The other day, I was walking down the street with a good friend and was entranced by her smell. It was divine, amazing, luscious, and beautiful, and I knew I needed to know more about the scent ASAP! Luckily, she put me in touch with the creator of the perfume who happens to be a good friend of hers. This incredible scent, ILARY, is created by Hillary. Hillary currently lives in Chicago with her husband and 2 young sons. and is busy building her perfume empire. I had the opportunity to interview her about her company. Take a look! And Thank you Hillary!
How did you start your own perfume?
As mentioned Friday, I have a newfound love for Zara Home. When in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I bought a simple candle that made me happy. Most candles these days seem to cost 40 dollars plus, so when I found this pretty (and beautiful smelling) candle for 17 euros, I knew I had to buy it.
Pink and green box. Tuberose smell — sweet and perfect. (Minorly crushed in my carry-on… apologies)
Greetings from Paris! More to come after I recover, but I ran the Paris Marathon again yesterday – as beautiful and rewarding as ever. Excited to share pics and the experience (different than the past ones here, here and here) later this week. But for now….
One of my absolute favorite recent presents is a clutch / carry-everything-holder from Minor History. It literally holds everything and is the perfect size, color, and leather texture. A perfect small bag!
Flat like an envelope.
For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.
You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.
It holds cosmetics, other little carry holders, glasses, everything and anything.
This roomy zipper clutch is the perfect addition to my bag wardrobe. And it is also a great gift! Au revoir..
Last week I received a present that made me smile! A box of candy! But not just any candy, it was an email saying that I was given a box of goodies from Sugarwish, and that I needed to pick out what I wanted.
First, you receive an email saying that you were gifted some sweets, then you select what you want. Everything I picked arrived in a slick little box.
For personal family reasons, I have had a difficult past week with lots of tears shed and feelings of despair and sadness. Many friends went above and beyond and have been an incredible support. Thank you for listening, thank you for the wine, thank you for the lunch, thank you for check ins and calls, and thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. It means the world to me, so thank you.
It is also during these times that I miss my parents the most. Growing up, whenever I got upset (either by throwing a temper tantrum or having my feelings hurt), my father would type up letters with some big moral and place them on my pillowcase. My father (the smartest man in the world) is also incredibly sensitive, wise, articulate, and thoughtful. It was during those hard times that I looked forward to his letters the most. Especially right now, I so wish I had these letters and could relate them to my feelings.
So when I came across this book “Letters to My Baby” it tugged at my heart strings and I had to buy it. Not that they are similar to my father’s typed up letters, but they are a great keepsake and something a child can have forever. Write now, read later, treasure forever. They are little paper time capsules that contain 12 letters where a parent can write to their child. Each letter has a different prompt for the parent to write about, and then you date, seal and keep the letters for your child. I love this idea.
Vintage Air Mail look in a great little booklet.
I just bought the most clever napkins ever, introduced to me by my bestie Amy at a brunch she threw. Yet, they are presents not for myself (currently, we do not have our own home, so there’s no need to hoard napkins quite yet) but to have in my stash of presents for friends. These witty and creative napkins by August Morgan are the perfect hostess gift, pick-me-up present, or even a birthday present (who said napkins for your birthday are not the best!). You can buy the napkins as mix and match which makes it even more fun.
A set of four comes in a little nifty box with a ribbon to close it with.
Before the holidays, one of my best friends introduced me to the most amazing wool shoes. She and her husband both have them in multiple colors. Made from New Zealand merino wool, they are lightweight, breathable, fashionable, chic, comfortable, (and warm)! (Links: women and men.) Not only are they good looking but they are a good price point ($95) for a shoe you will wear everyday!
Wool and good looking!! (These are a men’s pair I got for Ken.. I am buying a pair soon!)
For the holidays, Cruzzie was gifted President Obama’s children’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” (I’m not sure how iI missed this for so long… it was published in 2010.) The book is thoughtful, educational, emotional, and beautiful. The first time I read it to my kids, I cried (yes, I am prone to crying, but still — this book is powerful). When you read the book, you can hear President Obama’s voice — and what an awe inspiring and powerful speaker he is (can we talk about his farewell address? We were in tears. How I will miss him!). This book is a must have for everyone –it is also a perfect gift.
This book is very timely It is also a good reminder of how many strong people have shaped our history.
