All I Want For Christmas With Steven Schelling

Steven Schelling by Arianne Colenbrander

Steven Schelling is an inveterate fabulist. The editor-in-chief of , he’s also a fashion and lifestyle writer for the Georgia Straight, Nuvo Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, Western Living, and whoever else is willing to contribute to the mortgage. His turn ons include long walks on the beach, historical fiction and talk, dark strangers.

bugsley bowtie

1 )   What is on your wish list for the holidays for your wardrobe?  SS – I already bought my beagle, Bertie, and myself matching bow ties from Buggsley for Christmas dinner at my friends’ family’s house. So that one is already on lock. He looks infinitely better in it than I do.

Alexander McQueen Cardigan

There’s also an Alexander McQueen striped cardigan that I’m hopelessly devoted to visiting at Holt Renfrew so I’m adding it to the list in case anyone wants to make that particular Xmas wish come true.

I just found out about this ugly holiday Cher sweater from my FB. Yes, I follow Cher. She’s my spirit animal. I may or may not have bought this for myself, too.

le creuset oval french oven kiwi

2)   What about something not even related to fashion that you might love?  SS – I desperately want a Le Creuset Oval 4.7L Dutch Oven. Sounds easy, right? I never do anything easy. I want the discontinued bright acid green “Kiwi” colour which is hard to find, even after intensive Ebay-ing.


3)  What is the best gift you EVER got? SS – In fourth grade, I asked for a tawny short-haired dachshund. I got to choose him just before Christmas and in January, after he was weaned, he came home with me. I named him Blitzen, after the reindeer. I had him with me until my junior year in University. Longest relationship I’ve ever had.

4)  What is the best gift you EVER gave? SS – A few years ago, my sister’s dog died very suddenly over the summer. I found a sculptor here in Vancouver who makes ceramic brooches of dogs and had a custom pin made for my sister. She said (through tears) it was the best present she ever got. (Can you tell we’re a bit of a goofy dog family?)

5) What are three fashion gifts men should give to the women in their life? SS – I don’t really have any “fashion women” on my shopping list this year, so I’m going to vote for my friends, like one does for the Oscars. Every one of these talented designers is based right here in Vancouver.


Gentlemen, if your female companion likes sparkle, Elsa Corsi is your one-stop shop. Her mum, Magdalena, runs Jeweliette where you can find her entire line.

Nicole Bridger makes effortlessly stylish clothes that are designed and made right here in town. Plus she’s a super cool single mom.

Anna Kosturova’s crocheted bathing suits have barely covered the bits of supermodels in every issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue since 2004.

6) What to give the man in your life? – SS – If only I had a man in my life!

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino

Tom Ford’s Portofino Neroli cologne – fresh, clean and sexy

Ferragamo white leather high-top sneakers. Totally boss kicks. If I had a man, I would hpe we have the same foot size so I could steal them back!

LUSH “Kalamazoo” Beard and Facial Wash – beards are still en vogue but beard burn isn’t. Keep his beard soft and conditioned. It’s a win/win!

bruno gobillard brut

7)  What do you bring to a holiday party? SS – A good growers Champagne like Jacquesson or Bruno Gobillard. Or, if your budget is a little smaller, a lovely Prosecco.

8) What charity do you wish for more funding for in 2015?

I work with 2 charities throughout the year:

Friends For Life provides complementary a (and complimentary) holistic health services to people with serious illnesses like Cancer, HIV/AIDS and ALS.

A Loving Spoonful provides meal and nutritional support to people and family living with HIV/AIDS.

7) Best gift as a kid? SS – I guess that would be Blitzen (see above). But for sheer surprise and novelty, my Dad was working with Sony in the late ‘70s and I got a prototype Walkman (one of the first!). It came with a shoulder strap so you carried it like a purse. Or, at least, I carried it like a purse…

lion in the winter

8) How will you celebrate the holidays this year? SS – Home with Bertie, several bottles Champagne, popcorn popped in duck fat (so easy, so god!) and my favourite holiday movies: It’s A Wonderful Life, Joyeux Noël, and my all-time favourite, The Lion in Winter starring Katherine Hepburn as 12th century English queen Eleanor of Aquitaine plotting against her husband, King Henry II (played by Peter O’Toole) during the Christmas Court of 1183. All the dark, dry humour and histrionics remind me of my own family.

