Stories for: Insider’s Obsessions

Epicure, Insider's ObsessionsCozy in a Cup

One of the sweetest and most romantic gifts my husband has ever gotten me is a luxurious tea pot and loose tea he ordered by calling a Paris boutique. This was just after we had to cancel our babymoon to Paris because of high-risk issues, so I was crushed and missing our last romantic getaway. I was so surprised and in tears when I opened the gift (could’ve been the hormones!), and still think of that time when I use my teapot. During this month of love, I still treasure French tea as a perfect gift, as it brings a moment of calm amidst a busy day laced with a bit of luxury. I have always adored Palais des Thés teas for their exquisite fine leaves and unique curated blends. Their green teas are particularly flavorful yet delicate, each blend with its own personality. Near to my heart is Fleur de Geisha, a refined green tea flavored by cherry blossoms inspired by the Japanese Hanami tradition of cherry blossom viewing. It captures the hope of spring in a cozy cup as we wait for temperatures to rise. Although I prefer the pure tea, a teaspoon of honey turns this into a treat and soothes the throat when needed like no other.

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Gift Guides, Insider's ObsessionsDinosaurs Rule!

If you’re looking for the perfect one-of-a-kind gift for the person who’s impossible to buy for, allow me to share with you my latest obsession. Sill Life, a boutique company created by Holley Simmons based in DC, offers creative bespoke terrariums ready to beautify any space. My favorites are the gilded dinosaurs which are fun and fabulous, each one with its own quirks and carrying a cactus on its back. My pet golden boy T-Rex is ferociously guarding the tree and gifts, and he is fun as a conversation starter and centerpiece. The dinosaur itself is made of sturdy but slightly flexible material, so it won’t break into a million pieces if little paws get ahold of him. I also particularly appreciate that the cacti are living organisms but don’t need a lot of attention. The dinosaurs now ship nationwide and are ready to go! TDO had a virtual sit down with the cool and creative force behind these creations to ask some burning questions and glean some inside info, so read on.

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Insider's ObsessionsLovers’ Tea

theWith the annual Day of Love approaching, I put any thought of dining out away (eschewing massively priced prix fixe menus) in favor of a romantic night in with a homemade dinner, wine, and candles. To commemorate the occasion, I am combining my love of France and of tea in a gift for mon amourPalais des Thés has just launched a gorgeous set of teas, Paris for him and Paris for her, inspired by tender moments in the City of Light. The brand has been a darling of mine since I first encountered the muslin tea bags in my Parisian hotel many years ago, filled with the most fragrant and unique flavor combinations. For her, a green tea base carries a fragrant floral blend of rose, raspberry, and lychee. Sipping a cup of it becomes gentle and soothing afternoon ritual while daydreaming of walks across the Seine. For him, notes of citrus fruit, coriander, and vanilla, complement the rich black tea. And just because I can, I borrow from his to wake me up in the morning and start my day afresh.

 

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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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Insider's Obsessions, JewelrySmith + Mara

diamond%20suspender%20-%20on%20earI’m excited to share my latest obsession, a super edgy and creative jewelry line which has burst in and changed the landscape of the accessories scene. Smith + Mara, which is based out of LA, marries punk rock with fine jewelry. The unique shapes really caught my eye at first, making a statement piece out of every necklace, ring, and bracelet. I was swept away by the ingenuity, beauty, and edginess of the suspender earring in particular. I love how it takes the idea of the earring out of the box, and still maintains the quality and materials for high-end jewelry. The earring is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and the delicate size retains femininity while standing out in the crowd. It contours perfectly to a sensual part of the ear that is underrated, in my opinion. I even fell asleep with it on, and didn’t notice until I was pleasantly surprised to look in the mirror the next morning! The diamonds are well- set, so I don’t have to worry about losing one (Mara comes from a line of experienced jewelers). The pouch that delivers the jewelry is perfect for travel, with a hidden magnetic closure and compartments for two pieces. With Smith + Mara jewelry you’ll be in the know, channeling the likes of Gigi Hadid, Miranda Kerr, Anna Kendrick and Sophia Bush who are already fans.

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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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Home, Insider's Obsessions, InternationalProject Rebel Walls

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I’m so excited to share with you the results of my project with Rebel Walls to transform a bedroom that badly needed a heavy dose of personality and whimsy. I absolutely love how it turned out, and it’s quickly become my favorite room in the house to relax in. A few weeks ago, I introduced the creative Swedish company which has taken upon itself to transform the way the world sees wallpaper. They encourage the inner artist and make it possible to design your own wallpaper or choose from their growing bank of texture and designs, with themes like travel, nature, and architecture. I adored the Bellewood paper at first sight, and now that it’s been installed, the effect on the room is even better than I expected. The description paints the background story:

There is something indescribably beautiful about a classic toile pattern based on small hand-drawn strokes painting up romantic scenes usually consisting of lovebirds ​talking in the shade. We wanted to create a modern toile but maintain the traditional craftsmanship. This inviting and a little mysterious forest ​are ​based on several toile designs where we only ​picked the trees from the romantic ​sceneries. If you want fill the woods with a love message of your own, you can always ​use our ​designstudio to carve your beloved’s name in one of the tree trunks.

The mural was custom fit to my wall, and the resolution and color are vibrant and sharp. I will admit that I had a professional installer come in, but the paper arrives with instructions and paste for the brave DIYers.

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Home, Insider's Obsessions, InternationalRebel Walls

cityI have a penchant for all things European, especially when it comes to design. The edgy, effortless cool resonates with me, and I’m excited to share my latest obsession, Rebel Walls. Wallpaper has never seemed fresher than when it comes from this cool Swedish company, transforming any space and endowing it with personality, a touch of nostalgia, or texture. If you weren’t already looking to upgrade a wall or splash some personality into your home, you will be after browsing the image gallery. Imagination takes flight, and I will be following up with a post about a special project of my own, so stay tuned.

I had a virtual sit-down with the creative director and artistic force behind Rebel Walls, Irene Gimmersta. I think you’ll be as smitten as I am…

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Accessories, Insider's Obsessions, JewelryInsider’s Obsessions: Walters Faith

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Founded in 2013 by designer Mollie Good and her business partner Stephanie Abramow, New York-based jewelry line Walters Faith melds the timeless with modern design. Designed to make women feel confident and beautiful, the line features substantial, timeless creations are a synthesis of bold and fine. We’re sharing what Mollie and Stephanie are obsessing with currently below!  READ MORE

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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