Feel-good Friday: Sweet 16!

HAPPY Birthday Jia Jia – my diamond in the ruff.

Photo: Geoff Inverarity taken on Galiano Island
Photo: d. king (taken on February 13, 2019

DOG is GOD spelled backward.  Thank you for enriching my life and being there for me in good times and bad!  You always manage to make everything better.  You are the most amazing companion.

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It’s a Garbe Luxe Life

In a perfect world I would live only in Garbe Luxe

But life is never perfect…although it’s getting there because I’ve recently added a few more GL pieces to my wardrobe.  And I must say it’s not only because Natalia, the designer behind the brand is a good friend of mine. She is the best advertisement though…with or without even realizing it.

On a recent visit to Palm Springs we put on an impromptu mini fashion show in a hotel room with another friend and my sister.  And because the product is so well made (in Los Angeles no less; a rarity), and the fit is just right along with comfy quality fabric it’s a no-brainer…we of course wanted it all…even stuff that wasn’t for sale (like from Nat’s own wardrobe from last season) and a few items still in progress.  Didn’t matter – we still wanted it.

There’s always been a fine line to what is popularly coined “athleisure” as to whether you can wear it to places other than to and from the gym or running errands. But with this brand I would wear it for casual day wear any time.  It’s the missing link.  The replacement for jeans + a t-shirt for daytime for walking the dogs, meeting a friend for lunch, shopping, dropping kids to school (providing you have kids), here and there….also for the gym.  Some images from the Holiday Lookbook:

The missing link:

https://garbeluxe.com/

 

 

Art by Daniel Gutzmann

DANIEL GUTZMANN is a remarkable man of many talents. 

Not only does he create unique works of art, he makes the most delicious peanut butter power bars.  And he has an extensive and beautiful shoe collection.  You might say I’m a little envious. I can go on and on.

I met Daniel and his partner Karl for the first time last year when we were invited to  dinner at a mutual friend’s home in the Palm Springs area.  After dinner they showed me around their incredible home which happens to be situated on a golf course and which they gutted and re-designed themselves. That’s another thing; this power couple is licensed to re-design and re-decorate homes. Yes; there are some people who can do all that. They have excellent taste but they work according to the aesthetic of each individual, so it’s continually different but always discerning. At their place there were so many things to take in because the attention to detail is astounding.  And then there is the ART which obviously caught my eye.  Like anyone could ignore it?  Art created by Daniel .

Recently we had dinner again at the same friend’s house and I asked if I could come photograph some of their paintings for my website. So here are some images taken by me of Daniel’s artwork with a little bio about him.

The art hides a flatscreen TV

Daniel Gutzmann began his career as an artist and designer in 1989. His passion, vision and talent in taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary has allowed him contracts with high end corporate and private clients throughout the years.

He began his career with painting public transit coaches across the country into rolling works of art. These hand painted show stoppers have visually delighted such major clients as Pepsi, Mutual of Omaha, Coca Cola, Sony, Mercury, Elktra Records and Disney. He has painted murals and pieces of art for numerous community foundations, public and private clients which included homes, zoos, museums, schools, churches, public libraries and banks. His brilliant large canvas art is designed for high end clients, especially those with large homes and commercial spaces wanting to display beautiful art. With this, he has earned the prestigious Addy Award for outstanding design. Daniel continues to exceed his client expectations in providing stunning artwork that celebrates the atmosphere in which they are placed. He has participated in Rancho Mirage Art Affaire and has attended numerous art shows throughout the country, Palm Springs and the surrounding areas. Most recently, was awarded “Best of Show”in oil painting at the Indian Wells Arts Festival.

Daniel creates his near photo realistic paintings on canvas wrapped panels utilizing all triple pigmented oils with a flat finish glaze. These pieces of art are created with his vision of taking a beautiful object and painting its most unique aspects which sometimes may be abstract. His 3D multi-media modern works of art are created on wood panels utilizing MDO and Oxboard plywood, pvc & metal pipes, wall papers, venetian plaster, drywall joint compound, oil and acrylic paints.

If you are interested in any of his works please contact Debbie@girlwhowouldbeking.com

dan5.jpg
b+w – mother’s bedroom
Part of their outdoor living
on a wall outside

Feel-good Friday: Yappy Hour Palm Springs Style

A fun event benefiting animal samaritans of the desert…

Tammy Preast from “Love on a Leash” with Lily Bella & Timbit.  Photo: d. king

The swanky Riviera Hotel in Palm Springs hosts a Yappy Hour from 5-7 in the private Chiki Pool area on the first Thursday of the month from November through March. A $20 donation delivers plenty of delicious hors d’oeuvres, open wine bar (I had 2014 Mixed Breed), dessert, dog treats, gift bag and professional photos. Plus we were entertained by a burlesque dancer which my 16 year old male seemed to very much appreciate. So much fun!  I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday.  A few random photos:

Photo: d. king

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Firepit by the pool

Celebrating its 40th year of improving the lives of animals and people.

Feel-good Friday: February

What can we say about this month?

“February – the month of love..?!!
No wonder the shortest one in the calendar.” – Dinesh Kumar Biran

I prefer this quote:

February days are a marketing gimmick; love happens every day. Randeep Hooda

Always look for hidden treasures.   I tend to find them in the least likely places.  Like on a recent hike:

Photo: Tammy Preast

You know what they say…one persons rubbish is another persons treasure.  But look at what became of this desert treasure:

A piece broke off so I placed it in a vase with fresh flowers around it… the old with the new.

