I have always enjoyed the few times in life when I had the opportunity to go camping. This fall I get to do it in Big Sur which I have long dreamt of visiting. I also want to attempt to do it with style, perhaps a low budget version of Glamping. I am fairly inexperienced and needed some basic camping instructions and how to. While researching here are some items I found that I wish I could bring along and some inspirational images.
Lets see what actually come to pass and what my camp experience actually ends up looking like in the real world!
This summer as a mom and a lover of fashion I realized that there is a time and place for a well appointed one piece swimsuit.
When traveling with family or at a kids water park I didn’t want to be ‘that’ lady trying to sex it up with a thong while carrying my two year old.
These suits still manage to merge style, function and some appeal all in one.
The Noelle Brooke polka dot swimsuit below seems to be unavailable now but I wish I could get my hands on it.
Now for some more athletic options…
I love the entire sportswear line of Bershka. Here’s one in white with graphic netting.
There you have it. Soon it will be too cold for most to be swimming but I am always dreaming of sunning myself on the beach or by a swanky pool so never you mind.
Summer days are slowly fading and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. Here is my beauty inspiration for Fall:
This ox-blood color was big last year and still a favorite of mine. It actually harkens back to the trend in the 90’s, when I first noticed it. I love it paired with soft eyes and glowing skin. Via runway looks from becominggorgeous.com and style.com
This deep brown and burgundy is my smoky eye pick. I favor it because it brings out the lightness of the eye and is a bit different. Paired with a nude, pinkish pout it’s sumptuous and fresh. Via Stephanie Carlisi @Pinterest
Some inspiring images getting me into the spirit early as I look forward to my favorite ‘holiday’. I love all things veering towards the spooky and dark so part of the fun for me is the anticipation and planning.
While outside with my neighbor this morning enjoying the pool and sun I was wondering what to make for dinner. She happened to mention Urban Radish a new market opening here in DTLA officially this coming Saturday August 13th. Now during its soft open locals are getting a taste for some great food, finds and another option for shopping downtown.
My neighbor hails from New York originally and compared its wares to a Dean & Deluca or Balducci’s so I was sold.
We breezed through and aisle after aisle my family and I grabbed goods and made mental notes of future purchases while sampling fresh food.
The cheese section alone was teeming with all sorts of choices and some I’d never even heard of.
The produce was picture perfect. The wines are well chosen and there is a lovely patio where you can sample them and soak up the rays.
Here’s a peek at some of my loot. I’m especially keen on trying the Cuban black beans. That will prove to be a staple on my shopping list if its as good as I hope.
661 Imperial St
Los Angeles 90021
I am a bit of a product whore. That is to say I love products in pretty packages and I am quite discerning. I love the entire idea of the time it takes to bathe and powder and brush and preen in the mirror and revel in luxuriating in pampering the body. It is my special time and place, the bath. It is where I feel comforted and rejuvenated. It is therapy for me to have a face soap or bath oil with a beautiful fragrance. When I want to reinvent myself in my mind I just pick a new one.
Here are some of my absolute must-haves. I swear by them. These are the staples that I would take to the proverbial desert island, if I had the choice to pack them instead of being washed up there of course.
1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser.* Around $7.50. It is not for everyone and by that I mean it’s for folks like me who have oily skin and tend to break out even after a certain age. I don’t mind the oil as it saves me in wrinkles but I cannot claim to be able to just rinse off my face with water and have a clear complexion. This stuff has the good old 2% Salicylic Acid that most dermatologists have as the main ingredient in their own more expensive solutions. Also the pink grapefruit smell is practically exhilarating. I was never a fan of the original scent so this is right up my alley. I actually use the exfoliation face scrub every day.
2. EOS (Evolution of Smooth) Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream. Around $3.50. This brand is Paraben-free and Cruelty-Free. It also comes in luscious scents like Raspberry Pomegranate, Lavender Jasmine and my personal favorite Vanilla Bean. Yum. I personally have found that my man likes me best when I smell like some kind of cake. Can’t beat the price and the quality as it really leaves skin moisturiz-ed and provides a great smooth surface for shaving close. I need a close shave just as much as the next guy.
