LifeStyle – Indoor/Outdoor Living

This is a LifeStyle blog.  Are you getting tired of hearing the term Lifestyle? outdoorliving8

It has become such a common catch-phrase so I looked up the word in Wikipedia just to make certain of the meaning and know that I’m on the right track.  According to them, the term denotes the interests, opinions, behaviours, and behavioural orientations of the person (in this case me, the blogger).

So this blog focuses on things that matter to me on a wide variety of subjects about things that attract my attention, pique my interest and what I find personally inspiring…with an emphasis on style with everything from food to fashion or just plain fun.outdoorliving6It tends to attract a certain following of like- minded people.  I do not have the following of Gwyneth Paltrow or Martha Stewart yet so I gravitate towards tasteful subjects of interest and try to put a personal element into the story whenever possible, which is fairly often, and without controversy. It encompasses my aesthetic of living in general…which I think is pretty simple…for the most part.


In a perfect world I would probably spend my life outdoors.  As it stands, whenever the weather allows for it I do exactly that.  Luckily I have close to 1,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space which I try to make feel as comfortable as possible to enjoy.  This is my perfect lifestyle – doors wide open…indoor/outdoor living.  And dogs are very important! As soon as we got an early surprise summer I scrambled to plant a few geraniums, set out pillows, get fresh flowers and get it together.

My Deck

Now I’m trying hard to pair down and keep things simpler but at the same time so many things have been collected from various travels (including many rocks & shells) and they’re hard to part with because of the memories. I’m one of those people who finds it hard to let go. Almost everything is from somewhere else and has a meaning.  And I’m not traveling so much these days. I’m just a homebody who wants to feel like I’m still traveling.


Which included making these simple summer salads:

Grape tomato & bocconcini with basil & balsamic glaze
(L) Grape|Tomato & baby Bocconcini with torn Basil & Balsamic Glaze. (R) Kale, Yam, Feta & Sundried Tomatoes in a light vinaigrette.


Anyway, this turned out to be a random post because the last four days have been busier than usual with some last minute plans – which are sometimes the best.  I ended up with a ticket to the Who concert on Friday which was so much fun (who says guys in their 70’s can’t rock!) and time spent with girlfriends and last minute brunches/dinners, a committee meeting and a fundraiser.  And I have no clue what I’m going to write next.  But know this….some exciting things are about to take place…..

It’s always an adventure one way or another

These napkins are very hard to come by
These napkins are very hard to come by – they invoke memories of time well spent.


Photos: d. king

My Pinterest Board: “This is Living”





The Power & Business of Blogging

BLOGGING, as it so happens is quickly becoming part of our culture. You never know exactly what will draw people to a blog.BLOG2

You’re reading this but have you ever wondered “what exactly is a BLOG?”

Debbie_BLOGIt took me a while to figure this one out.
  A blog always sounded so….blah. In simple terms, a blog is a website, where those referred to as “bloggers” write stuff on an ongoing basis. Most are not seasoned journalists (although with the way newspapers are going some are) but each have something to offer and a point of view. Readers can read & refer to whatever is new, make comments, link to it or email you. Or not.  Finding a blog: people know about it by referral, going to your website or they can find it by accident by typing in a “key word” looking for something specific which brings them to your blog page.  You can then follow someone’s blog by typing in your e-mail address & getting frequent updates but more often than not, people will directly visit the blog site itself.  It’s not unusual to have as many or more visitors than followers.  Every morning I look forward to checking a few blog sites that I’m drawn to.

The power bloggers –  they appeal to what people are looking for
The power bloggers –  they appeal to what people are looking for

     Blogs appear on the news pretty often these days. For example, a reporter is tipped to a story by a blog, or a blog reports another angle on a story. Blogs show up in magazines a lot, too.  For instance InStyle Magazine for the past six years has featured a “Best of the Web” descriptive issue on hundreds of amazing and not-so amazing sites and apps.  One of the things that is so remarkable about blogs is their simplicity.  Short and sweetly to the point.  People lose interest so quickly but sometimes keeping things short is not such an easy feat.

A blog is also a personal diary, a daily stage, a collaborative space or a political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts and those sourced from others. Memos to the world.  Sometimes blogs are very specific one-topic subjects. I thought at first this blog would attract mostly women but I’m finding out that there are as many men who check in (although not everything appeals to everyone), a wide variety of ethnicities, age & careers.  That makes me feel good.

Your blog is whatever you want it to be.  Like magazines, there are tons of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules (I like that).

Blogs have reshaped the web, impacted politics, shaken up journalism, and enabled millions of people to have a voice and connect with others.

