Bordeaux and its surrounding vineyards in southwest France, is a dreamland for me. It sacrifices nothing: the most revered wine, stellar cuisine, chateaux in droves, and French sensibility. For 36 hours one June weekend, we feasted with our eyes and tastebuds through vast vineyards and Michelin-starred restaurants. I loved every minute exploring the cobbled and sloped walkways in our small town, St. Emilion, and savored evenings on the terrace at the lovely Hostellerie de Plaisance. Our adopted home was full of charm with historic substance and the best service we’ve ever experienced in Europe. We didn’t have a lot of time to visit multiple vineyards, as each appointment is typically over an hour long, complete with a personal tour and tasting. We chose strategically, experiencing two vineyards, each with its own distinct personalities. First was Chateau Grand Mayne, a beautiful boutique winery in St. Emilion, and the second one, much larger, folds out into a beautiful story.
Nestled in rolling vineyards atop a gentle slope is the family-run Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, a producer of superb red and white wines whose history dates back to 1365. The vineyard takes exquisite care of each step of the wine-producing process, from honed techniques of nearly all-organic growing processes to having their own barrel maker who works with tasters to cater each piece of wood to a desired taste of wine. The estate hosts a luxury inn, two restaurants including the decadent and delicious La Grand’Vigne which has the distinction of two Michelin stars, and a spa. The beauty brand Caudalie is part of what makes the chateau so special as it utilizes the rich resources of grape by-products in production of the line. Even the name ties into the equation, the word Caudalie is derived from the word caudal (tail), this is the unit used to measure the the persistence of a wine’s finish, with one caudalie representing one second.
Candice Pool is the founder of FINN Jewelry, a delicate fine jewelry brand that was founded in 2005. The Cape Town-born, Houston-raised and NYC-based designer offers a whimsical, not-too-serious twist on classic and dainty charms, symbols, and shapes – creating modern jewelry for the everyday. Below this talented shares what she’s obsessing over currently! READ MORE
This time of year brings back fond memories of a trip to France, with gorgeous and fragrant blooming lavender fields. I wanted to bring that back into my home this summer, and found two fantastic products to help me: C.O. Bigelow Lavender & Peppermint Candle and Soap & Paper Factory Lavender Clary Sage Liquid Soap. READ MORE
Glossier is a new modern beauty brand by Emily Weiss of Into the Gloss. Designed as a line of beauty staples, these products are not only effortless, but also effective. After hearing about all the buzz – from friends and colleagues, we’re so excited to try the Glossier Phase 1 Set.
The set includes Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint, and the Coconut Balm DotCom (the summer version of their signature Balm DotCom). All four products are designed to work together, keeping your skin hydrated and glowing. READ MORE
On the hottest days of summer, I search near and far for unique indoor activities. A fave of ours is Little Passports, which is educational, fun, and allows for “world travel” without leaving the living room! The “Global Adventure” starts with a suitcase full of goodies including an introduction to Sofia and Sam, two kids who zoom around the globe to exotic locations on their magic scooter, a big fold-out map, and of course, a passport for stickers from every country visited. Every month, a surprise package arrives with a new country to highlight, complete with pictures, a new story from Sofia and Sam, and some kind of activity. My favorite so far is the Egypt package, which came with a pyramid hiding a buried treasure. Tools provided were small shovels and a hammer to “excavate” the treasure, in our case a bronze pharaoh head.
As I’ve mentioned here many times, the CLEAN fragrance brand is one of my favorites (if not my actual favorite). I may have a hundred different perfumes, but a crazy amount of the time, I’m reaching for one of their scents in the morning. They just work on me (and they smell amazing too). So any time they release something new, you can imagine my excitement. For summer, there are two new scents (TWO!) which makes me very, very happy.
Air has the best description ever. It’s meant to “evoke the expansive airiness of a hot air balloon ride over the Himalayas” which I think we can all admit sounds amazing. The fragrance itself can be worn alone or layered over any other CLEAN scents to make them more floral. It’s definitely more of a floral than their other scents, but it’s still fresh and light, not cloying or overpowering. (It has notes of Bergamot Blossoms, Sparkling Freesia and Dewy Peony). As per usual, I want to wear it always.
The other new scent, Summer Sun, is even more up my alley. It’s supposed to capture the essence of an endless summer day and every time I smell it, it just makes me happy. So, so happy. With notes of Clementine, Crisp Apple, Bergamot, Wet Marine Notes, Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Juniper Berry, White Amber, Blonde Woods, Sandalwood and Soft Musk, it’s playful and fun. To me, it’s a little fruitier than most of their other scents, but it’s still so… clean (for lack of a better word!) The thing I love about CLEAN is that every scent feels perfect in all situations to me. I definitely wear them in the daytime to work, but they seem perfect for nights out as well. I love that when I wear Summer Sun, I smile every time I catch a whiff of it. Fragrance SHOULD make you happy and CLEAN scents always do. Kudos!
I’m on a mission! With the wedding of an old classmate of mine coming up, I am suddenly feeling the anxiety of an approaching reunion and the pressure of looking just as good (or better!) than when we graduated a decade ago. So I decided to go into full-out cram mode, focusing on getting rid of the dull, both inside and out. It’s high time that my skin reaches it’s potential for being as smooth and bright as possible! Culling invaluable knowledge from beauty experts and tips from girlfriends, I’m embarking on a month-long journey with one of my favorites, philosophy. While I get inspired by their pithy messages on each package, my face will be uplifted as well.
As a new mom, I appreciate every little moment with my baby – but it can become all to easy to forget all the first moments between sleep deprivation and all the hundred other things on my plate. Having heard rave reviews of the baby memory books by Lucy Darling, I was so excited to check them out and begin documenting special moments. READ MORE
Fresh off a getaway weekend in Santa Barbara, I’m missing the clean breeze mingled with sea salt and organic fresh food. We spent a lot of time in the sun, and I brought along Kiehl’s Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30 to keep my skin hydrated and protected from the California rays. The rich cream hits two birds with one stone, working on existing dark spots (so pesky!) and fine lines while protecting against future damage. I made sure to coat my face, decolletage and shoulders with it before eating al fresco or going for a swim. I could feel the cream hugging my face and nourishing it while keeping harmful rays away. The absence of heavy scent was appreciated, and it also doesn’t have that unpleasant “sunscreen smell.”
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