Sunday, September 30, 2012

A French Country Weekend

Red grapes were my wish upon a fruit choice this weekend. (You know, new fruit of the year and a wish.) I continue with my single obsession.

Last night we had a roasted chicken which gave Andrea and me the opportunity to make yet another wish. She won, but I think we have a similar hope.

After she leaves -- tomorrow morning, the time flew of course (I refuse to be sad today) -- I'll have fewer magazines, the beginnings of a better organized closet and various other systems I had in place that she immediately made more efficient.

But as you pointed out, I will still have something very, very special: Nestlé Dessert Café Chocolate which can be whipped up into a mousse. It's nouveau it says on the wrapper and honestly it's to die for. One drawback, it's a little too sweet so I would recommend tossing in some 70% dark chocolate or maybe some instant coffee. Or making it half-and-half: coffee and dark chocolate.

Weather Report: One of those days that makes one fall in love with autumn all over again and for those of us who count it as our favorite season, today would support our argument for anyone who might doubt our choice.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Concentrating On The Now. . .

It takes concerted effort, but it seems to be working this time. With Andrea home (my "baby"), I have forced myself not to count the days until she leaves.

This feat has been accomplished by staying busy together, which has been so much fun. Paris, Paris, Paris of course, sitting in the gazebo with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. Dinners en famille. Tonight, because it has been chilly in the evenings, we will have a fire in the fireplace and a beouf bourguignon for dinner. I recently discovered a new coffee cooking chocolate which will be whipped up into a café mousse. Nothing like a low-cal French dinner, n'est-ce pas?

As always, Drea has swooped in and organized my life. We've done some serious closet purges. She does the, "When is the last time you wore this?" routine after which I put forth my argument about just because it's been years doesn't mean that one day I might regret the toss. She then places the negotiable object in the "think about" pile which we are to re-address after one night's sleep. Things are working out well.

She also suggested I apply the same discipline to my magazine collection.  (If they were made out of a more robust, weather resistant material they could probably build a large house.)

So, that's my story.

Thank you for being so patient with me and so kind and so lovely and for following and commenting --  you mean the world to me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Six-Pack Traveling In Gray

Wouldn't you really, really like to own this zip-up Rag & Bone sweater jacket? Imagine the possibilities.

Ed. Note: Another "what would we do without her" day with Janice of the brilliant blog 
TheVivienne Files. The "six-pack" capsule wardrobe concept is her latest genius idea. She said to me, "Tell me some of your favorite colors and I build on them."

Here we have gray, of course you know black is on the menu.

Jacket – Rag & Bone, earrings& bracelet - Artisan, tee shirt – Rag & Bone, trench – D&G, cross-body bag – Stella McCartney, jeans – Levi’s, carry-on bag - Tumi, loafers – Robert Zur

Cardigan – Madeleine Thompson, watch – Timex, herringbone pullover – Rag & Bone, silk pullover – Bruno Cuccinelli, necklace - Philippe Audibert, navy pullover – Organic by John Patrick, short boots – Pas de Rouge, pants – Stella McCartney, scarf – , herringbone skirt – Rag & Bone

Monday, September 24, 2012

Magnificent Obsession: Early Fall Edition

The Flatirons in Boulder, Colorado, my hometown.
Ed. Note: As usual, I agree completely with my darling Marsi. Fall is the best time of the year. Her post today, does put one in the mood. I wish I knew how to knit something other than a long, long, long scarf. Oh, yes: long and narrow.

Finally, my favorite time of year: fall!

As if cooler temperatures, crystal blue skies, and cozier clothing aren't enough on their own to make this time of year such a delicious treat for me, here are a few more things I've been enjoying this month.

L'Oreal Clean Artiste Eye Makeup Remover

It recently dawned on me that you don't actually have to wear waterproof eye makeup to justify using a waterproof eye makeup remover. Clean Artiste removes every last smudge of my eye pencil and mascara -- without leaving an oily residue in their place. It's also safe for my contact lenses and costs about five bucks. What a revelation.

