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The Sunday You

2018 January 21

A while back I shared a post about our “Sunday Home.” The basic premise is that come Sunday evening every week, we like our home to feel a certain way to prep us mentally and physically for the week ahead. We believe that when your physical space is in (semi) order, then your mind and emotions can be as well and we find that a few regular rituals every weekend help us get to that place. But there’s more to the practice than your environment so today I thought I would share some tips for “The Sunday You” and how you can spend a little time each weekend giving back to yourself – emotionally and spiritually – to start the week on the right foot. Disclaimer: we are not church-goers so you won’t see that on this list but if you are, then obviously it’s an important component of your Sunday you. But it doesn’t mean it has to be the only element…

Exercise. My usual gym is closed on Sundays so it’s up to me to find a way to get active on Sundays. Ideally, it’s something that involves my family like a group bike ride or hike but it can be as simple as walking the dog or a yoga video or just a really good stretch. I like my Sunday mornings extra lazy but when I consciously find some time to be active at some point during the day, it nurtures my body and puts me in the mindset to start the week on a healthy note.

Self-care. I like to treat myself to self-care rituals any day of the week but the Sunday ones always feel a little more sacred. It can mean a face mask, a bubble bath, a pedicure, a reflexology appointment. Whatever it is, it should be completely indulgent and meant to do nothing but make you feel good. Take your time with it, find a quiet moment to steal away and enjoy it…guilt-free.

Conversation. There’s a reason why Sunday Suppers are a thing. Before you dive into a week of being chained to your desk, your social media channels and your co-workers, take some time to make real connections with the people in your life. It can mean big family dinners, takeout with friends, happy hour with some neighbors, or maybe just a long phone call with an old friend. Whatever it is, look for real human connections that fill you up and leave you feeling connected and grounded for the week ahead.

Work. Yes, I think a little work on a Sunday can be a good thing for you. I like to take just a quick 15-20 minutes to look at my schedule and to-do list for the week ahead, maybe draft a few emails (but don’t hit send until Monday!), pay some bills or organize some things for my kids’ schedules. Getting ahead of the week’s game even just a little bit puts me in a more mellow mindset come Sunday night and going into Monday morning and leaves me feeling prepped.

Daydream. This one is my favorite and probably the most important, in my opinion. Sundays are for day-dreaming and I give myself lots of time for it. I often spend the morning trolling real estate listings for the mountain home I hope to buy in Vermont some day. I pin images for gorgeous warehouse conversions like the one above and my husband and I talk about how we would build our own if we could. I read about restaurants in Paris and beaches in Greece and add them to my mental guidebook. I daydream about anything and everything that leaves me feeling inspired. Some of it online, some of it off. But all of it dancing around my mind just for fun.

After all, isn’t that what Sunday is really for? Just a little fun.

Hope yours is lovely. x

*image above via Emerick Architects

Small Things

2018 January 15

I shared a little something about my approach to the new year over on my essay site and it reminded me that small, simple every day pleasures go a really long way sometimes. So I am here to share some of my recents with you. May it lighten up your day in some way, big or small. Small is often enough.

Cooking from scratch. This weekend, I fell back in love with cooking. I don’t know what prompted it, really. Probably weeks of holiday indulgence and too much take out and a lazy approach to food that I finally wanted to shake off. So I spent a good part of the weekend sifting through cookbooks new and old and made a few things that I loved. First was the ethereally smooth hummus from Smitten Kitchen. So simple and so worth it. I have never been a huge fan of store-bought hummus which led me to believe that I just don’t like hummus but I was so wrong. I like this hummus. A lot. I also made Chrissy Teigen’s roasted jalapeño and chorizo queso the other night. First, this is the funniest cookbook ever written. Second, this queso was insanely good. A little too hot for my taste buds so I will make some adjustments next time but we basically had a bowl of queso and some grapefruit margaritas for dinner on Saturday and I don’t regret a thing. Not a damn thing. I also tried my luck in recreating the Zuni Café roast chicken that I had in San Francisco over Thanksgiving and that I have been dreaming of every day since. This one is a labor of labor. But you will love the results. I promise.

