HAPPY NEW YEAR

As the years pass in this lifetime I wish everyone a fantastic

newyear171Peace, Love, Happiness, Health, Success, Family and Friendship.  I think that’s about it!

After a little break I will be back here with more lifestyle posts/stories involving art, food, style, beauty, health, travel and fun.

All the best

Feel Good Resolutions

Looking Forward to Looking Ahead

newyear172I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions for 2017 but I did accomplish some firsts in 2016. It was a particularly challenging year but not without many simple inspiring & life affirming moments.

 Here they are in no particular order:

Becoming a member of Inspire Health as a support for someone very close to me was a true inspiration and a blessing.  The people there have an amazing work ethic and start every morning before work with a group meditation.  After taking workshops and classes, I’ve become more mindful of health habits in general. Having become instrumental in helping this person to recovery makes me feel good.

As a result I took several group meditation classes to help me get started with practicing meditation on my own.

Tried some fantastic new recipes.  I have a lot of great tasting health related recipes but I also made French sauces.

After attending an AGM meeting for a condo I own at the start of the year, I became Vice-President of Council for the strata building.  It has become a real learning experience not without its headaches.

A friend with cystic fibrosis added me to the CF Committee for the 65 Roses Gala so that I’d get credit for finding auction items for their annual fundraiser.

I received media accreditation for some film festivals and saw a whole lot of interesting films & documentaries.  My blog has opened up some new exciting opportunities.

Watched all the oscar nominated movies for the 2016 Oscars.

I took dance lessons.  West Coast Swing & started Tango again with a great instructor.

Reconnected with a few friends I had not seen in eons.

Tobogganed with my dog on a snowboard when we had one great rare day of really super nice soft snow here in Vancouver.

Painted an abstract.  I entitled it “Moody Blues”  It’s actually not too terrible. We hung it.

Flew in a small privately owned plane to Vancouver Island just to go to dinner & back.

Spotted a pod of orcas on the ferry sailing over to Victoria.  Then I had a private boat tour around the Gulf Islands and stopped in Salt Spring.

Watched Stevie Nicks perform from the comfort of the newly renovated Encore Lounge at Rogers Arena while eating good food & glass of wine in hand.

I had a birthday dinner in May and enjoyed sitting outside for a change since my actual birthday is in January.  I always wanted a warm weather birthday so I got to experience that.

Won a pampering session & some products from entering a contest at a Health Show.

I was a judge for a best of barbeque contest on a farm out in the Valley.  I parked near a whole lot of quacking ducks.  How quaint.  A few of the sampling plates had barbeque duck as the creative chefs were presenting unique fusion bbq .  Except for eating crispy Peking duck in an upscale Chinese restaurant about once a year I never like to eat duck – especially friends or family of the ones I just met.  But it was too late to back out.

My friend and I were interviewed re the Palm Springs International Film Festival last January in Palm Springs and it made national news.  What I really mean is that it was aired on NBC National News – twice.  Did you see it?

My husband and I met Melvyn Haber, an icon of Palm Springs Society sitting in the lounge of his establishment, the elegant Ingleside Inn one night last January.  I’m mentioning this because we found out he passed away just this October.  The rat pack and other well known icons frequented the place for years.  Photos of him with an abundance of Hollywood friends past and present adorn almost every inch of wall space.  He sat with us and was an engaging, entertaining gentleman with a wry sense of humour and a story(s).  When he found out we were from Vancouver he said he just had lunch with Jimmy Pattison, a Vancouver mogul. He seemed vibrant for 80, it’s so sad to hear of his passing.  I would have liked to listen to more stories.

I spent this Christmas in a staycation hotel suite with a harbour view for 2 nights with my husband and two dogs.  My brother and sister joined us there for dinner.  I spent last Christmas in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Before last year I always made Christmas dinner at home and will again…another time.

I’m spending this New Year’s Eve in a California wine region with friends. This will include wine.

A year in review: I think if you write down all the different things you’ve done for one year you’ll find out how many new things you’ve accomplished.

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Let’s see what 2017 has in store.  

What about you?  Making any awesome resolutions?

CHEERS!

ART: Paint Party

The most I know about ART is that it’s always best to begin with an empty canvas, a glass of wine and a handful of fun women.

This I know: it's always best to begin with an empty canvas

In a perfect Art World setting

Donna Giraud

Donna Giraud

“I am a painter and I believe art should make you feel something. I believe in inspiring others by sharing secrets so we can all succeed and I believe that buying art should be a positively unforgettable experience.” – Donna

Donna Giraud is an inspiring woman.  She’s also very patient as she instructed me and six other women to create an abstract work of art something painted on a canvas in her studio last week. It was a crash course of sorts but most of all it was FUN.paintparty3a

paintparty6a-copy

My creation

My creation

I’d like to try it again sometimedonna1Above painting by Lisa King

http://www.donnagiraudart.com/

 

Style: Franca

If you are truly into Style you will have at one point picked up a copy of Italian Vogue.  Either in Italy or elsewhere.