My friend Leonard then created an outdoor mixed media of sorts using the larger piece and mushrooms that light up for a unique solar light installation placed in a terracotta planter with mixed gravel.  From the desert floor to my floor…

 

Palm Springs Places: The Sands Hotel & Spa

So I called up the Captain, ‘Please bring me my wine’
He said, ‘we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty-nine’

Lisa King in front of The Sands Spa.  Photo: d. king

This is the beginning of a series of desirable places to stay, eat, drink and unwind in and around the Palm Springs area.

Photo: Lisa King

As many of you know, I’ve been coming to this desirable desert destination for many years.  Two years ago I purchased a place to escape the rainy Vancouver winters and I love it.  I’ve become somewhat of a homebody preferring to cook meals at home, hang with my dogs and read or watch a movie.  But I also like going out to restaurants and listening to live music.  I especially love to discover the little hidden gems.  Places and spaces that take you away and really make you feel like you’re somewhere special.   Places like this:

Entrance to The Sands Hotel.  Photo:  d. king

So this is what I’ve been doing…in between cooking at home, walking the dogs, exploring new hiking areas, cruising on my bike and watching movies.  Luckily I also found an amazing tango instructor and a place to go dancing swing.  So I’m set.  However I’m still curious and I look forward to exploring the remarkable sprinkling of interesting and exotic places to enjoy.

Photo: d. king

There are so many noteworthy boutique style hotels where you can just stay put.  They’re not only places to spend the night when you come home from late night partying.  They make it hard to want to go elsewhere.  Which brings me to my recent weekend stay at The Sands Hotel & Spa in Indian Wells, CA.  A special birthday weekend with my sister and two longtime girlfriends. We were greeted upon check-in with Moroccan mint tea and pink champagne on ice in a pineapple ice bucket no less, in our gorgeous suite with large outdoor seating area including an outdoor bathtub.  Acqua di Parma bath products – noted.  And if you happened to forgot to pack your sunscreen, no need to worry – they supply “Sun Bum” by the pool.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Light fare courtesy the Pink Cabana restaurant.  Photo: d. king  fyi: they make excellent cocktails.

The Moroccan-themed property was designed by legendary interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, one of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 designers in the world.  And it is simply put; stunning!  I mean these photos do not really do it complete justice.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

A combination of Bullard’s Moroccan-inspired influence and a mid-century vibe that is synonymous with the desert’s everlasting allure, the Sands Hotel & Spa is an exotic, luxurious and personalized take on hospitality. It caters to an adult only environment, therefore all registered guests must be over the age of 18.  I like that too.

Located in close proximity to the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens and glamorous El Paseo Shopping District as well as a short drive to Coachella Polo Grounds,  it features 46 guest rooms, the Pink Cabana restaurant and bar and a full-service spa.  It’s Fabulous darling!

And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’  Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

You can check out any time you like, But you don’t want to leave!

We were well taken care of.  Special thanks to Adam Ramirez; Guest Services Manager and Olivia Prescott; Director of Sales + Public Relations for making our stay extra special.  See you next time! XO

Visit: http://sandshotelandspa.com/

quotes: lyrics from Hotel California

Selfie at the Spa : d. king

Feel-good Friday: Friendship

From my Fabulous Birthday Weekend

With Lisa, Natalia & Margeaux at the Nest in Indian Wells.
At the Sands Hotel and Spa

These girls made my weekend extra special.  We had a blast at the Moroccan-themed Sands Hotel and Spa in Indian Wells.  More on this in a few days.

Lucky me; I have more than one.

Green Goddess Dressing (aka creamy avocado dressing)

Don’t remember the last time I bought a salad dressing.  It’s all too easy to make your own from scratch and so much tastier.  This creamy, versatile and delightful dressing is packed with vitamins and goes with almost any salad.  It’s a  healthy alternative to dairy or mayonnaise-based dressings.

Image: Simply Scratch

What you need:

  1. 1 whole large ripe avocado.
  2. 1 clove garlic, peeled.
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice.
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  5. ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  6. ¼ cup low-fat greek yogurt (optional)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  9. water, as needed

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients In a food processor or blender.
  2. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about 1/3 cup water (give or take) until it reaches a desired consistency.
  3. Keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

ENJOY

 

 

 

“Amazing Grace” – Amazing Aretha

The Gospel according to The Queen

Imagine uncovering lost footage of a young Aretha Franklin making a live recording of gospel music which turned out to be the best selling gospel album of all time?  Music that was deeply rooted, because of her upbringing with having a baptist minister father.

And then finding out that Director Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa, Tootsie, The Way we Were, etc.) was the director of a two part evening filmed before a live audience at the New Missionary Baptist church in Los Angeles in 1972. But for technical reasons the film was never released.  That is, before now.

Finally unveiled, I was excited to view “Amazing Grace,” at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, watching a 29 year old Aretha at the peak of her vocal powers.  You can see Mick Jagger amongst the audience members clapping away and getting everybody to stand. They call it a documentary but this was more likely a musical of a soul-stirring experience.  A powerhouse, Aretha certainly earned her title “queen of soul.”

Gospel music is unlike anything else.  It’s not for the faint of heart.  I wanted to experience gospel in person. So on my first visit to New Orleans I made sure to visit a Baptist church on Sunday for the sole purpose of listening to a live gospel choir. My two friends and I were the only Caucasians in the church. I’m not religious but I enjoyed immensely a room so alive and full of spirit that you rarely, if ever get to witness.  It was moving.

The bottom line is that the purpose of this music is to uplift and preach the Gospel through music with the hope of bringing salvation to non-believers; and entertain all people with positive messages and values.

Uplifting and Entertaining with the most incredible voices, it was.