Reading. I have been trying REALLY hard to break my phone addiction (again) lately. And diving into books has proven to be the easiest/most successful way. I read this book about dogs because I now love all books about dogs…and it was very sweet. I read this page-turner which kept me thoroughly entertained the entire way. And I am now reading this thoughtful memoir which has kept me (somewhat) captivated and if nothing else, grateful beyond measure for my health. This is up next and will undoubtedly influence more time in the kitchen. A good thing.

Unfollowing. This is a small step towards a lot of progress. Every time I log onto Instagram now, I make myself unfollow 10 accounts. Because somehow, somewhere along the way, I started following more than 1300 of them. And clearly they are not all sources of daily inspiration. The first ones to go? Fashion bloggers who are clearly just hawking out product after product link to get commissions. It’s exhausting, most of the clothes aren’t even my style, and while I 100% respect their right/need to make an income, if it’s going to be from me, I need to see more substance with the style. Moms who are using their kids for likes. This has been a long-time pet peeve of mine and while there are absolutely some beautiful and inspiring families on there who are fun to follow, I personally believe there are too many moms shoving their phones into their kids’ faces all days just to get “content.” Again, if there is substance behind it, great. If it’s gratuitous, I pass. People who I met one time at work or through a friend or at a dinner party and we exchanged social media handles in the moment because it felt like the right thing to do. It wasn’t. So who’s staying in my feed? People who share beautiful, inspiring, curated and not-so-curated images, ideas and thoughts that leave me feeling happy, dreamy, energetic or just plain moved. Some of my faves right now are @eyeswoon, @latonyayvette, @quince_ (that’s me after her wreath making workshop pre holidays in the picture above), @shutthekaleup, @masonprendergast and @theplaceiwastellingyouabout. Each one offers a little something that I take away with each post. Sometimes it’s something big, sometimes it’s something small. Right now, I appreciate the small things the most. And it feels really nice.

Today You Are Seven

2017 December 20

Today you are seven.

Seven is a game-changer when it comes to motherhood. It’s the gateway to big kid land. It’s saying goodbye to the baby days. The chubby cheek days. The extra hand tucked into yours any time you walk down the street days. But it’s also the beginning of so much more.

Today you tell everyone you are 4’3″ tall. I haven’t verified that account firsthand because it makes me sad to picture you so big. But it’s what you tell them. You weigh 60 something pounds. I think.

Today you are all Michael Jackson. We just took you to Las Vegas for your first time to see his show there and you watched it in pure awe, jumping up to dance when it moved you, sitting back to take it all in quietly when it felt like the right thing to do. My favorite moment of the weekend may have been when you saw the billboard with half-dressed women on it. Those almost seven year old eyes couldn’t believe what they were seeing. We laughed and kept walking.

Today you are sports. Lots of sports. Playing a little, following some, talking about it a lot. Team names and famous players and stats that have seemingly come out of thin air into your memory and locked themselves in. You collect baseball hats and one night last week I found you awake at 5 in the morning, curled up on the couch by yourself, watching SportsCenter. I sent you back to bed.

Today your favorite color is red. Your favorite food is (still) pasta though you can also appreciate a fish taco and have tried oysters, sushi, blue cheese and more. You’re an adventurous taster. Not an eater quite yet. But definitely open to tasting. You get the odd lemonade now with dinner. A baby no more.

Today you are skinny jeans and running shoes and t-shirts. Socks are an issue. You would not adjust well to living in a cold climate.

Today you are defining your voice as a little brother. You are forging your own path, making (some of) your own decisions, and finding your way. But never without checking behind you to make sure she has your back. And you still love to sleep in her room when you need some extra comfort.

Today you have a laugh that fills a room. It’s infectious. Bright, bubbly, giggly, hysterical. It lights up my world. I hope you always laugh just like that.

Today you are kind. You think of others first. You cry for those less fortunate. You wait your turn and say thank you without being prompted. Your heart is big. It’s one of a kind.

Today you are deep brown eyes and dark brown hair that shimmers with gold when the sun is just right.

Today you are the deep end and no training wheels and jumping onto anything you can find. You are very into American Ninja Warrior and scale the walls of our house like you are in competition, narrating your every move in the announcer voice that you love so much.

Today you are seven. Yesterday, when I told you it was your last day of being six, you cried. You didn’t want to grow any older. You didn’t want to turn seven. You didn’t want anything to change, you said.

And I feel the same, kid.

