The only upside of self isolating is all the time you have for self reflection. Which, by the way, can be a positive.
Having said that, we would prefer it be of our own accord. Not a forced thing.
But since this is a totally new situation we try to make the best of it. I don’t know how you’re handling it but I’m spending quality time with my dogs (more than usual), getting back to reading, watching movies on TV (mostly comedies; one million ways to die in the West, etc.) and stirring the pot; for real. Good opportunity to get back to good ol fashioned cooking. Something else that had fallen by the wayside with my over abundance of socializing. Also time to work on a little project I’ve been mulling over to do with Palm Springs. More on this later – no one’s going anywhere for now.
As I’m leaving Palm Springs shortly I’m using up the contents of my fridge and trying to be as creative as can be with the contents. Note: there’s not much left to the imagination.
So last night I roasted fresh compari tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, spices and chilli peppers. Fresh squeezed lemon over top and grated toscano pepper cheese. Very simple comfort food with spaghetti. Simply delicious. It doesn’t take many ingredients to make a great meal.
I also want to say that I posted a few poems the other day. To those who follow via e-mail I believe I made a mistake in publishing one of the poems. At first I thought it was timely, but when I re-read it, I realized it was more depressing than uplifting so I decided to delete the post from my website. Also; we don’t know who the author is, so best to leave it alone.
These are strange times for sure. Something like covid-19 virus has never happened in our lifetime. Let’s hope things get back to normal soon. However, maybe this will make us wake up to what is most important in life in general. Simple but important things like Health, Family, Friends.
And one more positive – it’s officially SPRING! I’ll meet you back here very soon.
The Spring box of Style never felt so good as at a time like this. A little pick-me-up.
Here’s what’s inside:
This is considered one of those holy grail skincare items. Erno Laszlo was one of the first luxury skincare products. He had many famous clients. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Ava Gardner to Cary Grant, Marlene Dietrich and Jackie Kennedy. That’s not a bad lineup.
This one is an easy-to-use toner that offers high-impact results to your regular skincare routine. It gently clears away flakes and aging skin cells while it sweeps on calming, skin-renewing nutrients. So far I love it. It reduces redness too while supporting natural renewal and repair. Retails at $60.00
I’m starting to pay more attention to hair health (more on this in a separate post). For now I use this vegan + cruelty free lightweight hydrating cream on damp hair for a smooth finish. It leaves hair soft, glossy and manageable. Retails at $29.00
I must admit when I first found out there was yet another camel bag in the Spring mix I was not so excited, as I already own several. However, this one is different. It’s a sueded 2-tone vegan leather shoulder bag with an interior pocket that’s appealingly structured, and comes in quite handy as a lightweight shopping bag. Very nice. Retails at $74.00
I own many gold, silver and beaded bracelets that I love but there’s something about a chain-link bracelet that adds instant glamour to everything. This elegantly crafted chain-link by Rachel’s friend Nikki Reed you can wear with everything from jeans and a t-shirt to an evening gown. Wear alone or with other bracelets. It’s 6″ with a 2″ extender sustainably made with gold plated recycled brass. Retails at $195.00
These tortoise and black sunglasses are both striking and timeless and supposed to look great on everyone….except me. We got a choice between the two and I chose tortoise. Yet again; my sister gets another pair of my sunglasses that don’t suit me….but they all happen to look great on her.
Retails at $85.00
Box of Style
Get exclusive seasonal styles delivered right to your door…four times a year! And don’t worry, you can change or cancel your membership at any time with no questions asked. How great is that?
In light of all this pandemic panic we can use a little humour:
However on a more serious note:
I, like countless others am staying put right now. Of course I’m still walking my dogs outdoors and I have gone to yoga (with my own mat) but for the most part avoiding social interactions as much as humanly possible. Taking the COVID-19 situation more seriously now especially since I’m still in California, planning to make my way back to Vancouver very soon. So many events are cancelled. It takes something really major to cancel popular sporting events, parties and music festivals. Many businesses have already begun to suffer. Hope we get back to some normalcy soon. Only time will tell, for better or for worse.
