Style: the real price of cashmere

I’m not talking about the amount you paid for that gorgeous cashmere sweater.

You know if 007 wear it it must be fine.

What’s good enough for 007 is good enough for me.  In this photo he’s going to kill some cashmere intruders.

I’m talking about the lifelong commitment of keeping your cashmere moth free, pill free and looking fresh for as long as possible.  It’s a process that is time consuming but it’s worth it if you enjoy wearing this luxurious natural fabric. And who doesn’t?

Photo: Huffington Post

Photo: Huffington Post

A classic that an be dressed up or down

A classic that can be dressed up or down

cashmere1Last week when I put on one of my sweaters only to find several small holes and one fairly large hole I decided “no moths, no more!”  I will never use moth balls because they smell horrible.  My grandmother’s chest of drawers used to reek of them.  Even though they do the trick – NO way!  I roll my sweaters with pretty lavender sachets in a box containing cedar wood chips.   After this I went through my sweaters one by one and found another three that have holes.  So now I’m desperate. And through experience I know that if you’re lucky enough to find someone to mend them you might as well buy a new one because it’s expensive. So I called my friend Colleen because a) she has a lot of cashmere and b) I don’t have Martha Stewart’s phone number and this was the next best thing because c) she seems to know a lot about a lot and d) when she discovered that moths had eaten her favourite cashmere housecoat she called the moth exterminator people (she recommends Mat Neale  from *Pest Solutions in Vancouver) who sprayed her whole house with a non-toxic substance that killed those little suckers dead. Apparently they also have pheromone moth traps.

I didn’t want to do that so on her advice I spent a good portion of Sunday (and yes, I’m aware that there are far more pressing issues in the world and this is not the worst problem that someone can have) but this is my style post so we can be decadent taking care of this problem.

First I shook the sweaters outside just in case there were invisible hangers-on.  Then I turned them inside-out and put them in the dryer on HOT a few at a time for 20 minutes each round.  As long as the item is dry it will not shrink.  This will kill any possible larvae almost impossible to see.  It sounds gross I know.  Then after cooling I used a fuzz remover called “Gleener” on the ones which needed it and it worked like a charm.  In Canada you can find it at Canadian Tire.  Comes with three attachments for removal depending on the severity of the fuzz and the other end has a lint remover.  My new best friend!

Then I neatly folded each one and stuffed them into individual large zip-lock freezer bags.  Then…into the freezer they go for storage.  At this point if you don’t have a large freezer you may want to consider removing any frozen items to make room for your sweaters.  Or I recommend getting a second freezer for your sweaters. Or; don’t put stuff in the freezer at all…just your sweaters.  Then of course your warm cosy sweater will have to warm up before you wear it – this is what we go through in the name of  fashion comfort.

I wish there was an easier better way but I’m aware that the picky little buggers don’t like extreme weather conditions so doing it this way will eradicate the problem.

You know something else I noticed?  They have an appetite for quality wool, silk and very fine cotton.  NO; I’m not planning to refrigerate my whole closet!!

Not that everything in my closet is of the utmost finest but still….

What about leaving something out for bait?  Something like a t- shirt in a pima cotton, silk, wool, cashmere blend that will attract and take their attention away from anything they want to invade next.  Something that says “dinner is ready and it’s a smorgasbord of all your favourite food FABrics” and they can eat the whole goddamn thing for all I care as long as they stay away from all the rest.

Well it’s an idea.  Do you have a better one?

I think he's wearing cashmere but really...does it matter?

I think Ryan Reynolds is wearing cashmere but really…does it even matter?

I saw this at Coco's closet - LOVE! EQUIPMENT Shirley leopard-print silk and cashmere-blend sweater

Spotted at Coco’s closet in Vancouver, EQUIPMENT Shirley leopard-print silk and cashmere-blend sweater. LOVE!

 One that will never go out of style!

Your Welcome

Moths, they’re just like us – they appreciate the finer things in life!

*Pest Solutions: 604-986-8881

Food: Brasserie Bourride (Fish Stew)

Yesterday I posted about the dreamy dinner for two prepared at the Frick Museum by Michelin chef Daniel Rose of Le Coucou brasserie in New York.