But today you are seven. And you are going to be really darn good at it. I just know it.

Happy birthday, Kai.


How to Make the Most of Your Weekend

2017 November 3

Mondays are rough around these parts. Every week, my son wakes up lamenting how the weekend went too fast and how he didn’t do half the things he wanted to do during his mini break. This is often accompanied by tired tears and stomping feet. So we started to talk about ways that he could make the most of his coveted time off from his grueling days as a first grader and I realized in the process that I needed the refresher as well. Weekends are designed for rest, relaxation and fun. And it’s up to you to plan them that way. So here are a few tips to keep in mind as you head into yours to ensure it’s the best it can be:

Do chores on Friday. If you’re anything like me, most of your Friday nights are spent with a glass (or two) of wine and your good friends Netflix and Instagram. Take that time to throw in a few loads of laundry or to menu plan or to do one of the chores on your weekend to-do list so you can open up some free space on your Saturday and Sunday calendar. Trader Joe’s and Costco can be delightfully deserted on Friday evenings and make your grocery run far more enjoyable and more importantly, done.

Free time. And then actually allow for free time. We are adamant about not over scheduling our weekends so that we – and our kids – can get in some true R&R. That means skipping out on dinner party invites once in a while, not planning elaborate day trips each and every weekend and not over-committing to sports or extracurricular activities all year long. We need some time to read, sip coffee, hang on the beach and do a whole lot of nothing. And so do our kids.

Screen time. When it comes to that free time, we try really hard to not spend it all on screens, too. This is a tough one but you definitely feel it when you put in the effort. One trick that works for me is having my iPad loaded with ONLY things that bring me true inspiration. For me, that means Pinterest, Texture (the app I was just telling you about here) and Zillow so I can troll dream mountain homes in Vermont. Things I do NOT have loaded on that iPad: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, email of any kind. So I know that my time on there doesn’t lead me down a digital rabbit hole or to anything that has to do with politics. It leads to screen time that is delightful, instead of draining. And on Sundays, I try really hard to not screen at all anymore. I typically check it in the morning and then commit myself to good old fashioned paper and people distractions for the remainder of the day.

Get lost. Weekends are nothing without a little adventure but it doesn’t have to mean going far or planning an elaborate outing. Check out a new cafe for brunch. Drive 30 minutes in a new direction and see what you find. Hop on a city bus if you don’t typically take it. Or rent a car for the day if you commute by bus. Try a new dog park. You get the idea. A little spontaneity is good for the soul.

Finally, make a mental list. We took a cue from our son’s Monday morning meltdowns and now he makes a mini list of the things he hopes to do every weekend. Play soccer with a neighbor, eat a taco, watch American Ninja Warrior, whatever. I make one, too. And it often involves lay in the sun, talk to my mom, drink a Moscow Mule with spicy ginger beer. It’s usually simple things and little moments that we need the most on our weekends…and we don’t want to miss out on any of them.

Wishing you all a nice, restful weekend ahead. x

Download This App

2017 October 22

I have long been a “print will never die” kind of girl. Simply because I wouldn’t let it.

I gave up my Kindle ages ago to go back to buying and collecting real books. I still pick up the newspaper when I come across it because I secretly love the ink stains on my fingertips. And I was still hoarding magazine subscriptions like it was the 1990s until very recently. True story: in the 1990s, I moved from apartment to apartment with approximately 200 old issues of various fashion magazines stacked up in boxes. Each and every time.

But now it’s 2017 and I recently discovered Texture.

Initially, I downloaded the app for work. As a PR consultant, it was the easiest way for me to find and clip my clients’ mentions in a timely, digital manner. But once I started to curl up with it for personal use, it became an obvious must-have. The app gives you instant access to 200+ magazine titles for $14.99 per month (and there are intro deals and free trial periods and all that jazz if you want them) with automatic updates for new issues, digital features, and more. And it is $14.99 very well spent. One issue of Domino costs that much. I read through six different publications on it today alone.

Besides giving you access to so many print publications in one easy place, it gives you SMART access. Meaning a) you can search for topics you’re interested in (i.e. you want to see every recent feature on Spain for your upcoming trip; you want to find every turkey recipe out there for Thanksgiving; you want to avoid anything written about Donald Trump, etc) and b) it will start to suggest stories, features and columns that might interest you based on your reading patterns (for me, that’s a lot of interiors, beauty and business features). You can save things to read or reference later, share articles with your contacts and friends, and peruse US Weekly each and every week with no one judging you.

