Feel-good Friday: Desert Bloom

Feeling really inspired, full of life, more nurtured and on my way to becoming more fit.  You could say I’m beginning to blossom again (ha,ha).  Well that’s how I feel right now.  And right now is where I want to be…in the moment.

Photo: d. king

Could have something to do with being in the desert, the sunshine and noticing the desert flowers starting to bloom.  Even since one week ago they’ve become so much more noticeable.  If you look between the cracks you can find beauty.

And I’m enjoying hiking around Palm Springs.  There are many varied hiking areas, however these photos were taken on two recent hikes in an area where I can walk to from my place.  In that regard I feel very lucky.  Another beautiful sight on my last hike was seeing for the first time a large family of big horn sheep.  They sprinkle the mountain white.

 It appears that everything is starting to flourish for Spring.  It’s at least a positive force and a force of nature – not to be messed with.

Selfie – a  few days ago with Ramona & Alex.
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

So on that note…I leave you with a few quotes to contemplate over the weekend:

There is only “one” you in the bunch. Photo: d. king

I like this quote but I’m staying on the trail.   I don’t mind losing myself but I don’t want to get lost completely.
These guys certainly make their own way and their own rules.  They’ve even disrupted some of the paths but they were here before us so that’s ok.
Photo: Tammy Preast – Josie Johnson Vista
Tammy is an inspiration – she even has a hiking guide book so you can say she goes by the book so to speak.  Plus she’s super fit.  Photo: d. king
Trying to keep on top of things.  Photo: Ramona

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND

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Jill & Robert – Dinomite Rock Stars

Just Imagine

I sometimes wonder why I’m so drawn to certain crystals.  Maybe it’s because I love their simplistic down-to-earth beauty.  After all, they’ve been gracing the planet for centuries. I feel like they enhance my space. Even though I don’t know everything about them, rocks, gems and crystals have in varying degrees, graced spaces in places of my home for many years.  If they come with healing properties, all the more power to them! As I’m learning more about what they stand for it’s interesting to note that people seem to be more attracted to some stones over others. There might be a reason behind this.

Which brings me to this story.

Jill and Robert Carroll were recently married in Arizona. Robert is the son of my dear friend Lynda and I’ve been hearing about how fantastic Jill is for over a year now which is when they met. Jill and Robert reside in Boise, Idaho and run a very successful rock and gem business called Dinomite. This rock solid (pun intended) couple are constantly traveling to source new material for their ever growing company. What Jill started and accomplished is very inspiring to me and I was intrigued to learn more.  Especially since she coerced her husband to quit his banking job to work alongside her in this booming business.

Robert + Jill – taken from website

In Jill’s words:

Starting out as a lifetime hobby, in 2009 I decided to make this my career.
Investing all my saving and leaving a good paying job to start my own business turned out to be more rewarding then I could ever imagine. Not only do I get to meet the best of the best in mining around the world but I also get to speak with peaceful like minded customers every day to help them find the perfect crystal or stone. My husband left his “boring” banking job and now we get to work side by side everyday with our 4 employees including my best friend, my sister… oh and our dogs are always somewhere roaming the shop or rock yard.

Thank you for supporting our family run business. Jill Carroll

amethyst
malachite

We just returned from our winter buying shows. Our suppliers around the world have once again spent countless hours collecting the finest material for us. We are excited to bring you new inventory that we have hand selected ourselves.

SHOP Dinomite Rocks and Gems on ebay:  

https://www.ebay.com/str/dinomiterocksandgems

Like them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/DinomiteRocksandGems/

Just like them in generalReally; what’s not to like?

 

Moving forward as another year comes to a close…

Reflections on what 2018 taught me

About Staying Strong: while I lean towards improving overall bodily strength in the new year, 2018 was mostly about building inner strength.  Inner strength will help get you through tough times and give you the courage to move forward.  That, plus a good glass of wine and a hearty laugh.  Speaking of;

My witty friend Michael has this to say about humour: humour is like a tickle with a pitchfork.   The purpose of using humour is about expressing aggression, fear, taboo desires and life’s absurdities in an engaging and entertaining way.

About Feeling it Fully – the good, the bad and the ugly.  Learning to embrace it all whatever that may be.  Staying open. Learning to accept whatever life throws my way has been a happy, hurtful, grateful, sad, sometimes infuriating, overall empowering learning experience.

