Food, Insider's ObsessionsIn a Nutshell

untitledThe New Year is always a welcome time to start afresh, rethink goals, and start a less conscience-racking diet, in my case. With the rigors of holiday eating done for the season, I’m craving a change in my waistline and an infusion of energy back into my system. Thankfully, eating healthy doesn’t mean giving up all joy in life! I am completely obsessed with the crazy-fresh and naturally scrumptious nut bars from Nutshell. It may seem impossible that a bar- usually a last resort breakfast or snack- can be worthy of such a rave, but I myself was amazed the first time I tried a bite. The freshness of the nuts and ingredients such as espresso beans (in my fave flavor, Java), cinnamon, and of course walnuts, cashews, and other premium nuts produce a surprising and welcome flavor bomb.

Nutshell is a new boutique company headed by Will D’Agostino, an active outdoorsman who refuses to sacrifice flavor in a nutritious bar. They pay an amazing amount of attention to every single ingredient that goes into the bars. Each is packed with organic, vegan, gluten-free ingredients, and each flavor profile is so well curated it would be at home in a bakery. The bars can be kept fresh in the fridge until they’re ready to eat, and I recommend enjoying the bar at room temperature to ensure your tastebuds get the best experience. The crave-worthy bars available to the lucky residents of Connecticut and thankfully, to the rest of the country online. Trust me on this one, your workouts and tastebuds will love you that much more.

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Food, Insider's Obsessions, Mom & KidsNurture Life

peyote_nl-banner71516-everything3-v1_dsc9738-1-3I’m excited to introduce a life-changer to the heroes out there, moms and dads who do it all. Just yesterday I was chatting with a friend and described my experience of being a parent, and compared it to driving a car when you don’t know how everything in the car works, and you also don’t know where you’re headed. If this resonates with you or anyone you love, Nurture Life will be a welcome addition to the family. A much-needed service at least in my household, Nurture Life delivers healthy, tasty, organic food tailored to picky tastebuds. It replaces worry with peace of mind and gives you more time in the day to actually enjoy your kids instead of slaving in the kitchen. I don’t have to stress over planning meals, grocery shopping, and meal prepping and am free to play, teach, and love my kids with more patience (parents need every ounce!).

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AccessoriesA Common Peace

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One of our favorite accessory designers, Rosena Sammi, has launched a pilot project with the Lebanon-based Safadi Foundation,  to help refugees find some measure of peace and stability. Especially timely in light of this week’s news, we felt that we had to share. One in four Syrian refugee families in Lebanon are headed by women who are forced to work to support their families; their husbands having been killed, captured or disappeared. This vulnerable group of women, who include refugees from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, are not fighting for any cause or ideology, but rather only for a better life. 

Rosena Sammi has worked with these women living in host communities in Lebanon – located in the poorest areas and torn by conflict.  These women seek only to be empowered, to contribute, to find a way forward.  Perhaps we all can help in some small way.  Together with the Safadi Foundation, which provides training in basic skills, Rosena Sammi employs these women and created a “common piece”—a wool infinity scarf, hand knitted by these courageous women. Please join us in supporting these women. Head over to the Rosena Sammi website to view and purchase “A Common Peace” Collection to support this effort.

Accessories, JewelryHoliday Sparkle in The9thMuse

There’s something for everyone in latest from The9thMuse, and to top it all off, you can get 20% off the collection with the code: HappySparkle. So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!

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What do you get the girl who has it all? We’re putting together our favorite holiday gift ideas, and luckily, came across this gorgeous collection from The9thMuse. Featuring the perfect mix of both statement and personal gold jewelry, there’s everything from sets of stackable rings, shoulder duster earrings, ear cuffs, bangles, and pearls — the perfect present for both the edgier and classic girls.

AccessoriesWrap It with an Echo Scarf

11_11_16_echo_gift_boxes_wrapped_in_scarfs-lynn107877Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved giving and receiving beautiful packages, sometimes even more than the gift itself! I was so inspired by this season’s new chic idea of wrapping with scarves. Not only is it a beautifully elegant way to present a gift, but the scarf is a treasure in itself. I’ve been avoiding wrapping paper for years, opting for gift bags or a simple bow, but I’m now all-in for this creative eco-friendly option. I love shopping for scarves, and my favorite boutique is Echo New York. It’s got amazing selection and is full of varieties of colors, prints, lengths, and materials.

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Beauty, Gift GuidesA Few of My Favorite Things…

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So no one burned down the house making the turkey this year (merci Dieu), and we’re off and running towards gift season. We’re in need of some calm after the storm after this epic year, and there’s no better way to do that than with a quiet corner, a cup of tea, and a candle. We have been scouring the current offerings for what we love the most, and can’t be found without some savoir-faire. Our favorites range from stocking stuffers to full-blown luxury, hope you love them as well.

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Mom & KidsThe “Littlest” Holiday Gift Guide

16001_4-cozy-muslin-dream-blanket-fateIt can be a daunting time coming up this week with Black Friday and the frenzy that follows. We aim to keep the joy in giving, and the excitement in finding that perfect gift. This year we’ve whittled down our shopping list for the littles into the best products on the market, so you don’t have to go crazy looking! Whether you have a baby or know someone who does, we’re sharing a few of our favorites today.