Knitting Revisited

I learned to knit ten years ago, then spent the next seven years obsessed with making socks, scarves, and hats. Then ... nothing ... nothing much at all for the past three years. On Saturday, I happened upon this pattern (free!) and felt that familiar old tickle in my fingertips. I picked up a skein of worsted-weight merino wool in a glorious shade of navy and cast on. I had no idea how much I've missed the simple, Zen-like pleasure of knitting ... the tactile enjoyment of working with lovely yarn, the satisfaction of creating something beautiful by hand, one stitch at a time.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair 

After fighting the inflammatory redness that even a low dose of Retin-A one night a week produces on my face, I've finally accepted that it's just not for me. I've gone back to Advanced Night Repair, the old standby of my teens and twenties. (Whoever said "You can't go home again"?) (Oh, right. Thomas Wolfe. Well, he was wrong!)

I was browsing the archives of Into the Gloss, my favorite beauty blog, the other day and was pleased to see Advanced Night Repair mentioned as a favorite of Lili Barbery-Coulon, former Vogue Paris beauty editor. (Here's her interview, by the way. Don't you love to know what products the experts use?) Advanced Night Repair is one of those tried-and-true products that doesn't get much fanfare anymore, but still gets the job done.

It feels calming, nourishing, skin-plumping, and refreshing, and really boosts the hydration level I get with my Eucerin Hyaluron-Filler smoothed over top. (Plus, I received a gift with purchase and had totally forgotten how much fun those little extras can be.)

J.Crew French Hens Scarf

I don't usually go for prints, but once this featherweight wool scarf at J.Crew caught my eye, I couldn't get it out of my mind. From a distance, it looks like white polka dots on a navy background. Close up, you realize the dots are adorable little French hens -- "French," because they're wearing red berets and striped shirts. Just the right dash of whimsy.

Whole Foods Tonic Water

I'm drinking four ounces of tonic water every night before bed for my leg cramps, and it really seems to help. Whole Foods' 365 brand of tonic water is made with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. It's helped a lot -- even without the vodka and lime.

(Many thanks, by the way, to everyone who responded with suggestions about alleviating leg cramps. For now, I'm stretching my calves and drinking a little tonic water every night, but soon I'll be talking to my doctor during my annual exam later this fall. Maybe she'll suggest bloodwork to see what exactly is afoot.)

What's been new on your radar the last few weeks? Any new books or movies you've loved, a new wardrobe purchase putting some spring in your step, a great cosmetics or skincare discovery, or ... ? Do tell.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Next Week or La Semaine Prochaine

Since we're always completely honest entre-nous, n'est-ce pas (?); I must tell you, I have only a vague idea of what will fill this space next week.

Thank the heavens for Janice who has provided me/us with more capsule wardrobe ideas. How does she do it? I think she has a real career opportunity in creating and then s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out a small wardrobe's possibilities. Wouldn't many of us sign on?

Maybe my darling Marsi will have another brilliant value-added idea.

And, let's hope a surprise or two.

My "baby" is arriving tomorrow so as you can imagine that's where my time and energy will be focused. We haven't seen each other since last Christmas and this trip means for only the second time in our lives, we won't be spending next Christmas together.

My challenge will be to live in the moment and not keep doing, as is my wont, a count down on how many days we have left before she leaves.

Weather Report:  Another beautiful, sunny fall day.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A French Country Weekend

A mango was not on my current "to eat" list. It would have certainly made it there in the weeks to come however.

Today we had lunch chez des amis and the dessert was cubes of cantaloupe and mango. Except for the crispy potatoes with the roast beef, everything was a perfect fit for a healthful, relatively low-cal regime. A simple salad was the entrée.

Because this was the first mango of the year 2012, I made my wish upon a mango. As you know, same wish, new fruit. I'm thinking about purple grapes for next week. (This is a wish that takes time, but I assume the more I wish the better the chances. . .)

I made my new year's wish -- each time one eats a fruit for the first time in a new year -- on melons months ago.

Weather Report: Chilly, i.e. cardigan and scarf necessary, sunny, invigorating.