Merry Christmas Steven!

All I Want for Christmas with Jeweliette’s Elsa Corsi

Elsa Corsi

We are checking in with local personalities and how could we not include this beauty. Elsa Corsi is a jewellery designer and co-owner of Jeweliette Jewellry, with online shoppin and a location of Hornby Street.  Corsi keeps us in sparkles throughout the year; you’ll often find me wearing her designs on special occasions and I own many of her gorgeous pieces. Sparkle on Elsa Corsi and a happy holiday to you and yours! Now you know where to pick up any last minute holiday jewels you may need!


1) What is on your wish list for the holidays in terms of Jewellery? EC – The sparkliest thing on my Wish List is a pair of Nike Free 5.0 with a crystal encrusted ‘swoosh’. Ever since I saw them on Instagram, I can’t get them out of my mind.

Peanut Brittle Bark Chocolate Arts

2) What about something not even related to jewelry that you are might want? EC – Easy, A lifetime supply of the Peanut Brittle Bark from Chocolate Arts…with the calories removed!

3) What is the best gift you EVER got? EC – One year, my husband asked me if I could have anything I wanted for Christmas what would it be. I told him, a coat I had seen when I was in New York …three years prior. I thought it was the impossible gift, but he tracked it down. Of course, I love the coat-but I love even more that he went out of his way to really surprise me!

herman miller chair

4) What is the best gift you EVER gave? EC A Herman Miller Chair

jeweliette pearl

5) What items to give for the Jewelry addict in our readers life ?
Our ‘twin-set’ pearl earrings at Jeweliette Jewellery are this seasons gift to give! They are a smaller pearl stud post with a larger pearl ear backing. We like to say ‘its business in the front and a party in the back”.


6) How do you recommend one chooses their jewels for a holiday party? EC – The absolute must have for any holiday party is a great pair of earrings that sparkle. This could mean a pair of large studs for the gal who doesn’t usually wear much jewellery or a bright, colorful pair for the jewellery afficionado. I love it when our clients bring their outfits in and we play ‘dress up’! So often what they choose when they see it all together is not what they thought would go at all, so its always fun when there is that element of surprise in their style discovery!

moet pink champagne

9) What do you bring to a holiday party? EC – Always Champagne. Preferably in a pink bottle!

9) What charity do you wish for more funding for in 2015? EC – There are so many worthy charities that need support, and we try to get involved with as many as we can locally. This year, we supported Arts Umbrella, The Vancouver Aquarium and The Daffodil Ball.


8) How will you celebrate the holidays this year? EC – This year we are doing something different, pyjamas and Chinese food all day! No dishes and no cooking!

The Glenlivet Single Cask: Squadron 70

Glenlivet Single Cask: Squadron 70

Single Cask Squadron 70 Label (sample)If you are a whisky lover, listen up.  The Glenlivet is offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience available only to Scotch whisky lovers in Canada: the rare release of a one-of-a-kind, hand-selected single cask named The Glenlivet Single Cask: Squadron 70.

This bottling is to honour the descendant of The Glenlivet’s founder George Smith: Captain John Gordon Smith Grant.  A pilot in World War One and missing heir to The Glenlivet Distillery, he was wounded in action and received care at a Canadian field hospital in Doullens, France. His funeral was presided over by the RC Bishop of London, Ontario.

Captain John Gordon Smith Grant

Only a few bottles will be poured and to get in on this opportunity, Canadians can reserve a piece of history today at . It features exceptional aging characteristics and is available for $250.00.

