Book Update, The Art of Packing and A Holiday by the Sea

9:44 AM 8 Comments

I am extremely happy to report that I have finished the rough draft of my very first novel! For the past three months I have been working feverishly, yet happily. Now that I am faced with the rewrite, however, I feel that the real work is about to begin! *sigh*

But before I jump in, I am celebrating this minor accomplishment by going on a three week vacation to Portugal and England. I have never been to Portugal and am very much looking forward to a holiday by the sea...

This upcoming vacation is yet another opportunity for me to try and pack stylishly and efficiently... With my England trip last October I was highly dismayed to have packed way too much- I must have used only 50% of what I brought- which has made me a firm believer that lugging around excess baggage is never a good look.

So this time around I am going to try an experiment. For the entire three weeks I plan on only bringing minimal clothing- 2 cashmere sweaters, 2 pairs of jeans, 4 tops, 4 dresses, 1 bathing suit, 2 pairs of ballet flats, one pair of flip flops (for the beach), and a pair of heels.

I will either feel incredibly liberated with the lack of excess baggage, or I will curse the heavens that I didn't pack enough! Only time will tell...

I would love to know, how do you pack for a trip?

Image courtesy of: www.enjoyart.com


Unconditional Love by Philosophy

2:59 PM 8 Comments

This past week I sampled Philosophy's newest fragrance, Unconditional Love. I've actually tried it three times in the last week as Philosophy has opened a flagship store near my home in Santa Monica and I find myself frequently walking by its open doors.

I will admit the first time I sampled Unconditional Love, I liked it instantly but decided to file it under "guilty pleasure" as the intensely sweet and fruity notes together reminded me of a summertime concoction that I used to wear from Bath and Bodyworks when I was a teenager.

But then I went to the post office and found myself standing in what seemed to be a never ending line. Lost in the reverie of daydreaming (what else is one to do in a long line at the post office?) I was brought out of my thoughts by the lady standing behind me who asked me what scent I was wearing. She said (and I quote) that I smelled "amazing".

Hmmm. This got me thinking. Maybe Unconditional Love wasn't such a throwaway after all. I'm not sure why I instantly label fruity and sweet smelling fragrances as unsophisticated but I had filed this one as such in my mind. The next day I went back and sampled it again, this time the sales girl gave me samples of the scent as well as the firming body emulsion and shower gel in the same fragrance...

And the verdict?

I've got nothing but love for Philosophy's Unconditional Love.

Unconditional Love contains fruity notes, white floral notes, hints of blackberry and black current and finishes off with a cashmere vanilla dry down.

The fragrance can be purchased at: www.philosophy.com


Barefoot in Paris

7:45 PM 6 Comments

One thing I have yet to discuss on this blog is cooking. This topic has been a strange omission on my part as it is such a huge part of my life. I love to cook. Starters, main courses, desserts... I love it all! I am not a cook of the freestyle variety however, and always heavily rely on cookbooks to create my delights. Today, my parents were coming over for lunch and as I have had a recent yearning for French food I got out my trusty cookbook Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten- otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa.

I'm a huge fan of the Barefoot Contessa's show and cookbooks- Ina has such a great way of creating delicious recipes that tend to look intimidating on the plate but aren't at all intimidating to make.

So for today's lunch? It was eggplant gratin with a simple salad. I love serving gratins as you can make them the night before and simply pop them into the oven about a half an hour before your guests want to eat. This gratin, which I had never made before, came out great and got rave reviews. But the piece de resistance? My dessert, a Coeur a la Creme. This delicious dish is similar to a panna cotta but done Parisian-style in a heart shaped mold and served with a dash of framboise sauce and some fresh raspberries. It is the easiest dessert in the world to make (another one that you prepare the evening before) and is a real show stopper for your guests.

There is nothing quite like an afternoon spent eating lovely food with the people you love...

I would love to know what you enjoy cooking...

Bon Apetite!

Barefoot in Paris can be purchased at: www.amazon.com