I don’t know any better way to practice my French other than taking little tips from My Little Paris, a crazy fun blog and way more French than mine will ever be. It brings a smile to mon visage every time they post. And girls; OUI just want to have fun.Oops; better brush up on my waist, I’m behind (or above depending how you look at it) a few inches.
Beauty with a Purpose – from Cult Favorite Skincare Label Tatcha
It’s something that was sent to me in the new Box of Style – second go around for Spring. I don’t have to go out looking for new product, it now comes to me and keeps on getting better. I’m happy that it’s an exfoliant with a history and a missionto empower women, as well as make them look well, more polished shall we say?
What it is: a non-abrasive, water-activated enzyme exfoliant with rice bran and licorice, so even those with dry skin can use it. Which helps to encourage cell turnover, lighten the appearance of dark spots, prevent breakouts or clogged pores, and prepare the skin for any treatments to follow.
Founder Victoria Tsai’s Mission Statement
“When I thought of geisha, I had always pictured them with their iconic white makeup. When I met them in person, I realized that underneath that makeup is baby-soft, smooth, luminous skin. Caring for their skin is part of their artistry, passed down and honed through generations. Their rituals and ingredients are timeless and beautiful—they view skin as a brilliant organ, able to care for itself with a little bit of gentle cleansing and nourishment. I fell in love with this approach and wanted to pay homage in creating Tatcha.”
Western Vs. Eastern
“Western skincare is a lot like Western medicine, using drugs to treat an issue after the fact. Eastern skincare is like Eastern medicine, focused on prevention and keeping the body in balance to avoid disease before it starts. Classical Japanese beauty rituals were born from the geisha’s rituals, which are natural, elegant and spare. Even with elaborate performance makeup, her ritual is no more than four steps: melt away her makeup, polish, plump and nourish skin. The ingredients follow the same philosophy, with streamlined formulas of active ingredients, minimally manipulated to their most efficacious form. Whether it’s oil from a camellia flower, steamed wild rose or brewed green tea, each ingredient serves a purpose.”
Why Choose Tatcha
“We develop every formula and our key active ingredients from scratch in-house with some of the most famous skincare scientists in the world, like a couture dress. The ingredients are pure and clean because of our classical Japanese heritage and because I was pregnant when we were beginning our R&D and needed a collection that is body-, animal- and earth-friendly. Finally, we believe that beauty begins in the heart and the mind. We have a 1:1 partnership with Room to Read: Every full-size skincare purchase funds a day of school for a girl in a developing country. Thanks to amazing clients and friends like Rachel Zoe, we have funded over 1 million days of school and counting.”
Have you tried it? What exfoliant are you using and/or recommend?
In my quest to bring more lightness to all areas in my life including my clothes, I came across this Italian resort wear collection at of all places, not Italy but at an outdoor market in Palm Springs. I fell in love with the timeless, low maintenance pieces worn with ease by renowned fashion designer Sabina Bach.
Sabina designs a comfortable, stylish and unrestricted collection, produced in Italy out of all natural fibers like the finest linen and silks.
The following is brought to you (via me) by My Little Paris, a website that I’ve lately become addicted to for fun French musings on life, cooking and je ne sais quoi else.
3,451 miles. That’s how far Apollonia Poilâne used to go to get her bread every week.
Okay—technically, it was FedEx delivering the loaf from the Poilâne bakery in Paris to Apollonia’s mailbox in the US. But still. The woman clearly takes her bread seriously. She had to: when her parents died in a helicopter crash just months before she left France for college, 18-year-old Apollonia spent four years running the entire bakery from—no kidding—her Harvard dorm room. The following recipe is not for bread (it’s impossible to recreate a Poilâne loaf at home, trust us). But it’s one of Apollonia’s personal favorites, and involves chocolate, crushed butter cookies, and salted butter. Kind of hard to complain.
(Tip: they’re best made with Poilâne’s punition biscuits (which you can order here), but any old butter cookie will do.)
minimalism. What is it you really need in life to feel comfortable?