Until then, trying to stay healthy with a morning tea concoction of fresh squeezed organic lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, apple cider vinegar + organic raw honey. It’s delicious. Followed by a cup of coffee with added cinnamon to the grounds. This incorporates some of the super spices. Mid morning I usually make a smoothie using frozen organic blueberries or açaí, half a banana, fresh (or frozen) ginger, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, topped with organic unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 3 Tbsp. of organic whey protein (grass fed bought at market) + a little turmeric powder. It’s the best! Taking lots of vitamins too and trying to get plenty of rest. Emphasis on trying.
Other recommended supplements to help boost your immune system: Quercetin, N-A-C (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine) to treat respiratory issues such as bronchitis – an amino precursor to glutathione, and 2 grams of Vitamin C per day.
What’s the difference between an Epidemic and a Pandemic
An epidemicis defined as “an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.” A pandemicis a type of epidemic (one with greater range and coverage), an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. While a pandemic may be characterized as a type of epidemic, you would not say that an epidemic is a type of pandemic.
Epidemic is a term that is often broadly used to describe any problem that has grown out of control such as an event in which a disease is actively spreading. In contrast, the term pandemic relates to geographic spread and is used to describe a disease that affects a whole country or the entire world.
Even so, it doesn’t do much good to panic….unless of course, you test positive for the virus. And even then, your survival rate depending on factors of age and overall health are not dire.
Wishing you a weekend of wellness. Let’s keep our fingers crossed (and washed) that this terrible virus will go away in short order.
I recommend the two products below available online and in select health stores. Full disclosure: both are formulated by my brother Brad King. Aside from him being my brother, you should know that I believe these are excellent quality products and would take them regardless.
*Leaf Source: The world’s cleanest + most powerful humic – fulvic acid complex. Find out more at: https://leafsource.com/
**SAMURAW NUTRITION: the very first truly natural 100% whole food derived multi-vitamin/mineral/probiotic. Available at: https://www.samuraw.com/
Have you ever walked into a boutique and wanted to sit down, make yourself at home, have a cup of tea and just enjoy the space?
Thick as Thieves in Palm Springs is such a place. You kinda want to move into the place.
Thick As Thieves was started by Jeremy Smick and Samantha Caltagirone, a husband and wife team who packed up everything they owned and moved from the Midwest to beautiful Palm Springs, California to open their first brick and mortar boutique store in early 2017. With a little budget and a lot of creativity, the duo created a highly curated shop of handmade goods, gifts, clothing, oddities and unique finds that blend industrial, primitive, modern and global styles. In December 2019, their store was named 1 of 50 Best Home Stores in America by House Beautiful Magazine. They’ve also been honored to be included in Goop’s Travel Guide as Best Shops in Palm Springs, California.
Satisfaction and fulfillment are essential to living your best life. You can be satisfied when you meet your own expectations. You cannot please everyone and there will always be someone who is happy with a lot less than what you have.
Words from a wise woman
Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way.
One of the major obstacles to what is traditionally called enlightenment is resentment, feeling cheated, holding a grudge about who you are, where you are, what you are. This is why we talk so much about making friends with ourselves, because, for some reason or other, we don’t feel that kind of satisfaction in a full and complete way.
Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have. Our wisdom is all mixed up with what we call our neurosis. Our brilliance, our juiciness, our spiciness, is all mixed up with our craziness and our confusion, and therefore it doesn’t do any good to try to get rid of our so-called negative aspects, because in that process we also get rid of our basic wonderfulness.
We can lead our life so as to become more awake to who we are and what we’re doing rather than trying to improve or change or get rid of who we are or what we’re doing. The key is to wake up, to become more alert, more inquisitive and curious about ourselves.