The cask used was a handpicked American oak hogshead cask featuring exceptional aging characteristics, slowly matured in the heart of Speyside, Scotland’s whisky country. The whisky has been aged for 8 years.

As for the tasting notes, well, the cask being so exclusive it has not been opened yet. J The delicate and complex character of The Glenlivet single malt Scotch whiskies is derived from their signature copper stills and further expressed in maturity and cask selection. Before the bottling of Squadron 70, the cask liquid will be nosed and approved by the master distiller.  Additional details of this single malt’s colour, nose, palette and finish will be updated on the website (as soon as they become available).

Watch the video to learn more about the journey of the Squadron 70 bottling and what makes it special.

You can follow the cask as it is bottled in Scotland and arrives to Canada by following The Glenlivet’s social media sites:

Come January, the bottles will be hand-delivered at a special tasting with The Glenlivet’s Global Brand Ambassador, Ian Logan in Vancouver.


All I Want For Christmas With Van Doren Chan

van doren chan

We are checking in with some of our favourite local personalities as to how they celebrate the holidays and what they wish for under the Christmas tree. The talented Van Doren Chan is the Sommelier at Vancouver’s top French Restaurant, Le Crocodile, and the owner of C’est la V production, an event planning and hospitality training company that  specializes in enhancing relationships between restaurateurs, producers, wineries and farmers.

lucky peach

1)    What is on your wish list for the holidays in terms of wine or wine related paraphernalia  (your area of expertise)? VDC – A life time subscription to Lucky Peach Magazine

2)   What about something not even related to that area that you are might want? VDC The giant 4.5 kg Tobelerone


3)  What is the best gift you EVER got? VDC Aromaster Master Wine sensory kit

4)  What is the best gift you EVER gave?  VDC One thousand mini paper cranes I folded. It is a Japanese legend, so I gave my one wish that will come true to that special person.

bella winery

5) What are three wines to give this year?

VDC  Bella Sparkling Wine House – They source from 5 different regions in BC and showcase the true expression of each vineyard. Perfect wine to start the Christmas celebration.

Gorman Winery The Pixie 2011 Syrah – Screaming Red Mountain fruits source from Ciel de Cheval and Kiona vineyard. Great wine to enjoy with a dish or on it’s own.

Gunderloch Weingut Nackenheim Rothenberg 2013 Riesling Auslese – A delicious late harvest Riesling with aroma of white lily flowers and honey suckle, great pairing with a cheese plate or enjoy it with your Christmas cookies.

5)  What do you bring to a holiday party? VDC – Homemade Eggnog

6)   What charity do you wish for more funding for in 2015? VDC – S.U.C.C.E.S.S Senior Care

lego space station

7)  Best gift as a kid? VDC – Lego – Space Station (base board) my mom took me Christmas shopping and I get to choose my own gift. I saw the Lego space station and super excited and I grab it. Open it on Christmas Day, it only contain the base board and nothing else. Space station never got complete.

8) How will you celebrate the holidays this year?

Working Christmas Eve, it is a long tradition for many family to celebrate Christmas Eve lunch at Le Crocodile, amazing Alsatian food and sing along Christmas carols. Christmas Day will be a long day of eating and drinking with family. Usually starts early in the morning when my brother and I saber a bottle of bubbly then the Charcuterie and cheese platter to follow and Chinese dumplings made by mom for lunch then a big multi-course dinner at night with ice cream cake to finish the evening.



foodbankDid you know that on average more than 28,000 individuals – 26 per cent of whom are children – rely on the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society each week?

During the holidays we spend more time together cooking in the kitchen or gathered around the dining-room table than we do during any other season. But many Canadians are focused on food for another reason – they don’t have enough. That’s why Loblaw is urging people to donate to the annual Holiday Food Drive, held at Real Canadian Superstore® and Extra Foods® locations across Vancouver. If every Loblaw customer donated one item this holiday season food could be provided to the 841,191 Canadians that turn to food banks every month.

