Archive of ‘LIFESTYLE’ category

Capture Artisan Wine Tour

CAPTURE_VECTOR_artisan_print_corrected_11_10

Capture Artisan Wine Tour 2015

 

It might be snowing this morning in D.C. on the Spring Equinox, but I know warm weather, festivals, outdoor events and fun outside is around the corner. It also means the first Capture Wine Tour is almost here in D.C. Capture Wine Tour is a twelve-city celebration of wine. Capture Wine Tour includes music, food and spirits and is going to be a party.

Instead of a regular wine festival where you see, swirl, sip and savor and taste wine this tour allows you to meet the wine makers and wine country entrepreneurs.  The tour has more than forty wineries and food based on the farm-to-table movement from local restaurants in each city.

Tickets are on sale now and I hope to see you there.

 

 

Onward and Upward in Beauty: Nine Years & Counting

Blog

{Writing tools of the trade.}

I woke up this morning thinking of my blog. Today it’s nine years old and it’s hard to believe that this tiny space of mine on the internet has been around this long. When I first started blogging everything was so different. I wrote about my day-to-day shenanigans, travels, and all my beauty purchases. I spent most of my time trying a new product, researching, a new product, and buying more products. My research centers then were Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and CVS. I still have these stores, but the Internet has introduced me to some amazing brands I never would have tried or even known.

This was before everything was about being perfectly styled, photo ready at all times, and a perfect life. This year started with a death of my brother and is eerily similar to why I started a blog in 2006. One of my brothers had just passed away and I was searching for something. I’m thankful that I met Tia and started blogging. I’ve met so many amazing people who are now part of my life forever and experiences I couldn’t have dreamed of.

I’m nine years older, admitting to myself and to the world that I’m a creative (believe me this was hard to come to terms with) and need lots of creative time. I’ve signed up for a few writing classes, looking into teaching more yoga (yay!), and committed to leading more beauty retreats around the globe. I realized something was missing and I figured out what it was? I wish beauty was fun for a lot of women. When did beauty stop being fun?

The minute women decided to base our worth on some fictitious and made up ideal that none of us can achieve. Please stop the madness. Perfection does not exist so quit trying. You get one life. Do you? Does it mean going out the house looking a hot mess. No. It means taking care of yourself, on your own terms, and whatever that means to you. There is nothing wrong with a rocking a vibrant lip, mascara that makes your lashes you amazing, and a perfume that brings great memories. For me it’s quiet time with a good book, traveling, a yoga class, good food, great wine, massages, facials, red lipstick, hot pink lip gloss, perfumes, a new manicure, and blabbing about beauty. Beauty is fun, try it. You just might like it.

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Wellness Wednesday: ClassPass for Fitness

ClassPass
{Photo by Jackie Garcia Photography}

Have you heard about ClassPass? It’s a pass to visit various studios and gyms in your area and take all your favorite classes for one set monthly price. Over the past few months I have been able to test out ClassPass and guess what? I am in deep LOVE. Barre, Pilates, yoga oh my!

First off there are a variety of exercises I want to participate in like TRX, Core Power Yoga, spinning and dance. Well, ClassPass allows me to do that. I can take a Monday, 8:00am Pilates, a Wednesday, TRX, my favorite Saturday, 8:30am Heated Core Power Yoga and a chill Sunday yoga class. All you do is reserve the classes online or with their app. Easy breezy.

I will say you have to live in a major metro area to participate in the classes (sorry to my readers in the suburbs). If you commute into the city I still think it’s worth it because there are classes all day. I know most of the fitness classes here in DC cost on average $20 per class so this is a steal. My only drawback? You can only visit the same studio three times in a membership cycle which means I have to make a strategic plan on my classes. It is still worth it in my opinion.

Reading Pretty: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Magic copy

I’m sure you have heard of this little book that has become a juggernaut about clearing clutter for EVER. Like ever, ever? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is not only a best seller, but really a game changer. I’m serious. No joke. The book makes you think of everything you own, desire, and love as either joyful or not. It’s really simple. Every item you touch a piece of clothing, paper, or book you ask yourself “does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t it goes. I am a big believer in donating, so after a few hours of using this method I had four large garbage bags ready to go to Goodwill and a shelter. I got rid of all the yoga clothes I don’t wear anymore, coats, shoes, bags, and much more. Also, Marie doesn’t recommend using old clothes as “lounge” clothes so you don’t “save” them. I look forward to the beautiful boudoir pieces I’ve acquired by not recycling them. I honored them for their purpose and let them go.