I’ve come to appreciate that what you really need to enjoy a comfy home environment is something very simple. Other than a solid roof over your head it comes down to a few basics…a comfortable bed, hot running water and elements that work. You can fill up your living space with all the extras you like, but if you don’t have the necessary comforts (if you’re not camping in a tent, that is) you won’t feel protected and secure. After that you can add in life’s little luxuries…smart TV, laptop, blow dryer, throw pillows, designer bags, etc.
I know this because it has become my living situation in Palm Springs for the past three months. I’ve downgraded but am happier for it. And it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders – only a small weight mind you. And a weight I put there myself. Because I wasn’t completely happy with staying in hotels (subject always to availability not to mention prices that go waaay up depending on what’s going on around town & on weekends) and renting places (which by the way have become harder and harder to find not to mention the astronomical damage deposit fee you must leave although if you don’t wreck the place you’ll get back). At first my husband and I ended up renting a townhouse with a lot more space but a lot less soul than what we now call part/time home.
Last year when visiting Palm Springs and by an extremely pleasant turn of events (bumping into someone I know from Vancouver at a music venue who told me about this place) I discovered a small RV park very centrally located within a short walking distance to town center. With a clubhouse/pool/sauna/games room, etc. and a hiking mountain right behind the park and shops/restaurants closeby. Bonus: tons of hummingbirds. Out of curiosity I phoned to see if any spots were available for a short stay to camp in the Eurovan this time around (in between vacating the condo rental & hotel). They did not have anything available, however a park model RV came up for sale in a location I liked within the park so let’s just jump ahead here…I bought it. It’s super comfy, everything works and the dogs especially love it. You make the space your own. Each is different, some are very nice, others not. I found that people customize to their personal liking .
My husband had to fly back to Vancouver for appointments. On a Westjet flight back to PS he sat next to an interesting woman with a female dog sitting on her lap. It was the woman’s first visit to Palm Springs staying at her cousin’s gorgeous condo. We ended up going for a dog walk and she came back to our pad. She loved it and said if another came up for sale she wanted to buy it as a more affordable and perfect alternative to renting or buying a condo. (Bonus: no property tax issues and withholding tax at time of sale.)
Apparently nothing had come up for sale in a long time and the park is usually booked up a year in advance. But to her good luck karma, a couple only two spots away from us decided they wanted to sell their lovely upgraded park model and travel elsewhere for a change. All to say…we have a new neighbour! And Jack has a nice new little girlfriend. Funny how things work out.
The outer surroundings where we’re located are something else – anything but minimal to counterbalance the lack of….more space. The space is situated with a pleasant mountain view and privacy hedges (in between neighbours) and palm trees. It has all the comforts of home. I call it my pad-à-terre. I’ve found a very good nail place, hairdresser, tailor, dog groomer, fix-it phone guy, coffee shop and convenience store within short walking distance. You know, the other necessities of life!
The trailer itself is 350 sq. ft. of uncluttered liveable indoor space perfect for two (and a guest on occasion – there’s a pull-out sofabed) and another 400 sq. ft. of outdoor living space which is what I love the most. There are people who live here year round and others (travelers/snowbirds) who keep an RV here full time (because they like their assigned spot and want to secure the space) but only come a few months a year and the others rent space when available for days/weeks/months at a time. Park fees include garbage pick-up, electricity, cable, internet but not gas so we pay for propane. Otherwise, it is fully serviced.
This one is going to be kept here year round, whether we come for one month or six. It’s pretty simple living at it’s best. I have a bike to get around and the river walk a few blocks away to run & walk the dogs. But I must say that if the weather wasn’t cooperative I’m not sure I could do this full-time. Let’s just say that sunshine is a requirement for happiness! All that Vitamin D is healthy for a person!
As it turns out I’ve discovered more about myself. I like the simplicity of living light and having less stuff. So maybe as the saying goes “less is more” hence the tiny houses movement right now. This is living large by comparison. Call it country chic, shabby chic or whatever…I find it to be an excellent alternative to buying an expensive condo in the sun. It’s hassle free and in the worst case scenario if something happens I can…walk away.