The future of print is digital, as we all know, and a lot of these publications are putting amazing creativity and technological prowess into their digital issues so they are fun – and simple – to read and navigate through. Bonus videos pop up here and there, captions appear out of thin air in certain places, and the photography is stunning in a high definition digital format.

So do I think print is dead? No. My book shelf says so. But my Texture app is definitely putting a hold on my magazine subscriptions for now.

And I am going to let it.

Because in the end, I left behind those back issues of Vogue.

And I haven’t missed them once.

*image above via the new issue of Architectural Digest. It is Julianne Moore’s NYC garden. And it’s gorgeous. In print or digital. 

Trying On…The Ordinary

2017 October 20

Hello friends,

I must (once again) apologize for the recent silence in this space and thank those of you who actually keep coming back to it, despite that. To be perfectly honest, the state of the world has been beyond heavy on my heart lately and trying to muster the excitement to share information about beauty and travel and food and inspiration has felt anything but relevant. And if nothing else, I strive for relevance here more than anything.

But here I am. I have spent the past few weeks holding my creative breath and trying to focus on what’s truly important but since I have found no solutions to the world’s troubles in that time, I am turning it back to skincare for today. And the brand that has single-handedly done more for my skin in the past month than any other…ever.

Meet The Ordinary. It is a subsidiary of the parent company Deciem, “The Abnormal Beauty Company,” which runs 10+ beauty and wellness brands all “founded on the principle of doing everything others don’t do and changing the world of beauty based on this principle.”

What does that mean for you, the consumer? No fancy packaging (though it’s admittedly right up my alley with its minimal, clean, clinical aesthetic), no advertisements or celebrity spokespeople, no retailer mark ups…just clinically proven ingredients at an astonishingly low price. And I do mean low.

Diving into The Ordinary is a process. There are a LOT of skincare products in the line and most of them are high-performing items so you need to do your research and figure out what your skin needs (and can handle) before you start adding to cart in an overzealous flurry. I have heard that their personal consultations are a great tool for that. I joined a Facebook group devoted to the brand and found some really great insight there. It’s a journey. But it’s worth it once you get there.

The products I am using right now are the Salicylic Acid 2% (for blemish prone areas and exfoliation), the Niacinamide and Zinc combo serum (for congestion, sebum production and texture) and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% (for hydration). All three cost me a grand total of $22, shipped. Do the math, friends. I am telling you, this is the MOST affordable performance skincare you can find. And it works. In just one month or so of use, I have seen dramatic improvement in my skin’s texture, brightness, hydration and comfort. I have been diligent about my skincare routine all year (will be sure to share the other products I am loving right now soon) and was already feeling good about the results but since integrating these into my lineup, the improvement is amazing. Other things I want to try? The Vitamin C suspension (if you’re not using a Vitamin C daily, please start now. I am currently using the Drunk Elephant one, which I love, but that one is $80 and this one is $6.80…so…). I also want to try the Lactic Acid, because I am obsessed with acids right now, Buffet for anti-aging and the Squalane oil…just because. I figure if I can’t find world peace and a solution to gun control in this country, I am going to win at hydration for now. And I am going to do it for a very good price.

Would love to hear if you’ve tried anything else from the line or any of their other ones so we can start a must-have list. Let me know in the comments below.

Hope you enjoy! x

My Menu Plan

2017 September 24

If I have to be honest, I have been out of sorts for a better part of this year. It might be the fatigue from the political climate, or being 39 with 40 looming just a few months ahead, or a general sense of unrest that comes from wanting to change careers, hair styles, homes, vacation plans…and that’s on any given day. And one place I have been avoiding like the plague has been the kitchen. A space that is usually synonymous with comfort, routine and ease in my life has been sitting there largely gathering dust while I give into one more takeout meal, over-priced dinner out or frozen Trader Joe’s staple. With the new season (sort of…given the heat) upon us, it felt like a good time to take inventory and kick start my own ass a little towards a clearer path for the rest of the year. A more focused mind. A more driven vision. And starting with the kitchen seemed like the easiest next step. So it’s back. My menu plan. As always, it’s not perfect. It includes at least one night per week of someone else’s cooking. It is healthy and not at the same time. It’s not always set in stone. But it’s here. And it got me back on track on this sunny Sunday afternoon. Almost 40. Still tired of the political discourse. A little out of sorts. But ready for the week ahead.