I have been a big fan of Roberta Roller Rabbit since my son was born seven years ago. The kids and I love the prints, the softness, and the ease of the pajamas. Additionally, all our master bedroom bedding is from RRR as well. I had the opportunity to interview Roberta Freymann, Founder and President of the company, along with her team at Roberta Roller Rabbit, so please read on for more on the company!
My kids almost exclusively wear Roberta Roller Rabbit pajamas. Here, in this sunset picture in Mexico, Cruzzie is wearing one of his many pairs.
As a kindergarten graduation present to myself (yessir, my son graduates kindergarten, and I am the one that gets the present #logic), I bought myself a diamond ear cuff. Now that everyone is back to wearing multiple pierces (a la 1990s), I wanted to go back to my 16 year old self with five ear holes (#truth) and a piercing in my ear lobe. Thing is, I didn’t want to re-pierce them myself, or actually go to a tattoo-piercing-store again (Did that, done that), so instead I went the cuff route. And I am giddy with excitement. It is not just any cuff… it is a high-class, super-fancy, DIAMOND cuff. Check it out, egad, I am in love.
Bat-a-bing! Ca-ching. (And yes, I feel slightly overexposed with the close-ups of my neck hairs, ear fuzz, and freckles. Don’t mind the zoom on the camera).
As you can see, I have a love for socks (Pause…read this article on People Who Wear Crazy Socks Are Smart). I can never have too many… the more the merrier. While Zkano is now my favorite US brand, Tabio socks are my favorite foreign brand. I wrote about them 1.5 years ago, and they continue to be my favorite sock to stock up. On my recent trip to Paris, I bought several pairs as presents….but in the end, couldn’t give them away (they had me at “hello”).
The three pairs that I can’t part with.
If you want to give your mother something that will make her feel special and loved for Mother’s Day, I highly suggest you MOZIE ON DOWN TO www.natori.com, stat. Because honestly, where *else* would you go to get your mother a present for Mother’s Day? And even better, the site is offering 20% off orders of $200 or more (excluding bras). Here are my top 5 Mother’s Day gifts from Natori.
ANNNNNND 20% off? Thank you, Universe.
1. Cotton Voile Lace Gown
There is only one person I really trust to give me make up advice, and that is Oscar Caballero. I first met him 4 years ago at Barney’s in the makeup department where he works for Natura Bisse. He also works independently as a make-up artist. From day one, there was just an instant feeling of comfort and trust, and I went to him for advice on skincare and makeup. Since then, he has done my makeup countless times, as well as my mother-in-law’s. He is also a friend. Enjoy this interview… ladies… here are some great tips from an expert!
Oscar! Applying makeup to Miss Honduras.
My mother is one of those people that always knows the bohemian cool, beautifully crafted, hip food products, way before anyone else. I am not saying she is a New Yorker fashionista (she is not), but she is very much in the know with all things West Coast cool and East Coast significant. When she visited us two weeks ago for Ken’s 40th birthday party, she gifted me a cookbook (she has more than 300 cookbooks at home — no joke) which is sooooooooo cool that I can’t stop reading it! Mark Bittman was a New York Times food columnist who created a book with a matrix of possibilities. It is unbelievable — everyone must have it for their kitchen! It also makes a perfect hostess gift for a friend. Take a look!
Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.
I can never have enough candles in my home. And for some reason, candles are one thing that I tend not to be price conscious about. In my closet full of presents (one of the best lessons passed down from my mother), most of the presents are candles. After reading a lot of reviews on candles (yes, they exist), I instantly bought cult-favorite D.S. & Durga. D.S. & Durga is a husband-wife team that makes the candles in Brooklyn (but of course).
This past Christmas, Santa brought my six year-old-Cruzzie (well, um, actually… me) a wireless printer! A polaroid printer! It is my teenage-self dream. Check it out.
The size of my palm. Chic, apple-esque, petite, and functional!
DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLLL…….my hubba hubba husband is now El Capitan of The Natori Company (also know as President). For some readers, you might think OBVI, he is the son, so of course, he is President. But that is not the case. Ken never thought he was going to work for his mother and set out to make a name for himself. He was a TV and radio broadcaster at Bloomberg for 5 years (Ken Natori, What’s the story?), then went to Stanford Business School (near-perfect GMAT scores), worked at Lehman Brothers for several years (left before the crash), and then joined the family business in 2007. I am proud of my husband for working hard, committing to what he believes in, being a diligent and thoughtful worker, and at the same time as being the smartest person I have ever met (other than my brother and father — they all tie for first place). So now, a new era of new life for the Natori business, and I am proud and in awe of my husband’s dedication, drive, and talents. So to celebrate, I got him this plate (this is not a joke).
