Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP has partnered with Michael Kors on a new capsule collection where he reinvented her favorite Kors pieces of all time (a cashmere cape, the peacoat, a peplum sweater) and to accompany the launch, they pulled together this darling little holiday video (above).
The takeaway? Michael and Gwyneth believe in holiday cocktails that taste like “drunk ice cream” (recipe here, because who doesn’t want drunk ice cream?!?), monochromatic wrapping schemes and cashmere…lots and lots of cashmere.
Sounds good to me – ’tis the season, after all!
Have a great weekend!
I haven’t been a perfume person for most of my life. My parents have always been heavy into colognes and perfumes and richly scented body lotions (in their typical Euro way) and I think it led my senses a little…astray.
A dab here, a dab there, it suddenly felt pretty and luxurious and subtle. As a good fragrance should.
And so when my eyes first fell in love with the look of Olivine, a line of handcrafted perfume oils made by a woman named Julie Merriman Wray in Seattle and presented in the most lovely little glass bottles, my nose was happy to follow along.
Her collection is rich without being overpowering and brings to mind days spent lying in the Hawaiian sun (Amongst the Waves), or a gardenia-filled garden (Olivine) or my personal favorite, Full Regalia, a comforting blend of Egyptian Jasmine, Moroccan Red Rose, Musk, Blackberry, and a hint of Patchouli (just a hint, because I am not your typical patchouli girl).
Every scent has a story and Wray tells them all with love, also donating 5 percent of each sale to Every Mother Counts, an organization developed to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world.
That should be enough to engage anyone’s senses…don’t you think?
I am one of those mamas who has a very hard time with most mainstream baby brands. I appreciate functionality, of course, but a little style with my substance is always an important factor for me and in that industry, it is often (sadly) overlooked. Enter Rebecca Campora, the uber chic French designer behind one of my favorite baby accessories brands, 7 A.M. Enfant. Campora set out to create a simple, contemporary collection of essentials that was well-designed, beautifully made and functional for busy moms and babies on the go. And she had lots of firsthand experience to draw from. Her award-winning designs adorn bouncing little babies (and their strollers) around the world but it’s at home in New York where she really shines as mom to her beautiful family of five. Here, my friends, is how she does it:
What time does your day start and how?
I am a very early bird; my day can start as early as 4AM but never later than 6AM. I really enjoy mornings, it is quiet as my entire loving little world is fast asleep. It seems that days don’t entirely belong to me, as they go fast and many contingent parameters often stop me from embracing the time and reflecting on what I do – I start with an espresso.
What time does your day end and how?
On average 11PM. I prepare for my following day by taking notes, reading, browsing the web and listening to music (my second caffeine).
Do you work from home or in an office? What is the set up like?
I work from both; since I wake up early, 40% of my work gets done before the regular day has even started. Comfortably in my sweet environment I will work while I prepare the children’s breakfast, lunch and assist them to get ready before taking my son to school.
Do you see/speak to your kids throughout your work day? If yes, how/when?
Of course. My daughters, who are in college and high school, contact me frequently for candid reasons or important matters to discuss, solve or organize. My little boy needs a lot of attention, thus I won’t neglect anything that will be important during his childhood. As soon as he is out of school, he calls me or comes to the office to join us after he finishes his activities.
What is the best thing about being a working mom? Hardest thing?
Nothing is ever easy when you are meticulous and like a challenge. I would say that being a mother gives me strength and motivation. It allows my tenacity to persist, my inspiration to exist and makes my days as joyful as can be.
The hardest is undoubtedly making sure that the family life remains warm and as natural as when I grew up.
Be honest, what is one thing you envy about stay at home moms?
I am thankful for what I have and wouldn’t change a thing. But being more available for others would be the thing that I envy the most. Also, I’d love to cook more often for my children and husband who travels a lot and prefers homemade dinners when he is in New York.
Answer the question “I don’t know how you do it?” in ten words or less.
Taking time without wasting time is my secret… (editor’s note: how much do you love that???)
And here are some of Rebecca’s favorite things…
Clockwise from top left:
For her son: I dig denim from Sweden
Editor’s pick: a favorite from 7 A.M. Enfant
Babe & Tess from Italy
For mama: Isabel Marant coat
Her FIAT Cinquecento
Moleskine notebooks and sketchbooks
Our Sunday field trips have become a really nice little ritual and yesterday’s may have been the best one yet. We explored an area that is an old favorite – Laguna Beach – but in a very new way.
This formerly quaint little beach town blew up a few years back as a result of the reality TV show that took place there, but its artistic vibe, beautiful beaches and cool architecture remain intact and make it a great day trip destination that’s only about 45 minutes away…without traffic. And there is always traffic. But I digress.
Yesterday was probably the most perfect first of December in the history of first of Decembers with the sun shining and the temperatures hovering in the low/mid 70s so while everyone else was picking out their tree or lugging that Elf out of the box, we hit the beach in serious style for the day at the Pacific Edge Hotel. Pacific Edge had invited us to check out their beachfront private bungalows for an afternoon and it was a perfect family daycation: the bungalows (there are five in total, each available for private rental, even if you aren’t a guest of the hotel) sit beachfront on a quiet, beautiful stretch of sand (see view above).
My little lady getting comfortable in her new surroundings for the day…didn’t take much. Each bungalow is designed with a different partner and we were in the Billabong one which came complete with charcuterie boards shaped like surfboards, coffee table books, a surfboard mounted to the ceiling…cute little touches everywhere.
Lots of succulents and warm, natural design elements throughout.