Then you should know that Franca Sozzani, the Editor in Chief of Italian Vogue, has died at 66.  Sadly she now joins musician George Michael, along with witty author/actor/ex-princess Carrie Fisher (what they all have in common is that they pushed the boundaries).  Yves Saint Laurent said “fashion fades, style is eternal” so the heavens now are alive with some serious style spirits.

 Francesco Carrozzini

Photo of Franca: Francesco Carrozzini

Franca, an ageless 66, was born in Mantua. Her father, a classic Italian patriarch, was an industrial engineer who did not approve his daughter’s early ambitions to study physics. She studied literature and philosophy at university in Milan instead, and married soon after, although she knew, as she later admitted, that the marriage was doomed before she walked into the church. (Franca would later confess that romantic relationships were the one weak link in her formidable arsenal of triumphs.) The couple divorced three months later, and the free-spirited Franca went to India to find herself—“I thought it was time to do something good with my life.” Time spent in Swinging London further nurtured her creative spirit.

When she returned from her odyssey, she stumbled into a job at Vogue Bambini(as “assistant to the assistant to the assistant,” as she playfully remembered). By 1980, she landed the editorship of Lei, aimed at young women, with Per Lui, its male counterpart, following in 1982. She transformed both these titles into showcases for the most dynamic trends in international fashion and lifestyle image-making. When Oliviero Toscani, her key photographer, moved on from her magazines, she began nurturing a dazzling talent roster of emerging photographers including Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, and Steven Meisel, all of whom were attracted by the unprecedented editorial freedom that she gave them, and her passion for photography.

Why would anyone buy Italian Vogue?” she once queried, “They wouldn’t—only Italians read Italian.” She knew that she needed to communicate instead through powerful imagery, and by showcasing her photographers’ work in this way, she earned their unswerving loyalty and their willingness to work with her magazines’ negligible budgets. “When I sent all these photos to you, I would write on the package ‘personal,’ ” Weber wrote to her, “I now realize that I took them for you because you would be the only one who would understand.”

At the same time, Franca became an indispensable part of the Italian fashion scene, a shrewd power broker with an unequaled reach to its designers and the manufacturers and industrialists who keep the industry’s wheels turning.

In 1988, she was appointed Editor in Chief of Italian Voguethe same month that Anna Wintour was made the Editor in Chief at American Vogue. (By 1994, she was made Editor in Chief of Italian Condé Nast, enjoying great support from an at times long-suffering Jonathan Newhouse, the chairman of Condé Nast International.) Franca immediately shook up the formulaic title with dynamic covers and content, creating a magazine that, in her words, would be “extravagant, experimental, innovative.”

Franca’s ethereal, otherworldly beauty, with her limpid blue eyes and tumble of pale blonde Pre-Raphaelite waves, belied her indomitable personality. “I listen,” she said, “but I must go my own way.”

A maverick spirit, she turned her Vogue into a magazine that not only celebrated the power of the image, but also used fashion stories as a platform to discuss broader issues, and the obsessions of the fashionable world. Franca had a passion for, and a deep knowledge of, fashion and its history, but an ability to keep an amused distance from its modern day excesses.

She was fearless in her willingness to tackle provocative and controversial social and cultural issues through the medium of fashion shoots. (“Fashion isn’t really about clothes,” she said, “it’s about life.”)

A remarkable woman whose talent was matched by her fierce loyalty and her passion for life.

franca sozzani Photo: Peter Lindbergh

franca sozzani
Photo: Peter Lindbergh

Story (condensed): Hamish Bowles for Vogue Magazine

Franca “Chaos & Creation”

documentary I wrote about at VIFF including link to controversial trailer:  https://girlwhowouldbeking.com/2016/10/13/lifestylefilm-from-franca-to-freightened/

Stay·ca·tion – a somewhat indulgent local getaway

staycation2

Sometimes it’s just nice to get away even if it’s somewhere familiar, like the very city you live in.bayshore2So I suggested we go away somewhere exotic for Christmas.  A hotel overlooking the harbour and Stanley Park in Vancouver.  A place where we could be quiet but party if we wanted to, and a welcome leisurely holistay.bayshore4The weather was perfect for a couple of days.  We walked a lot, we lounged and we ate.  The dogs loved it.bayshore19And it was very relaxing.bayshore26And we had a few visitors.  This one we were not expecting.staycation1I hate when good things come to an end!