The Loblaw Holiday Food Drive is running until Dec. 24th. Some of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society’s most-needed items this holiday season include:

  • Whole Grains – Rice and Pasta
  • Simple Proteins – Salmon, Tuna, Natural Nut Butters, Beans, Lentils
  • Basic Cereals – Oatmeal
  • Hearty Meals – Soups, Stews, Chili
  • Canned Fruit and Vegetables – Canned Beans, Tomato Sauce
  • Infant Formula and Diapers


Epicure Holiday Dinner

Holiday Dinner From Epicure in 60 Minutes or Less

Except perhaps a pizza and a salad here and there, I’ve never done dinner in 60 minutes or less, let alone a holiday dinner, so when I was told that a full holiday dinner could to be prepared for me in this quick manner, I was intrigued. STAY TUNED for a giveaway where you can make this all yourself with all the Epicure products you need!

Epicure is a company who’s motto is “Good Food. Real Fast.” and they delivered on their quick meal promise.  Their products include a massive range of pre- blended spices, gorgeous kitchenware and they have so many recipes for you to make it all happen in your kitchen.

Epicure Holiday Dinner

The lovely Crystal MacGregor, Epicure’s Director of Innovation,   not only kept her cool in the kitchen while preparing this magic meal, she rocked it as though she was in full video record mode for national television. She’s my new hero. When I cook, things fly around the kitchen and I have to constantly cook, pause, regroup and clean.

On the menu? Holiday Dinner Menu  (ready start to finish in just 60 min)

Epicure Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine
Hot BLT Appy with crudité
Easy Roast Turkey
Roasted Root Vegetables
Steamer Stuffing
Herb & Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Egg Nogg Cheesecake Bites with rum ganache



Mulled Wine
Hot BLT Appy with crudité
Easy Roast Turkey
Roasted Root Vegetables
Steamer Stuffing
Herb & Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Egg Nogg Cheesecake Bites with rum ganache

Epicure Turkey Feast Seasoning:

Epicure Mulling Spices
Epicure BLT Dip Mix
Epicure Turkey Seasoning
Epicure Holiday Seasoning
Epicure Sage & apple Stuffing
Epicure Herb & Garlic  Dip Mix
Epicure WFD Eggnog Cheesecake

Epicure cookware

Epicure Multi-purpose pot
Epicure Bake & roll
Epicure Baking Sheet
Epicure Silicone Basting Brush
Epicure Mini baker
Epicure Dip & Spreader
Epicure Square Steamer x2
Epicure En garde Knife
Epicure Baker x 2 (make great serving ware)
Epicure Perfect Petities with Lux Decorator for star-worthy cheesecake dessert 

Time saving tips

  • Multi-purpose pot—makes making mulled wine or juice, easy, simply, make, keep warm, serve and store in the muti-purpose pot, which fits easier on that back burner on your stove
  • Easy roast turkey & holiday veggies – all on one baking sheet with Bake & roll (easy to use, clean, no drips, then into dishwasher), easy to make and clean up ready in 45-50 min
  • Silicone brush makes basting with oil easy
  • Steamers- make making mashed potatoes and stuffing super simple, quick and with less pots on your stove and clean up
  • Bakers- present nice, and are made of stoneware to keep your side dishes warm

Check out the super cute video for more tips here.

Thrive Holiday Style


Each year when the holiday season comes, there is far more temptation around and keeping a healthy balance is damn difficult. Luckily we’ve got our nutritionist, Patti Smyth, R.H.N. on hand and we asked her for some suggestions.

She’s pictured above indulging at one of our fav spots, Cuchillo! 

Have a healthy and happy holiday season!

From Patti:

Tis the season to be jolly, social, busy, generous and maybe a little over indulgent.

And why not?  You’ve worked hard all year, its time to connect with old friends, celebrate with colleagues and share a meal or two with extended family.

But how do we embrace the seasonal festivities, and maintain some semblance of our health goals?

