You Sexy Thing…

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I am planning a post on Spring Fashion in the coming days, but this one could not wait. I am IN LOVE!!!!

Clutches continue to be big this season, and I have to say, I love carrying them. And when I saw this one in petrol blue patent, I could not resist. (Yes, I have a smaller one in purple…you got me.) But really, at this size and in this shade, we move from “very nice” to “kinda’ sexy”.  And I love blue with everything, including black, so don’t be afraid to give it a whirl. Also, do not be afraid to go vintage on clutches. Some of my favorites that I carry for years and years have been on the earth longer than I have!

xx

(Photo of YSL “Belle du Jour” Clutch: Some Cozy Night)

Re-entry: An Update

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

So, I was feeling a tad dour when I arrived at the office today, but getting through all the mail, email and seeing a few people who seemed happy to see me had a Cheering Effect. Other Cheering things included walking through the doors of our newly completed conference room to be reunited with our  very cool Norman Foster table, surrounded by our equally excellent Toledo chairs that I haven’t seen in well over a year, and these flowers* given to me by one of my lovely colleagues:

The day’s additional cheer falls under my Grandmother’s “Having Something to Look Forward To” principal. As you know, I love Fiona Apple, and she is giving a performance in New York later next month. And those clever folks at Amex were able to get me two tickets even though it was extremely sold out when I tried to get them on my own. While not Madonna Psyched, I am very much looking forward to seeing her. Seriously, folks…she is very talented. In the meantime, I have my iTunes to keep me sufficiently “Appled”…

So, I guess the Re-entry is going pretty well. But I still want to be in my comfy pants and flats…is that so wrong?

xx

*Yes, I have a thing for flowers. And dogs. And clothes, furniture and…well…you know me by now.
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

OK, I Am Back

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Not yet in the office, but I am unpacked and dressed for work. Hopefully, it won’t be too bad today. The thing is, Re-entry can be tricky. Particularily when you are going from this:

To this:

This change can be made a tad more challenging when you have decided to give up coffee for a while. I noticed that it was making me a little nuts in Mexico…so it is caffine-free tea for me. For now. 

xx

 

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

 

 

Coming Home

February 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Two weeks can go by rather quickly with magazines and books to read, delicious food to eat and all kinds of work things that require medicinal massages and cocktails. Yes, we leave tomorrow. And I always dislike leaving…

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I guess the best way to look at it is not that we are Leaving, but that we are Coming Home. And home, where your friends, family, favorite hangouts and adorable freeloaders are waiting for you is most certainly a nice place to be.

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xx

(Photos of The Sea of Cortez at dusk and the boys on their favorite chair: Some Cozy Night)

Another New Year: Losar

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love that there are so many opportunities to celebrate a New Year. I mean, Mondays don’t always cut it when you want a little Life Reset. So, imagine my delight in finding out, courtesy of my Times’s Digest this morning, that the Tibetan New Year celebrations begin today. Since I have allowed certain Outside Issues to muss up my vacation over the past day or two, I could use a reset. And the happy news that this New Year celebration is decidedly food-focused — including many dough-based delicacies — I am thinking this is an ideal celebration to embrace. Yippie!!

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So, back to Losar. Wikipedia says that the last day of the current year is a day of cleaning and preparation (I missed that part), and includes putting up the finest decorations for the celebration. Then the first two days of this 15-day lunar-based holiday are for official ceremonies to make offerings (including a sacrificial cake) and to wish the Dali Lama good luck for the coming year. (He is even given special barley and dough based pills for this.)

From the third day on it is time for everyone to enjoy the rest of the holiday celebrations. This includes, according to Julia Moskin at The New York Times, Tibet’s unofficial dish: aha momos. These are little dumplings filled with meat and spices (a little bit in conflict with Buddhist Vegetarianism, but you can read Julia’s piece on that) that sound just heavenly. And apparently if I were in New York today, I could have some at a place called Tsampa, in the East Village.

Anyway, I fear I am getting too far afield from the Point of the Post, which is that I think that if you have the opportunity to reset and celebrate, you should. (Especially if there is food involved.) So, Tashi Delek and happy reset to you all.

