Feel-good Friday: LAYLA

The many faces of my beautiful watchdog. Today she turns three!

she’s more of a tomboy but she can sure rock a party dress. d. king
Very playful, sometimes stoic and loves her big brother to pieces.  It’s nice to notice how protective she is of Jia Jia.  d. king

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY BEAUTY…..and many more….

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SAMURAW; you complete me

First off, I’m not a vitamin fanatic.

I have a fairly clean vitamin protocol and don’t go overboard with what I believe is not necessary.  I like to simplify my life with not having too many bottles of vitamins (many of which I end up forgetting to take) take up too much of my sought after shelf space. However, I do believe in adding some indispensables because it’s almost impossible to eat a complete balanced daily diet.   Even if you think you are; you are not.

Which brings me to my latest addiction…SAMURAW organic complete. It’s easy because all you have to do is add one scoop to pretty much anything.  It has no taste therefore it doesn’t compete with anything else you drink such as juice or smoothies.  It’s almost impossible to believe how many vitamins/minerals  is in one little scoop. I’m proud of my brother Brad King for having formulated this product.

It was first formulated with children in mind because it’s so hard to get them to take anything.  So now there’s an adult version thankfully for us adults who never grow up and I’m really happy about that.  Just had to share the wealth of wellness.

And if that’s not enough, here’s another testimonial from none other that Dr. John Gray; Author of the famous best selling book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zft5kR5zgXE

Website:  https://www.samuraw.com/

 

Feel-good Friday: Puttin on the Ritz

If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to
Why don’t you go where fashion sits?

Photo: d. king

Recently I went to the Ritz Rancho Mirage for a cocktail.  Making a right turn on Frank Sinatra Drive, winding my way up the hill to the clifftop setting overlooking Coachella Valley It was easy to see why this iconic luxury hotel was inspired by the desert. It’s actually in the desert. the scenery was certainly incomparable.

Photo: d. king

The Ritz has always had an opulent and stylish past. The one in Montreal is special to me. Being from Montreal I remember many summer brunches in the restaurant garden at the Ritz watching the ducks and swans in the pond swim by.  It’s where my best friend’s wedding took place and I was a bridesmaid, and my husband and I spent a couple nights celebrating an anniversary there.  Something else you many or may not know…dating back to 1912, this was the first Ritz-Carlton hotel and is where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton wed in the Royal Suite in 1964.

Photo: d. king

I visited the Hôtel Ritz Paris didn’t get past the bar where the hotel’s rooms and suites bear the names of Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald or Marcel Proust – all of whom considered the Ritz “a second home”.  But getting back to the bar…Cole Porter was said to spend up to 9 hours a day in the Hemingway Bar: he’s said to have composed “Begin the Beguine” there. F. Scott Fitzgerald had his favorite seat; Ernest Hemingway and Gary Cooper made it the epicenter of their life in Paris and would sit and talk for hours.  There’s no question it has a glamorous past.

Different types who wear a day coat, pants with stripes
And cutaway coat, perfect fits

Dressed up like a million dollar trooper
Tryin’ hard to look like Gary Cooper

Come, let’s mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
Or umbrellas in their mitts

Photo: d. king
The Edge Steakhouse – the Daily Meal

Have you seen the well-to-do?
Up and down Park Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare
With their noses in the air
High hats and arrow collars
White spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime for a wonderful time

Ritz-Carlton Residences
David A. Lee Photography

If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go Why don’t you go where fashion sits?

Puttin’ On the Ritz lyrics – written by Irving Berlin.

The title derives from the slang expression “to put on the Ritz”, meaning to dress very fashionably. The expression was inspired by the Ritz Hotel.  It was also a musical in 1930.

A bit of history with a healthy dose of glamour – why not?

Photo: d. king “The SWEET Life”

 

It’s SWEET!

Happy Weekend!

 

 

Tammy’s Wall Art

I’m inspired by other people’s choices of home décor including artwork.  Art tells a lot about a persons personality.

Artist: Michael Poitier from Montreal

My friend Tammy (who obviously has a penchant for champagne, dogs & Palm Springs) has invited me over for several really scrumptious dinners including the one where I first met Daniel (the artist) and his partner Karl.  In fact, this dynamic duo was responsible for re-designing Tammy and her husband David’s beautiful condo which is also situated on the same golf course.  There’s something tranquil about facing a golf course.  Tammy and David reside in Palm Springs for the winter preferring to escape the rainy (and now snowy) Vancouver landscape.

For this post I wanted to feature some of their artwork

by Gary Dorothy; Imageville Gallery  (this is in their hallway)
Will Alistair in the living room.
Pamela Masik original.  If you look closely you can find images of people + animals.
Artist: Connie Townsend
Artish: Connie Townsend.  Bichon pets Timbit & Lily Bella in a car that used to belong to Tammy. fyi: they weren’t really driving.
Tracy Verdugo

How about you? Are you inspired by other people’s artwork?

 

 

Feel-good Friday:  Spaces & Places

Here in Palm Springs

Photos: d. king

There’s no lack of decadent little hidden gems that I’ve encountered tucked behind the hedges of unassuming boutique hotels, alleyways and restaurants. I’ve discovered so many attractive spots since the last time I was here.  These photos were taken from a narrow corridor at the”La Plaza” shopping centre which used to house workers and now instead, a handful of quaint little shops.

I’ve discovered some secret bars inside of a few restaurants that I’ve been to and didn’t  know about until someone in the know showed me….very inconspicuous. One is hidden behind a phone booth (really!) and the other behind an ordinary curtain.  I love that!

I’m spending time scouting cool locations for my Destinations page.  And let me tell you what a pleasure it is to do so.  It’s a pleasure! I’ll share them with you soon.

