I’m currently in Louisiana and trying to catch up on everything I need to do before the 2014 Paris Beauty Tour that starts next week. It seems like just yesterday I announced the dates and it is amazing that I get to lead and welcome an amazing group of ladies to my favorite city in the world to beauty shop. I will announce the dates for 2015 next month and I can’t wait. In the meantime I am listening to French podcasts, music, and catching up on all my French reading. One book I am devouring and laughing out loud at the same time to is How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret and Sophie Mas.
The book is very tongue-in-cheek compared to a lot of Parisian lifestyle books and this one had me crying out loud at some of their musings. I started this on a plane and it’s one of those books that make a long flight bearable. If you are into all things French then I suggest adding this book to your bookshelf especially with lines such as “Embrace your inner snob. (Because let’s face it, that’s who you are.)
I hope your week has been great. I have been burning the midnight and midday oil trying to meet a few deadlines. I’m trying to take a little time this weekend to just be, but because I am the queen of over scheduling I won’t have what I consider a real day off until Monday, July 21. Even though I’ve been busy there are a few things I’m looking forward to this weekend.
Happy Weekend! Bisous!
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith. I’m really trying to plow through this one like I did the first Cormoran Strike novel, but for some reason as soon as I start reading it I get sleepy. It’s a lot of detail which I love in a book, but I can’t wait to get to the end. It’s such a rich mystery.
Revlon Bold Lacquer Mascara. I really love this mascara. Revlon has stepped up their mascara game in the past few years. This one is luscious and makes my lashes stand out. I love the Blackest Black color. It’s so good. Every time I apply it I want to do a happy beauty dance.#FlashYourLash
Jane Iredale Lip Fixation. I really like these dual lip glosses for summer. I still wear lipstick, but when the temperature reaches a certain degree I find myself reaching for gloss instead because I want something lighter. The color is Compulsion and it’s everything.
I have been following Sadie Nardini since I first discovered yoga. She is an in your face, fun, and very different type of yoga teacher. And I love it. She’s different from what I thought a yoga teacher should be. Now, as a teacher myself I completely get her. She is unapologetically Sadie. I spent a Saturday evening plowing through her 21-Day Yoga Body book. While reading this book I felt I was sitting somewhere in Italy, having an amazing dinner, a glass of a Barolo or Sangiovese, and lots of laughter.
Sadie has this funny and lovable side from her videos that came out in the book. I don’t know any body books that recommend wine with your meals as part of your yoga. Her direction for yoga poses are equally as cute. I had no idea about a Stilet-toeasana, but now I do after reading the book – “pointed through the ball of the foot, with the toes pulled back as if you were wearing high heals.”
We both agree that a bath is the best thing for relaxation, but I don’t recommend reading this book in the tub. You want to enjoy this on a yoga mat, in the kitchen, or sipping a glass of wine. I can’t wait to take a class or workshop with this fun teacher.
I decided a few months back that I would stick to mainly fiction for the summer. There isn’t anything better than being able to dive so deep into a good book that sucks you in and doesn’t let go unto the last page. That’s how I felt reading Emma Straub’s The Vacationers. The Vacationers mainly takes place in Mallorca (let’s hear for the travel component people) and that drew me in and didn’t let me go. The family is lovable and downright maddening at the same time. I found myself talking to the book like it was a movie playing before me. The book delves into what happens when secrets are exposed and not at the best of times. I can’t recommend this book enough. Do yourself a favor and get this book – now.
It has a been a busy few weeks over here in my world, but despite some ups and downs I’m still grateful. In the midst of madness I can always find a few pretty things to make me smile. I’m trying to reach my goal of 45 books this year and according to my Goodreads challenge I’m 6 books behind schedule. I can definitely catch up by the end of summer because all I want to do is sit outside in the heat, near water, listen to music and read.
Happy Weekend! Here are my loves of the week.
The Director by David Ignatius. I’ve made it a point to put down all the business books and get back to my favorite summer past time – fiction reading. I want to be taken away, transported, and forget my day-to-day. I’m able to do that with a good book. I’m a tech junkie so the fact that this is involves cyber terrorism, The White House, and written by a local DC author makes this the perfect summer book to me.