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Keeping My Word

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Prior to arriving at my vacation destination, I requested — at the request of my pilates instructor — that a yoga mat be placed in my room. Naturally, an awfully adorable one was there on arrival:

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Oddly enough, I have found that going to the fitness center here has been more fun and productive than going it alone in my room. Perhaps the view on my way back has something to do with it…

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Regardless, I am pleased to report that I am on track with planned Fitness Activities, which I think bodes well for my return. Apparently, it also does not take a lot of time to have a little fitness, either.

xx

P.S.
The Yoga mat is from Gold’s Gym. And I am still not athletic, in case you were wondering.

P.P.S.
What is with people who talk on the phone all day while they are sitting next to their traveling companion, poolside, on “vacation”??

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Have I Mentioned??

February 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

A couple of years ago, a friend sent me a trove of goodies that included this marvel:

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It is from Dior’s “Addict” line (I will behave and not make mention of the irony here…or did I??) and it is officially one item I cannot do without. I do not know how it works, but it is basically a lip balm that makes your lips more of the color they actually are. Like a mood ring! Remember those?

At lunch the other day, Mr.H complimented me on “the color” after I applied some. While he is way ahead of all other husbands on fashion, we never talk makeup. So the conversation reminded me that I should probably mention this fabulous product to you. And now that I have done so, I am back to whale watching.

Enjoy!

xx

P.S.

I am pretty sure that you can order this from Sephora and it must be at all the Dior counters, where you should also consider picking up their brow gel. Also fantastic.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Gone…

February 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

That’s right. Mr. H and I are off to our annual trip to Warmer Climes at “Nothing’s a Problem” resort. And the point of this post is not to make anyone feel bad about the weather and such. It is about showing you how I manage to go away for 14 days with one suitcase and a carryon that is also my “personal item”. (This comes up a lot with my friends who feel that I pack lightly, which I guess I do if you go by the size of my bags for any given trip.) We begin at the logical beginning…

The Brief

This is a warm weather trip at a resort, so I’ll be in swimsuits and coverups during the day and nothing but dresses, dresses, dresses (13 in fact) for night. At least one hat, two or three pairs of shoes for night and a few for day are required, as are accessories, entertainment, cosmetics and unmentionables. I am comfortable repeating outfits poolside, but for some reason, I can’t do it at night. So, here is what I do instead:

The Suitcase

Mandarina Duck. Not teeny, but not stupid big. It measures about 18 x 24 x 11 inches and my goodness, it holds a ton. I made my trip to Amsterdam, Paris, Bordeaux and back to Paris in April with this bag and was able to pack about 21 different outfits, including a evening coat with just this bag. It has something to do with the pockets. Amazing.

The Method

I begin by creating a spreadsheet that lists all the items of clothing that I am thinking of bringing and then making them into “travel”, “daytime” and “evening” outfits. This trip was pretty simple spreadsheet wise since the “repeats” were on a simple daytime rotation. Other trips require much more Excel time. However, I was able to pretty much get right to pulling clothes and wrapping them up for maximum space and safety in the suitcase. This is achieved as follows:

1) Organize

I try to put like things together…

These are the swimsuits. Seven of them, one of which I wear on the plane to avoid TSA mishaps and to make sure I have a swimsuit in case my luggage gets lost.

Coverups, which include several cotton dresses from one of my favorite new labels for daytime: Chinti & Parker. They make such comfy, interesting, well-made casual wear. Love them. (Available at Net-a-Porter.)

And at the request of my pilates instructor, some activewear. A set of three with my adorable Stella McCartney for adidas sneaks and my favorite pants from Ion Actif (www.ionactif.com for “stockists” as the English like to say). I will use the hotel’s laundry service to ensure that I get six workouts in while away. I swear.

And the evening dresses. Not all of them are very dressy, since some nights will be more casual. Still I group them together and fold them with tissue to minimize creases. (I don’t care as much about slightly crinkled daytime stuff since the fabrics tend to un-crinkle quickly.)

