You can’t have too many candles, perfumes, or chapsticks IMHO. I got this one as a surprise present (the best) and have fallen in love with it. This candle is Annica by Phlur (my real first name is Anika) so cheesey cute and fun, right??? And let me tell you, this candle looks and smells like airy fresh perfection.
It comes in a beautiful box.
The back of the box has the story of the company (love a good success story).
And look at the ceramic ball! It is so cool and practical and modern and smooth. (This is my son’s hand — so it is the size of an 8 year old’s dirty little grubby hands).
I liked the candle even before I smelled it!
And then when you smell it, it is so airy and perfect and fresh.
Fresh smell and glowing, gotta love it.
This cool ceramic orb candle is made without parabens, phthalates, and animal products. Which just makes it even more cool — smells good, looks good, and is good! Win win win! Also, another winning bonus is the fact that after the candle is fully burned away, you can use the ceramic sphere as a desk organizer. Love a twofer. Anika loves the Annica. Have a great long weekend!
Through the retail world, we recently met the owner and creator of HICKIES No Tie Elastics. And I am now a huge fan! I love how fun, colorful and easy they are to use and assemble. What are no tie laces? Well instead of laces, you place HICKIES laces in the shoelace eyelets. And voila, no tie, easy to slip on, shoes! You can get creative and have different designs, tightness and looks. There is a huge assortment of colors and looks of the HICKIES to match all your different shoes and needs. They are not just for kids, but adults, too.
My new favorite pajama to sleep in is the Natori Luxe Shangri-La set. It is incredibly soft, simple, easy, and beautiful to boot. It is also machine washable which makes everything that much easier (who has time to hand wash or dry clean pajamas???)
Shorts and tank. Perfectly cute.
In the past month, we have been gifted Royce’ Chocolate by two different couples. I had never heard about it before and now I am a fan. Made in Japan, this chocolate is unique, beautiful, and delicious. Definitely different than a normal chocolate bar — more special and rich, making it a great hostess gift.
This one is one of their specialties: Ghana bitter.
One of my new favorite beauty products is a recent gift from a dear friend — and I can’t get enough of it! This little bottle for your lips is addicting. It exfoliates your lips and removes dead skin, while at the same time hydrating them, making them kissable and soft. Such a difference maker. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a FRENCH GIRL?
French Girl Lip Polish — yes please, polish up the puckers.
I love having fresh flowers in our apartment. I range from buying them at the corner bodega to having a florist put together nice bouquets. The problem is that although the corner bodega flowers are cheap and don’t last long, and the florist flowers are always gorgeous but way too expensive. So, when I found out about Leblum, I flipped!
Nothing makes me happier than flowers. Even more than chocolate. Or TV. Or a new gorgeous outfit.
I love chocolate almost as much as I love my kids (I joke, I joke….eeks!). And this chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely, is the best chocolate in the whole wide world. It tastes like gold (if gold tasted good) — just so rich and pure and holy chocolateness. And to top it off, it is from the coolest place in the world, YUP, Oregon. But of course, right? If I were you, I would buy as much of this chocolate as possible and give it out to people as their Holiday presents — it is that good.
My favorite three bars: Milk, Milk Caramel Sea Salt, and Dark Almond Sea Salt.
I am guilty of loving the Oprah magazine…..a loyal reader for more than a decade! This past issue, she featured little animal speakers that connect via bluetooth to your phone. I decided to get them for the kids for the holidays, but of course had to check them out myself. And it is magic! Such a tiny little animal that makes such a good loud sound!
Look how cute!
My number one fashion love is jumpsuits, but a close second is t-shirts. YUP, simple, cotton, every-day tees. And so it makes me giddy that I just bought myself a new tee that is fun and unique. My new tee is The Air Barack from Unfortunate Portrait. There are a lot to choose from, but since my love for Obama runs deep, I decided on this one.
Air Barack. (Sigh. I miss Obama).
In my past life as a teacher, I became good friends with our school counselor, Emily McClatchey. Her warmth, humor, listening skills, and supportive nurturing care instantly led us to be friends. Although we now are both in different places and careers, we have managed to stay in touch (thank you, Facebook!), so when I read about her new business, Kidolences, I knew I had to interview her. Kidolences is a care box for a kid suffering loss: divorce, death of a pet, death of a family member, saying goodbye to a binkie, etc… In each of the carefully curated boxes, there are items that help the kids cope and learn about their loss and feelings that surround it. To learn more about kidolences, go here. To shop a box, go here. And to learn even MORE, read on. Thank you, Emily! You are an inspiration!
Dr. Emily McClatchey.
This past weekend, we went on our annual mini-reunion with close friends from business school to Sonoma. It is a tradition I love and look forward to each summer. We had a jam-packed weekend (see the blog on Wednesday for a recap) full of lots of laughter, adventure, and hang out time. Coming to Sonoma from Oregon, I decided to bring the hosts a little bag full of Oregon goodies. I want to give myself a pat on the back because it is cute, well thought through, and useful. Thank you, thankyouverymuch. (Thank you, Kimmers!) Here are the details.
A Eugene little tote bag, stuffed with all small goodies. You can never have too many of these tote bags — especially if it has an extra special strap, like this one.
And yet again…another essential oil to add to my list of favorite scents! This scent, 1509 Baby Breath Bud, is subtle, clean, and comforting. Each bottle of 100% pure fragrance oil is hand packaged and created. The healing oils (amber) are free of synthetic material and safe for your body. The smell is rich and soothing at the same time — a must for summertime.
Also comes in a travel size. Just as cute (with baby breath, too).
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.