The bourride, stewing.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

The bourride, stewing. Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Rose, an intense young chef originally from Chicago, made his Michelin-approved reputation conjuring clean, seasonal recipes from the old French canon at a small Parisian establishment not far from the Louvre called Spring. For his New York debut, however, he has provided the kind of grand, ostentatious stage you rarely see anymore in this populist era of chef burgers and haute pork buns. The T-shaped space, on the ground floor of a downtown hotel called 11 Howard, is lit with rows of circular chandeliers that look like they’ve been heisted from one of the castles in Game of Thrones.

Below is his recipe for one of the Entrées he served up for he and his lucky wife:

Recipe: Bourride With Aïoli

Bourride in case you are not familiar is a provençale fish soup which is akin to a classic Mediterranean fish stew and which is much less complicated and expensive to make than bouillabaisse.

Phone: 212-271-4252

Source for Daniel Rose: NYmag.com

Art/Food: Dinner at the Frick

This is frickin amazing…

One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. -Virginia Woolf

Daniel Rose and Marie-Aude, Styling by Diana Tsui. Suit, shirt, and shoes by Tom Ford. Dress by Ralph Lauren Collection. Shoes by Oscar de la Renta. Tablecloth by E. Braun & Co. Candelabras by Lynn Field at Bergdorf Goodman.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Daniel Rose and Marie-Aude, Styling by Diana Tsui. Suit, shirt, and shoes by Tom Ford. Dress by Ralph Lauren Collection. Shoes by Oscar de la Renta. Tablecloth by E. Braun & Co. Candelabras by Lynn Field at Bergdorf Goodman.Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Inside Le Coucou Chef Daniel Rose’s Seafood Dinner for Two at the Frick

A feast for the senses! I mean what could make you feel better and be more romantic for a foodie/art lover than fine French dining inside a New York  Fine Art Museum among distinguished Old Master paintings while wearing designer duds. Nothing I say!

For this year’s Holiday Food special,  American cooks with French restaurants were sent into homes (and the Frick) to host relatively easy-to-replicate dinners.

It smells like France in here,” chef Daniel Rose says upon entering the Fragonard Room of the Frick Collection. It’s a welcome smell for the 39-year-old Chicago-born chef, who rose to fame in Paris for his tiny, seasonally focused restaurant Spring, and who decamped to New York with his family this past June to launch the grand, inventive brasserie Le Coucou. He was at The Frick recently to cook a romantic dinner for his wife, Marie-Aude, surrounded by the looming The Progress of Love panels, done by one of his favorite painters. (When he first arrived in Paris to study at the American University, he found himself at a Drouot auction at which he bought a “possible” Fragonard, cut from a larger painting, and had it cleaned and sold it for three times more.) For this intimate dinner (save for a crowd of security guards — the Frick has never allowed food to be consumed in this room before), Rose set out to design a menu that would allow him to spend more time eating and less time cooking: warm briny oysters with seaweed butter and oeuf norvégien (an artichoke heart topped with a soft-boiled egg and a creamy coating of crème fraîche with chives and enveloped in smoked salmon), followed by a bourride bursting with clams, mussels, large prawns, and black bass. As the two finished up their meal with a classic dense chocolate mousse and royale d’orange cookies, he said: “There’s no place I’d rather be than here.”

Culture/Art/Film: Landfill Harmonic

This is the best feel-good movie I’ve seen in a long time.

landfil2 I just watched it with my film buddy who I met at VIFF. landfil1This film is not about garbage, it’s about making the best of the junk that surrounds you.

The reason it’s uplifting is that it points out that no matter what your living conditions are like, through the power of hope and dreams you can build on becoming what you desire and we realize that music is that unifying force that binds all people.  It’s pretty powerful.  It’s actually a film on the power of music through very unusual circumstances.landfil5landfil4

These kids play everything from the BIG THREE (Mozart, Bach, Beethoven) to heavy metal (play heavy metal with heavy metal) favourites.

Land Fillharmonic was showcased last year at various film festivals but was recently re-released in many cinemas worldwide (you’ll have to check in your hometown).  If so, I highly recommend seeing it.  WATCH TRAILER:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCjbd21fYV8

Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group who live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra play music from instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. With the guidance of their music director, Favio Chávez (a most amazing man), they must navigate this new world of arenas and sold out concerts. However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for the town.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king – one of the instruments taken in the lobby of VanCity Theatre Tuesday night.

Instruments Beyond Borders...harnessing the power of music to better children’s lives.  Many schools have now very unfortunately cut music from educational programs.  It’s good to give back.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

An entirely volunteer, charitable Society dedicated to delivering donated musical instruments and funds to music education programs in disadvantaged communities at home and abroad.  In Vancouver instrument donations can be made at Tapestry Music (3607 West Broadway).  Tax receipts for donated instruments are available upon evaluation.