I like this excerpt from Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chödrön:

You build inner strength through embracing the totality of your experience, both the delightful parts and the difficult parts. Embracing the totality of your experience is one definition of having loving-kindness for yourself.

About Relationships: when you spend more time analyzing a relationship than enjoying it – something is wrong.  But you know what? – maybe we should try to analyze what’s wrong.  Because maybe we can resolve it; or not! If it’s worthwhile it will be resolved. In the meantime….respect is essential and enjoyment is key.  As Oscar Wilde once said:

Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.

About Good Girlfriends: always keep your girlfriends close – they are a gift.  They’re the ones who know you, know what’s good for you and how to make you laugh. A good friend will always stab you in the front. ― Oscar Wilde

About Dogs.  No matter what, they never change.  They love you for all that you are and all you’re not.  I aspire to be the person my dogs think I am.

About Life: it’s pretty simple actually….if you keep it simple.  Confucius said: Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated. 

About making a leap:

Most importantly of all, there’s hope, perhaps the most powerful force in life.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday!

Website:  https://www.ihg.com/evenhotels/hotels/us/en/reservation

 

 

Forest of Hope

One Enchanted Evening

L to R: Stacey Harris, Lisa King, Maggie Parsons, Debbie King.
Photo: Stacey Harris
Pretty Prosecco Lady – YES PLEASE!
Top L: Kimberly & Maggie (Colleen’s niece) Top R: Paying tribute to Colleen Kohse on the big screen. Colleen was the longest living heart/double lung transplant recipient in Canada. In fact it was pointed out to me that she narrowly missed making it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest survivor. Nonetheless she was a trailblazer and tireless volunteer in support to patients and families living with CF.  Bottom middle : Larry Kohse (Colleen’s brother) with Debbie King. Bottom L + R:  a pretty forest nymph and greeter with photos and names of young people living with CF.  Photos: Stacey Harris.

It was a bittersweet event at Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront Hotel last Saturday for the annual 65 Roses Gala to benefit cystic fibrosis (CF) because of the absence of my BFF Colleen Kohse.  As The Globe & Mail wrote for some, Colleen’s very existence was hope itself. 

CBC TV and radio journalist Gloria Macarenko was the host of this annual fundraiser along with Jeremie Saunders of the Sickboy podcast. Jeremie if you don’t already know, lives with CF.

Gloria mentioned something eerie but special to me at the start of the evening.  She said last April she opened up her phone and the first thing that popped up on her screen without her searching for it, was a photo of her and Colleen from last year’s gala.  Then very shortly after that, a phone call explaining that Colleen had passed away that day.  It does make one wonder.

The evening began with a delicious signature lavender-infused gin + rosemary cocktail, prosecco and full bar.  In otherwords; no lack of alcohol.

Beautiful songstress Amanda Wood started off the evening with a gorgeous rendition of “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman along with help (not that she needed it) from a choir.

We ate a delicious multi course dinner with wine pairings and were able to peruse the silent auction items online as well as outside the ballroom.  Our photographer Charles doubled as the auctioneer for live auction items and did a fantastic job – multi-talented is he.  Entertainment followed which had pretty much everyone on the dance floor for late night dancing.

The 18th annual 65 Roses gala was proudly presented by B2Gold Corp. The evening was of course dedicated to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis, Canada’s most common inherited fatal disease.

Since its founding in 2001, the 65 Roses Gala has raised more than $4 million for CF research and patient advocacy.

We hope to continue to do more so that CF can finally stand for “Cure Found.”

 

To find out more and/or make a donation please visit:

https://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/

It’s never too late to…

Act on your dreams.

Be what you want to be (or better still; who you want to be).Change your future.  Sometimes the future makes changes without your consent. Makes changes you didn’t want or hope for.  But you can still make some changes that will make a difference.

Do things differently.

Enrich others’ lives.

Face your fears.

Get out of neutral.

Have fun.

Initiate friendships.

Jumpstart possibilities.

Knock the “t” off can’t.

Live enthusiastically.

Be Nonjudgmental (try, try hard!)

Orchestrate your legacy.

Plan for tomorrow.

Question your priorities.

Reinvent yourself (even if you’re not Madonna or David Bowie).