Getting back to Film Fest:  Since my last post I’ve viewed two foreign films.  “Everybody Knows” (Todos los Saben) shot in Spain with Penelope Cruz and her sexy real life husband Javier Bardem centering around a kidnapping at a family wedding and Israeli film “Working Woman” about a married woman with children who takes a  job selling high end real estate, only to encounter a “me too” experience when her boss tries to sexually abuse her in the workplace.   Both films were extremely well done.

After my hike tomorrow I’m looking forward to an independent film which centers around gambling, two documentaries from Mr. Rogers to Aretha Franklin on Saturday – (could they be more opposite?) and a Hollywood ending on Sunday.  I’ll be reviewing these throughout the week.

Have a Happy Weekend

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Style of Summer

What makes Summer so special besides sunshine, picnics at the beach & BBQ?

A beautiful white lace cover up which can go everywhere and looks super chic on everyone.  The pom-pom detail all along the front is kinda special and fun.

 

 

A chic straw bag.  This black and white is timeless and roomy enough to carry all essentials.  Very St. Tropez.  Bonus: it’s also collapsable which makes it a perfect travel companion.

 

Little Extras:  Playful and Glamorous fringe earrings.  A multi-purpose beach, picnic, pool blanket – a travel must have.  Something you can roll up in your beach bag for a quick getaway.

 

All in the Rachel Zoe Summer Box of Style.  Once again; it’s always fresh, fashionable and never disappointing.

You can order yours here:

https://www.boxofstyle.com/

Images: from website

Monday Mood: Meaning

My Monday mood board is normally light but sometimes we just need to vent. And sometimes it takes more than that.  Sometimes it takes an army to get a message across. Sometimes our lives depend on it.

March For Our Lives 

Looking west, people fill Pennsylvania Avenue during the “March for Our Lives” rally in support of gun control, Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The kids have spoken.  We cannot keep America great if we cannot keep America safe. 

On Saturday, March 24, kids and families in cities across the country and around the globe took to the streets to demand change to gun control laws, so that their lives and safety become a priority in order to end gun violence and mass shootings in schools NOW.

The main protest was organized by students from the High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman from the same school killed 17 people and injured others on Valentine’s Day. March for Our Lives was anchored by the main event in Washington, D.C.

Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine.

On Grief and Grieving:

Death can give focus to what money can and cannot buy.  It can teach us what being rich is all about.  No amount of money can ever replace the loss of someone we love.

Wealth and poverty are states of mind.  Many people without money feel wealthy, while many rich people can feel poor.  Death is a factor that changes all our views as we are forced to evaluate our worth and what ultimately matters in life – by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D. & David Kessler.

I like this quote from Mahatma Gandhi – Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

On life Lessons:

Maya Angelou told Oprah Winfrey: When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. Your problem is you have to be shown 29 times.

How many of us have to be shown 29 times or more?  Why do we have a lack of discernment for things that appear to be obvious?

Character is very much a defining matter in everything.  Integrity is important.

If we’re not living life to the fullest we can at least create meaningful moments. That to me, seems reasonable.  Because someone’s idea of living life to the fullest can mean jumping out of a plane every day while someone else might feel that reading a book a week is the answer.

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Monday Mood:  Sinatra state of mind

The Place He Called Home

I could change the heading to Melancholy Mood a song sang by Frank Sinatra but that sounds pretty gloomy.  After viewing a special screening of the fabulous documentary film by *Leo Zahn which ended Modernism week here in Palm Springs, we know Sinatra’s life was anything but gloomy.

Sinatra in Palm Springs – The Place He Called Home.

I, like so many others have always loved Sinatra’s music, his style and well…the lifestyle was anything but dull. Because I’ve spent the last several years coming to Palm Springs and now live here part of the year I was really looking forward to seeing this film if only because it explored Frank Sinatra’s deep attachment to Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, his primary home for almost 50 years.

His wife Barbara called him a desert rat.  Meaning he embraced the dreamy “desert rat” lifestyle of tennis, golf, cocktails, cards and entertaining.  Very similar to my lifestyle minus the tennis, golf and cards.

Nelda Linsk, one of the subjects of “Poolside Gossip,” the famous photograph shot by Slim Aarons in 1970, was Barbara Sinatra’s best friend (she’s the one in yellow).  She is also interviewed in this doc.  She’s still beautiful.

The film captures the spirit of the Sinatra era and pays tribute to the unique lifestyle especially surrounding the renowned racquet club. Revealing interviews bring to life a bygone era . . . beginning with the post-WWII years and Sinatra’s 1947 home in Palm Springs, tumultuous times with Ava Gardner, his 1954 move to Rancho Mirage, his marriage to Barbara, and life at the “compound.” Major sequences are dedicated to historic restaurants Sinatra frequented for decades.  Many still here and some I’ve gone to.  My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting and sitting with Mel Haber who owned the historic Ingleside Inn and Melvyn’s cocktail bar which Sinatra frequented.  He described Sinatra as having “an aura” about him. He’s the first and last person to be interviewed in this wonderful documentary.  It didn’t matter which president or other famous person frequented your estabishment.  Everyone wanted to know if Frank or “Mr. S” as they referred to him came in.  If he showed up with his entourage and liked it, you were good.  If he didn’t like the pasta it could get thrown against the wall.

‘Sinatra in Palm Springs’ tells the story of a man whose generosity and compassion for his fellow citizens had no bounds. He loved the desert and its people. He loved the local restaurants and bars. His best friends lived nearby.

How many people can aspire to live like him?  It’s a large, legendary life and that’s why the screening was sold out.  He really did do it HIS WAY.

At the end of the screening Mr. Zahn (*the filmmaker) was here for an audience Q&A.

And that’s another thing I love about being here.  The filmmakers are on hand to answer questions especially during Film Fest and Modernism.