Archive of ‘Featured’ category

Feasting Pretty: Heritage BBQ by Cochon 555

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I was elated to receive the email asking if I wanted to cover the Heritage BBQ event presented by Cochon 555. I almost cried. This was one of the food events I always wanted to attend but was never in town to do so. Cochon means “pig” in French, so the event had pork prepared various ways by local chefs. It is taken very seriously because it’s bragging rights for the chefs. Cochon 555 only uses heritage pigs. The best pigs in the world without all the crap that most farm animals have now.

One of my favorite restaurants in DC is Graffiato and I was happy to hear Chef Jose Adorno won. For more event photos check here. Cochon 555 tour all over the U.S. and I suggest snagging a ticket if you are into food. You will not be disappointed.

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{A classic Manhattan in a mason jar. Love.}

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{These pig skins were worth every calorie.}

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{Delicious.}

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{Chef Marc Pauvert butchering one of the pigs}

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Shopbop Friends & Family Sale Starts Today

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Shopbop is one of my favorite places to shop online. Since I’m only buying very limited amounts of clothing, I’m curating my closet to only have beautiful and luxurious items. I love every single item I’ve purchased from Shopbop. So when they have a friends and family sale it’s worth spreading the love.

Happy fall shopping.

Le Weekend

Your Vibe

All I want this weekend it to make my spiked apple cider hot toddy, finish a few of my advanced reader copy books, and binge-watch old Barefoot Contessa episodes. It’s been a busy week, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It means I’m doing things I love and I’m happy.

  1. I’m not in the camp that if you drink coffee you don’t drink tea. I’m an equal opportunity beverage girl. I’m picky about my coffee and love a good strong cup of coffee. I recently discovered Marley Coffee’s One Love and it’s been in heavy rotation in our house. It just drop-kicked Verona to the curb.
  2. I have a serious girl crush on Chrissy Teigen. I think she is hilarious and my dream is to eat food, drink and laugh with her. She’s so funny and real. Here are a few reasons she makes me smile.
  3. I want to get enough strength to go and smell this candle, but I think it’s not going to happen. Maison Francis Kurkdijan doesn’t make anything bad so his holiday candle has to be in my home. Maybe I need to order it “sight unsniffed.”
  4. I had this Cabernet Sauvignon a few years ago and it has become my weekday red, not to be confused with my weekend red. I was always on the hunt for a good deal for it then my beloved Costco started selling it. A very happy wine girl.
  5. J.K. Rowling just made my weekend. Yep, the new Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated Edition has made its way on the bookshelf. Happy girl.

Wellness Wednesday: Why Self-Care is Important

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{Quiet area at the Sofitel in Biarritz, France}

Self-Care Wisdom from Xina:

For the last couple of weeks, I had to stop running because I was suffering from back pain. It killed me to give it up. There is no worst feeling in the world for me than to stop running because of an injury. Not being able to run left me empty because I was missing my “runners high.” Additionally, I was worried about weight gain since I was not able to burn those calories on the trail. However, instead of focusing on not working out I leaned on my lifestyle and self-care to see me through until I was able to run again. I ate more fruits and vegetables and completely gave up sugar. I started practicing yoga and incorporated elements of Julia Coney’s 5-Day Cleanse.

Having a healthy lifestyle also means you must eat healthily and work out. Some use working out or running as an excuse to eat whatever they want. What happens if you get sick? Pull a muscle? Break a bone to prevent you from working out? It is important to have a full and balanced healthy lifestyle in place just in case you can’t burn those calories during a high impact workout or run. Also, I know a person who ran marathons but ate all of the wrong foods. She looked like she was in the best shape for her age group. Eventually, she suffered a stroke in her late 50s. That was my wake-up call to watch what I eat.

On average, I run 31-40 miles a week. I burn hundreds of calories a year from running, biking and lifting weights. But, I am mindful of what I eat. I am working on incorporating more yoga in my life because I need to stretch my muscles to help alleviate the tension and stress that build up after my runs.

My recommendations to maintain a healthy lifestyle incorporated into a fitness routine:

  1. Shape up your diet: Complement your exercise efforts with a healthy, portion-controlled diet. Eat fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.  I love to eat chips, sweets and drink sodas, but I stopped keeping those items in my house because I didn’t want to spend precious time working them off. Get your diet in order and stick to it.
  2. Practice yoga: As a runner I suffer from tight hips, hamstrings and now lower back pain. Yoga helps with stretching muscles and easing lower back pain. Yoga isn’t just about chanting, breathing and stretching; it can be the missing part to improve overall flexibility and performance. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to stretch before and after runs. The only time I think about attending a yoga class is when I see my body isn’t responding well when I hit the pavement. If you practice yoga consistently, you will learn where your body is tight, weak or strong. Yoga can resolve the many problems I face from running.
  3. Get massages: Sports massages improve your running and workouts. A couple of weeks ago I got a Thai massage, a method that combines deep stretching and yoga. It worked miracles on my body, especially my back. Within a couple of days, I was back out running again.
  4. Lessons Learned: Take it from me, you have to take care of your body. I’ve promised myself that this time around I will practice yoga before and after my runs, get Thai massages regularly, and eat a balanced diet. If I do these things, it will make me a much happier runner.