Stop keeping score (unless you have money on the game of course).

Take a leap of faith.

Uncork your mind (maybe along with a good bottle of wine).

Value who you are.

Wake up your luck.

Explore your spirituality.

Yearn for fulfillment.

Zoom in on love.

Source: Meiji Stewart – A taste of Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul.

Feel-good Friday: Give Thanks

For a little Inspiration from A-Z.  DARE TO . . .

Ask for what you want.

Believe in yourself.

Change your mind.

Do what you love.

Enjoy each and every day.

Follow your heart’s desire.

Give more than you receive.

Have a sense of humor.

Insist on being yourself

Join in more.

Kiss and make up.

Love and be loved.

Make new friends.

Nurture your spirit.

Overcome adversity.

Play more.

Question conformity.

Reach for the stars.

Speak your truth.

Take personal responsibility.

Understand more, judge less.

Volunteer your time.

Walk through fear.

Xperience the moment.

Yearn for grace.

Be Zany.

Meiji Stewart (A taste of Chicken Soup to Inspire a Woman’s Soul)

And some darn cute photos of my pooches.  

Wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving to my Canadian cohorts.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Mood Board #1

Worthy places to see, travel, eat, play, love.  Things to do, wear, enjoy, laugh at + inspire.  IDEAS of the moment…things to cheer you up on a MOODY MONDAY!

Scent of a Woman:

NEW Perfume Museum in Paris

As if Paris isn’t magical enough….

If Willy Wonka made perfume instead of chocolates, his factory would look just like the Grand Musée du Parfum, the new museum of perfume in Paris. Because of course there’s a perfume museum in Paris…and it’s absolutely dreamy. You will step into an unforgettable experience of sense, emotion, pleasure, and understanding.

Located in a stunning Parisian mansion previously owned by Christian Lacroix, the scent-driven exhibits encourage visitors to sniff their way through a far more fragrant culture and history lesson than you probably would have ever imagined—did you know Cleopatra and Louis XIV used scent to woo their lovers?  Now you do.

ITHAA UNDERSEA RESTAURANT AT CONRAD MALDIVES RANGALI ISLAND: MALDIVES

Just in case you need yet another reason to add the Maldives to your list of swoon-worthy vacation destinations, check out this totally unique dining experience. Guests are taken 16 feet below the ocean’s surface to a glass-domed restaurant where they sample fresh Maldivian-Western fusion dishes—all while enjoying panoramic views of marine life. Just don’t look in Flounder’s eye before you take a bite.  And hope the ceiling doesn’t cave in!

Chic Peek – Street Style

I like what she’s wearing.  Classic white blouse with a dash of glitter & panache.  Very pulled together in an elegant, effortless (so it appears) way.  She looks interesting. And those shoes!

Inspiration: Pure Wow

 

Feel-good Friday: get inspired

What inspires you?  What makes you feel-good? fridayblog1

Our society embraces the TGIF catchphrase…well at least those who work full time do.  On Monday, Friday seems a long way away, and then Sunday shows up way too soon.  Most working people are doing what they do to make a living and really don’t enjoy  their jobs – or they have horrible bosses (even more horrible than the movie).  That’s the down side of working.  People who enjoy what they do – even they look forward to FridayFriday is just another word for Freedom…for a little while.  Because the next day you get to let loose, wake up late, get together with friends you’re too busy or tired to see during the week, do housework or do nothing.  Any way you look at it – Friday is the most popular day of the week.fridayblog4

So I’ve been thinking about what inspires us to make little changes.  Those of us who get to experience four seasons should embrace the beauty of that.  Summer is easy, we get lazy and don’t want to do very much (at least that’s how I feel) because it’s too too short.  But then we have Fall and it gives us an opportunity to get a little more serious about making changes.  We have to adapt to cooler temperature and begin to hibernate.  Neighbours you see out and about during the summer seem to disappear.  It can feel cold and unfriendly.  But the things I now embrace about Fall may sound a little superficial but that’s okay.  I like to change up my wardrobe, make comfort food which includes lots of soup, have dinner parties, visit a gallery, settle in earlier and watch something good on TV, read more, take a class, learn something new and work a bit harder on some personal matters.  It’s mostly positive.  Winter is winter focusing on holiday stuff…oh, and maybe a warmer getaway & Spring is great because you know Summer is around the corner and then there’s all the cleaning & stuff.  What? It’s a  good excuse to clean your place.  Like the Chinese New Year.  Out with the old, in with the new!  fridayblog3

And around we go… I always loved Merry-go-rounds.  And a dirty martini on the side!

