Happier at Home. A perfect book for the start of a new year. But how do you make that true when it’s July and nothing seems to be going right? It’s simple. It’s a choice. That’s how I’m looking at another year to begin again. One of my big complaints is the weather here in DC. I don’t work well with the cold anymore. I just don’t. I realize that I am 3 years past my DC expiration limit. But, I have another person to consider when deciding it’s time to jaunt to the west coast. A husband. I finally finished this book yesterday and decided that right now I can’t move. I just need to be happy that I do have a warm home, health, family, friends, and a really supportive husband.
What will make me happier at home? Being happy with myself and to do that means I need to start planning some trips. There is nothing like setting goals of travel – the planning, plotting, and realizing the joy in just doing that. I am going to add some road trips to my travel list, figure out my annual Hawaiian getaway (Aloha!) and plan a major trip to Asia for 2016. In 2010 The Don and I spent 3 weeks in Africa. It was amazing, exhilarating, life-altering (got engaged), and expanded my views of the world and myself. It’s time I put energy into another trip like Africa and we might as well continue with the first letter of the alphabet. Why not 2015 you ask? That travel calendar is already 90% complete. That’s how I roll.
I’m happier at home because I’m happy with myself. Also, planning makes me a very happy girl. How are you happier at home?
I always have a Paris book in my reading rotation. But before I headed to Paris in May, I wanted to read Amy Thomas’ ode to my beloved city. Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate) is a sweet junkie’s tome on life and sweets in one of the greatest food cities of the world. It also gives you a glimpse in to the expat life of a hard working, smart, and sweet obsessed writer.
Amy was asked to transfer her job at a copy writer for Louis Vuitton and she jumped at the chance. Her memoir reflects the highs and lows of living in a foreign country, missing your friends, but also finding yourself.
Before I left, I made a list of a few sweet spots that Amy recommended. One is seeking out the croissant. Sure, they are croissants on every corner, but some better than others. After reading about the same croissant shop from Travel and Leisure I knew I had to go.
So, I dragged my friend Carol and we headed to Pâtisserie Boulangerie Blé Sucré. Light, buttery, flaky, with a hint of salad and a café was just what we needed. I bookmarked numerous sweet spots from Amy’s book and plan to recreate a sweet tour on my return in October.
I discovered this book from one of my favorite podcasts – Books on the Nightstand. Every time I listen to it my Goodreads list gets longer and longer. I usually consult my book junkie friend Samantha because she always has the best book recommendations. I made her read it just so we could GChat about it.
I enjoy a good murder mystery. But, Gone Girl takes it to a new level. The twists and turns of the narrators and their subsequent revelations will have you flipping pages, swiping, tapping or listening with bated breath waiting for what’s going to happen next. When you reach the end you will be shocked. I read it in three days and want to re-read it because it is that good. I have told all my friends to add it to their list and I hope you add it to yours.
I remember when I first read it Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I couldn't get enough. My life was in transition This book has two sides: people who love it (like me) and those who vehemently hate it. I can bring up this book to 10 women and it's always the same response (half love it/half hate it). Elizabeth has a new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage and because I'm a fan of all her work I've plowed through it. I find that it has bits and pieces of Elizabeth's voice that I love reading. At times she can be overly thinking, but she gives a hilarious take on why she didn't want to marry, but eventually couldn't find a good enough reason not to.
I read Pilgrims and Stern Men eons before EPL and her writing makes me happy. Committed is vastly different, but I appreciate books of all kinds. Some I get and some I don't, but that won't make me stop reading it. Elizabeth is hilarious in person. I highly recommend attending one of her lectures to see her personality come through.
But when I saw the movie trailer for Eat, Pray, Love it made me want to revisit the book and curl up in its pages. It makes me want to visit Italy to feast (again), head to India with Kimberly Wilson and Darren Main to pray and practice yoga, and Bali to fall even deeper in love with l'homme. There is a line in the trailer where Julia Roberts says "I used to have an appetite for my life and now it's gone." I hope to always have an appetite for my learning full of learning, traveling, feasting, yoga practicing, being kind, and remembering that this is the only life I get.
I've cleared my calendar for Friday, August 13 so I can take in this movie in all its splendor with the one I love the most – me, myself and I. I already know the movie will leave out certain parts of the book, but this traveler can't wait to see all the gorgeous locations where they shot the movie.
Have a beautiful yoga filled weekend. I'm attending a Yoga and Wine Workshop and can't wait to tell ya'll how it went.
The rules for the Sephora Book Contest will post at noon on tomorrow. My flight from Mexico was canceled yesterday so it didn’t go up today. I sincerely apologize. I’m really excited. The book is awesome. I’m perusing it right now.
If you are wondering do you have to give up all the great things that make your life easy by going green then you need to pick up Christie Matheson’s Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style. She has useful tips for the beauty diva in all of us. Recently I implemented the use of cloth napkins for meals and drinks at home and the office. My coworker and I decided to do it a few weeks back. It’s been great fun finding beautiful napkins to buy. Christie also mentions various beauty companies such as Pangea, Burt Bees, Dr. Hauschka, Jason, and Zia Cosmetics.
She’s not beating you over the head with a makeup brush trying to force anything on you. It’s just little ideas that make a big difference.
I recently had a conversation with a few co-workers on the power of scent. We were chatting about the fragrances we wear and the ones we want to wear. My love of beauty products is known, as well as, my love of scent. Scent has the power to captivate, transport, communicate, and heal. Heal? We all have those days where it’s "whoa is me" and something as small as a spritz of your favorite scent can actually put a smile on your face. Dolo uses her scents to bring back the woman behind the mommy. Each morning as I peruse my arsenal of fragrances I smile at the beauty of the bottles. I feel very blessed at my custom fragrance because it was given with consideration, thought and care. I still get goose bumps thinking about it. This brings me to Chandler Burr. A premier person for whom scent is his life.
Chandler Burr is the New York Times’ Perfume Critic. Yes, they have such a thing and he is the nose who knows. Chandler is a true authority on fragrance and I am a faithful reader and fan of any written word by him. I have made numerous purchases based on his reviews. His new book, The Perfect Scent is a true story of the big business fragrance has in the world today. It chronicles the story of Sarah Jessica Parker’s creation of Lovely along with Hermes’ perfumer Jean-Claude Ellan’s creation of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, both of which I have owned and enjoye wearing. The book is not only a story of a fragrance creation, but a lesson in science and economics as it relates to fragrance. I know Mr. Burr hosts dinners throughout the country on the relation to scent and food and if they have one in ’08, I definitely will take part. I highly recommend this book to my perfume junkies.
I love Colin Cowie. Year’s ago when I was working full-time and going to college I picked up his book Effortless Elegance. I kept telling myself that this is how I wanted to live once I finished school. It’s always one of those reference books I go back to. I still have the episode on my DVR from Oprah on living well. I hope that I inspire people to live well through the blog – with food, wine, travel, and beauty. Always beauty. Always lip gloss. I love when Colin said "I am not the type of person to eat tuna in a can over a sink. That’s just not my movie." I feel the exact same way, Colin. Sometimes I log on to his site because his music is so good. I’ve bought all the CDs that are playing. Imagine my delight to find out that he has a new book coming out this month. Colin Cowie Chic: The Guide to Life as It Should Be will be added to my already overstocked floor of lifestyle books. In the movie of my life, I will be having a stimulating conversation at the table of Mr. Cowie, sipping a lovely cocktail, listening to his party planning, wearing a fabulous lip gloss (right now it’s Prescriptives Smoothie Lip Tint which Erika from the Makeup Bag turned me on to) and living life as it should be.