A demain mes tres, tres, tres, chers amis.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Six-Pack Travel: In Camel

Ed. Note: Janice, the genius, has come up with a new travel concept -- the six-pack. You must visit her chez elle, The Vivienne Files, and become an addict like moi meme.

Cardigan – Vanessa Bruno, earrings – Temple St. Clair, square scarf – Hermès, chambray shirt – J. Crew, tweed coat - Missoni, cross-body bag – Aquascutum, jeans – Levi’s, carry-on bag - Tumi, loafers – French Sole

Cardigan – J. Crew, watch – Fossil, camel turtleneck – Chloe, blue sweater – Phase Eight, jewelry – Scully & Scully, plaid shirt - Billabong, pumps – Simply Soles, pants – DKNY, scarf – Reiss, skirt – J. Crew

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Packing: Preparing For Fall

Ed. Note: Let's face it, one can no longer avoid the inevitable. If you haven't already started to seriously think about dressing for autumn, in my opinion the best season of all, here the brilliant, and adorable, Janice, of The Vivienne Files, suggests we might consider green and brown.

To be perfectly honest, I have never considered green in any way or in any form, but that's just me. Love the browns and can imagine them with grays and camels for example. Probably many of you like green. If you have the time, you might tell me why.

Merci chere Janice -- encore.

Tee shirt – Crumpet, green onyx earrings – Monica Vinader, scarf – Hermès, jacket – Vanessa Bruno, pants – Michael Kors, coat – Reiss, bagRomwe, green flats – Dorothy Perkins

Green cardigan – Mint Velvet, green crystal earrings – YooLa, sunglasses – Linda Farrow, striped tee – J. Crew, clutch – Modalu, brown tee – La Garconne, braided bracelet – Aurelie Biedermann, print tee – Crumpet, Brown suede boots – Paul Green, scarf – Hugo Pratt, brown and green necklace – Julies B., brown stud earrings – Jenny Bird, brown bracelet – Citrine by the Stones, brown pumps – Cole Haan, velvet jeans – J Brand, brown silk skirt – Marc by Marc Jacobs, dress – Dorothy Perkins, brown silk blouse – Raffaella Curiel, lace tee  Miss Selfridge, ivory sweater – la Garconne 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Take Two Aspirin ...

Ed. Note: Once again, my darling Marsi, has something fun and fascinating to tell us, another one of those, "who knew(?)" value-added posts she so beautifully writes.

 I suspect my dermatologist would approve. 

I love aspirin.

It's a miracle worker for headaches, body aches, fevers, hangovers. It's a blood thinner, cuts your risk of certain types of cancers, and can even save your life when you're having a cardiac event. I love that it's cheap, effective, and can be found everywhere. But did you know that you can also use this brilliant little workhorse as a facial mask? Let me explain.

Aspirin a concentrated source of salicylic acid -- which skincare nerds in the crowd may recognize as beta hydroxy acid. Beta hydroxy acid is a gentle exfoliant that works in the deep layers of the skin to "unglue" dead cells that lead to clogged pores and dullness. It appears in anti-aging and acne treatments to bring radiance and clarity to the complexion.

But if you have aspirin in your medicine cabinet, you can experience that radiance and clarity right now, without even buying another skincare product. You'll need:
  • 5-6 plain, uncoated (non-enteric, that is) aspirin tablets
  • A few drops of water (I like rosewater, which is such a lovely toner)
  • A dab of something to bind the aspirin to your skin, such as honey, aloe vera, or plain yogurt
Dissolve the aspirin in the palm of your hand with water. Add your binder and mix into a thin paste. Apply to your skin, lie down on your bed with your feet up the wall, close your eyes, and dream of Paris for 10 minutes.

(You can really cover a lot of territory in 10 minutes if you set your mind to it!)

Remove the mask with a damp cloth, and finish with your serum and/or moisturizer as usual.

Voilà. Smooth, impossibly soft skin ... for pennies! It's one of the very best, and certainly least expensive, beauty tips I've ever learned. Try it; I'd love to know what you think.
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