It not only helped me in what I have, but what I buy. Totally crazy for me. I don’t hoard clothes, but beauty products? Yep. I had lotions I bought in Greece from 2006. Yes, girl. I went through and tossed them because most only had a fourth of product left. This allowed me to really see my favorite winter lotion is the Mario Badescu Olive Lotion. All those half used bottles of watery lotions gone. Now my beauty closet is clean and organized. I didn’t have to KonMari (the term used in this endeavor) my perfume because I am so selective about fragrance that I don’t buy anything I don’t love. All my scents have a meaning and a story behind them.

I did a huge cleaning out and donating of books last year so I only buy books I really love like the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Everything else I read through the library which also helps my wallet. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, read this article from The New York Times. I seriously suggest you read this book. If your new year’s resolution of clutter has gone by the wayside try this method. It’s hard. Be prepared to spend most of the day doing it.

“As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you’ll see what your true values are, what is really important to you in your life . . . focus instead on choosing the things that inspire joy.” ~ Marie Kondo

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga Download ~ Online Yoga Classes

Yoga Download

Many of you know I’m a yogi and yoga teacher. I am always trying to find new ways to enhance my practice and like to practice at different studios although I have my main studio in DC. Because the weather has been so crazy I decided to try yoga at home via my computer with Yoga Download. There are many online classes and I have decided to try one out every few months to see which one I like the most. First up, Yoga Download.

Yoga Download offers a variety of teachers and a variety of styles.  I will say I have enjoyed practicing with teachers such as Ana Forrest (super hard), Ashtanga, Baptiste, Vinyasa (the style I mainly practice), and more. Classes start at just $10 a month for streaming, but you can pay more if you want to download particular classes to keep forever and can be played without a Wi-Fi connection.

I will admit it felt weird looking at a screen to practice yoga, but after a few times trying the classes I was able to follow along without looking at times. I’m working on lots of strength training through yoga and contemplating getting rid of my gym membership now that the weather is about to get better. I really rather be outside working out.

As with any exercise programing please take it easy. I know we see these glorious mind-blowing yoga poses, but if you aren’t warmed up and listening to your body you can hurt yourself.

Om Pretty!

Jo Malone Cardamom and Moroccan Rose Candle

Jo Malone Candle copy

Jo Malone can do no wrong in my opinion when it comes to their candles. I have a few that I love such as their Dark Amber and Ginger Lily candle, but I was blown away by one of their latest scents. The Jo Malone Cardamom and Moroccan Rose Candle is the latest and I say one of the greatest candle scents from the brand. This scent is perfect for these cold winter days and nights. I know Spring is somewhere around the corner, but right now I can’t find her. I’m drinking lots of hot tea, making various chowders, and reading through a few books that have been on my list. The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event has started and this is going into my basket.

For the last few weeks I have been going back and forth with latest book on editing clearing clutter and editing your life. I will say I have the day scheduled next month to really Kondo my entire life. Stay tuned.

Penguin Randomhouse National Readathon: Saturday, January 24

NRD

You guys know I love me some books. Yes, I like big books and I cannot lie. I’m so excited the Penguin Randomhouse National Readathon Day is tomorrow. The goal is to read for four hours and document your reading using the hashtag #TimeToRead. I’m still in Louisiana and plan to join in on the fun during the hours of 12:00pm-4:00pm EST.

Join me on Instagram where I will be using my own personal hashtag #JCbookshelf. I am reading books that take my mind off the fact it’s been two weeks since I lost Jamie and nothing feels right. Absolutely nothing.

Here’s a list of the books I plan to read during this time. Instead of reading one book for four hours I’m breaking it up with four different books each hour. Please join me and let’s celebrate reading together. What are you planning on reading during the readathon?

The Assassin’s Blade: The Throne of Glass Novella by Sarah J. Maas. If Amerie told me to read it then I’m reading it.

Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva. I can’t get enough of Silva’s series about an Israeli spy named Gabriel Allon. It’s intriguing, fast paced, and set in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Plus, the main character is an art restorer. Go read it.

Tempting Fate by Jane Green. This will be my first Jane Green novel and I am super stoked. A few of my friends love her writing so I’m happy to finally explore her work.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman. I fell in love with The Magicians a few weeks back and let me tell you I can’t get enough. The is the second in a trilogy and I’m plowing through this one as well.

A few of my favorite Penguin/Randomhouse authors are gathered in this video talking about making time to read. I have a few of them on my reading list and on my bookshelves.

Reading Pretty: It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell

Andie Mitchell

My book reading as of late is all over the place. I go back and forth from fiction to non-fiction and lots memoirs. The latest joy is reading It was Me Along by Andie Mitchell and the writer behind the blog Can You Stay for Dinner. It’s the story of Andie’s struggles with food. It’s fascinating that now she writes a blog about food. I didn’t want this book to end and felt that if I met Andie in real life we would be friends.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Net Galley. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for All About the Pretty.

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