Spring Lineup: Maintenance Edition

March 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

As we all know, it is technically spring. I know this not because of the weather — it snowed again this morning — but because Mr. H and I were invited to a Yankees game next week. Upon accepting this excellent invitation, I realized that I need to get up to speed on their roster this year. And this reminded me that it might be a good time to share the newest additions to my lineup this season:

butter

Butter’s “Pink Ribbon” nail polish. Truth be told, I am finding many of my go-to brands of polish to have less shine and longevity of late. (I do not know why.) I’d read nice things about the Butter line, so when I found a shade that didn’t emulate the Pez palette, I gave it a whirl. Excellent coverage, quick-ish dry time and so far, the longevity has been good. We shall see what the rest of the week brings, but for now, I say “like”! (http://www.butterlondon.com/lacquers/3-free-lacquers/pink-ribbon)

kateisgreat

Kate Somerville’s Micro Glycolic Polisher I didn’t think it was possible to have skin even more dry and sensitive than mine was already, but this winter’s weather had upped the ante. While my Rodin oil has been keeping things well-hydrated in this hostile climate, I can’t seem to use even the gentlest of scrubs for exfoliation without feeling irritated. Enter Kate Somerville’s polisher. A few pumps is all I’ve been using once a week for a couple of months now. And I have to say that the results are far better than any scrub I’ve ever used: Soft, even and really clean. In my mind, all the product I put on after the polisher (Sonya Dakar’s Cellular Patch Cream, Visual Lift and Retinol Serum, followed by a vigorous massage with a few drops of the wonder oil*) absorbs more quickly and works more effectively after I’ve “polished”. That part may be in my mind, but the rest is not. This stuff is just great. (http://www.katesomerville.com/micro-glycolic-polisher/)

And that is all I have this evening. Enjoy!

xx

* Yes, I need them ALL, plus sunscreen. And a good brow shaping every couple of weeks. And a facial every six weeks or so. And a little makeup each day to look alive. This is how it goes in ones’ forties.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Loving Right Now…

February 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Greetings from the Sea of Cortez. While it may be a little chillier than usual, I am making excellent use of my time away by sleeping, reading, reapplying sunblock and eating some more. I have also been thinking about the latest things I’ve been into and thought I would share…

New York Collections for Fall
Yes, Fall, but you know the drill by now. From my iPad, I didn’t see much that knocked my socks off, but Narcisco Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler, The Row, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta presented some of my favorite things. Check them out at nymag.com for a little inspiration and please note those shoes at Proenza: low heeled and to die for.

K. Jacques Sandals
This little obsession started last summer and it is only growing with my new “hippie” pair that I’ve been wearing with my more bohemian coverups…

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I have even been wearing some gold jewelry with the look. A little outside my comfort zone, but only for like five seconds. Yay.

Monarchy
The band. I discovered them on Nowness, and find that while they aren’t as interesting as Goldfrapp, they are great to run to.

The Eye Has To Travel
Goodness, just watch it and get sucked into the fairy tale that Dianna Vreeland created and lived in. Sad to say that she could never be today, at least not in magazines. But maybe in some other way…here is hoping.

And that is all I have for today. Happy weekend!

xx

Updates and Such

January 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hello there. So this week was a doozy, and next week stands to be equally “stimulating”, so to keep things light, I thought I would give you all some updates on prior posts and mention a few things that I am really enjoying these days.

Here we go…

Rodin Face Oil, Three Weeks In

indeep

I LOVE THIS OIL!!! I use it on top of my other products — mostly the Cellular Patch Cream and a Retinol Serum (at night) and I have to tell you, my skin feels wonderfully soft and I think I might even be approaching “dewy”, which is no small feat in one’s forties.

