I’m Totally Not a Runner, But…

August 14, 2013 § 2 Comments

really?

Let me begin by saying that, like camping (which I do not do), I never imagined that I would take up running. In fact, very much like camping, I did not believe in running — for myself at least. And I was pretty certain that all the weekend runners I’d seen by the beach were people who were just so sick of Family Togetherness Time that they decided to take up the activity to get out of the house.

And yet, one day last summer, out of some odd fit of curiosity and maybe boredom, I decided to see what this running stuff was all about by going for a jog around town. And by “jog” I mean 45 minutes of absolute terror at the prospect of being hit by a car, bike, or other, more serious runners, and “adjusting my headphones” whenever I felt like I might have a heart attack.

There was no more jogging for some time.

Then came the holidays and one afternoon at the gym, I hopped on the treadmill. And I did it again the next time, and the time after that — which happened to be “Where I Was” when I learned that Kim Kardashian was expecting Kanye West’s baby, in case you were wondering. That time was also the day that I finally understood why this activity is so popular: The Runner’s High. Heavens…it is good. Yes, you are crazy*, but you feel GREAT and want to have that feeling again. As soon as possible. And after a few more sessions it became clear that running allows me to compete against myself — which I find to be awfully irresistible. So this is how I started becoming something I never thought I would be: A Runner.**

The running continued through the spring. And after my Doctor was rather emphatic about my shoes being “my gear” and only the proper gear (not “cool” gear but “proper” gear…he was very clear on that one) would keep me from ruining my knees and ankles, I had myself fit for running shoes at Jack Rabbit (http://jackrabbitsports.com).

Like Fun Shoe Shopping, they had LOTS of options…

finallynormal

Alas, when Running Shoe Shopping, concepts like comfort and suitability seem to come up quite a bit. As does pronation.*** So after the kind people at Jack Rabbit recorded me running in a few pairs of shoes, it was determined that I had a neutral pronation and that Blakes, New Balance and Mizuno were my best options. And so I spent more time thinking about how comfortable I felt in each of these options — a truly foreign concept for me when it comes to shoes — and finally determined that this pair was My Gear:

iamnowarunner

They are Mizunos and, as intsructed by my Doctor, I purchased two pair so that I could alternate between runs. And what can I say, except that I love them. And running, it seems.

Go figure. And never rule out trying something new — except camping.

xx

* I realized I was experiencing a high when I began thinking that I should totally start a charity. For what, I have no idea. It was the endorphins or something.

** Or at least a tentative one. And camping is still absolutely out of the question.

*** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronation_of_the_foot

(Photos: Some Cozy Night. And for the record, not every establishment in Brooklyn is required to have a chalkboard sign outside. It just feels that way.)

Have I Mentioned?? Maintenance Edition

July 3, 2013 § 4 Comments

20130703-142537.jpg

I happen to be sitting in the waiting area of the service department for my car. As the minutes have turned into hours, I remembered that I have other maintenance items of note:

Christophe Robin’s Rose Conditioner
You may remember that I have been using his shampoo and wheat germ hair mask for a few months now. With success on that end, I decided to go a little deeper and started using this excellent conditioner when I don’t have time for a mask. What can I say? It smells heavenly — and not too strong — and nicely hydrates the hair. And have I mentioned the use of conditioner as shampoo for a light wash? It works especially well when you just want to touch up and not dry our your locks or to give your bangs a little extra shine. Like!

Kate Somerville Moisturizer and Eye Cream
While I have been using Sonya Dakar’s line for a decade with great happiness, I was kind of looking for a change. Since the Kate Somerville Glycolic Polisher is so great on my skin, I thought I would give these two products a whirl. So far, pretty good, but it takes a little time for my skin to get completely acclimated. But, overall, I am digging it! (And still devoted to the Rodin oil and Dakar Retinol treatment.)

Kiehl’s Eye Makeup Remover
I’ve been using this for years and don’t think that I have ever revealed my love of this product. Gentle and effective. Perfect.

And now back to my other regularly scheduled maintenance…

20130703-143824.jpg

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

The Breakup, The Bangs

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

For the last 16 years, I was in a monogamous relationship with my hair stylist. He undid bad highlights (“Who did this to you?” was one of the first things he ever asked me in a withering French accent), was at my house way-too-early on the morning of my wedding to make sure my hair was perfect (by all accounts, it was), and has seen me through all lengths, changing levels of layers and the transition from natural to semi-permanent to permanent color to eliminate those pesky grays.

I knew his dogs, loved his assistants and even got the occasional meal or cocktail with my friend, who also happened to be the man who made me look a heck of a lot more human. It wasn’t that I was unhappy in the relationship, exactly. But over time, things did change. Then an extremely awkward situation arose, and I basically had to stop seeing him. I wish him nothing but the best in his life and career, but in a funny way, I don’t exactly feel terrible about the whole thing. And that actually makes me feel bad. (I know I am not alone in having this particular feeling of Guilt Because I Don’t Feel Guilty. It happens. Right??)

I imagined and feared that changing hair stylists after this many years would be daunting and emotional. But it was surprisingly Not Horrible. And for this, I have to thank the adorable little feature on vogue.com called “Five Days, Five Looks, 1 Girl”. Catherine Piercy’s profile in particular: http://www.vogue.com/fashion/5-days-5-looks-one-girl/catherine-piercy/

I had looked at all the usual suspects (Garren, Fekkai and John Barrett to name a few), but they all felt so “Of Course!”. And I wasn’t exactly looking for that kind of primped and pampered look. I wanted something that felt fresh, but didn’t look like I was trying too hard. And, gosh darn it, I wanted bangs. Karlie Kloss’s, specifically: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=karlie+kloss+bangs&id=D604235A016EF463609AF952F5B48A5EBD0CB613&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=D604235A016EF463609AF952F5B48A5EBD0CB613&selectedIndex=0

Cute, right?? And even though pretty much everyone seems to want them, I didn’t care. I still did, too.

