Have I Mentioned??

August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s been some time I’ve noted things I’ve been loving lately. So just in time for you to ponder “Where has the summer gone?” and “Ack! Am I ready for fall?” this weekend, some more food for thought…

1) Vogue.com

While the magazine isn’t always as fashion forward as the cooler kids (V, for instance), I am still a Vogue Girl. And their site, while not quite well-formatted, provides bursts of inspiration any time you need it. I especially like APT with LSD, the Best Dressed of the Week and all their thoughts on things to do at a given time of year. Enjoy! (http://www.vogue.com/)

2) Yoga Toes

During a recent trip to southern California with some girlfriends, we discussed the important subject of keeping our feet in good shape as the years pass by. And that is when Yoga Toes came up. They are a touch hard to explain, but I have been using them for about ten minutes a day for well over a month now, and I love them. A great stretch for your tootsies that have been shoved into all manner of foot-hostile shoes. And don’t fret, they come in clear. (http://www.yogapro.com/products/YogaToes.html?utm_source=adCenter&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=YogaToes%2BKeywords%2B-%2BUSA)

3) Diptyques’s Mini Candles

As I have said before, Diptyque makes the best (outrageously priced) scented candles on the market. Full stop. And their mini ones are great for trying out new scents, to give as gifts and to just save a few dollars if you haven’t been fully converted yet. I am especially loving the
Feuille de Lavande scent, but there are few that I don’t adore. (http://www.diptyqueparis.com/home-fragrances/mini-candles.html)

4) CÉLINE

For the major splurge, nothing feels more right these days that Phoebe Philo’s chic, streamlined and wearable designs. I loved her work with Stella McCartney and at Chloe (much of which I still have!), but she is just white hot these days. No gimmicks. Not super trendy, despite everyone in fashion loving everything she is doing right now. Just things that will effortlessly fall into your wardrobe and make you feel confident and comfortable. Love. (http://www.celine.com/)

5) Ciao Bella Malt Ball Gelatto

Theis flavor has been around for a while, but in case you are unfamiliar with it, put down your computer and go get yourself a container. There really isn’t anything more to say on the matter. (http://ciaobellagelato.com/#/products)

6) Tokyo Banana

Friends of mine brought me a box from a recent trip to Tokyo. Apparently, they are kind of a touristy thing to buy, but they are like a Japanese Twinkie and they are also crazy delicious. (http://www.tokyobanana.jp/)

And that is all I have got for you this evening. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!

xx

(Funky photo of the bag my latest splurge came in, taken while on a bus, mind you: Some Cozy Night)

Indoors-y Girl Goes Outdoors

August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

In hopes of keeping things fresh for some house guests this past weekend, I arranged for us to all go kayaking. Now, if you know anything about me, this is not the kind of thing I would normally get myself mixed up in. (Unlike the Duchess of Cambridge, I lack a general interest in the Sporting Life.) But Mr. H had recently purchased a really beautiful kayak for himself and my friends love all manner of outdoorsy activities. And then there is the fact that when you are staying at my home, I want you to have a good time. So, I decided to give Outdoorsy a try.

And you know what? I liked it!

I think preparation was key…

The destination was the beach on the other side of the “pond”, which after paddling myself across it, I would like to say that “lake” is a better description of this particular body of water.

Even though I knew this was more of a Roughing It kind of day, I did make sure that we stowed away some lobster rolls, chips and cookies for lunch. And Mr. H made sure that the ladies of the party had little chairs to sit on when we reached the beach. During some headwinds, this was a very motivating bit of knowledge.

It was also an extremely motivating fact when I was confronted with how one gets into the kayak. Basically, you have to step into the water and then into your boat. Stepping into water that isn’t heated, chlorinated, or the ocean isn’t really my thing. Especially with shoes on, even if they were the rubber ones I garden in. Still, I did it. (And no, those pink flip flops are not mine. In fact, they shouldn’t be anybody’s.)

To be truthful, that little bit of discomfort was totally worth it for views like these. And an hour-long arm workout getting to the beach made that delicious lunch totally guilt-free!

Best of all, though, was doing something with friends that I’ve never done before. Seeing a new side of each other deepens good friendships, I think, and makes the whole experience of trying something new even more memorable. Definitely a reason to get outdoors.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Built to Last

August 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

It really bothers me that so much of our daily lives seems designed to fade fast. The speed at which we are meant to update our smartphones, wardrobes, and even our knowledge of the latest “news”, makes me uneasy. It also makes me extremely appreciative of things that are built with anything but “expendable” in mind. Two little things of mine that fall into this category are beach related:

The classic L.L. Bean Boat & Tote. Ours is weathered to perfection after ten seasons of use and it only gets better with age: The fabric is more pliable but totally solid and the blue piping and straps are beautifully faded by years of time sitting out in the sun. Love.

My little green “beach wallet” from J. Crew. I purchased it well over twelve years ago, when Mr. H and I began taking trips to warmer, sandier climes. Perfect for your ID and a few dollars for ice cream. Or a mixed drink. It also wears its years of use well — the varying shades of green and little dings and scratches only suggest (to me, at least) Time Spent Enjoying Myself.

And then there are the far more important and sentimental things whose permanence are pretty much part of the fabric of my life. Mr. H is celebrating a birthday this week and two of our best and oldest friends came out to the beach last weekend to get the party started.