Oh, Spring! I want to go out and feel you and get inspiration. My old things seem dead. I want fresh contacts, more vital searching. – Emily Carr
“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.” – Emily Dickinson
The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently. Gary Zukav (best selling author, “Seat of the Soul”).
I had always planned to make a large painting of the early spring, when the first leaves are at the bottom of the trees, and they seem to float in space in a wonderful way. But the arrival of spring can’t be done in one picture. David Hockney
“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
with something other than the multiple winning “best of beauty” orgasm
What’s New from NARS?
Time to branch out from our usual Orgasm to six new Nars blush shades that comes in two cheeky limited edition palettes. Try pinks for a natural just-got-back-from-SoulCycle flush (sans all that sweat), and peach shades to brighten sallow cheeks. Whether you want a dramatic glow or a no-makeup makeup vibe, the mix of matte and shimmery finishes lends the ideal flush for every occasion.
NARS NARSissist Unfiltered I Cheek Palette – Limited Edition
Watch Me– opalescent gold, sheen
Me First– apricot, sheen
Takeover– copper rose, sheen
Out There– deep russet, matte
Chic– rich raspberry, matte
Exhibit A– red, matte
NARS NARSissist Unfiltered II Cheek Palette – Limited Edition
Conquest– pastel peach, matte
Undefeated– pale pink, matte
Powder Play– vivid pink, matte
Hot Sand– peach champagne, sheen
Fame– pink amber, sheen
Candid– mauve raspberry, shimmer
One of the Best Spring Palettes according to Allure Magazine
The 2017 Coachella lineup is out and it’s all happening in April on a large outdoor field in Indio with lots of sun, palm trees and great music. It’s a good enough excuse for a ROAD TRIP!
Divas from Lady Gaga to Lorde and groups like Little Dragon will perform while everyone else stays Insanely Stylish on the ground wearing itty bitty jeans, crochet, floral dresses and fringe. My sister & her besties are going. Here are some photos from last year for ideas on how to keep cool in the heat. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
It’s that Spring cleaning time again. I’m going to start with my body…by drinking more Matcha. As a matter of fact I just made myself a delicious matcha latte while sitting down to write this post.
With over 4,000 years of history that’s steeped in ancient Chinese and Japanese tradition, matcha is also an untapped beauty and health resource. That’s why for all of its many beneficial factors I love to incorporate the powder into different facets of my diet. I like the taste but don’t get me wrong I’m hoping it will make me more beautiful on the inside and help to keep me strong and healthy too (along with a slew of other ingestibles).
Here are A FEW REASONS why it’s so good according to the experts (and me)!
GLOWING SKIN: Matcha powdered green tea has 137 more antioxidants, or EGCGs, than regularly brewed green tea. These antioxidants help protect your skin from ultraviolet radiation. They can even get rid of harmful free radicals that your body’s been holding onto. Additionally, they boost your blood flow, which can help give you that oh-so-coveted rosy, natural glow in your cheeks.
HELPS KEEP YOU RELAXED AND ALERT AT THE SAME TIME: Matcha is rich in L-theanine, a rare amino acid that actually promotes a state of relaxation and well-being within your brain’s functionality. While stress can induce beta waves (which lead to an excited and agitated state), L-theanine creates alpha waves (which lead to a state of relaxed alertness). And while L-theanine is common in all tea, matcha may contain up to five times more of this amino acid than your regular ol’ black and green varieties.
IT HELPS YOU REMEMBER THINGS: The L-theanine in matcha also improves your memory (read: helps you remember where you put your cell phone and car keys). It can help you learn and perform better without all the usual negative side effects of caffeine. In fact, studies show that those drinking green tea filled with L-theanine were also less susceptible to “distracting information” that might hinder their tasks (i.e. less susceptible to scrolling through Instagram during the work day).