My yoga teacher Dana of Spiritual Essence Yoga on the important of self-care. Watch and learn.

Reading Pretty: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop

Growing up I was always the child with a book in her hand. I’m now the grown up with a book, Kindle or iPad in my hand. I can’t get enough of books. I always carry something to read and I still love bookstores. Although bookstores here in the U.S. don’t have that cramped and stuffed feeling like they do in Europe, I still love them. Deeply.

My case for bookstores started when I was a young girl. My dad and I had a weekly routine of visiting our local Waldenbooks. He would limit me to two books because I was such a fast reader. It was the most magical time. Uninterrupted father-daughter bonding time. We would leave the bookstore and head to Prince’s for burgers and fries. Now, as an adult it’s hard for me to walk into a bookstore and not think of my father.

Bookstores center me, make me smile, and inspire me to continue a legacy of reading. Although I buy books online, I always buy a book from a brick-and-mortar bookstore each month. There isn’t anything better than walking into one of my favorite independent bookstores, flipping through the stacks, reading the book jackets, and deciding on a purchase. Bookstores connect me with my deceased father. Always and forever, daddy’s little girl.

Disclosure: This post was inspired by the novel The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, where Monsieur Perdu–a literary apothecary–finally searches for the woman who left him many years ago.. Join From Left to Write on October 8th as we discuss The Little Paris Bookshop. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Le Weekend

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{Photo of Krabi, Thailand}

Whew, we made it. It’s the weekend and I am so excited. I have a busy Sunday with friends and a food event I’ve been wanting to attend for years. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to cover the event for le blog. I hope you have a lovely weekend full of laughs, good books, great wine, almond milk chai lattes, and plum lips.

A few things I’ve been reading this week that I hope you like.

  1. What your Starbucks order says about your age and mine was spot on?
  2. I was fascinated with Molly Ringwald growing up and love seeing her as a grown woman. Also, her books are really good. Reading about her beauty routine makes me smile.
  3. If you haven’t listened to the Serial podcast, how are we friends? I’m excited about the new season.
  4. Tim McGraw’s Workout has me exhausted just reading it. I think I’ll stick with Beachbody.
  5. I discovered Evan Healy products at the National Products Expo and let me tell you I am hooked. This French Rose Clay Mask has been delivered to the beauty headquarters and I can’t wait to use it this weekend.

I’m going to start sending out my newsletter on Sundays. I’ve discovered an easier format that let’s me give you all the information in my head to your inbox. Sign up here.

CHANEL Beauty: Blue Rhythm de Chanel Nail Polish and Mascara

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I was recently at my favorite store, Neiman Marcus for a charity fashion show, but, of course, I made my way to the beauty counter. After perusing a few of the new fall products, I fell hard for Chanel’s Blue Rhythm de Chanel Fall Beauty Line. I saw the nail polish ad in the magazines, but I knew the nail polish needed to be seen in person. I didn’t even look at the eyeshadows because I still have nightmares about blue eyeshadow from the 80s.

I was so happy that when my friend and beauty junkie Sydelle talked me into the sparkly mascara I knew I needed to add them to the beauty arsenal. Fortissimo is a stunning deep navy with a slight shimmer and perfect for fall and winter. I cannot get enough. The mascara is sparkly and fun to wear. I like to feather it on the out lashes to make my eyes really pop.

I will say I have fallen back in love with Chanel polishes. Over the past few months, I have realized the quality of my beloved Essie polishes has gone down hill. Every bottle is streaky, patchy, and takes way too many coats. Especially since I polish my nails at least twice a week. I have been seriously disappointed. This has allowed me to focus on polishes that bring the beauty and are worth the investment like Chanel.

I have my eye on the Chanel Écorce Sanguine Nail Polish too. It has just enough sparkle where I know I’m not wearing a polish with shimmer, but creamy enough to add to my red nail polish collection.

{The photo shows the polish in two different lights. Stunning.}

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Wellness Wednesday: Recap of Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon

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After my [Silent] Soul & Spirits Yoga Party on Saturday night, I attended the Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon the next day. Yes, it was a weekend of lots of yoga and I was spent. I have been wanting to attend and cover Wanderlust events since they started the festivals a few years ago. The event takes place all across the U.S. and I highly recommend attending if you can.

Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon is compiled of three events: a 5K run, yoga practice, and meditation. Yes, all that. The festival also had live music featuring DJ Drez and MC Yogi, which are yoga event regulars.

I arrived at the festival early to walk around and take it all in. The event had a bag check, various vendors, and a cafe where I enjoyed one too many chai lattes and was wired for the rest of the day.

I like to think of Wanderlust 108 as an introduction to the Wanderlust Festivals which take place over three days in various locations around the globe. I hope they bring it back to DC next year because it’s a must-attend event for me. I have my eye on the festival on Oahu in February to escape the cold and to get my yoga on in paradise.

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{Positive words from Athelta}

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{I’m addicted to this Bhakti Chai I ordered a gallon}

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{Chai, Wanderlust Festival Journal Magazine, scarf, and free mat}

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{Yes, I wear hot pink lipstick to practice yoga and exercise}

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{Yogis getting ready for practice}

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{MC Yogi brought us all to the front for this photo. Look at the crowd. Amazing.}

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{My view from sivasana (relaxation pose. I want all my sivasanas outside on cool day.}

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