Coconut oil without the beachy scent


Coconut oil has buzz these days as a beauty oil.  Beauty makers like it for its ability to seal moisture into hair and skin. Many experts claim it is the best oil to penetrate dry, fragile hair. But the problem is coconut oil can be heavy and greasy. It also has a very strong natural odor.

CapriClear is a spray-on body moisturizer made from 100 percent pure fractionated or extracted coconut oil. That means you get all of the benefits of coconut oil without the beachy sun tan lotion smell. CapriClear coconut oil is very gentle.

CapriClear was developed by a dermatologist. It is free of fragrances, dyes, preservatives, parabens, sulfates, and other common skin irritants. CapriClear even has a seal of approval from the National Eczema Organization.

CapriClear feels much lighter than most coconut oils so it is more pleasant and easier to use. Because it is so light you can use it on your face, body, or even your hair. And if you are blonde it won’t discolour your hair as darker oils can over time.

There is even a small 1.9 oz. TSA-friendly size of Capri Clear so your can use it in-flight to protect skin and air from dry cabin air.




Body polish keeps skin soft

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 BioElixia body shaper exfoliating body polish helps to smooth skin and keep it soft. It is a combination of micro crystals and Hyadisine, as well as skin-pampering botanicals and vitamins that are added to help keep skin soft and moist.  Hyadisine is a marine-derived (from the sea) alternative to Hyaluronic acid (HA).

 BioElixia is an Australian company which uses cutting-edge science to help the natural ingredients in their products work even better. Their patented Trans-dermal delivery system, or “TPM” Dermal Delivery Technology, according to BioElixia experts, “is scientifically designed to deliver more multi-vitamins, anti-ageing peptides and moisturizing oils to where your skin needs it most”.

 For more info:



24 karat beauty the ultimate luxury

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I recently tried a sample of the ultra-luxurious OROGOLD 24K Cryogenic Pearl Revival Elixir. It uses a combination of 24K Gold and Mother of Pearl (extract) to rejuvenate dull dry skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Gold is said to benefit skin by reducing inflammation which is a major cause of all aging. Mother of Pearl is full of skin-nourishing amino acids. The OROGOLD 24K Cryogenic Collection contains gold, pearls and diamonds. The light serum feels and smells wonderful. It also contains Retinyl palmitate and Vitamin E. 

OROGOLD 24K Cryogenic Pearl Revival Elixir is meant to be used twice a month with your regular skin care routine to give dull skin a “boost”.  There are five products in the line including a mask. I am very impressed with the OROGOLD 24K Cryogenic Pearl Revival Elixir. I used it right after a painful outpatient procedure that left me exhausted. It felt wonderful and it did give my skin an instant boost of radiance.


It costs $600.


Trend alert: Swinging ‘60s


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The Swinging ‘60s just won’t go away. The look is too much fun. Every generation wants its own turn to wear sweet baby doll dresses, miniskirts, and sexy boots.  The look was popular for fall at Gucci, Yves St. Laurent among others. So if you are looking to update your fall wardrobe you may want to consider channeling Twiggy, Jane Birkin, or Edie Sedgwick.


Here are two pieces from Gucci for fall that we love. They define the look.

Gucci Horsebit black leather boots, $1,450 at Neiman MarcusGuccihorsebit.jpg

Gucci Leopard Print Double-Breasted Wool Coat $3650 at Saks Fifth Avenue



SPF to go

Avene_jpgClick on top title to open and scroll  As dull as it sounds in this high-tech world, experts agree that sun screen is still the best defense against the signs of aging. The trick is finding the best protection as so many sun screens look and feel heavy for everyday wear.   

Every year I try at least six new sun screens. Sun protection is getting better all the time. And I would know too; I am very fair. 

Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 is one of my must-have beauty products. I have written about it before but many women in North American still don’t know about it. I carry it in my bag every day. It combines serious sun protection with natural-looking makeup coverage in a handy compact. It is perfect for touching up all day. It looks great and I am sure my face is protected. 

The compact comes in two shades that should work for most skin tones. The sable/beige blends perfectly on my ivory skin but also works for my friends who have a slightly darker skin colouring. These shades will work on medium to medium-tawny skin tones. Ladies with tanned and olive skin colours should try before they buy as the shades may not work for them. 

If you have sensitive skin that reacts to most sun screen you may find a mineral sun protection less irritating. I know I do. I have tried many types of makeup /sun screen combinations and this one remains on the top of my list for appearance and protection. 

Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 is a pure mineral sunscreen with powerful antioxidants. It provides protection against both UVA (we think of it them “aging-rays”) and UVB (We call the “burning-rays”).  The Avène High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 also carries the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Active Seal of Recommendation!



Losing Nora

Click on top title to open and scroll  Ephron.jpg“That’s a great line, write it down!” That’s what Delia Ephron says her father used to shout at the dinner table whenever she or her sisters said anything clever. Still, it is a bit unusual that all four Ephron sisters grew up to be writers, just like their successful parents.

Delia Ephron’s memoir, Sister Mother Father Dog, begins with a poignant essay about losing her sister and writing partner, Nora Ephron, to cancer. Delia spares us none of the emotional details of watching her sister die. The essay is pure, unvarnished Ephron as Delia regales us with tales of going to Nora’s apartment hungry, as she always had in the past, expecting to find food while her sister was undergoing chemo. She recounts writing and pitching a TV pilot with Nora from the hospital.