IT HELPS BOOST YOUR METABOLISM AND BURN FAT: the chemical components in matcha basically make up an internal gym for your body. Drinking matcha can help you burn more calories, while studies show it can also help you burn up to 25% more fat. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, matcha can kick your weight loss into high gear.
IT KEEPS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTHY: ECGCs help keep sickness-inducing microbodies and oxidative stress in check. Matcha is also great for the type of inflammation that occurs when you have allergies or a sinus infection. Swap out your coffee for matcha during cold and flu season to reap the holistic benefits of catechins and theanine.
IT MAY SLOW DOWN THE AGEING PROCESS: Okinawa, Japan, is what scientists and nutritionists call a Blue Zone, otherwise known as a geographic area of the world where people live longer. Because one of the most common beverages among Okinawans is matcha, Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones Solution ($16),attributed such long life spans to the daily consumption of the beverage and its cancer-fighting free radicals.
IT MAY HELP ALLEVIATE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY: along with keeping you focused, relaxed, improving your immune system, and increasing your blood flow, matcha helps relieve depression and anxiety. The polyphenols found in matcha can heal you from the inside out, and therefore can make you feel happier and less stressed. Polyphenols are powerful plant-based antioxidants and micronutrients found in a lot of foods that typically bring you joy (like wine and chocolate).
The reasons listed are good enough for me to keep up this habit. At the very least it’s nice and warming. But remember you will get the most benefits out of drinking pure matcha. But you have to be careful; you don’t want to be downing matcha lattes made with added sugar, so it’s best to either make it yourself so you know what’s in it or always ask. Just because something has “matcha” in it does not guarantee it is healthy.
“Love thy neighbour” is a term that’s become almost clichéd over the years. In a time when neighbours, at least in North America, are people we rarely see (thanks to garage door openers and busy lives), or are thought of as nuisances with barking dogs guilty and noisy children, how can we possibly love our neighbours?
Well you know; you don’t have to actually love them, but it’s best if you genuinely like them.
But how close is too close? I’m talking about people you might see on a day to day basis, sometimes only in passing. How do you feel towards them? Them towards you? How important is it to maintain a good relationship with your neighbour? I guess it depends on how much you have in common, how close in proximity you are…but at the very least isn’t it in your best interest to be friendly?
I’ve always had good luck with my neighbours (next door, back door, upstairs + down). In the sense that we seem to genuinely like each other to the point of naturally developing over time a genuine friendship. From the very first time I moved away from home to a place of my own, I’ve been lucky to have had great neighbours. Many have become lifelong friends. One even gave me the best gift of my life, her dog whom I fell in love with from the get-go. She realized we’d be happier together than apart.
Unfortunately last year I lost one of my favourite ones, a woman I rented part of a house from shortly after moving to Vancouver from Montreal. She became like a second mother and we shared a family like relationship over the years. I remember she used to leave homemade food and baked goods outside my door and we used to celebrate holidays together.
Now I have a next door neighbor in Palm Springs who leaves homemade cookies and banana cake on my doorstep. I certainly don’t think that I look like I need to be fed! However, when I think back to past and present neighbors, food is always involved. One used to leave homemade pies, another pyrogies. Just can’t seem to break the mold and that’s okay. Sharing is a nice trait and food is a pleasant ice breaker that brings people together. It means you have to confront the giver to say “thank you.”
I think it’s important to be on friendly terms at the very least. More often than not I’ve stayed in touch over the years with past/present neighbours and we get together from time to time.
Good neighbours can make or break your peaceful enjoyment. It’s just really nice when it turns out you legitimately want to spend time with them or be in their company even temporarily. It makes for better neighbourhoods and people tend to look out for one another (neighbourhood watch or watch out!). I had a neighbour from across the street call to tell me I left my door open one time when traveling and another called the police to report unusual activity. Turns out the unusual activity was me just getting home from a trip. It was nighttime and she didn’t recognize that it was me. So they can be helpful. They also come in handy for watering your plants while away…if they don’t kill them instead by mistake of course not mentioning any names.
And it’s a bonus if they love your music!How do you feel towards yours?