The new Cozy Muslin collection from Aden + Anais is not only soft and warm, but modern and luxurious. Every baby needs a gorgeous keepsake blanket to be loved in and grow up with. My favorite is the Cozy Muslin Dream Blanket, in a soft gray with sweet stars, in a perfect weight to stay warm but still breathable. It is versatile and works as a soft mat for tummy time and will last through toddlerhood for those early mornings that are made for cuddling in the big bed with Mommy. Made from soft brushed cotton, the cozy muslin dream blanket offers cushion-like comfort thanks to its premium flannel muslin with a hypoallergenic fill. Its uses go beyond cuddling though, as  I’ve trusted Aden + Anais for years with my kids, from swaddling on the first day out in the world to keeping them warm in bed at night, no matter what the season. The quality of each piece is unmatched, and they only get softer with washing and time.

 

swaddleThe best gift for a new mother is sleep! It’s priceless, but fortunately not unattainable. Our thoughtful friends at the Nested Bean have built their Zen Sleep System around the simple idea that a mother’s touch, felt on baby’s chest with a lightly weighted sweet spot will soothe and allow for longer sleep periods. Babies feels security and comfort as they sleep swaddled, and mom can rest easy knowing that the softest material (seriously, you’ve got to feel it to believe it!) of eco-friendly bamboo (70%) and cotton (30%) are incorporated. The bamboo has a breathable, moisture-wicking property that keeps baby warm and comfortable. The five new prints are gender-neutral and irresistibly cute.

lion_small_production1204x683A game-changer in baby toys, the Yoee Baby toys are highly researched and uber-cute. However, the toys are more than just cuddly, Yoee Baby takes advantage of a baby’s developing senses to teach and advance. With young ones, brain synapses are forming by the hour, there’s no time to waste! Designed by social scientists, the line includes features such as gentle rattle and crinkles, high contrast colors, playful characters, silicone teethers, and so important for moms, they’re washable! The valuable skill set being honed includes interaction and bonding, sensory development, body awareness, language development, gross motor skills, and fine motor skills. Be the first to get or give this revolutionary toy for the newest member of the family, it’s available via the online store which is up and running for the holidays!

yummie-by-heather-thomson-womens-briana-long-3-panel-shaping-tankLast but definitely not least, a new mom is learning to embrace her new life as well as some new curves. I still struggle with trying to get just a little more baby weight off, and I always turn to Yummie by Heather Thomson for my loungewear and workout needs. These versatile pieces run with me to grab a carton of milk or getting that precious workout time in. Slimming and well-made, the collection is a great mix of comfort and style. There’s nothing more appreciated than some support, both literally and figuratively!

 

Food, InternationalMaille Duo of Truffle Mustards

mailleWith holiday season upon us, tastebuds demand to be tantalized by something extra special. La Maison Maille comes through with a winning duo, the new limited edition Truffle and Cep Mustard and the best-selling Chablis White Wine and Black Truffle Mustard, plus a signature wooden mustard spoon in a black gift box. I have a special place in my heart for truffles, and sometimes crave them at random times (work, walking in the park, in the bath even!). The mustard is perfectly balanced to showcase the flavor of the truffles even amidst the tanginess, combining my two favorite tastes.  I incorporated the Truffle and Cep Mustard into a recipe for Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew. The result was an incredibly savory, comforting and  rich stew, perfect for autumn! I recommend trying the recipe for an intimate gathering, just leave plenty of time to stew the beef, as I needed an hour on top of the suggested time to make sure it was tender enough. On second go-around, I used a slow cooker, and it turned out even better! I was quite liberal with the mustard, and the high quality of the mustard elevated the dish substantially. My guests were astounded, and I was a happy chef.

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Fragrance, InternationalTenue de Soirée

cm9ifp2wcaaf7_mI am about to embark on a long, fantastical weekend in Paris where the lights are always bright and the Haussmannian architecture sweeps me off my feet at bonjour. Packing is of utmost importance to maximize space for some imports coming back (wink wink), and every outfit has to be effortless, chic, but warm! I have a few favorites in the bag ready to go for being a flâneur in my favorite city, and the amazing scent Tenue de Soirée is an essential which embodies the spirit of sophisticated adventure. The newest and most beloved member of the Annick Goutal family is this modern fragrance inspired by the sky at dusk (my favorite time of day) and the promise of a magical night out in Paris. Does it get any more romantic than that?

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Beauty, SkincareVotre Vu Duette

3005_416x500My skin is better than a weather forecast when it comes to temperature changes! It starts to dry and flake even before the chill fills the air, especially lips and hands. Moisture evaporates quickly into cold air and leaves behind chapped and crackly skin. My lifesaver has been Votre Vu’s Duette which is a tube of rich and luxurious hand cream topped (literally) with a nourishing lip balm. The pop up top is a mirror which is more handy than I’d like to admit when making discreet checks during the day. The combo is genius and convenient, and it is either by my nightstand or ready to go in my day bag.

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The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.

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