Enter Tommy Guns on the Lower East Side, Catherine Piercy’s salon of record. Now, this place is probably way too young for me, but what of it? I like the punk-ish London* with dash of Too-Hip Williamsburg** feel and the no-nonsense manner of the place. After some research, I left my color to the fantastic Stephanie, who took every last bit of Mexican Sun out of my hair and made it a cool, dark blue brown. (She has since repeated this feat, and even one of my regular “friends” at Marni had to let me know — more than once — that she was “digging all that blue”.***)

And then came the cut. I was flying a touch blind here, but Catherine — who I do not know, mind you — mentioned Derek Bogle in her piece. And since Catherine looked awfully cute in her photos and she works at Vogue, I decided that Derek would be The One. Unlike my last salon (French, French, French), this shop’s founder is English, and Derek is Scottish and rather excellent in his mellow but slightly bawdy way. He dropped by while I was discussing color with Stephanie to say hello and to talk cut.

I showed him a selection of Karlie photos, and told him that I wanted to avoid anything too “styled” or polished. And I wanted to stop relying on The Bun every day. (It is a crutch!) Karlie’s style is on the shorter side, and I was totally willing to go there. But when I sat down in his chair, Derek told me that he’d had “a little think”, and decided that the bangs were going to be a huge enough change and that he was going to cut those, throw in a ton of layers and not do much else. Less than and hour later, it was done. And I LOVED it.

Really, it is a great cut. (Even Mr. H loves it.) Shockingly new — a mix of Klute and Bullitt, if that is possible — but it still felt like me. So while for some months now I have been feeling like “me” was what I had always had, it turns out that this wasn’t necessarily the case. Which I suppose is really the point of the post: Sometimes when you go outside of your comfort zone, you will find yourself feeling even more “you” than you maybe did before. Just a little something to keep in mind should you ever be feeling like you need a little — or huge — change yourself. I vote “Go For It!”.

xx

* And yes, in addition to wine and other beverages, they make a mean cup of tea.
** The location of their other salon, naturally. My money is on my never darkening that door.
*** Please note: my hair IS NOT BLUE. There just isn’t much red to speak of in its current state of brown-ness.

Tommy Guns is located at 138 Ludlow Street (exceedingly close to ‘inoteca on Rivington if you are peckish afterwards) in Manhattan. More info about the salon and its Brooklyn counterpart can be found here: http://tommygunsny.com/pages/salon2.html

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)

Re-Entry: A Week’s Worth of Coping

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Happy Thursday! I’ve been back home for almost a week now and I must say, things have been not too shabby.* As always, a combination of planning and being open to whatever has been key.

On the planning front, I made sure that the house was in Ready Mode when we arrived with a stocked fridge c/o Fresh Direct and some lovely flowers from Emily Thompson (http://www.emilythompsonflowers.com/):

goodmorning

There is also the matter of making sure that my agenda for the return week was set to a certain degree. Before I left, I divided my “Work”, “Home” and “Personal” To Do lists into “Before You Leave” and “Upon Return” segments. I’ll spare you the contents, as many things were as mundane as “order diverter for shower” and “complete the E&O Insurance Application”, but every list feels better when you have it in something pretty. I count my blue diary with refillable inserts among one of those things, even if the checkbook sticks out:

gettingitdone

And in the diary, I reminded myself to schedule some fun and some maintenance. So, brows and facial this afternoon with the lovely Robin Evans who keeps me from looking like a teenage George Whipple (http://robinevansskincare.com/) and dinner at The Modern (http://themodernnyc.com/) last night, with a wonderful view of one of my very favorite gardens in the city…


MoMA

Nothing like this kind of view to make you feel less glum about leaving the sparkle of the sea and unlimited amounts of guacamole. Also, the wine and painstakingly prepared and served food helped.

And this evening, dinner with a Bestie — just us girls — as the most excellent 606 R&D (https://somecozynight.com/2012/06/12/cool-places-606-rd/). Donuts may be consumed, so I was good and had some steamed broccoli for lunch.

As for the unexpected, I managed to unpack on Saturday (this almost never happens to me), leaving me with a free Sunday. So, I decided to head uptown to buy some hankies for the upcoming and dreaded allergy season. In addition to discovering that the watch repair place was open (ON A SUNDAY!!), I also happened upon the last few boxes of my absolute favorite plain note cards by G. Lalo. I am a great fan of the handwritten note and these could not be more stylish…


three

They are still on my dressing table because the boxes make me happy. I will put them away, but not until a trip to Ladurée occurs, I think. Macarons are immensely cheering, no?

The weekend will be at the beach, where large amounts of working out will hopefully occur, as will the consumption of a fabulous Saturday lunch c/o Topping Rose House (http://www.toppingrosehouse.com/), one of the best additions to our little town out there.

And that is about all I have for now, except to say that I have more to say about the Fall Collections, but for now, I will leave it at this: Is it me, or was there WAY too much fur?? (For me, “none”, is best.)

xx

*Except for my inability to rise at a decent hour to work out or meditate. Hoping to re-set on that one this weekend.

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

 

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)

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)

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