I also got in a little deeper and started using the hair oil as well. On just-washed hair, I put it on right after my leave-in conditioner, and lately, I haven’t been using much product after that combo. When I let it dry naturally, I look much less like Monica in a humid climate and much more like someone who has a nice wave in her hair. When I blow it dry, less static and the ends don’t look fried. I also use the oil on non-wash days, when the  ends look a little dry. However, a word of caution: They say use TWO DROPS of the oil. I did not listen the first time and I should have. TWO DROPS. THEN STOP. That is all you need. Enjoy!  (To buy: http://oliolusso.com)

Meditation

Things were going really well in the first two weeks of the year, since I decided to tack it on right after workouts in the morning. Then this past weekend a horrid illness set in and I found myself stoned on NyQuil and getting overly emotional while doing a Loving Kindness meditation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loving_kindness_meditation) To be fair, they can be hard, but I was a disaster this week, so I am going back to some of my other favorites for the time being. For the record, some of my go-to guided meditation practices are by:

Jack Kornfield — I recommend him to anyone starting a practice. There is just something about his voice and perspective and how he mixes in Buddhist teachings with just smart stuff to think about outside of Buddhism that really works for me. If you try him, I hope he does the same for you.  (http://www.jackkornfield.com and iTunes)

Tara Brach — New to me, but recommended by a friend. I find her discussions of Self Acceptance to be very on point. I don’t really meditate to her,  but I do listen to one piece, The Wisdom of Self Acceptance, (I know…but we are talking meditation here) before bedtime and I always sleep really well after listening to it. (http://tarabrach.com and iTunes)

Dr. Siddharth Ashvin Shah — His Splendor of Meditation guided sessions contain three of my favorite ones:  Morning Time Stress Prevention, Five Minute Rescue and Restorative Yoga Nidra. These are less spiritual and more about decompressing and keeping a good attitude. Perhaps that is why they are my go-tos for pre work sessions. (http://www.siddharthshah.com and iTunes)

Also, even if you aren’t meditating, may I remind you of the power of a few good, deep breaths? Whenever you feel like you Just Can’t, try it and see if maybe You Can.

Cook and Freeze

I did it again this past Sunday, which made eating while being too sick to cook (Mr. H had the same thing I did this week) a breeze. Also, have I mentioned how much I enjoy escarole raw? I grew up eating it cooked, mostly in soups, but it is fabulous with some hummus and warm pita and a really nice change when making salads. My new favorite is escarole, toasted hazelnuts  and pomegranate seeds with a citrus dressing. (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Escarole-and-Butter-Lettuce-Salad-with-Pomegranate-Seeds-and-Hazelnuts-356310)

Yum!

Favorite Online Reads

Sometimes you find yourself at your desk and in need of something that takes you Away from It All. If you are avoiding gossip, hard news, or what fabulous things people are up to on Facebook, I highly recommend these sites:

Into the Gloss (http://intothegloss.com)  Lots of great interviews with interesting people, lots of great product info and generally transporting.

Nowness (http://www.nowness.comOwned by LVMH, but don’t let the Corporate Giant thing keep you away. They cover everything from Art to Fashion to Culture. I even saw a video of Rick Rubin meditating. If it is interesting, it is on there. Enjoy.

Refinery 29 (http://www.refinery29.com) I am probably a touch too old for this site, but it is filled with fun stuff and reminds me of when I had little else to do but wonder what I was going to wear on a date. Still, how would I know about BB Creams — of which that Urban Decay stuff I mentioned recently happens to be — if I didn’t check them out on a regular basis? Have fun.

And that is all I have for today. Happy Weekend!

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Happy!

January 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Wishing you all a very lovely 2013.

xx

(Photo of all the corks since 2006 from eventful evenings at the beach: Some Cozy Night)

New, Old, New

December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

product

In a final flurry of Pre-Holiday Socializing, I met up with my friend who is a Make-up Artist…let’s call her Ms B. I usually try very hard not to pepper her with questions about how to look perfect on her nights off, but one bottle of wine in and all bets were off. So I asked the one question that has been weighing on me: Should I give the old pencil eye liner a try? (I know, we tackle the Big Issues here.) Ms B gave me an unqualified “YES!”, and told me the one to try was the darkest one I could find by Urban Decay (http://www.urbandecay.com), and to use a push brush* to do the necessary smudging.