2) Fold, Wrap and Bag

I like to wrap groupings of clothes in an outer layer of tissue and then put them in dry cleaner plastic. Those little bags your “soft and cuddly” sweaters come in are really perfect for this job:

You get the idea. And here is how I do the evening dresses:

Fold with tissue around, then fold it up…

et viola!

3) Accessories and Hard Choices

I have small feet, so it is easier for me to fit several pairs of shoes into a suitcase, but even I have to make choices on these items as well as bags, jewelry, sunnies and the like. Here is what I narrowed it down to:

The belts and cuff are put into the printed hat to help keep its shape while in the suitcase. And see that giant tote in the back? That is my carry on, which will hold all of my electronics, medications, travel docs, wallet, two magazines, that straw hat and my jewelry box. Everything else gets put into the bottom and sides of the main part of the suitcase:

It fits! Including three late additions:

4) Magazines go in the biggest front pocket.

And there are a lot of them! I need to keep busy doing nothing:

But they fit!

5) Cosmetics: Less is More

I take the essentials and as little makeup as possible. Still essentials add up, but I’ll be darned if all the Not OK in the cabin stuff also makes it into the bag:

6) The Carry On/ One Personal Item

It is big, but is will have everything I need in-flight and all my medications and things I can’t leave in my bag. Once at the resort, I use it as my poolside bag. We are very happy together. (And need I mention that the strap was recently expertly repaired by The Leather Spa??)

7) Travel Outfit

I am lucking out a tad since the weather won’t be so bad in the morning, but I also plan on being slightly cold on my way to the airport. Still better than lugging a coat. The scarf and summer sweater will be fine…

(See, I told you I like hearts. And I am still wearing those bright pink flats from last spring. That said, brights still seem to be A Thing this year. And no, I haven’t deluded myself into thinking I am Jennifer Aniston. The hat will go in the bag until I am officially in Warmer Climes.)

8) There is no “8”, so “Yay!”

Happy packing!

xx

(Photos of My Insanity: Some Cozy Night)

Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

My favorite holiday is here!! So, Happy Valentine’s to you.

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And remember that in addition to the fact that it does not take a lot of time to have a little fun, it does not take a lot of time to tell the ones you love that it is so. So, be sure that you do.

xx

(Photos of one of my favorite destinations for Valentine’s Day — or any other day for that matter: Some Cozy Night)

How Do I Love Thee?

February 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been a sucker for Valentine’s Day since I was a little girl. All those reds and pinks in crepe and construction paper, the doilies and twinkle lights are just too hard to resist. And there is just something about hearts that always makes me smile, even when paired with the cheesy cupid cutout. So, for just about forever (particularly bad breakups excluded), I have loved this holiday.

New York usually loves it too, but when I was trying to find windows that filled me with that special “Valentine” feeling, I came up somewhat short. I did find one that was close enough, at a children’s store of all places (it’s my neighborhood…we just can’t help ourselves):

I think that big heart is sufficiently over the top. Perhaps the store’s proprietor also digs the holiday.

This is also the time to be over the top by making Valentines, another activity that I adore. Way before I knew that Paul and Julia Child prided themselves on their annual Valentines, I’ve been making my own, mostly for Mr. H. And if I had more time, I’d probably make them for many more recipients. I highly recommend it, provided that you really let it rip.

If making Valentines is not your thing but you want to get into the spirit of the holiday, may I suggest something as simple as sending someone you love some of your favorite love songs? I’m not suggesting “Annie’s Song”* or anything, but there are plenty that fall into the cool, retro and classic categories that will do the job. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that these three are the most romantic I can think of…

Cool  

“Number 1” by Goldfrapp (yeah…the video is weird)   http://www.goldfrapp.com/video/

Retro (and Cool)

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure

Classic

“Moon River” written by Henry Mancini and sung Andy Williams (even Big thought so)

And they are all available on iTunes if you feel like sending your sweetie a little something sweet.

xx

*Not that there is anything wrong with this John Denver classic. I know that I cannot be the only grade school girl who imagined herself walking down the aisle to that tune. It’s ok. You can keep that to yourself.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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