Sunday – homemade chicken enchiladas, loosely inspired by the ones in the Dude Diet by Serena Wolf of Domesticate Me. This is a really good cookbook for people who want lightened up versions of their favorite comfort food. It’s a fun, easy read and while her recipes aren’t harboring any surprisingly uncommon tips and tricks, it’s nice to have them there for inspiration nonetheless. So our homemade enchiladas (my first time making them!) will feature whole wheat tortillas, organic chicken that I have had in the crock pot all day so I can shred it myself, black beans, avocado and lots of cheese. Oh and store-bought enchilada sauce because…laziness.

Monday – turkey & ricotta meatballs from Julia Turshen’s amazing Small Victories. Julia collaborated on Gwyneth Paltrow’s first cookbook (and my favorite of hers), My Father’s Daughter, and this recipe became an internet sensation from her own solo cookbook when it launched last year, with very good reason. These meatballs are hearty and healthy(ish) and incredibly flavorful and I have made them so many times now, I’ve mastered the recipe so that it’s fairly quick and easy, too. We serve them over pasta or spaghetti squash when we feel like eating clean. This isn’t one of those weeks.

Tuesday – pesto pizza with chicken sausage. I am going to use the leftover basil from the meatballs recipe to whip up a homemade pesto. It’s another incredibly easy – and worthwhile – kitchen endeavor and I just follow whatever recipe comes up first on Google. This one is nice. I like to make my own pizza crust (currently obsessing over Pizza Camp for inspiration – if you are a pizza fanatic like me, it’s a must add to your collection) but the Trader Joe’s fresh ones are a favorite as well, and we have been topping all our homemade pizzas with fresh cheeses lately – ricotta, mozzarella, buratta – and cannot believe we’ve been using the shredded stuff for so long. I will cook up some crumbled chicken sausage to throw on top, too. I believe in one pizza night per week. Sometimes two. If I am lucky, even more. Life is short and pizza is very important to me.

Wednesday – Tony’s Steak from Dinner: A Love Story and a simple salad. This cookbook is easily one of my favorites and I love to give it as a gift to girlfriends, too. Jenny Rosenstrach is a champion for family dinner (as am I) and turns a memoir of her years cooking for herself alone and then she and her husband and finally, the two of them plus their kids, into an entertaining, informative, inspiring cookbook that you will reference over and over and over. I haven’t yet tried this steak recipe but it has all the flavors I love and will go perfectly with a side salad of butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh chives and this dreamy buttermilk ranch dressing I have been obsessed with all summer.

Thursday – night off. This mama is going for a late afternoon massage that day and if I play my cards right, ice-cold oysters and a Moscow Mule will be waiting for me when I get out.

Friday – Fridays are so tricky now that we’re in soccer mode. More on that later, I am sure. It’s our first season doing it and I am…less than enthusiastic. Anyhow, it’s a tiring day for everyone after a long week and we have soccer practice at 5pm which must have been a schedule devised by the parenting devil and we usually lay low with takeout to keep appetites – and emotions – in check. But this week I am going to try to go out on the same positive note I am on going into it. Mexican. I say ground turkey tacos with all the fix-ins. A margarita or two. And maybe these for dessert. But only maybe.

Have a great week, friends. x

*image above via Chronicle Books.

How to Raise Readers

2017 September 5

“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” – J.K. Rowling

I grew up as a bookworm. One of my fondest memories of elementary school is being captain of the “Battle of the Books” team where we could go to the local high school and compete against other kids on fictional trivia and knowledge. I read everything from Archie to Anne of Green Gables to the back of the cereal box every morning. My second favorite memory was the Kids for Peace club so you can garner what kind of kid I was…ha. But regardless of which phase of life and socialization and growing I was in (i.e. I was not the captain of anything in high school…besides maybe hanging out), books stuck with me all the way. And at almost 40, I still see the benefits. When I am feeling digital overload and need to quiet my mind and my eyes? I turn to a book. More often than not, I choose reading over mind-numbing television most nights of the week. And I always carry a book with me in my bag so that when I come across a lull in my day, I can dive back in instead of scrolling Instagram incessantly. Reading is a gift. A free one, at that. And one I believe we need to instill in our kids, however and wherever we can, so they can carry it with them forever, too. Let’s start with a little caveat: I do believe some kids are just born passionate about reading and some aren’t. BUT I also believe that those who are less enthusiastic can still be shown the way with the right guidance and insight from us. Here are some of the ways I am raising readers in our home, in case they might help in yours:

Start young. Yes, it’s a given but one that is so often overlooked. I know it’s easier to entertain a toddler with an iPad. I have had two of my own. But introducing them to an early love of books is one of the first steps to setting up the right foundation so do your very best to read with them as much as possible in the early years. And read real books! Swapping the app on your device is simply teaching them another way to be dependent on a screen. Old school paper books. Buy them, borrow them, swap them with friends.

Or start now. If the “young” years have passed you by, stop telling yourself your kids “just aren’t readers.” And better yet, stop telling them that when you say it in front of them to teachers, friends, care-givers, etc! If you keep saying your kid is “not a reader,” your kid will think the same. Encourage them to love reading every single day, even if they don’t yet. And celebrate it when they do. Oh, and read this if your kids are independent readers…your work is not quite done yet.

Lead the way. I happen to love to read. It’s easy for me to spend a whole Saturday afternoon on the couch with a new book. And I encourage my kids to do the same alongside me. It’s easy with my daughter. She is happiest in a book and she is ten so it’s not hard to twist her arm to sit and chill. My son is a different story, though. He is only six and while he definitely likes to read, we’re still working on the passion part of it. But I lead by example and encourage him to join us in “reading” time for as long as he can, each and every time. He sees me reading at night on the couch. He watches me read at the park while they play. It can be a magazine or a cookbook or the newspaper. Just let them see you read. It definitely feels better than letting them see you staring at your phone all the time instead and I promise it will catch on. Even if it’s bit by bit.

Battle of the books. Take the time to find books your kids are going to be interested in. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s more important than you think. For us, it was the Magic Tree House series in pre-kindergarten that turned into Puppy Place for her and anything Galaxy Zack for him, and then it became Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. If your kids are bored reading, they aren’t reading the right thing. Maybe it’s too hard for them and you need to dial back a few levels. Maybe it’s the wrong subject matter. Maybe you need more Lego Batman books in your life. Help them find the books and topics and authors or illustrators that keep them engaged. And keep searching until they do.

Make books a treat. A trip to the library is one of my kids’ favorite outings. They each got their own card this year with their own account (and their own late fees, ha!) and they take great pride in the ritual of visiting the library, making their selections and checking them out on their own. A trip to the bookstore is even better so we often swap out celebratory trips to Target or frozen yogurt with a trip to the bookstore instead. We often gift books to our own kids and for friends’ birthday parties and have found that magazine subscriptions are even more fun to give and receive. We make books and book-related things just as much of a treat as ice cream and Legos. And with time, they grew to see them that way, too.

Set them up for success. We are screen free during the week (old – and possibly slightly outdated – post on how and why is here). We are screen free in restaurants until after the kids finish eating…and now that they are six and ten, we’re phasing that out to be completely screen free there, too. We give our kids ample opportunity to read, to discover reading, to use reading as a last resort, if need be. And it works. Is it always easy? Absolutely not. Do we always succeed at it? Absolutely not. But we sure as hell try our best. Because at almost 40, I still see that something magical in every book I pick up. In every hour spent on the couch. In every trip to the library. And I want them to see it, too.

*A friend of mine shared the image above on Instagram with me a while back because of its striking resemblance to my little ones. And it’s quite uncanny, actually. The low, loose ponytail on her, the shaggy cut and bare feet on him. All that’s missing are the books. The artist is here

Three Quick Reads

2017 August 15

For business: an interesting read on Everlane and how it’s growing in an ever-evolving consumer landscape. Via Business Insider. I am a longtime Everlane devotee and this is a sharp, interesting look at their model and how its simplicity and direct approach proves that less can be so much more in business.

