Fragrance, InternationalDolce Vita

dv-eds--flacon-_-packAnnick Goutal is a legend in Paris, both for the charming and storied life she led, and for her impeccable house of fine fragrances. She was one of those women whom I fantasize about spending a day in the life of. Before opening her boutiques in Paris and New York, the beauty wore many (chic) hats including pianist, international model, antique furniture shop owner, and mother. In 1981, Annick opened her first shop on the Rue de Bellechasse in Paris, and instantly those in the know with an appreciation for couture fragrance became clients. I instantly became obsessed with the limited edition summer trio of scents named the Dolce Vita. The deeply sophisticated collection is inspired by Camille Goutal (Annick’s daughter) in collaboration with DJ extraordinaire and creative director Cecile Togni. This tribute to Italy tells a story of an olfactory journey into parts of the beautiful country. Eau du Sud instantly captured my heart and is my personal favorite. Upon my first spritz, I was taken by the vibrant layers of the citrus perfume, making me reminisce about warm summer evenings I spent al fresco in Tuscany. I prefer scents that are less flowery but confident and unique, which powerfully envoke nostalgia while giving off hope, which is all incredibly captured in this elegant and classic bottle.

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Fitness & HealthFitness + Fashion

37810117-STAINED%20GL-a6a50224-This summer has been a diet-a-week for me, as I struggle to balance health and weight with a propensity to celebrate social occasions (aka weekends) with food and drink. It’s so frustrating when my favorite shorts from last summer are waaay too tight, and I feel tired and run down. After a stream of “quick fix” diets, I’m settling nicely into the infamous Whole30 diet which I’m combining with extra workouts sprinkled throughout the week. So far, it’s been great because I don’t have to starve myself, but there is time that goes into planning and shopping for meals. The workouts are tough but much more fun when I have new activewear, and I’ve been really hooked on Yummie by Heather Thomson! The quality and comfort of their line is steps above some other popular brands, and I can trust it to hold up while looking edgy. One thing I hate is accentuating my “fat pads” with unflattering thin or flimsy materials. I’ve never had that problem with Yummie, and the sweat-wicking fabrics keep me comfortable and supported during runs, burpees, and situps.

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Beauty, NailsRoyal Splendor

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We’ve heard how easy Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes are, and when we heard about their recently launched Royal Splendor Collection, we jumped at the chance to try it out.  READ MORE

Food, InternationalSummer Spread

green-jar-boxJust in time for festive summer gatherings to kick into gear, I’m perfecting some simple recipes to serve, from girls night to a Saturday picnic at the vineyard. My go-to ingredient to make any simple dish zing is Maille’s limited edition mustard with Rosemary honey, made in the Pyrenées Mountains on the west side of the French Mediterranean coast. The fragrant condiment is such a zesty treat for the tastebuds that I love spreading it on a hearty wheat cracker as a snack. I savor the flavors as they hit, from the sweet Grand Cru honey from bees pollinating rosemary grown in rich soil and of course the Dijon mustard base ferrying these flavors forward. I love the creativity the veteran French house has shown a seemingly simple condiment, and has elevated it in a way that showcases carefully sourced herbs and ingredients.

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FashionSummer Tees at Old Navy

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With summer officially being here, I’ve been stocking up on basic tees from Old Navy to wear all season long. I love that they’re not too pricey, so I don’t worry about getting messy or dirty for all the summertime fun! Here are a few favorites:

  • Boyfriend Linen-Blend Tee – Super amazing and lightweight. Linen tees don’t wrinkle and the cut is really flattering.
  • Relaxed V-Neck Tee – A great basic! This is perfectly paired with a cute skirt for work or just simple pair of shorts and sandals for the weekend.
  • Relaxed Tunic Tee – Throw this over a swimsuit now, and skinny jeans later!

ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: Bigmouth Pool Inflatables

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Books, ObsessionsObsession of the Moment: The Last Stop by Ryann Ford

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Bath & BodyBudget Beauty

21532620Being on a budget does not mean your beauty regimen must suffer! I happen to love quite a few products that are effective and work just as well as the “investment” lines. One of my faves that has saved me a trip to the spa is the PediSpa Gentle Exfoliating Foot Mask ($9.99 for a pair), a foot exfoliate plus treatment filled in a pair of wearable and disposable foot masks for your feet. Key ingredients like chamomile and natural botanical fruit extracts help control callus build-up for visibly smooth feet within two weeks. A few days after application, dead skin will actually slough off on its own, sans pumice or a file of any sort! The first time I tried it, I actually forgot that I had done the treatment and a couple days later, was pleased to notice some dead skin rolling off (painlessly, I might add).

A tip on application- I would recommend treating this like a home-spa ritual- lie down, and do a mask at the same time, and relax. I tried to move around and clean up while wearing the masks, and felt a little sloshy and slippery. There was no noticeable discomfort, only some mild tingling while the formula did its job. I ended up encouraging my baby soft heels to reveal themselves by exfoliating a bit after I noticed the sloughing, which required much less force than without the treatment.

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Fashion, Obsessions, Paper GoodsObsession of the Moment: Yves Saint Laurent Coloring Book

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Insider's Obsessions, InternationalPalais des Thés

961-jardin-suspendu_3I’ve had a long love affair with Palais des Thés after gleefully discovering it many years ago in my Paris hotel room on the Left Bank. I recall fingering the delicate muslin tea satchel and taking in the deep, sweet, and herbal aroma of a finely crafted tea. Since then, I’ve found some way of bringing loads of it back from Paris, as I can’t imagine going for any period of time without it. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed when Palais des Thés opened their first boutiques in New York. My love was renewed this spring with their new collection of herbal teas, which defy any notion of tea I’ve held in the past. Spring is synonymous with blooms, sun, fresh fruit, and the essence is captured beautifully in the bright orange tins. Upon opening the tops of the floral and fruity Jardins collection, the colorful dried fruits mingling with tea enchanted me with eyebrow-raising aroma. I’ve tried three well-rounded flavors so far, and have found each to have its own personality and can fit into and enhance the mood of the day.

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