I ordered two shades that evening: a really dark brown and a fierce black. Today I tried the brown since it is daytime and I am at the beach, so I wanted to at least approach the Naturally Fresh and Lovely look. And I have to tell you, this stuff goes on smooth, is easy to smudge until the desired smudginess has been achieved and then kind of “dries” and stays put. Needless to say, I am impressed and bow down to Ms B for sharing her secrets.

Three other items that I wanted to share while we are on the subject:

1) B. Kamins Daily Facial Peeling Pads. Recommended to me by a facialist when I mentioned that sometimes even the gentlest of scrubs can sometimes feel a little harsh on my face. I’ve been using these about once a week and whenever I am too tired to actually wash my face before bed. (I know, the height of laziness…but I always make my bed.) Bottom line: They do the job and suspect that for someone with less sensitive skin, they would be great everyday use. (http://www.bkamins.com/en/peels.aspx)

2) Rodin Face Oil: Just sent to me by one of my dearest friends. I haven’t used it yet, but its reputation precedes it and it smells heavenly. I begin oiling tonight. (http://oliolusso.com/products/rodin-olio-lusso-face-oil)

3) Urban Decay Beauty Balm: This came with my eye pencils and I am not sure that it is released just yet, but I tried it today and I really like it! Not at all greasy, but goes on smoothly and has a broad spectrum SPF, which from what I hear, is a good thing.

And that is all I have for today, but that feels like enough, right?

xx

* That is the stubby little brush that comes with all those kits of brushes you see. Also, have you washed your make-up brushes lately? Just a little reminder in case you haven’t.

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Getting Into the Spirit: Film Edition

December 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hopefully you are nearing the end of all the prep work and almost ready to settle in for a little Holiday R&R. And if you aren’t, you probably need a break. So here are some movies that I can’t help but watch this time of year, often by myself, as they range from weird to sappy…

Desk Set, 1957

love this movie. LOVE IT! Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracey and The Electronic Brain (also known as EMERAC). It isn’t about the holidays, but enough of it takes place during that time of year so that it feels right. My favorite scene is the dinner at Hepburn’s apartment, which is completely cozy and strangely chic. And without this film, I would never be able to ask Mr. H “How do you like your chicken fried?” when we obviously can’t understand a word either of us are saying. (Just watch it and that will all make sense.) Adorable and fun. And you can refer to your computer as “The Electronic Brain” for at least 24 hours after viewing before people get annoyed with you.

Little Women, 1994 (A.K.A.  “The One with Winona Ryder”)

What can I say? This one reeks of Christmas and Simpler Times and The Goodness of People —  an explosion of horse-drawn coaches, kittens, quilts, snow and flowers.  And Marmee is played by Susan Sarandon, who was pretty much The Best Marmee Ever. Have I mentioned that Christian Bale is in it? Yes, he is, which provides a decent enough distraction from Winona Ryder, who, let’s face it, tends to be flat. Then there is the Beth Death Scene, which is wonderfully sappy and leads perfectly into the happy ending. For the ladies, only, I think. And make sure you have a nice, soft hankie.

White Christmas, 1954

True, it makes no sense but it is cheery and has “Christmas” in the title. And I really love singing along when the girls do their “Sisters” number. I really do.

Rosemary’s Baby, 1968

I know what you are thinking: What?? Well, all I can say is that I love this movie and will take any excuse to watch it. Aside from the insanity of it all, I love the amazing apartment, every single Rosemary Woodhouse outfit and the fact that this appears to have been made in a serious manner without anyone thinking that the plot is completely nuts. Campy good fun.

When Harry Met Sally, 1989

You know why. And I believe it to be an American Classic.

Happy Viewing!

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

Holiday Wisdom

December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

sowise

Well, we are nearing the Finish Line for The Holidays. And while I wish I would have actually made some latkes and jelly donuts this week, I think that I may just buy some and enjoy them before the week is out.*  That was a little bit of Holiday Wisdom that has served me well these last few weeks: Do it up, but be reasonable and don’t cut out the fun. 