Formal date aside, this year summer started more than a month earlier than expected. It’s been mostly warm and sunny since I got back to Vancouver in early May. June is usually an iffy month for unreliable weather. Now you never know what to expect as normal patterns everywhere are changing. Some drastically. Most people are starting to get used to diverse changes in climate but I’m not here to talk about climate change. It’s real and it’s happening and we all have to weather the storm (pun intended) and hope we’re not too late to save this stressed-out planet.
Personally, if I could control the weather by a push of a button I’d have it on perpetual early Spring mode with a rain shower here and there just to break up the monotony and to make sure everything stays green. Then I’d have it snow in the city for 3 days a year max – December 24th to the 26th. Also, the setting for sun would never feel too hot with “0” humidity and not enough wind to throw too many dried leaves everywhere which is a pain to sweep up…again. But sweep up I must. And every time I do, I admire the brand new flooring on my two outdoor spaces. I did some Spring cleaning to be Summer ready. Starting with…
Noticing that some of the wood boards were starting to rot on the upstairs deck,
I enlisted the services (after careful consideration) of Khatsalano Builders who specialize in outdoor decks and patios. I like that they’re local. They were professional, managed everything on schedule as planned (contractors are notorious for not sticking to schedule) and cleaned everything up as promised. They also helped with added extras like moving two very heavy large items for me. Thank you Jason, Jeff, Antoine, Davin and Mike. Great guys.
They totally re-constructed a large 500 sq. ft. deck pulling up all the wood and replacing it with timber-tech composite flooring. It looks great now, very clean, modern and best of all…bye bye maintenance! No staining needed from now on. I’m super happy about that.
Why composite over wood? For sustainability purposes Timber Tech decking is made from a combination of 100% recyclable wood fibers and 73% polymers. Even their packing materials meet the sustainable forestry Initiative requirements. They’re working to achieve the highest level of recycling in the decking industry with a goal to make 95% of all TimberTech decking from recycled materials by 2020. Almost there.
Talk about saving trees? Over the past six years, more than one million trees have been saved because people have chosen this type of decking over natural wood. And they’ve specifically designed products to look just like exotic hardwoods like Ipe which is cut from rainforests.
For the downstairs courtyard which has French doors opening up to the outside from the main living area, I considered a clean-up only. A sanding and staining. That was until one of the contractors stepped onto the middle of the courtyard and his shoe went right through the wood. He didn’t intend to make a hole but let’s just say it didn’t look good after that.
So… decided to replace the previous wood with new wood. I really wanted wood for downstairs with the realization that every 3-5 years it will most likely have to be re-oiled. So…sorry trees. At a little over 300 sq. ft. it’s not a large area but wow…does it ever look amazing. They did some leveling, sealed up some areas which were bare and added two lights to light the way towards a step-up dining area.
After narrowing down from a few samples I chose an exotic hardwood called Red Balau from tropical hardwood forests in Indonesia which are essentially public lands, managed and protected by the Government of Indonesia.
The rich reddish-brown hue is a durable hardwood that is often compared to teak but less expensive. My concern is that it be resistant to shrinkage, splintering, extreme weather conditions, decay, mold and insect attacks (you know; should that ever happen). Better to be safe than sorry. It is. I’m very happy with the whole aesthetic of both the upper and lower spaces.
I also highly recommend VanCity Washing for eco-friendly exterior power washing and cleaning. They made my awnings look like new again. Of course they couldn’t do anything about the fading but I had totally forgotten that my awnings had stripes until they were finished cleaning them. Fast, friendly, efficient and cost-effective. Justin also power washed my outdoor furniture. They use all bio-degradable supplies when pressure washing everything from walkways to windows and everything in between.
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.
If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to Why don’t you go where fashion sits?
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.
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.
I visited the Hôtel Ritz Parisdidn’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
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
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?
I’m inspired by other people’s choices of home décor including artwork. Art tells a lot about a persons personality.
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
How about you? Are you inspired by other people’s artwork?