YUP, “You are special today” BEST GIFT EVER.
Remember Kenny Lao and his terrific book on Dumplings?
HEY THERE! Dumpling book.
Before I get to the post today (and be sure to read to the bottom for a special treat), I want to share three links. First, I am so proud of my beloved hometown Eugene, Oregon for making it into New York Magazine as a weekend escape. To read all about my hometown, go here. And for you loyal readers (a million thank yous!), I am sure you recognize a lot of the places from previous blog posts (Voodoo doughnuts, Spencer’s Butte, and King Estate). Secondly, here is a great article for New Yorkers currently dealing with the crazy-traffic-grouchy-tourist-filled-city! Read it here. Thirdly, this Josie Robe was mentioned as a perfect gift in Kylie Jenner’s blog (who knew) so read about it here! And now, a great last minute gift: this Josie sleepshirt!
How fun is the print? Colorful, vibrant, trippy, and oh-so-fun.
Before I talk about my new robe obsession, I have to discuss something that makes me so happy; Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton dating. YUP, I know, totally pathetic and oh-so-weird, but I am a huge fan of The Voice. And I kinda feel like I did watching Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf when they were together – same type of butterflies and happiness. Gwen and Blake are just too cute, and oh so fun. So watch this. I promise you that you will laugh and smile.
Gwen and Blake. My pals.
A true sign of a friend is when you receive a gift that shows that they are listening (which believe it or not, people don’t tend to do these days) to your stories. Several months ago, I nauseatingly bored my bestie to death with the fact that I had recently cleaned out the kitchen of our Pound Ridge home, and had thrown out 3 garbage bags worth of spices from 1985. So last weekend, when we visited Pound Ridge, I was astonished to find a huge present from my friend containing SPICES. To anyone else, this might seem like a whoa, cool, gift. But to me, it was beyond thoughtful, considerate, generous, and heartfelt. My friend listened, heard, and responded. Amazing. And let me tell you, these are not just any spices, they are the KING OF SPICES. (I don’t usually get excited by spices, but let me tell you, these are above and beyond any other type of spice!)
Boxes. Yes, they are just cardboard boxes but the contents are magic.
Truth be told, I am not a big drinker (I am constantly in a state of my own drunkenness) and when I *do* drink, I am a super cheap date lightweight (aka fall asleep before double digits)…nonetheless, I am so excited by this Oregon Wine Company, hallelujah-ohmygoodness-bless-the-lord-maybe-ill-start-guzzling-now! WHAT IS HIPPER THAN DRINKING WINE OUT OF A CAN? Big kudos to Union Wine Company … (Flashback to drinking champagne out of a can…)
Best discovery EVER (and of course, made in Portland, Oregon), is a crayon holder. I know, it sounds WAY OVER-DRAMATIC, but trust me, it seriously rocks my world. It made me want to start carrying it around not for the kids, but for ME! Easy, hip, amazing.
My whole life, I have worn cheap and childish watches. Way back when, I had the Mickey Mouse watch that sang “It’s a small world after all.” From there, I graduated to a Timex watch with a rastafarian color themed velcro band. As an adult, I have worn a $60 plastic watch…. every…. single… day. Some might say it is time to move on to something nicer and more grown up , but I like the fact that all my watches are simple, cheap, and do their thing. Plus, I prefer inexpensive watches to “nice” ones as the nicer ones are too much of a status symbol, especially in places like New York. Heyyyyy, check out my GOLD ROLEX — if I can afford 30K on my wrist to tell the time, guess how rich I AM???? So, plastic watches are more my jam.
Black plastic chic. With the background of tie-dye pants — making my outfit THAT much more chic.
I have a friend who always wears the most fun, quirky, and playful jewelry. Everything she wears, I want to copy / steal (imitation = sincerest form of flattery) and this time around, I copied her exactly and got the same bracelet from Venessa Arizaga. (Thank you!) And look how FUN and COOL and PLAYFUL it is? I feel like I am 14 years old… youthful and whimsical.
Focus on the middle one with the words. Do you get it??? And yes, I am a “bomb-shell” in birkenstocks. #obvi