     Making a Living. Many don’t.  Most working bloggers cobble together an income from various sources, and their personal blogs are only  part of that income. So making a living (or even part of a living) as a blogger does require creativity, discipline, courage & perseverance…but not necessarily fame.  Although some bloggers have become famous and some famous people (like Gwyneth Paltrow) have blogs that have cult followings.  Income can come by way of advertising, links to sites that sell things or shopping pages on your own site.  Then there are the perks because bloggers (not everyone of course and depending on what they write about) get invited to many types of press worthy functions.  Everything from special events, restaurant openings, store/product launches, concerts and the occasional trip.  I met a food/travel blogger recently at an opening and that is her job.  Basically many successful blogs can translate to full time careers.  I’m working on it and I’ve pretty much covered all my bases. To date I’ve been invited to events & functions to do with fashion, beauty, food + theatre mixed with a little art & music. Travel to follow…

One in a Million:

For me it started out as an add-on to my growing e-commerce website.  Just another way to promote my products by sharing more information of and about them.  Then it became more of an outlet & platform for contributing thoughts about other interests which didn’t have anything to do with my products at all.

This is where I’ve left things – a bit of this and a bit of that.  A daily compilation of  little personal things I care about & curiosities that may also be of interest to others.  An assemblage of inspirations for fashion, design, art, recipes, product reviews, health tips, quotes & personal posts, all with a stylish slant.  It inspires me to have an overall healthy lifestyle which includes a comforting environment for mind, body + soul.   Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess – I’m still having fun doing it.  If I end up making some money as a result that’s a bonus.

Now I’m going to direct you to my SHOP page

Signing off….XO



Lineup for Fall/Winter 2014-15

labourdayAlways celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labour Day originally gave workers the chance to campaign for better working conditions or pay, but now the day is part of a long weekend for many. Yay!

And Remember, you CAN wear white after today – just not so bright a those of you who read this blog (among other blogs) and especially for those of you who write blogs, you can appreciate the challenge of continually trying to come up with original content and keeping it brief.  So I’ve decided to incorporate some old stuff into the mix which I hope you’ll find interesting, amusing and perhaps even useful. You can expect a few small changes from the daily lineup. I’m also open to suggestions if there is a category or subject of relevance you’d prefer to see.  I’m constantly looking at ways to improve this blog and enjoy working on it immensely.  I try not to plan too far in advance of what I’m going to write in order to keep things fresh. Thank you for checking in.

blogIn the meantime here’s a look at what to expect from upcoming daily posts.


Travel/Lifestyle – re-visiting the world’s wonders starting with “Z” for Zanzibar.  I’ve recently come across many photos which invokes so many memories of great places I’ve visited and now I want to take you along for the journey.  Or;

Art/Culture – featuring an artist, talking about all aspects to do with art and cultural events.


Fabulous Food – (for foodies) a recipe, restaurant or specialty food item. This week we discover African Breese Specialty Foods (specializing in South African delicacies).


style – fun with fashion, style with substance.


beauty biz – everything to do with beauty including makeup and skincare product reviews.


Feel-good Friday – an inspiring thought or image.


health MATTERS – health related news and healthy tidbits.


words – generally inspirational quotes but it can also be a poem, story or excerpt from a book.

Enjoy your last day of freedom before you go back to work or school (except here in British Columbia where the teachers are still on strike).


Personal Pinboard – The joy and beauty of books

One of my favorite authors

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a person’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  ~Edward P. Morgan

I love beautiful coffee table books too and the covers are what always attract my attention at first.  At some point I’ll have to stop collecting them but they’re always captivating to look through.

Here are some of my favorites:



Mapplethorpe photograph of Grace Jones
Mapplethorpe shoes & fishnets
by Kevyn Aucoin – THE makeup artist of his day.

My mom bought me this book by makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin when it first came out years ago.  I  couldn’t make it to the book signing in New York which was unfortunate as I really wanted to meet him.  At the time I was studying esthetics and  makeup artistry at George Brown College in Toronto.

The transformations found inside this large hardcover book are unbelievable. Kevyn was ahead of his time but the same principles apply today.  He made up all the top models and actresses – the photos are gorgeous.  To this day Cindy Crawford credits him with teaching her everything she knows about applying makeup application.

Jessica Lange (the art of makeup)

you can double click on photos to enlarge

Tango and Poetry – same thing
from “TANGO”            the book in both English & Spanish
Travel Books
cookbooks that remind me of places
and memories (by the author)
Coffee Culture  filled with interesting information and coffee recipes.

Here’s one I can really relate to – a book about what else?


Books by Brad King

If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison



Okay, maybe not exactly coffee table style but my brother Brad wrote all of them. 

I keep them on my book shelf.


Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering – because you can’t take it in all at once.
Audrey Hepburn

I am a drinker with writing problems Brendan Behan