Delia also shares what it was like to live with her larger than life and more famous sibling.

Her anecdotes are wry, funny, sad and above all honest. At times some her humour seems forced. The Ephron family was, we learn from Delia, deeply troubled, with such problems as alcoholism and competiveness. Delia says she found it easier to write about people if they were funny because it made them sound less harsh. She then tells us that her mother was not funny.

There are 14 other essays in the book and most are about Ephron’s eccentric and talented family. Her final chapter is about her mother. Sister Mother Father Dog is at times disjointed and rambling, but it is always interesting and intimate. Fans of the Ephron clan will devour it.



Easy spicy Thai beef salad

abcThaiBeef6.jpgClick on top title to open and scroll  Every summer I rerun this recipe for Easy Spicy Thai beef salad because it is so popular. At first, I hesitated to publish it at all because the list of ingredients can look a bit daunting.

You can make this popular takeout dish with quickly-sautéed firm tofu, leftover chicken, or – my favourite substitution – shrimp. The type of beef used in this recipe is very low in fat, so it is relatively healthy. Besides, it is outrageously delicious.

This tasty Thai concoction is perfect for a beginner or experienced cook. It can be doubled, if you are feeding a couple or a family. It is fancy enough for company and can be made in advance. You can leave out the fried onions and peanut topping if you can’t find them, or are really are watching calories.  Replace both with a crunchy grated carrot; you will never know the difference. There are substitutes for some of the more exotic ingredients. The recipe will be delicious with all variations. The key ingredients don’t change.

For 2-3 people:

1 lb. thinly sliced lean beef minute steak or fondue beef. Salt lightly, cook quickly, and set aside to chill.


Mix in a bowl large enough to hold the salad:

2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce. I prefer 3 Crab brand, but any will do.

Fish sauce is available in most local food shops these days. This is a key ingredient in many Southeast Asian recipes, but if you can’t locate it and want to try this recipe, try a large spoon of anchovy paste. Dissolve it in a bit more lime juice. If a fish allergy is the problem, try adding salt to taste to the finished sauce. But do try to find fish sauce; it is a key flavour. If you can’t, you’ll still have a tasty salad.

2 tbsp. Kecap Manis (this is a sweet Indonesian soy sauce) or regular soy sauce plus 1 tbsp. brown sugar or 1 pkg. Splenda.


Grated rind from one clean lime

Juice of 1½ to 2 limes

1½ inches of fresh ginger

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 pkg. of Splenda/1 tbsp. sugar or honey

2 tsp. Kadoya Sesame Oil with Cayenne or any brand sesame oil plus 1 tsp. cayenne, or to taste


Add the slightly-chilled meat

For a vegan version, use extra-firm tofu, sliced in thin sticks. Dry and give them a quick sauté in a non-stick pan with a little oil and a clove of garlic. Cool, cube, and add to the sauce.


Cook the noodles.

Use Oriental egg noodles that come in small “nests” – one per person. Or you can use Japanese soba or buckwheat noodles, cellophane noodles, or even spaghetti, if that is what you can find. Do not overcook your noodles. They take only minutes in salted boiling water. Rinse your noodles in cool water to stop the cooking, and drain. Toss with beef and sauce.


Add and Toss:

One thinly-sliced red pepper

One carrot, peeled and thinly sliced, or grated

4 to 6 green/spring onions, sliced on an angle

Roll and slice fresh washed and dried basil and cilantro in a technique called chiffonade. About ¼ cup each or to taste. (These herbs are key.)

Optional: 1/8 cup French fried onions from Asian shops or in a can from the grocery. Durkee is a popular western brand. I like to buy mine at the Asian grocery.

Toss the salad and chill. Serve garnished with sliced cherry tomatoes. Top with a few peanuts or some grated carrot.

This looks and smells divine. It is perfect doubled-up for lunch the next day.




Too comfortable

smdeserClick on top title to open and scroll   When did people get so loud? I remember being brought up not only to speak in an “indoor voice”, but to refrain from talking at the movies, to enter rooms quietly, not to slam doors or sprawl over the furniture.

There was a time when you knew not to get too comfortable in public and it was a good thing. If did have to enter a room late, especially a darkened theatre, I was taught the polite thing to do was to take my seat quickly and quietly.

Now it seems no one cares about anyone’s comfort but their own. There are exceptions. Latecomers at movies, theaters, and concerts stroll to their seats and chat. I once observed a woman old enough to know better stand up during a Gordon Lightfoot concert at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. This is the same place the symphony preforms – not a field or a meadow. She turned and “yoo-hooed” to her friend who was arriving 20 minutes late.

The idea of not taking up more than “your own” space or causing a disruption by talking, rattling, or moving about seems as dead as King Tut. And it is not just young people or small children who let it all hang out. There is one movie theatre I avoid as its over-40 clientele just can’t stop talking.

I am not sure what has happened to manners in North America but I think people just got a little too comfortable.

Make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love because, my darlings that is truly where the sweet life lies.

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Gracey Hitchcock

Editor, DolceDolce

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