Saturday, February 28, 2009
I noticed on his new website that he's started something called Recipease in the UK. The concept is simple - you show up, pick out the item(s) you want for dinner, and you take 10 minutes to prep it in the Recipease kitchen before taking home a delicious meal of say, Jamie's Fantastic Fish Pie to finish cooking in your oven. There are a variety of items to choose from, from starters to mains to sweets ("puddings"). What's so cool about it is the menu obviously features all of Jamie's recipes. The concept is not new - in Vancouver we have several similar services such as Dinnerworks and Indishpensable which make creating proper, tasty meals super easy. These services are incredibly helpful for busy people who don't want take-out but don't have time to do all the prep work.
Classic lasagna available at Recipease. Image from www.jamieoliver.com.
Too bad Recipease isn't here in North America - yet. Given Jamie's empire, maybe we'll see it on our neighbourhood block soon.
I have always struggled to find really stylish equestrian apparel. Everywhere I look, it's all the same-old, same-old - nothing really unique and designer. Sure, I love the well made quality and preppy looks from Pikeur, Arista, Harry Hall, and Ariat, but there's nothing out there that spoke to the horsey stylista in me. Enough of the gore-tex Mountain Horse wear, and clashing pink, blue and green striped Joules polos already!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Dining Out For Life, an annual event organized by A Loving Spoonful, is happening again on March 12 at various Vancouver and Whistler restaurants. 25% of all revenues generated on meals on this day will go towards AIDS charities around the Lower Mainland, including A Lovin Spoonful and Friends for Life.
Participating restaurants include Bin 941 and 942, Chambar, Fraiche, Voya and Gastropod.
A very worthwhile cause and I should be out on the town for a bite on this occasion.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Checked out some Proenza Schouler pieces today and found some lovely sporty pieces from the Spring 2009 collection.
Is the cropped top on its way back anytime soon? Paired with high waisted slim trousers rather than the late nineties, low rise belly showing hip huggers (yuck)?
Blue heels, seen in the beige version on Mary-Kate Olsen.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
So far - Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Queen Latifah looked pretty fab. Saw a glimpse of Natalie Portman and I'm desperately seeking her pink dress which the press is raving about.
Kanonkop House, located in Knysna (pronounced "neyes-na") on the Western Cape, must be one of the most outstanding B+B guest houses i have ever stayed in. It is situated up on a hill overlooking the famous Knysna point lagoon and there are coastal views as far as the eye can see. The house is custom built, modern yet very warm and luxurious. I stayed in the top-level Paradise Suite (very private too) which faces the lagoon and has an enormous en-suite bathroom with a soaker tub big enough for more than 2.
Everything about this place is 5 stars and it checks all the tickboxes regarding location, style, comfort and luxury. But it's the little touches at Kanonkop House that make it stand apart - beautiful antiques and art decorate the house; organic, locally-made biscotti, soap, and candles are provided in your room to make you feel very special. Most of all, it is the owner, Chris', hospitality that lifts this experience to the top. Friendly yet discreet, he was always available to ensure we had everything we needed without being overbearing.
Paradise Suite at Kanonkop House
Pool at Kanonkop House
(All pictures courtsey of www.kanonkoptours.com)
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Enjoying a beautiful Saturday thus far with the mild weather and sunshine. Went on a lovely trail ride this morning with Miss Fancy after a morning jumpathon lesson. Took some snaps of the minis too at the barn. Now I've got a fruit crumble baking in the oven (my first attempt). Let's hope that goes as well!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
My cousin Tracy took me this absolute gem of a boutique last week - Simply Sublime. Located at Oak and between West 22nd and 23rd in an old-school, low-rise apartment, where the building facade hangs the store's "golden crown" sign, one really has to look carefully to realize what a fine find this is. Once inside, I felt like I was entering the lofty apartment of a very hip, very girly, girlfriend, filled with art, silver mirrors, and curvy antique white chairs. I was then privy to rifle through her closet to try on the most stylish things and jewelry. Oh, and did I mention Selena, the lovely manager at Simply Sublime, offered me bubbly? I was in shopping heaven.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here are some of my picks.
Here's a cute number by Shoshanna. A little unexpected, I know, but I love the embroidery.
(image from shopbop.com)
Olga Kurylenko in stunning black and white Chanel. A more classic choice.
(image from style.com)
Flirty but classy pink number from Nanette Lepore.
(image from shopbop.com)
Lastly, modern take on the tulip shape by Thread Social.
(image from shopbop.com)
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Gladwell's goal is to provide a new view on achievement. In doing so, he argues, society would be better able to create the environment to better cultivate more successful individuals. Everything from improving our school system to improving aviation safety could then be achieved through creating the conditions that create successful individuals and societies. To do so, Gladwell examines various cases and breaks down the major factors which contribute to success. From professional hockey players to the Beatles to Bill Gates, highly relatable examples are used to support his theories.
So is it nature or nurture? Are some of us predisposed to rising to the top at whatever we do just as some of us are doomed to fail? According to Gladwell, it is a combination of both. Using cases, psychological studies, and statistics, he puts forth various theories which explain how and why success happens. Success is not an outcome of some extraordinary consequences that happen at random, but is directly the result of factors such as: hard work and practice, innate ability (to a certain extent but a high IQ does not guarantee success), luck and opportunity (which could mean coming from a wealthy family with the means to provide such opportunities, or being born in the right place at the right time), and rather controversially, cultural legacy.
Outliers is a well thought-out, well researched book, but I did find the examples he used very conveniently support his arguments. Hindsight is 20/20, and it would be worthwhile to review some of the studies he cites in further detail. Most of his theories are wellvsupported and they make sense, although his thoughts on how our culture impact why we are successful at some things and fail at others are sure to cause heated debate. For example, he postulates Asian students are successful at mathematics due to the thousands of years of dependence and hard work ethic in rice paddy fields. He argues that it is not that Asian students (those from Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, and also those who are Asian in ethnicity but born or raised abroad) are genetically superior to solve mathematics problems but rather, those students have a greater work ethic to sit patiently to solve math problems. Through thousands of years of tending rice paddy fields, which is a notoriously labour intensive and complex process, students from Asian cultures have inherited a kind of work ethic not seen in their North American and European counterparts which help them excel at math.
Now I have always been terrible at math, and I am not sure whether he is correct and I should have just sat my ass down for longer periods of time and I could have achieved A's in Calc 101 and 102. Gladwell uses broad stereotypes in building his case, but I commend him for saying what many have already thought about. In the end, Gladwell argues that for good or for worse, our culture impacts why we're good at some things and not so good at others. The sooner we understand this, the sooner we can make changes which allow us to shed or to embrace those legacies that make us good at what we do. At the end of the book, Gladwell reveals a surprise about his own cultural roots which ties his other theories together.
One thing that Gladwell never really focused on is what is defined as success. His cases centre around success in the career and individuals who have climbed to the top of their respective career ladders. To me, career success is only one way to define success. Success to me, is happiness in life, and whatever that may be. I understand that is not the focus of Gladwell's book, but not everyone wants or thrives on the kind of success that Gladwell is writing about.
Outliers is a worthwhile read, and provides a new way to look at those who rise to the top in their careers. Perhaps what I take away from this is a greater acknowledgment of how my Chinese culture contributes to who I am as a person. The Chinese believe that hard work and good fortune will always lead to success, and in many ways, this is in parallel with what Gladwell is saying.
Friday, February 13, 2009
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
And what's a Marc by Marc Jacobs collection without the hot accessories? I am in want of sunglasses like these and I can't wait to take a closer look at the bags.