Music heals the world.  So will recycling.

Style: Classic Cable Knit

It’s sweet sweater weathersweater13

That, nobody can deny! It’s the time of year that your old sweater feels just right. And you know what else never gets old?

I know

I know

Cable Knit!

Here’s proof why.  They look just as good nowsweater12

Cameron Diaz in

Cameron Diaz in “Holiday”

Steal the look

Steal the look

As they did back then

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

 May 1968 - actor Steve McQueen. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

May 1968 – actor Steve McQueen. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Ryan O'Neal

Ryan O’Neal in Love Story

sweater11

A classic crew neck cable in ivory is a casually elegant way to feel cool when it’s cool outside.  It says, “I’m relaxed. I’m feeling cozy.  I’m dapper.  Come have a cuppa with me”.  Okay!sweater6For me they’re a closet staple. Some of us prefer wearing our sweaters close to the curves but I think they look best worn a little on the loose side.

What do you think?

Food: Oh So Moist Carrot Cake

This moist, rich cake is made using whole grain flour, fruits and veggies, more “natural” sweeteners and healthy oils. Your kitchen will smell divine with the aroma of warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves as this cake bakes.

Coconut whipped cream with toasted coconut flakes

Little Loaf – topped with whipped coconut cream & toasted coconut flakes

I took this original recipe and divided it into individual loaf pans to give to friends.  Makes three.  Instead of the usual cream cheese or traditional whipped cream topping I whipped coconut milk (without guar gum in the ingredients) with a little maple syrup & vanilla extract.  It’s a much healthier alternative but the secret is to make sure the coconut milk is very well chilled.  Leave the can in the fridge for at least one hour.  It can also be helpful to put your mixing bowl and beaters (or blade) in as well, so everything is very cold.  As far as the cake goes, you can always substitute some of the pineapple for grated zucchini (as I did for a few of them), omit the walnuts entirely and/or add raisins.  I made my own apple sauce.

Carrots – Carrots are one of the best sources of beta carotene, which balances the immune system and reduces the risk of many cancers. They also guard against cardiovascular disease, reduce inflammation, slow the aging process, and are great for digestion disorders. They also contain fiber, calcium, iron, and many other vitamins and minerals.

Cinnamon – This spice has antiseptic properties, is a digestive aid, has anticancer properties, and is beneficial for the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It also helps lower blood pressure and makes insulin more efficient thus controlling blood sugar spikes.

Walnuts – These nuts contain beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids that are great for the brain and lowering cholesterol. They are also high in protein, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

Pineapple – Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. It is also rich in the enzyme bromelain, which aids in digestion, is an anti-inflammatory, and an anti-cancer agent. It can greatly reduce the swelling of carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and gout.20161116_101505

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup olive or coconut oil (I used organic virgin coconut oil)
2 eggs (or 2 Tbs ground flax seeds soaked in 6 Tbs water)
1 cup raw carrot, grated (2-3)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained

Dry Ingredients

1 cup whole grain spelt flour, rice flour, kamut flour or combination
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp unrefined salt (I used himalayan)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
optional: 1 tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground cloves (I used a pumpkin spice mix)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together gently.
  4. Pour into a greased 7×11 inch cake pan (or a muffin tin) or individual loaf pans,
  5. Bake at 350ºF until a toothpick comes out clean, approximately 40 minutes (20 minutes for cupcakes in a muffin tin). Cool and serve.

    “If your regrets linger, if you cannot find inspiration in solitude, then
    you still have much to learn from the writers and poets and the cooks
    on becoming the artist of your own life… you can never re-create the
    past. But you can shape your own future. And you can make a cake.”

    ~ Jacqueline Duval, in ‘Reckless Appetite a Culinary Romance’

Photos: d. king

Feel-good Friday: Things to be Thankful for

Thanksgiving is a holiday but in its true spirit should remind us of what to be thankful for. feelgoodfriday2

Here is my updated 10 BEST gratitude list:

  • Happy to be living in Canada (especially now)
  • Not taking good health for granted (sounds cheesy; but really I mean that!)
  • My two siblings and a husband who has stuck with me through thick and thin. He knows me better than anyone else and lets me be me.  He also thinks I look good without makeup.
  • Dogs (they complete me)
  • Trust worthy good friends
  • Dancing and Music (maybe that’s two things but they do go hand in hand)
  • Art
  • Warm places to travel to when the weather becomes unbearable
  • Netflix (my latest addiction is The Crown)
  • Black Friday Deals (just kidding – sort of) & Fridays in generalfeelgoodfriday7

What are you thankful for?