Tulsi Jasmine Green Tea. I try to drink a cup of green tea a day. I know it’s good for me, but I’m not a fan of green tea unless it has another flavor added to the mix. This tea tastes delicious hot, but even better cold over ice with a mint leaf. Trust me.
Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Desert Oud Eau de Parfum. I haven’t met an Oud I didn’t like and this one is just as alluring, intriguing, and spicy to tickle my Oud fancy. It smells like woods, reminds me of Egypt, and is perfect for a hot summer day. I’ve been on a floral kick and need to literally “spice” things up and the best way to do that is fragrance. Perfume Junkie, hello!
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the perfect book to add to your summer collection. The book’s premise is about the desire and longing to belong to something appears great on the outside. In the world of social media this can be also true. If you glance at most social media posts (Instagram and Twitter), life is painted as always being great. It’s the moments that look good on camera and sometimes that’s not always pretty.
In reality, life is messy, flawed, with loads of ups and downs. They are days when all I need is a good cry and everything will be better. I always believe people see an image in their mind of your life and think it’s all great. What they don’t see is how hard you work, how many late nights, the continual learning, and things you have given up for your dream. I recently came across a great quote. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” It’s true. There isn’t a testimony without a test.
The next time you look at all the pretty images online know that everyone has a story and they might prefer not to show the bad. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Bittersweet is one of those books that make you an examine your own truth. And we all should do that from time to time.
The word mantra means many things to many people. If you log on to Instagram you see tons of them every day. They are words used to motivate and inspire. In many yoga classes a particular mantra is OM. Most people don’t know what these words mean so they either embrace them or are uncomfortable with them.
Alanna Kaivalya’s new book Sacred Sound : Discovering the Myth & Meaning of Mantra & Kirtan is for you. Alanna goes deep with her explanation of the words, what they mean, and how to pronounce them. I’ve been on Alanna’s virtual library to enhance my mantra pronunciations. I feel like I’m back in school. Yoga school that is.
When I first started yoga there was no way I would recite any of the mantras. I just didn’t go there. The more I practiced yoga and the more comfortable I became with mantra and kirtan I made them part of my meditation and yoga practice. I have even found myself practicing at home, chanting, and singing.
I loved Alanna’s first book The Myth of the Asanas which explained the meaning of some of yoga’s most popular poses and I knew Sacred Sound would be another winner. Alanna says this about the myths of yoga. “Because every myth illustrates some kind of human truth, every myth calls out to what is enlivened inside our own psyche. Every myth helps us to realize and bring about our true potential. This is the power of mythology. We find some kernel or ultimate truth in every story — a lighthouse that guides us home. The myths that speak to us are the ones we should listen to and follow… no matter what version we know. If it calls to our soul, we should follow it.“
Listen to Alanna explain Sacred Sound.
Webster defines thrive as: “to grow or develop successfully : to flourish or succeed.” It does not include anything about being rich, busy, sleep deprived, conniving, and mean. It seems in our society today the only way to thrive is to be the best no matter what the cost. Unhappy? Check. Mean? Check? Sleep Deprived? Check, check. There really is enough to go around for everyone. I am not against hard work. Hard work is what makes the dream work. But, hard work without rest, time for reflection, time for people you really care about – well, it makes you not a very pleasant person to be around. I’m sure you can name a few people who have this problem.
The word busy has been thrown around loosely these days. I’m guilty of it and are so many people. It’s like we wear the word as a badge of honor. For the past few years I have been on a quest for the sanctity and quest for finding the pockets in my life for self-care. This doesn’t always mean a massage or a spa day, although that isn’t too shabby, but finding the time to just be, grow, workout, practice yoga, and sleep. I admit not being the best sleeper. It’s a work in progress for me. But I do know that I can’t function and be the best Julia without it. How much nicer would everyone be if they turned off the TV, computer, tablet, phone, gadget, gizmo, etc.
What would happen if you slept your way to the top? Pun intended. You have to read the book to understand this concept. Let’s all work on building a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder.
This post was inspired by Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington who encourages everyone to sleep their way to the top. Join From Left to Write on May 1 we discuss Thrive. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.