The bungalows are the perfect size for a group – they accommodate up to 10, we had four adults and three kids and were beyond comfortable – and have all the luxuries and amenities of a VIP hotel room, sans bed. A lovely sitting area, private bath, TV, minibar, iPod deck, and most importantly: stunning views, easy beach access, and an outdoor lounge area reserved just for you. You can eat, drink and be very merry for the day and it truly feels like a little mini vacation, without the expense and overstuffed luggage.
It was a really lovely way to kick off what is sure to be a busy, hectic month…it gave us an opportunity to just unwind as a family (that’s Kai’s little mop of hair in the foreground of the picture above), have a few good laughs, appreciate our surroundings and take in some new experiences together. I think that’s the whole point behind these little field trips of ours. Taking a day that would typically otherwise be filled with mundane tasks, the usual activities and the same old and making it new. It doesn’t really matter where we go, as long as we go.
It shows our kids that there is a world out there to explore and that we are intent, as a family, on exploring it. On seeing new places and meeting new friends and trying new food and making new memories. And of course, on taking in as many stunning California sunsets as we can.
*disclosure: Pacific Edge (which is a Joie de Vivre property and they are all great!) hosted us in a beachside bungalow for the afternoon but all impressions were my own…and I would book it again in a heartbeat. They also have very affordable room rates for prime Laguna Beach location and amenities, so be sure to check it out if you’re ever considering a trip to the area.
We promised to keep it simple and stress-free and that it was.
The table took on a natural, organic tone with mini pumpkins, greenery, easy printable place cards and rosemary accents for each.
The crown jewel?
The votive holder made by almost three-year-old Kai that anchored the entire table setting.
The food was traditional and delicious.
Just enough of it, nothing out of the ordinary, much to be thankful for.
And it was even better for lunch today.
When we sat around all day long, avoiding anything to do with shopping or sales.
And embracing everything that had to do with naps, books, cartoons and pumpkin pie.
A lovely start to the season.
Hope you have a great weekend!
Thank you for taking the time to stop by here once in a while to take a peek around, say hello, and maybe grab a little inspiration for your day.
Thank you for giving my words and thoughts a place to thrive.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
*image above via Pinterest, but no viable credit to be found!*
I know you’re all busy thinking about the big dinner this week, but let’s not forget about the morning-after breakfast. Turkey before noon is a no in my book, so I will be whipping up these simple, delicious blueberry muffins from My Father’s Daughter instead. I made them the other night on a whim and marveled again at how easy the recipe is to pull together with staples you probably already have in the house. I also used frozen blueberries which were a perfectly fine substitute for the fresh ones, if you can’t find them. Here’s the recipe:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tsp sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Heat oven to 375°. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk butter, eggs and milk in a bowl. Combine flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients; fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups; sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp sugar. Bake until muffins are golden brown and a knife comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm, with coffee if my husband has anything to say about it.
And prep the leftover turkey for lunch
I love my Kindle but still love to give and get a good book as well, especially when it’s one you are going to want to hold onto forever. Here are some holiday gift suggestions for the book lovers in your life:
1) For your mom, mother-in-law, aunt, etc: The Most of Nora Ephron
2) For the cooking fanatic: Canal House Cooks Every Day
3) For the new mother: Bringing Up Bébé
4) For the 20-something hipster younger sister: It
5) For your husband, brother, brother-in-law: Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life
6) For the fashion lover: Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years
8) For your newly retired dad (most definitely for mine…): Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips
And check out this Pinterest promotion from Chronicle Books…I am a skeptic and never know if these online things are legitimate anymore these days, but worth a Pin anyways, wouldn’t you say??
*this post contains affiliate links but all selections are my own
I spent yesterday picking up some new things for the Thanksgiving table. I told myself I had a very tight budget for holiday decor this year but suddenly the black/gold glam color scheme I have used the past few years felt all wrong. I wanted something more natural and earth-toned but still chic, and I think I found it. I will be sure to share pictures on the day of, but in the meantime, here are some little bits of inspiration for your week ahead.
(Above) I love the idea of using a fresh herb like rosemary on the table.
Mini white pumpkins might be my very favorite seasonal design element (here they are at use in our home a few weeks ago) and are definitely going to play a role at our table…assuming I can still find them. Beware, they do yellow with time so best to get them fresh.
How stunning is this menu? We host a relatively small Thanksgiving (just the four of us and my parents) so formal menus and place cards aren’t necessary…but they sure are lovely.
Simple and chic but organic and rustic at the same time. Not always an easy balance to strike.
I love this concept. Going around the table to share your thanks can get awkward and impersonal…and everyone says “family and food.” Allowing people to share their thoughts in writing may allow for a little more freedom and creativity.
Love the use of the deep plum color in this table setting. Unexpectedly a perfect fit.
And this may be my favorite of them all. A little glam, a little glitter, but a whole lot of love. The message really says it all.
We have had a weird week of highs and lows around here.
Some lovely moments and some really frustrating ones.
And it felt like it lasted for-ev-er.
So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am feeling very thankful for weekends today.
A chance to slow down and be lazy and leave the rules and obligations at the door.
To just enjoy our little family and all the craziness that comes with it.
To retreat to our bubble and watch the world go by at our own pace…which often includes pizza, baked goods for breakfast and a movie night. Or two.
This is really the last (semi) quiet weekend before we officially go into holiday mode and I am planning on really soaking it all in.
Have a good one!
*outtake above from our family’s DIY Christmas photo shoot – it was super stressful but worth every shot. Especially this one.