 

 

 

Healthier Lifestyle Inspiration

FACT: YOU CAN’T LAUGH & WORRY AT THE SAME TIME!
inspire2

SO LAUGH MORE! Or at least try to.  Watch a comedy, joke around and find humour in even the worst possible situations.   I did that with a friend last week who was going through something horrible.  It was so bad that I could have made it worse by laughing but instead we ended up laughing over how pathetic the situation was. The end result was she was still in pain…but from laughter.

Right now I’m like: “throw me to the wolves and I will return leading the pack.”  That’s a great quote but really….it’s true!  Don’t even stand in my way.  But first I’ll laugh about it all.

Because as hard as we try to make things right and turn things around for the better there’s usually a few setbacks and challenges.  I know this from living in general but especially since I’ve become a support person for someone very close to me.  Someone who is fighting to overcome an illness.  And it’s really difficult to see someone who is strong both physically and mentally go through a very weak phase.  Even though it strikes in a physical sense it still wrecks havoc with your mental state especially if you cannot do the things you’re used to doing.  Gotta stay positive because hope is what keeps everything going. But it can get discouraging and depressing nonetheless – that’s life.

A friend told me about a place called Inspire Health in Vancouver.  They are a team of professionals who help provide knowledge, tools and services to support overall health during and after cancer treatment.  Their doctors value standard cancer treatments, and will work with you, your family doctor and oncologist to provide the best cancer care possible.

They offer options for better health and a better recovery.  What’s to lose right?

Because as their website says: Growing scientific evidence confirms that stress reduction, eating a healthy diet, exercise and a positive support network can substantially improve health and well-being for people living with cancer and their supports.

INSPIRE HEALTH CARE APPROACH IS DIFFERENT – Cancer vs. Person-Based

Cancer-Based: from the perspective of the cancer-based model, the patient rarely plays an active role in their treatment or recovery. Since the focus is on the cancer, little effort is expended to support patients in exploring the benefits of healthful diet, exercise, spirituality and emotional support or other methods to enhance the patient’s well-being. Focusing solely on the cancer can leave patients feeling disempowered and unsure about how to contribute to their own health and well-being.

Person-Based: Although surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can play a very important role in treating the cancer, it is the person and their health – mind, body and spirit – that is the focus of care at Inspire Health.

They have a lot of things to take advantage of that you can pick and choose from like:  Counselling,  Gentle Yoga, Practice Meditation, Tai Chi, Acupuncture, Nutritional Learning and Cooking for Health.

And for me, being so on top of things nutritionally (and otherwise) spent part of the afternoon yesterday taking a cooking class on how to make SuperSnacks.  The head nutritionist demonstrated six different recipes substituting what you would normally use for something healthier but equally tasty.  Now the fun part: you get to test everything.

I have to mention at this point that I had already made half the recipes before (I know but I had to say that anyway) but this was NO cooking class for dummies.  It was interesting, inspiring and I did learn something new.  You always do.  I registered for a bunch more.  I want to hear all they have to say about food and learn more about healthier baking, fermented foods,  their version of bone broth and mindful eating in general.  Knowledge is power.

And THAT is no laughing matter!

YOU define what is important to you by what YOU dedicate your time to.inspire1

*An Important Sidenote: Today Jia Jia (my BFF) & I are off to Paws for a Cause – by BC SPCA to help fund cruelty prevention and education programs, and the enforcement of animal cruelty laws. Cruelty to animals needs to STOP now!

Thoughts?

