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’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)
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!
* 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)
March 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
Ahhh…just when you think you are rounding the corner into spring and there could not possibly be any more snow, a Friday Surprise:
Thankfully the city decided to just brave it and complain, like proper New Yorkers. Everything was running, schools were open and we went to work. And honestly, it was still kind of pretty. Especially the trees that reminded my of powdered donuts. (I am in a Donut Phase. No judgement!)
But I think we are done for the season. For real. I am seeing all sorts of buds all over the place and my fall bulb planting is beginning to reveal itself, so I suspect I will be putting away my wellies and filling up my Nephew’s Easter basket in no time. Fingers crossed!
(Photos: Some Cozy Night)
March 7, 2013 § Leave a comment
Mr. H and I are always looking for recipes that are easier to make than calling for take-out. And I feel as conflicted about this as you may feel, but, I think a number of the recipes on Goop are actually quite good. Tonight, we made this delicious salad made of blueberries, fennel stalks, cucumber and a few other tasty items (http://goop.com/recipes/salads/blueberry_ricotta) with a little plain roasted chicken breast to bulk it up for dinner.* What can I say, it was delicious and light. The perfect thing to have when the rest of your week may have included pizza and wine on more than one occasion.
* When I am on my A-Game, I roast a few boneless, skinless ones with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper and freeze them for nights that call for tossing a little protein into whatever you are eating.
(Photo and plating: Mr. H)
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/):
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:
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…
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…
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.)
*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)
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
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)
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)
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.com) Owned 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!
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)
January 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
Breaking in the Shoe Department: The Single Sole
I suppose I should have seen it coming, as we have been teetering — “comfortably” — on our platforms for more than a few years now. But still, I was focused on reduced heel hight and my new love of the velvet slipper, so I wasn’t thinking too much about it.
Then I arrived home to my January issue of Vogue which contains a story on “Breaking the Platform Habit”. Apparently, Vogue would like us to practice walking in — and start buying — stilettos. (http://www.vogue.com/magazine/article/stride-into-2013-breaking-the-platform-habit/#1). I would add that a single sole shoe with a lower heel height and deep vamp might be just as great and more comfy.
Next, an email from the good people at Net-A-Porter stating that they were now obsessed with the Single Sole Shoe, along with a link for me the think about (http://www.net-a-porter.com/am/Shop/List/The_Single_Sole?cm_mmc=EmailDedicated-_-ShoeHotlist030113-_-am-_-Position1&cm_em).
Clearly, the Fashion Gods are speaking up. And they want us to change our shoes.
While I am not a slave to trends, I have been feeling like my platforms sometimes look a tad clunky. (And The Real Housewives aren’t helping.) Perhaps that is why I purchased these last spring:
The BB stiletto is sexy and I can walk it them for the most part. And they do add a certain lightness to a look, but still have a ton of presence. I tried them recently with a pair of rust colored velvet flares that stop just above the ankle (yes, I am going there, too), and that looked kind of perfect.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting that we toss out all of our Minnie Mouse shoes just yet, but I would put a “Hold” on them for Spring and a “Buy” — or “Dig Out and Start Wearing” — on the classic stiletto, a great kitten heel and a good, old fashioned flat.
(Photo of my BB’s: Some Cozy Night)
December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
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?
* 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)
December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
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:
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:
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.
* 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)
November 18, 2012 § 2 Comments
In a few hours I will be celebrating my God Daughter’s fifth birthday with her family and friends. For the last two weeks, I have been trying to figure out how to wrap her gift, which is sort of “Let Your Mind Go Wild” themed and includes glitter glue sticks, a proper 64 pack of crayons, drawing and crafting paper, a crafting book and three little finger puppets that I could not leave at the store.
Aside from the Crayola Box, nothing is a normal shape to wrap. And it seems as if all the stores where you can buy these kinds of presents for children opt out of carrying boxes to put all the oddly-shaped things in for wrapping purposes. So, I was left to my own devices.
I managed to get the rectangular items into one block of wrap-able matter, provided that I did not get all nutty about the sides being perfectly even. The crayons were a snap and I just kind of went with it on the trapezoid-shaped glitter glue sticks. Once I got the ribbon on, I was feeling pretty good about myself, and then I remembered: The #!*% finger puppets.
Tulle netting? Didn’t have any in the house. Same for tissue paper. And there were no shoe boxes that weren’t in use, and really, without decorating the box itself, how great would that have been to open? (My thought: Not so great.)
So, I decided see if Mr. H had any ideas, and just stacked the puppets on what was already wrapped for his review. (I get his thoughts on perplexing issues at work all the time, so why not this?) And then I happened to notice that they kind of looked good. Could proper arranging of the puppets solve my problem and make the gift more exciting from a presentation perspective? I think the answer is “Yes”.
Considering my Rookie status in the Children Gift Wrapping Department, I think I did all right. And while I debate the merits of spending time trying to make little outfits for each puppet for added zing, I think we’ll be just fine if it doesn’t pan out. And for the record, each puppet butt is taped to the package to make sure they don’t fall off.
And that is all I have for today.
(Photo: Some Cozy Night)