Photos: d. kingchristmas201711christmas20178

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Let there be Light

December 24th, 2016

Store window - Granville Island

Store window – Granville Island

It’s Christmas Eve dayuglysweatersand today also marks the first day of Hannukah

The Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights

Not only is the holiday’s lighting of candles beautifully symbolic of so many different things, but Hanukkah also creates a wonderful spirit of unison and love that I wish we saw more of during every other day of the year.

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness

Taken at dog beach

Taken at dog beach

And if you don’t have an actual minora don’t worry – it’s easy to make one yourself.

A Russian Hannukah

For the Russian Jew

For the Jewish Trekkie

For the Trekkie Inspired

For the Surfer

For the Surfer Jew

The Wino

Jew know any winos?

Hello Kitty - Japanese Style

Hello Kitty – JapaJew

Have a Merry Little Christmas too!

My Christmas Card. This year and last year

My Christmas Card

 

Feel-good Friday: SPARKLE

May you have a feel-good festive holiday season. Peace, Love and all that jazz.

Jia Jia was in the Vancouver Sun newspaper on Saturday, December 3rd

Love On A Leash's Tammy Preast and Frank Dueck held a benefit for the Dhana Metta Rescue Society where, at age 14, Sheltie Jia Jia may have been a little old to still believe in Santa Claus. MALCOLM PARRY / PNG

Love On A Leash‘s Tammy Preast and Frank Dueck held a benefit for the Dhana Metta Rescue Society where, at age 14, Sheltie Jia Jia may have been a little old to still believe in Santa Claus. MALCOLM PARRY / PNG

Jack's new holiday sweater. I was in a woman's clothing store looking for something for a friend and came home with this sweater for Jack instead. Go figue!

Jack’s new holiday sweater. I was in a womans clothing store looking for something for a friend and came home with this sweater for Jack instead. Go figure! It was on sale – one size fits all the label said but somehow I doubt that.

feelgoodfriday9jiajiavancouversun3If you want to really feel-good help out a dog in need.  Get a rescue! Put a sparkle in his eye.

Beauty: Sparkle Plenty

Let’s promise to MAKEUP for the Holidaysholidaymakeup1

A few festive palettes to help you SHINEholidaymakeup4

Yves Saint Laurent (top L) Marc Jacobs (top R), Hourglass (bottom L) & Givenchy (bottom R).

Yves Saint Laurent (top L) Marc Jacobs (top R), Hourglass (bottom L) & Givenchy (bottom R).

Yves Saint Laurent Sparkle Clash Multi-Use Palette

Unfold the gilded cover of this book-style palette and you’ll discover that it’s a pint-sized multitasking essential. The four eye shadows, highlighter, and two lip colors (plus brush applicators) will make sure you stay glam for every holiday fete.

Buy it: Yves Saint Laurent Sparkle Clash Multi-Use Palette ($95)

Givenchy Le Prisme Superstellar Intense & Radiant Eye Shadow

This simple and sophisticated trio can be used on lids, cheeks, lips, or wherever else you’d like to add a little intergalactic sparkle. You’ll especially love how Titanium, the white shade, acts as a highlighter.

Buy it: Givenchy Le Prisme Superstellar Intense & Radiant Eye Shadow ($63)

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Surreal Light Blush, Bronzer & Strobe Powder Palette

If you’re obsessed with the elegant glow of Hourglass’s highlighters, you need this bronzer, blush, and strobe powder quintet. The luminous formulas will make your skin look lit from within, and the marble-inspired compact will look stunning on your Instagram feed.

Buy it: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Surreal Light Blush, Bronzer & Strobe Powder Palette($80)

Marc Jacobs Beauty Object of Desire Face and Eye Palette

A limited edition face and eye palette featuring six gorgeous eyeshadows, blush, and bronzer to create a complete looks for the Holiday season!

Shades include:

  • O!Mega Bronzer in Tantric
  • Blush in Exhibitionist (peachy rose)
  • Luminizer in Make a Sheen (cool gold shimmer)
  • Eyeshadow in Lights On (beige shimmer), Candlelight (golden shimmer), Dimmer (matte light tan), Violet Hour (matte lavender), Twilight (deep plum shimmer), In the Dark (deep brown shimmer)
  • Leather Case

Marc Jacobs Beauty Holiday 2016 is available now at Sephora.com for a limited time. ($69)

I think this OPI set dark nail polish with glitter topcoat is perfect for the season.  And of course the packaging is elegant. They also have a mini version for a stocking stuffer.  Available in Canada at London Drugs

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Hello Gorgeous!

Holiday Style: Glitter up

The holiday season always gives us good excuse to wear more bling.