Here are my top 5 tried and true strategies:

  1. Eat before you go. Have a good quality snack with fibre and lean protein (ie. left-over chicken on lettuce with sesame seeds and sesame oil).  This will provide a nourishing foundation on which to enjoy the appie table and since you won’t arrive hungry, you will indulge in moderation.
  2. Embrace your control issues:
    1. Bring a dish to the party (if appropriate) that is within your current food choices and make it the majority of your plate
    2. When not at a social event, maintain healthy choices
      1. Focus on a plant based, lean protein meal plan.
      2. Continue to maintain 7 servings of vegetables and 2 fruits each day
  • Drink lots of water to rehydrate from the night before and/or prepare for the event to come AND
  • Take your multi vit daily, it’s also flu season
  1. Survey the landscape, proceed slowly and with caution
    1. Upon arrival, ses out the bar and food situation.
    2. Start with a bubbly water as you make a plan.
    3. Let your Plus 1 know your plan so they can support you
    4. Mingle and socialize away from the buffet (at least 2 arm lengths to prevent snitching)
    5. Move that super sexy body of yours. It’s more than a vessel, it’s a gift and living on the West Coast, we are so fortunate to be able to get outside everyday.
  2. Move that super sexy body of yours. It’s more than a vessel, it’s a gift and living on the West Coast, we are so fortunate to be able to get outside everyday.
    1. Power walk at lunch
    2. Skip rope in the basement
    3. Use resistance bands in the office
    4. There are yoga options for everyone everywhere
  3. From “CHEERS!” to “I LOVE YOU MAN
    1. Have a plan
    2. Alternate glasses of water with wine. Jesus did it, you can too.
    3. Be the DD (aka designated driver) at least once.
    4. Add ice to a glass of wine (sommeliers close your eyes and ears)
    5. Savour hard bar neat or with water

jump rope

Celebration and libation with friends and family (natural or chosen) is a vital ingredient to aging gracefully and total health.

The Holiday Season is a wonderful opportunity for togetherness and breaking bread, nourishing the soul and fueling your ability to thrive.

Enjoy and appreciate all that the Holiday Season brings you.

Patti Smyth, R.H.N.

Patti Smyth has always loved food…good food.

Patti’s appreciation of food deepened as she accompanied her mother to countless doctors visits and cancer treatments.  Through that experience she realized that the food we eat and lifestyle we choose is our very best defense against disease, chronic pain and fatigue.

Patti abandoned her successful 22-year career at Vancity and immersed herself in studies at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition where she learned all about food – how best to prepare it and what it does inside the body. This new knowledge reinforced what she already knew intuitively; that food fuels, heals and nourishes the body. And as her knowledge grew, so did a deep-seeded passion to share it.

Having been a single, working mother for years, Patti understands hectic schedules and tight budgets, and knows first-hand the challenge of finding the time and energy to put yourself, and your health first. Patti helps you do just that; understand your choices and implement the right plan to live a full and vibrant life for life.

Patti Smyth is a registered holistic nutritionist and passionate outdoor enthusiast. She is on the team at Vital Health Medical and Wellness Clinic, a Sun Run leader and Treasurer of the Successful Women Always Network through which she supports the North Shore Women’s Shelter.

Vegetarian Holiday Feasting With Graze Restaurant

Graze Holiday FeastTake a break from last minute shopping on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 and enjoy a meatless holiday feast at Graze Restaurant.

Choose from 2 seatings, early or late; reserve before 6pm and or for after 8pm.  $35 per person 604-620-8822

Graze Holiday Feast Menu

Paired Soup & Salad

Smoked carrot bisque with carrot jerky & cinnamon oil.
& Timbale of braised pear, fennel, celery root and kale chiffonade with a mustard cream dressing and fig.


