Archive of ‘Featured’ category

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

Krabi Thailand

{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

Chanel 1

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.}

Chanel 2

Wellness Wednesday: Recap of Wanderlust 108 Mindful Triathlon


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}


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


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


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


{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.}


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


Wellness Wednesday: Recap ~ [Silent] Soul & Spirits Yoga


As an avid yoga practitioner, I’m excited to see how yoga is going from the studio to the streets. Literally. I like to see the different aspects of yoga being used to unite people and make it fun. I know as a yoga teacher, it can seem daunting to people at times because yoga people seem so uptight. But, I love having different yoga experiences because it brings more people and more diversity to the practice.

A few weekends ago I was very busy with lots of wellness activities. One activity I attended was the [Silent] Soul & Spirits Yoga with Reebok. The event was sponsored by Grip the Mat and it was very different. The yoga class was conducted in the evening, outside in front of Carnegie Libary on one of the busiest weekends in Washington, DC. Seriously, the President was across the street at a gala so helicopters were flying overhead. What made the class even more interesting is we wore headphones to hear the live DJ and the yoga teacher’s voice. It was a sensory experience.

I really loved the class. The teachers were great, but the experience of wearing the headphones made the yoga class even more fun and it felt like I was having my own private yoga class. Now, all I want are wireless Beats headphones. (Husband, if you are reading this I will take a pair in black or hot pink).

After the event, there were cocktails sponsored by Skinny Girl, small bites by Cava Grill, and Kind Bar snacks. Grip the Mat will have more events and I can’t wait to be a part of them. Yoga for the win.






Giveaway: Touch Coffee Machine for National Coffee Day



I love a good cup of coffee and look forward to it every day. In honor of National Coffee Day the lovely people at TOUCH Beverages has agreed to giveaway one of their machines to one lucky winner. The new Touch T414S coffee machine.

Here are few facts about the machine.

  • The brewer is ready to start brewing in under 20 seconds after being off all night.
  • The hot water has more contact with the coffee grounds, which ensures that all of the coffee flavor is extracted. Other machines take much longer to warm up and then shoot water through the coffee grounds too quickly, so you end up throwing away untapped flavor with the used capsule. Even with a slower, more deliberate brew, when factoring in the warm-up time, the Touch still turns out a “cup of joe” in a fraction of the time.
  • You can now brew larger cups of coffee without sacrificing flavor. Customize your coffee experience by choosing from five cup sizes (6, 8, 10, 12 or 14 ounces) and three brew strengths (mild, medium or bold).
  • Its removable 90-ounce water tank has a greater capacity and is shorter in height than its counterparts, meaning you will be refilling less often, and it will be less awkward when you do.
  • Touch’s single serve cups are larger than traditional K-Cups, allowing more coffee grounds. More coffee means bigger, bolder flavor.

Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Four Fall Scents You Need in Your Beauty Arsenal

Four Fall Scents

Every season I look forward to the scents that will be added to the beauty arsenal. This fall I have been waiting for a few to be released and now since they have arrived I am in deep passionate fragrance love. I love to wear alone and then layer until the right combination fills my senses and makes me happy every time I get a whiff of myself. Yes, I need to smell the fragrance on me.

I don’t adhere to the “signature” scent motto. Some people do, but it’s like a handbag or a pair of shoes. Fragrance is an accessory and I like to be a different woman through scent every day.

Alaïa. I have waited many moons for this scent. When I first heard the legendary designer was creating a scent I put the date in my calendar. I needed to know when it hit the shelves. The email came and I found myself at Saks and the rest is beauty girl history. It’s dark and brooding with lots of musk.

Norell. If you ask a lady of a certain age like myself they remember Norell. This reboot is just as good as the original and brings back so many memories of a young girl playing at the beauty counter of Neiman Marcus. Now, I’m a big girl playing at the beauty counter at I can’t get enough.

Creed’s Royal Mayfair. First off this is considered a man’s scent. I. Don’t. Care. It smells so delicious on me that I couldn’t bear not to have it in my life. I paired this with Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom and it was so divine men were asking me what I was wearing. One guy asked for the combination to buy for his wife. I hope she enjoys it as much as me.

Gardenia de Robert Piguet. Piguet is known for Fracas. The classic and legendary scent tuberose-based scent. This is classic gardenia and deserves a standing beauty ovation because this scent is out of this world for us gardenia lovers.

Wellness Wednesday: Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon Recap

Guest Writer: Xina

Virginia Beach

These days, it seems like everyone and her sister is doing a half marathon. In recent years, half-marathons have become America’s fastest growing race distance.  Additionally, it has the highest percentage of women of any U.S. road distance – 57% of its competitors are women. While there may be many reasons for this latest trend, I think one of the main ones is that setting a 13.1- mile goal is a manageable challenge – one that doesn’t seem out of reach. So, why do people graduate to the running 26.2 miles? Well, that answer is for another post.

I’m often asked why I run half-marathons? The answer is simple – I love the training runs. I have the best time with some of my running buddies while we are out there sweating it out in the hot sun and pounding away on the trails on Saturday mornings. While I run shorter distances throughout the week, Saturdays are my days for meeting up with friends and running for as long as time will allow.

During Labor Day weekend, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon, which was my fifth half-marathon. I had been training for the race since May.

Here are some tips on how to make your half-marathon the best experience:

  1. Run for a reason. Before your friends convince you to run a race, make sure you are doing it for yourself and not for them. Running is truly a personal experience. This year I had the goal of getting back into running shape. Meaning it was time to make some serious changes in my eating and workout experience in order to gain the most out of my runs. It’s important to make sure you have a personal reason and motivation to run or else your commitment may wane.
  2. Allow plenty of time to train. Plan to train for at least 3-4 months for a race. You need to give yourself enough time to train for even if you are an experienced runner. Remember, I said that I started training in May so I could be prepared by Labor Day weekend.
  3. Don’t run alone. Find running partners, friends, or a team. Training is better with running buddies. My running buddies keep me accountable when I lack the motivation to run. They will also be there to keep you excited, share experiences and high-five you on race day and afterwards. Also, let’s not forget those Facebook and Instagram posts. I love seeing posts from my running friends. It gives me a high.
  4. Plan in between runs. I scheduled a 10-miler and 5K before my half marathon. They gave me a gauge on how well I was training for the half marathon and kept me focused while I was preparing for the half.
  5. Look for a race after you complete the half. Before I completed Virginia Beach, I was already planning for my next race. I am thinking about running the Charleston full marathon in January. Now the challenge is that I DON’T like to run when it is cold. However, the goal is to look for a race after you achieve the one you are currently training for. This will keep the motivation going even after you complete your goal.

I am always chasing a new personal best when I train for a race. It could be a faster running time, completing healthy goals or learning new ways to improve my runs. Whatever the goal is the best part about the race: CROSSING THE FINISH LINE. Now, that is worth it in the end.

{At the start of the race.}

Virginia Beach 2

{Running buddies}

Virginia Beach 1

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