part of a brunch for the cast and crew of “High Maintenance”

 

Coffee ART: a delightful disappearing ART

You might want to linger over your mocha or lattes by Melannie Aquino, a barista at the  Elite Audio Coffee Bar in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood. Mostly because as you can see from the following photos, they’re dazzling masterpieces in a cup.

With a side of Ice Cream

I’ll have my latte with Ice Cream on top

Melannie uses a metal skewer and a pot of chocolate to draw remarkably detailed sketches of everything from sweet-faced pugs to London’s Big Ben atop the frothy foam. Aquino, who grew up in Hawaii and moved to San Francisco 10 years ago, was recently named the best coffee artist in the world by Mashable. Without question she’s the best in San Francisco.barista1I thought that was a really bold statement…” Aquino says. “I may be one of the best, but I don’t think I’m the best. It’s a lot about perception.”

Most coffee art is made by “free pouring” steamed milk into a shot of espresso and adjusting the pour to create certain patterns and designs. The drawing method, Aquino says, is unique and she knows of only a few other “drawing” artists through Instagram.

“With a latte, the picture starts degrading after a few minutes,” she says. “Whereas with a mocha it sticks together for about 20 minutes.”barista7

Whole milk works best, while almond doesn’t cooperate.barista2

Requests:

Corgi dogs are currently the most commonly requested, and unicorns were popular for a while. R2D2 is also a favorite because a video of her creating the droid was featured on Instagram on Star Wars Day. She won’t do portraits or company logos. Once a girl used one of her creations to ask a boy out to prom. “While he was in the bathroom, she ordered his drink and asked me to write ‘Prom?'” she says. “He said yes.”barista6Aquino has always been a doodler, but she says her ability improved when she was studying film at the Academy of Art and required to take a drawing class.

“I’ve always been doodling throughout my life, but that class really showed me the basics of shape and shadowing and that’s where I learned to make my drawings a little more refined,” she says.

Moving to San Francisco and going to art school wasn’t what Aquino’s parents had in mind for their daughter. “It’s one of those things where they wanted me to go to college and get a stable job,” she says. “And they wanted me to stay in Hawaii.”barista4

But now that Aquino has over 22,000 followers on Instagram, websites calling her the best at her craft and people from all over the world coming to Elite to order her creations, she says her parents are proud, and most importantly she’s happy with what she’s doing.barista5

When I’m next in San Francisco I can’t wait for my JiaJia (he’s my sheltie dog) latte ooops, I mean mocha with whole milkbarista3

Source: Amy Graff for SF Gate

Feel-good Friday: when there’s rain…

…there’s Rainbows

Lucky Dog!

Lucky Dog!

Jack, staring out his living room window is thinking one of three things:  Where did my humans disappear to?  What will I eat for dinner? Are there really rabbits, squirrels and mice at the end of the rainbow ? (as told to him by his mother as a young pup).

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic

I’m a big kid at heart.  I love this song performed by John Legend, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy (another style icon), and Queen Latifah.  It is definitely Feel-Good.

On another Feel-good note:  The many faces of Carol Burnett.

carol1carol3I’m so glad we had this time together.  Fond memories of simpler times and fun clean comedy.

Tomorrow I’m really excited to see Carol Burnett at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver.  I have no idea what she’s going to do but that’s okay, she can just stand there for all I care.  I loved watching her Acceptance Speech for a well deserved Life Time Achievement at SAG Awards 2016.  If you haven’t seen it and you’re a fan you should google it.

I vividly remember watching the Carol Burnett show with my family and grandparents. I had the pleasure of meeting Harvey Korman when I was called to work on another popular TV series while living in Tokyo.  He was a regular on Carol Burnett and as suspected he was extremely pleasant.  When doing their live TV skits the cast tried hard not to make each other laugh but always ended up cracking each other up. They didn’t care so much about being overly slick. Show is SOLD OUT!

Photo of Bangkok Jack: by Took