A good time was had by all, which is always the case with these friends. From weathering hurricanes to traveling the world to cheering each up after a rather hideous day, things always have that extra something when we are all together. So I can’t imagine not celebrating all of life’s big and little milestones with them. The same can be said of our other dear friends that we’ve been lucky to gather along the way, for that matter. And in my book, these friendships top the list of the Wonderful Things in Life that are so excellent because they are most certainly built to last.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Julia at One Hundred

August 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ok, I am a little late in the day with this post, but Julia Child would have been 100 years old today. Aside from transforming the way America cooked and ate, I adore her for the following reasons:

She began cooking at around age 40
For any of us who ever think it is too late to embark on a whole new adventure*, here is a shining example of why it isn’t.

Perfect Wasn’t the Point
In these times where we strive for perfect homes, perfect bodies, and perfectly prepared and plated food, it is strangely refreshing to see Ms. Child famously pick a chicken up off the floor and “serve it forth”. (Harold McGee be damned.)

She and Paul Child Had a Thing Goin’ On
I love their love story. I love that he built her a kitchen. (I also love that Mr. H took me to see it as part of a birthday gift some years ago.) And I love that they made Valentines every year.

She Kept Going
On her 90th Birthday, I saw an interview with her on Charlie Rose. By that time, she was living in Santa Barbara in a retirement community, but she was completely up on all things in the food world, had plenty of opinions and still had little use for the microwave.

How lucky we were to have her! Perhaps I’ll make something from Mastering the Art tonight.

Bon Appetit!

xx

*Not to mention the whole OSS thing…really…what a life!

Another Reason for the Wardrobe Experiment

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

I was looking for places to drop off my Donate bags, and came across this:

http://www.housingworks.org/donate/drop-off-donations

Helping others is a pretty good reason to give away the things you don’t need. Housing Works will be getting a visit from me soon.

xx

Wardrobe Experiment

August 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

It is that time of year again, when women are supposed to begin shopping for Fall and Winter. Yes, I know it is a zillion degrees outside, and we are all just finishing up our summer steals with everything on Final, Super-Duper Discount sale. But still, it is time.

In fact, in some stores, we are already late. Case in point: The fantastic brocade pants at Céline that I suddenly very much needed last month were no longer available in my size. Gone. Forever. (Did I mention that they were from the Fall collection? They were.) And just the other day I was invited to a Resort trunk show later this month, which essentially clothes for the beginning of NEXT SPRING.

Such is the cycle of fashion.

To be truthful, I like the idea of getting my wardrobe in order well before the season hits. So I play ball and am quite close to being “done” for this one. However, this time around I am doing things a little differently.

As you may know, in general one wears 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. And while I suspect my percentages are a little better than that, I am attempting to significantly improve that ratio using a three-pronged approach:

1. Inventory
I am currently going through every item in my wardrobe — every one — and putting it into one spreadsheet that can be sorted by garment type, color, season, label, year made, and size. I already had a running start on this document, as I have been keeping these kinds of spreadsheets for years, but a new and completely up-to-date one is in order. It will keep me from over-buying (especially at sale time) and remind me of when things might need to go.

2. Ruthless Edit
While taking the inventory, I am trying everything on to decide if it stays in the picture. So far, the editing has been fierce. Anything that I no longer completely love is in a Donate bag. For the record, there is more than one bag and I am not done with the Inventory and Ruthless Edit Process. I tell you: I mean business here and I will have a smaller but better functioning wardrobe.

3. Precision Purchasing
This part is not going to be what you think, as I am not a fan of “basics”. Sure, we all need a pair of great black pants and a few perfect white t-shirts, so those are purchased as needed. But when thinking about what is going to make it into my closet, I first decide if we have chemistry. Without that, there is no point. Then, assuming we do, I decide if I have anything else too much like it, and if not, whether it goes with my life and the other things in my closet. And, in the hopes of improving my ratio, I now ask myself the hardest question of all: Will I wear this frequently? If the answer to this and all the other questions are “yes”, the piece is in.

And so, in the last few weeks I have added several items that met the above criteria, including a cool pair of black wedge booties with a rubber sole for wet days, a skirt that reminds me of Charlie Brown’s T-Shirt in a good way, a black down coat that actually looks good on me (a small miracle) and a fantastically simple short sleeved top done in pin-striped wool flannel.

And while my list of purchases for the season is far from short, many more things are leaving the closet than are being brought in, so I think I am off to a good start with my little experiment. Wish me luck — and don’t be afraid to try it yourself on the next rainy weekend.

xx

Car Shorts

August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I love how some of the fabulous women I know manage to pull off shorts — especially at the office. But I almost never partake since I lack Leg Confidence (with good cause). That said, the world has been making some awfully adorable shorts of late and a particular pair by one of my favorite lines, A.P.C., got really stuck in my head this season. Then it hit me: What if I purchased said shorts, but wore them more as a part of my (newly created) Car Outfit on summer drives out to the beach?

And a new concept outfit was born:

Now, it may seem silly to designate an outfit solely for a weekly car trip, but it has its benefits:

1) Work Clothes Stay at the Office, where they are not subjected to the abuse of a long drive that may or may not include food, dog contact, and who knows what else. Also, when we leave at night, I’ve probably been in those work clothes for fifteen hours, so a break would be nice.

2) No Clothing Migration, which, in spite of my efforts, seems to happen a lot. That dress I wanted to wear to a meeting last Tuesday? Yeah, it was over 100 miles away because I forgot to pack it. Eliminating this little bit of irritation from my life through a cute pair of shorts seems totally logical to me.

3) I Can Be Comfortable, but Presentable, because let’s face it, we get pulled over from time to time, frequently need gas, and well, you know, you never know when you will need to get out of the car. So why not make sure you aren’t going to embarrass yourself should the need arise?

And truthfully, those shorts were on mega-sale and are ridiculously cute!

I rest my case — and make note of that fact that I will need the winter equivalent soon enough. More on that later.

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

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