STYLE and INSPIRATION

Out with the old, IN with the old recreatedvalentine3I often wonder how fashion designers get it together to keep coming up with new ideas for something original and inspiring for every season (including “resort wear” which is considered another season in fashiondom which makes five) and all those nerve wracking make-or-break shows.  Something that will make people excited to want to go out and buy that new shirt right away.  To be “that girl.” Because you know the easiest way to transform yourself is through clothes – if you dress for your mood (not necessarily the occasion).  Sometimes you see something totally wild.  You can admire it (on someone else) but never consider it for yourself and sometimes it’s like….I like it but it’s been done before…again and again (maybe they’ve just added some more buttons, zippers or pockets but otherwise it’s the same).  In any event you must be very creative to keep plugging away at it and try to outdo your last performance.  Just as much pressure as a musician has to come up with a new hit, but not wanting to be totally typecast…….as a

The New World Order - Vintage Alaia Shearling Bomber Jacket
The New World Order – Vintage Alaia Shearling Bomber Jacket (website below)

Designer, Musician, Artist (one who paints + draws), Actor, Photographer, Chef, Writer……(blogger?) and even Politicians (The best reality TV drama going is Trump vs Cruz vs Clinton vs Sanders). I’ve been watching the U.S. debates like any other interested Canadian.

By being typecast I mean restricted to one style (a recognizable signature style such as a Picasso painting), that are the kinds of things that people  “expect” of you .  But even with Picasso, the style may be recognizable but it’s not “always” the same.  You know what I mean.  Maybe you eat the same cereal all the time but one day you put blueberries over top and another day strawberries.  There must be an element of surprise.

In the mad crazy world of invention,  everything seems to be intermixed lately.  Fashion and Art, Art and Food, Beauty and Culture. A designer visits an art gallery and gets ideas for his next collection.  Actors are models, models are actors and regular people are starring in their own version-of-reality TV series.  It’s interesting.

For myself in general, I draw inspiration from everywhere.  People, the media (like everyone else, is a big contributor) through TV, magazines, newspapers, online with other peoples blogs, music, books, stores, movies (amazing ones this season), art, travel, restaurants, nature and on the street. I’m usually more inspired when I’m travelling and things look different and fresh and I’m living more in the moment (which we say we should do but mostly do not).  It’s not only for trying to come up with new ideas for the blog so it doesn’t get stale (I hope) but also in day to day life, in areas like cooking and finding a new recipe for fish or maybe trying out a new running route to keep from getting bored.

As for restaurants, why do you think Cauliflower is having a moment of fame right now trying to outshine Kale in many restaurants? The chefs have come up with some pretty incredible ways of serving it. It’s still the same vegetable but now it tastes so much better.  We never thought of baking it with chilli and lemon before? Hell; I was just taken out to a popular restaurant and they had a delicacy of chocolate covered crispy chicken skin on the menu. When I asked the waiter what happened (like did the chicken fall into the pot of melted chocolate by mistake) I can’t remember but I think it actually did.  In any event, it was a mistake.  But one most people like because it’s new (if you didn’t know that it was chicken, it could be walnuts). And if it wasn’t served cold, it would be more greasy.  Yuck! Not like the intentional chocolate covered bacon many chefs are now serving.  At a party someone brought orange chocolate covered bacon.  Really??  I went off again…but really…

I’m wondering how important any of this is to any of you?  I believe inspiration is a big deal.  At least something else to keep us going, a curiosity towards finding a different way, idea, recipe, whatever…

Isn’t that what life is about?

Some Inspiration when it comes to STYLE:

Portraits by Willy Vanderperre
YOKO ONO – Portrait by Willy Vanderperre

An online magazine featuring interesting women:

http://thegentlewoman.co.uk/library

The passage of time has been miraculously beneficial for Yoko Ono. While previous generations held grudges and questioned her motives, in the 21st century Ono is cherished for her provocations and wisdom. As a musician and multimedia artist since before the term was coined, Ono holds the rare position of courting a global audience without ever having to compromise her work, which is often wilfully impenetrable.

At the age of 77, Ono continues to think of the long-term, with two forthcoming exhibitions and a recent album, as well as progressing her ongoing project around the world, asking the masses to imagine peace. It is a message from which she will never waver.

Text by Liz Hoggard, Styling by Olivier Rizzo

Shopping Online:

The New World Order NYChttp://thenewworldordernyc.com/

Vestiaire Collective Website:http://www.vestiairecollective.com/

Shop the closets of fashion lovers from Paris, Berlin, Milan, New York City, and more.  Mix ‘n match high street, luxury vintage and new pieces with Vestiaire Collective.

 St. Laurent Leather Biker Jacket
Vestiaire Collective – St. Laurent Leather Biker Jacket 

WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION?