Lovely in England

May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment

Greetings from the English Countryside, where Mr. H and I have been powering our way through various manor houses, gardens and other grounds. A small driving incident in Bath aside, we have been having the most wonderful time. And while I plan to elaborate, I thought a little taste would be cheering.

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Above, some of the gardens at our hotel in Bath. Sitting out here for tea is heaven.

Below, a bit of a pink Japanese Maple on the grounds of Kingston Lacy. A most beautiful property. And trust me when I tell you it is impossible to capture the actual shade of pink…for me, anyway…

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A view on the grounds of Whatley Manor, where I had one of the best meals of my life (from a list that includes The Bristol, Chez Panisse, Per Se and Franny’s). And yes, it is in England.

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The view from one of our windows in Cliveden, where I am still pinching myself that I am actually here…

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And some of the grounds of Grays Manor, where even the cows were beautiful.

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Tomorrow we have a longish drive to Highgrove, where Prince Charles has created one of the most interesting Gardens I Must See. Naturally this requires proper footwear, which Mr. H and I were able to conjure up without having to take up too much room in our suitcases with full blown wellies…

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More to come!

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

Celebrations

April 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Last week it was my birthday and the official celebration of an award that Mr. H was given this year. I will be honest with you: I was not at all looking forward to my birthday or the event*. In spite of trying to keep it light here, this year has been kind of drag in lots of places so far, and the days leading up to my birthday were especially crappy. So, in spite of my now many years of wisdom and maturity, I was basically a big baby until we got ourselves off to one of my favorite homes away from home, The Carlyle:

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Completely old school and totally cozy…the perfect antidote to my unreasonably bad mood. No doubt, the Whiskey Smash at Bemelmans, with Chris Gillespie playing our requests** and those cheese things I cannot stop eating had an essential Mellowing Effect.

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Did I mentioned the Whisky Smash? Yes, it was good. And Mellowing.

Then we were off to dinner at a place I haven’t been to in forever: Jean Georges. And OMG, Mr. Vongerichten — the man who completely changed the face of my chicken stock — was there, hanging out at reception. So I got to say a little starstruck “hello” before we were taken to our table…

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And well taken care of…

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This all put me in an awfully good mood. As did the lovely sky that night…so pretty, even if it was a tad moody. (Who am I to judge?)

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Alas, the moody night sky turned into the kind of barometric pressure day that gives me a migraine, which I woke up with. This was unacceptable. I needed to be in good shape to celebrate with Mr. H and the rest of our team, and wear this dress, which I had picked specifically for this occasion:

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So, I took two excidrin migraine tablets and rather than hole myself up in bed, went for a walk in the park with Mr. H, that may be better described as a “sit” with a bottle of cold Poland Spring pressed against my head. And either through sheer will to wear that dress and be merry, or a change in pressure combined with those magic pills, I was feeling better by the time we hit our favorite lunch place for some much-needed carbs. And then we got ourselves tidied up and off to Celebration No. 2. Which I have to say, was very nice, mostly on account of being able to cheer for my Mr. H and celebrate with all the people who make our company as interesting and fun as it could possibly be.

It is kind of funny to have a birthday and something like this so close to each other. Each little event was kind of begging me to think about “what I have accomplished” in my life and in my work. And I have to say that as I think about it now, as frustrating and challenging both can be (not just for me, for all of us), on the whole, it is very much worth celebrating.

xx

(Photos, which I insist on taking myself or getting Mr. H to take because I am IP Sensitive: Some Cozy Night)

* Even though I was truly, truly thrilled that Mr. H was among those being celebrated.
** Yes, we go there a lot. And have for along time. And yes, I am only 42.

Almost…

March 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today was one of those days when the weather is just too good to stay indoors, even if you need to borrow your husband’s scarf to be completely warm. So, Mr. H and I walked the Highline and spied some very good signs that Real Spring is almost here…

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Small blossoms and other signs of life were everywhere. Alas, it wasn’t quite enough to make it feel as if winter were completely banished. So, we stopped a nearby florist to pick up some blooms to tide is over.

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I am fairly certain that I’ve made no bones about how horrid the weather has been of late. But today felt like a sign that we’ll be snipping our own buds in no time. In the meantime, we’ll take these teaser days whenever we can. I hope you can do the same.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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:

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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)

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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.

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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

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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)

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