3. SW Basics Natural Vegan Makeup Remover & Skin Moisturizer At around $12.00 I find this all natural answer to makeup removal a great solution. I use it for the hard to get eye liner and water-proof mascara that doesn’t want to come clean. I also like to use it to clean my applicator brushes. With sweet almond oil, extra virgin olive oil, and Jojoba oil it is smooth on the skin and chemical free. It’s vegan too which makes me feel better about using it. When I can find a beauty product that works well, smells great and didn’t hurt anyone in the process of getting made I am a happier girl.
4. Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner $9.95. Now this is the real mother load. I actually can’t believe I am sharing this with you as I am afraid you will now know my secret and I won’t be able to grab it off the shelf at Whole Foods anymore. I love witch hazel as a toner. Used by Native Americans and distilled from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub this medicinal plant was used to ease swelling, as a treatment for a number of skin ailments and is a natural astringent. I love using Thayers as they have variations on the theme, Lavender, Lemon, Rose and Un-scented to name a few. Also the old school packaging makes me feel like I just picked it up at ye olde general store. Big ups for this brand.
5. Smith’s Rosebud Salve $6. This perennial favorite is as basic as it gets and works wonders both as a lip balm and also for rubbing on cheeks. I also use it as a base to mix in colors for my own lip stains and glossy eyeshadow.
6. L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream $12-28. I love this hand cream for reals. Even when I had no money to spend on extras I would splurge on this. I have yet to find a hand cream that goes on as easy, leaves no nasty residue or that smells quite as rich as this does. The French know some things and this they got right. I love all of L’Occitane’s products and would use their hand wash and lotion at every sink basin in my home if I could. Great for smoothing out cuticle’s in a pinch as well and also comes in different scents.
There you have it. These are just a handful of my go to’s and I am a reluctant and excited to share them all with you.
*I understand the Neutrogena is not cruelty-free and am currently looking for a solution that is and will let you all know when I do.
The news of a death of a loved one is never easy. Whether it be sudden or expected, an older family member or a close friend, the loss never hits you in the same way.
I lost my grandmother this past week to Alzheimer’s disease. Though it had been a slow progression the actuality of her final days still created acute pain and was sad and beautiful at the same time.
I say beautiful because I looked back at the life of this woman who nurtured me and cared for me throughout my life and a certain nostalgia hit me. She lived a simple and long life and had love. She died as well as she could have. The beauty lied in the images that struck me. Her feeding me Cuban dishes and teaching me how to cook them on her tiny stove is one of only many cherished memories. I used to walk with her hand in hand to the grocery to pick out fresh foods that she told me all about. She bathed me and sang to me and soothed me when I was ill. As a teenager when I felt I had no one to turn to, she was there, every afternoon, with a hot plate of food and a open heart. I took pride in the fact that she used to love to tell everyone that I looked just like her.
I hope to pass on to my daughter the love of cooking and gardening that she gave me, her indelible grace and beauty, not to mention her thriftiness. She had a huge garden that she tended loyally. Her chicken coop was the star of the backyard for me, and she taught me how to care for the newborn chicks and proudly displayed any fresh eggs in her refrigerator.
Besides all of the thoughts of days we shared I looked back on her life and who she loved and how she lived. I saw all of the people that she left behind who came to say goodbye. I foresaw the future when I looked upon my parents saying their final respects over the coffin and I could see myself in their place one day.
People look for solace at times like these. I don’t know what I believe in terms of religion or afterlife but I did see some yellow butterflies fluttering around my niece and daughter as they ran together in the yard I grew up playing in. I didn’t think much of it until I looked it up and sure enough the yellow butterfly is a well known symbol of death and spirits moving on.
I will try to take that as a sign. Or maybe even if it’s just a coincidence I will pretend that it is her every time I see one.
Dearest Mima, I love you.