Beauty: for the pumpkin obsessed

American Thanksgiving is exactly one week away. So if you cannot wait for that slice of pumpkin pie until then, the beauty obsessed can check out this fun and flavorful assortment of pumpkin bath and beauty products. pie1Give thanks for a delicious assortment of fall-inspired scentual lip balm, bath soap, cuticle oil, you name it, it probably exists.  Something to consider while sipping your Starbucks pumpkin-spice latte.

This multitasking product can be used as a body wash or bubbles for your bathtub. Both ensure you’ll be left with a sweet fall scent once you’re done pampering yourself.pie2

This blend of pumpkin puree and extracts exfoliates dead skin, while fruit extracts leave you with a natural-looking glow.pie3

Natural pumpkin extract is a great anti-aging agent that also helps skin feel smoother. As a sheet mask, the nutrients will really absorb into your skin and guarantee a youthful finish.pie4

This cuticle oil works as a vitamin E treatment that promotes strong and healthy nails. The dropper guarantees no messes, and it literally smells just like a pumpkin-spice latte.pie5

Indulge your pumpkin-spice cravings by getting a taste of it with this lip balm. Its hydrating beeswax and nutrients will leave your lips smoother than ever.pie6

Nourish your palms with this silky hand cream. It’ll leave them smooth and lightly scented with a hint of autumn.pie8

Pumpkin enzyme works powerfully to exfoliate skin and helps combat dullness, aging and congestion.pie9

If you’ve ever wanted to smell like an actual pumpkin pie, this is your chance.pie10

Bath bombs are everywhere and the trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. Turn your bathtub into a fizzy, pumpkin-scented pampering session with this bath-o’-lantern.pie11

You’re Welcome!

Style: the Wide Leg – tricky or totally chic?

It really depends on how you wear the current in-Style wide leg trousers.

wideleg2wideleg3

Cropped or not, I think they can appear either sloppy or incredibly chic.  But rather than taking our cues from today’s crop of stylish models and celebs, why not go back in time and look to style icons for a more classic approach?

Because CLASSIC never fades.

Lauren Hutton & Bianca Jagger

Lauren Hutton & Bianca Jagger

How to Wear Wide-Leg Pants Like a Style Icon

One rule of thumb is if you go wider at the bottom, go tighter or at least more fitted at the top. Well maybe that’s my rule but it tends to balance out this look which scares many women.  It’s a nice break from the skinny leg we’ve been wearing forever.  Don’t throw out your skinnies..just saying it’s fun to try something different. And you can chic it up.

Thus, ahead learn how to wear wide-leg pants from the original style stars, like Lauren Hutton and Jackie Kennedy, for the most timeless of looks. You know what they say: “Everything old is new again.” I love that!  

LAUREN HUTTON

In one of Hutton’s most famous photographs, the model and actress chose a cropped pair of wide-leg pants that graze her ankle, styling them with a silky blouse, blazer, and wide-brim hat. But the key to her look? Her strappy metallic heels that sexed up the ensemble.

BIANCA JAGGER

Jagger rocked her white wide-leg pants with a matching double-breasted blazer for a winning outfit. Skip the wide collar shirt and bowler hat (even if you’re bowling skip it) for a plunging camisole and loose waves. You’re ready to hit the town.

JACKIE KENNEDYwideleg5As current now as before. (don’t forget turtlenecks are in again). Kennedy’s look is perfect for the kind of in-between weather we’ve been having—wear your wide-leg pair with a cashmere turtleneck and light trench coat for balmier days. Switch to heavier fabrics when it’s colder. Super chic!

KATHARINE HEPBURNwideleg6

Hepburn was absolutely statuesque in her wide-leg pants. Why they work so well? A high-waist fit that is accentuated by a tucked-in blouse and built-in belt. Look for a similar pair that skims the floor when you’re wearing flats. No need for heels with this look although having height helps.

RITA HAYWORTHwideleg7

Super Casual. The actress and dancer chose an oversize pair of wide-legs that could easily overwhelm her frame, but she made it work by knotting her blouse to show off her waist.

Now go ahead and try it for yourself!

Source: InStyle Magazine