No holiday

No festive attire is complete without a bold lip

Nothing like an on trend sparkly neckpiece to perk up your spirits and your LBD or moto jacket.

The necklace I received in my surprise Winter Box of Style is the perfect accessory to pull together a head-turning outfit.  So even though we love Cartier there are other magnificent choices out there for the season.  Here a model shows us how to perk up our outfits with a little bling to take us from day to night.

 Opposites Attract An elegant statement necklace alongside a leather jacket makes for a stylish cool-girl result.

Opposites Attract
An elegant statement necklace alongside a leather jacket makes for a stylish cool-girl result.

Formal Finery Shut it down at the holiday party in an oversize tuxedo blazer, a velvet gown and our exclusive Dylanlex x The Zoe Report crystal collar for menswear-inspired glam.

Formal Finery
Shut it down at the holiday party in an oversize tuxedo blazer, a velvet gown and the exclusive Dylanlex sparkler (The Zoe Report) Retail Value: $200

Shine Surprise Layer the glistening piece under a blouse collar for unexpected sparkle.

Shine Surprise
Layer the glistening piece under a blouse collar for unexpected sparkle.

Dressed-Up Denim Transition your jean jacket to winter by layering it over cashmere. Elevate it with a champagne maxi skirt and our Soia & Kyo knit beanie for date night.

Dressed-Up Denim
Transition your jean jacket to winter by layering it over cashmere.

Off-Duty Cool Master weekend chic with a leather jacket, a soft white tee, boyfriend jeans and all the right accessories.

Off-Duty Cool
Master weekend chic with a leather jacket, a soft white tee, boyfriend jeans and all the right accessories.

Major Monochrome A crystal necklace puts a glamorous finishing touch on an all-white uniform for the office.

Major Monochrome
A crystal necklace puts a glamorous finishing touch on an all-white uniform for the office.

 See?  Once neckpiece, several ways to wear it.

 

LifeStyle/Luxury – all that Glitters

A Peek Inside the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion

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As told by an editor at purewow.com – an American digital media company that elevates the everyday from the everyday…. if you know what I mean.

You know when you’re in a particularly fabulous store and you just kinda moan, “Ugh, I want to live here”?

Well, the new Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion in the heart of Manhattan garners that same response. Although it’s not new. And it was actually home to a big-name financier back in the 1910s, until he sold it to the Cartier family in exchange for $100 and a double strand of 128 natural pearls (trust us, they were some good pearls). A century later the landmark still stands, and now with a major Manhattan-sized facelift. (Two and a half years, four times the size.) Here’s what made us go weak in the knees during a private tour of the place—or should we say palace?
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A ROOM THAT PAYS HOMAGE TO A SCREEN QUEEN

Vacationing in the South of France is pretty dreamy. Vacationing in the South of France while your husband adorns you with custom Cartier jewels is the stuff of legends. The Elizabeth Taylor Salon in the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion is filled with gems as big as the movie star herself. And when you’re done fawning over those creations, you can turn your attention to the triptych of still photographs grabbed from a home movie, shot in August 1957 while Taylor and her husband, film producer Mike Todd, were vacationing in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France. It was there that Todd presented her with a Cartier ruby and diamond necklace—while she was in her bikini, mind you. (The photos on the wall feel like the most glamorous Instagram story, ever.)cartier2

AN IN-HOUSE PERFUMER TAKES RESIDENCE ON THE FOURTH FLOOR

A sensory experience unlike any other, the fourth floor is home to Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent’s 11 exclusive fragrances—each housed in a tiny red Cartier box. Simply take your pick, open the box and a video will begin to play, illustrating the scent. For what it’s worth, Number VII smells like a field of peonies.cartier3

THE OLD BALLROOM IS NOW HOME TO ALL THE DIAMONDS

All diamonds and engagement rings are located in this oval stunner named the Princess Grace Salon. And, quite honestly, the lighting might be the best in all of Manhattan.cartier4

AND, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE RING

Speaking of Princess Grace of Monaco, the original Cartier engagement ring (a flawless 10.48-carat emerald-cut jaw-dropper flanked by two baguettes) that she received from Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 will be on exhibit from now until October 15. Sorry, no try-ons.cartier5

AND FINALLY, THE SECRET DOOR…

Last but certainly not least are all the little secrets dotting the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion’s six floors, such as a camouflaged door that connects this staircase to the private Jeanne Toussaint Salon, named after Cartier’s first artistic director. The mezzanine is strictly for VIPs only. Clients who are looking to commission one-of-a-kind, high-end pieces gain entry under the supervision of a Cartier employee.

On the prowl for Cartier

On the prowl for Cartier 

Show me to the mezzanine please

But don’t forget… ENVY is one of the seven deadly sins!