As such, even though it has been super busy, I have managed to go ice skating in Central Park with Mr. H and two good friends, have seen or plan to see other friends for a number of pre-holiday dinners and will be decorating a (pre-assembled) gingerbread house with my God Daughter this weekend. Even our company Holiday Party is something I am looking forward to this year. (Many thanks to my So On It, It Hurts colleague who has arranged a fabulous one.)

More Holiday Wisdom: Planning is next to Godliness. My gift spreadsheet worked like a charm and now all but one gift is ready for giving or have already been shipped out. I must say, this year’s Paper Mojo crop was my favorite to date:

pretty

lovethese

For the record, I am now dying to do a powder room in prints like these…we’ll save that for 2013, I suppose.

And planning isn’t just for Gift Management. Getting the Christmas Day Menu in place and ordering as much of the food that is required for said meal ahead of time is extremely important. For the menu, I turn to new and old faithfuls:

prepprepprep

I know people have funny feelings about Joy, but I find it to be very handy, especially for Straight Up things. And as I have said before, there is nothing in an Ina Garten cookbook that doesn’t turn out perfectly, and Alice Waters is Alice Waters. So, with the help of these three books, I have planned a festive meal that has tons to make ahead and very little that you can mess up. Festive but Foolproof: another key to Happier Holidays.

And to make sure things stay festive throughout our week off, I’ve also ordered all the goodies needed for New Year’s Eve and the days in between. Reservations at our favorite places by the beach have been secured and I have a rather massive reading and watching list to get through. I am also hoping to get to the new and undisputed massive new Parrish Museum. (http://www.parrishart.org) The building alone is should make it intriguing enough, but the exhibitions could be promising as well…we shall see.

And that is probably the final bit of Holiday Wisdom I have for this evening: Plans should go with the flow. This isn’t a military operation, it is meant to be fun, so if things get a little off course, no biggie. You’ve done the work, now is the time to just enjoy.

xx

* In fact, I just ordered the latkes with the fixings from Russ & Daughters…now we just need the donuts. And yes, I am not  actually Jewish, but I still like Chanukah and any reason to celebrate.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

For the Very, Very Good…

December 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

I have one person on my Holiday list this year who deserves a beyond special treat. And I think this is it:

 

veryverygood

 

A gift certificate that is good for any establishment associated with the Relais & Chateaux program, which includes a zillion fabulous places to stay or to dine almost anywhere in the world. (Here in the New York area offerings include Per Se and The Mayflower Inn, to name just two. And there are many more to choose from.)

I was a little nervous about the transaction, as you basically have to fax France* to get the darn thing, but I sent off my request on Thursday and the gift certificate and guide were on my desk this very morning. No extra calls, fuss or muss. Yay.

Details:  http://www.relaischateaux.com/en/

xx

 

* Have you read From Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik? Well, you should and pay close attention to his “error distant” tale to understand my concerns. Only in France…

 

Tea Time

October 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Before I forget, you must know about this tea: Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice.

Unlike the super-sweet licorice teas, which can sometimes be too much, this one has a well-balanced sweet, spicy, cocoa flavor that is almost like eating a light dessert. Perfect for when you want a cookie, but really shouldn’t have one.

Enjoy!

xx

(Photo: Some Cozy Night)

This Really Happened

September 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mr. H and I decided to go kayaking last Sunday* and much to our surprise, we learned that the Monarch Butterflies are in the process of migrating. So, in the middle of all of the standard Nature’s Wonders, we got the added benefit of hundreds of Monarch Butterflies streaming over our heads…

I could not get a shot of them overhead while in my craft (I am not that good yet), I did manage to get this picture once on shore. Now, just imagine about one hundred of them flying at once in a beautiful migratory pattern, with this view:

It really was kind of magical. And a lovely way to enjoy the last days of summer.

xx

*I told you that I liked it! And this does not make me outdoorsy. It just makes me Open to New Experiences and Arm Workouts.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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