Winter Vegetable Country Pie
Cauliflower & kale pie crust, filled with winter vegetable dauphinois, layered with red & beluga lentils, tarragon cream, topped with whipped acorn squash
(gluten Free, not nut free) -or-

Caramelized onion & lobster mushroom galette of kamut & coconut flour pastry with thyme and a cranberry raisin chutney
(gluten light)

Sides (all of them)

Crispy smashed german butter potatoes with roasted garlic & herbs, topped with a cinnamon roasted carrot & gravy

Salted bourbon-maple-baked mixed beans with yam

Creamed kale & spinach

Cornbread & rye stuffing with cranberries, fig, apple, chestnuts and wild rice
(gluten free)

House-made cranberry sauce, of course


Pecan & cranberry ‘butter’ tart, with cranberry-rosehip coulis, and vanilla coconut whip (gluten free) -or-

Pumpkin gingerbread cake with salted caramel & marmalade

Graze Celebrate The World In A Garden

The world in a garden

Well friends there is a very cool evening coming up with one of our favourite restaurants fundraising for one of our favourite causes.

On Tuesday, Dec. 16th, Graze restaurant is donating 20% of dinner sales to help The World In A Garden build school gardens around the world! Simply book a table at {604-620-8822}, mention The World In A Garden, and you’re on your way to enjoying a delicious meal. There is also Silent Auction. Please share and invite your friends as well!


The World In A Garden is a multicultural urban farm and garden project that educates community and youth about the nutritional, cultural  and environmental aspects of growing and eating food.


Farms are located between East and West Boulevard between 57th &  55th Avenue in Vancouver, along the railway tracks. Drop in Mondays from 3-5pm. Visit the Get Involved page for more information.


Educational programming includes nutrition and environmental education workshops, youth leadership, our Bee-Coming Leaders: Bee School for Kids!  and school programs.


The World In A Garden provides a community space to grow traditional and culturally appropriate foods from various ethnic backgrounds. This allows traditional food culture knowledge to be preserved and shared within the community. Cultural Potlucks are an engaging  way to celebrate, share and learn about various cultural food choices, growing techniques, and nutritional benefits of unique food varieties.

Sustainable Food Production:

Current plans for expansion include the development of an interactive and educational urban farm site that will include diversified food production. The new site is planned to include vertical food growing, and a chicken coop to display what is possible in urban spaces.

Social Enterprise:

The World in a Garden are growing in a variety of ways to be financially self-sustaining with a social enterprise that includes  rain barrel project, farmers’ market sales, honey from bees, gift baskets and educational programs.

Our Global Vision:

The World In A Garden is working to launch The Global Garden Project with the first pilot project in Costa Rica in October 2014. Additionally, we are currently working to install gardens in Chennai India in January 2015 in order to support self-sustaining community building and the interconnectedness of cultures through food production.

All I Want For Christmas with Jennifer Schell

Jennifer Schell

This holiday season we are catching up with some of our favourite local personalities to find out how they are celebrating the holidays and what might be on their holiday wish lists. First up, cookbook author and food writer, Jennifer Schell. Schell’s cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Maker celebrates all great food artisans and products from the Okanagan. It’s sold out, but stay tuned for the next version, with recipes and stories from “By the Sea”; Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island. That’ll be a must for holiday gifts come bullet

1)     What is on your wish list for the holidays in terms of food and wine (your area of expertise)? A Weber Bullet!

2)   What about something not even related to that area that you are craving? Endless spa gift certificates

3)  What is the best gift you EVER got? A commissioned painting.

4)  What is the best gift you EVER gave? Big screen TV to my sports loving husband.

Upper Ben

5)  What is a great hostess gift that we might receive if we invited you into our home? A bottle of Okanagan wine and Okanagan cheese and probably a cookbook!

6)   What charity do you wish for more funding for in 2013? Soup sisters/broth brothers & Project Chef!

easy bake oven

7)  Best gift as a kid? Hands down – my red Easy bake oven.

8) How will you celebrate the holidays this year? Christmas Eve is our big night in keeping with our European traditions! Turkey dinner with my family on the farm is followed by present opening in the evening. I love the romance of opening gifts at nighttime when the tree is twinkling.

Good Life Vancouver is all about the good life in and around Vancouver and often far beyond!