For pleasure: a great read from a busy executive on maintaining work-life balance after getting a big promotion at work. What struck me the most about this one wasn’t just the focus on work/life balance but moreso on how his family made that a group priority and decision and stuck to it. I think a lot of modern-day households could benefit from getting on the same page – really on the same page – about balance and what it looks like to everyone and where and how to prioritize it. This is a great start to that conversation. Via Fast Company.

For fun: Twelve Questions via Atelier Doré. This is a dummies guide to basic skincare and beauty questions and I can almost guarantee you there are at least 2-3 in there that you’re wondering about, too.

PS – now reading this. Really liking it. And just finished reading this. Loved it. And I just finished writing this. If you want to take a peek.

Happy Tuesday! xx

A Travel Guide to Palm Springs

2017 August 9


After living in Southern California for close to 15 years, we have become certifiable experts on Palm Springs weekends. Heading to the desert is one of my very favorite getaways. In less than two hours, we are in a different mindset, climate and relaxation mode and we often sneak away whenever we can and head east, sometimes on a day’s notice. Here are some of our favorite places to go.

For a getaway with the girls. Holiday House (above) is a brand new boutique property located in an idyllic spot at the base of the San Jacinto Mountain range and steps from downtown Palm Springs. Disclaimer: I do some work with the owners but when I went for a night away recently with a friend, I knew I would be back regardless of that. First, note that this is a 21+ property which means you need to book a babysitter and never look back. The design is SO fresh and airy with a signature blue and white palette that feels new and crisp for Palm Springs (which a lot of the city’s famed haunts do not). You are greeted with a glass of rosé and a pair of love beads at check-in and the lobster roll is the perfect accompaniment for your second glass of rosé at lunch. Many of the rooms boast cute outdoor showers, there is shuffleboard to play and blue Linus bikes to borrow and at night, the property lights up with fire pits and torches for a cool, cozy backdrop for your last glass of…you guessed it, rosé.

For a getaway with your significant other. My husband and I managed to sneak away for 36 hours last week and Sparrows Lodge was the perfect destination. Another adults-only property, this one has a rustic, organic allure that I simply loved. Every detail is so thoughtfully designed from the welcome glass of sangria to the horse trough bathtubs in the guest rooms to the tiny private patios spilling over with bougainvillea. No TVs or phones to be found on-property and I promise, you will appreciate it. This is a quiet place for real relaxation, where you can finish a book and start another all in one trip. Have the burger in The Barn Kitchen for lunch and sign up for the Saturday night family-style dinner if you can. Easily one of my very favorite places in the desert for a simple, peaceful getaway.

For a getaway with your littlesBecause the truth is, I am always happiest when I am with my kids, we often head to the desert with them in tow, too. We have stayed in several different places with them but always end up returning to Rancho Las Palmas, an Omni Resort. A few miles further east in the neighboring town of Rancho Mirage, this hotel is a favorite because it keeps everyone in the family happy. The kids have an incredible family pool area complete with water slides, lazy river and all the Dippin’ Dots they can consume and we get gorgeous property views like the one pictured above, a spacious and comfortable guest room, a good spa and live music by the fire pits at night. I love a hotel that can appeal to everyone in the family and this one does, consistently. The restaurant is decent but you also have easy, convenient access to Rancho Mirage if you want to venture off-property for dinner (which I suggest). There is also a tranquil little adult-only pool you can escape to if you find the chance.

What to do. When you are not hanging out poolside in Palm Springs, you’re likely eating, drinking or spa’ing (if you’re anything like me…). My favorites on that front are:

Rooster and the Pig. This Vietnamese hotspot in a strip mall in downtown Palm Springs is a new find for me and instantly became a favorite. The decor is simple and minimal, the food is absolutely amazing and the wait is long. Don’t take the kids. Do drink the gin and basil cocktail.

Counter Reformation. Another recent find for me, this relatively new wine bar tucked away in a former storage space at the Parker is cool (literally) and really fun. The bartenders know their stuff, the wine list is strong and the tapas menu is creative and yum. I wouldn’t necessarily make an entire night of it but it’s a great place to start before dinner or drinks somewhere else. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays so plan ahead.

Melvyn’s. If you haven’t done it, the bar at Melvyn’s is a must for that old-school, authentic Palm Springs vibe. You can picture the Rat Pack sitting back in the dimly lit room where the piano plays loud, the drinks are aplenty and the sing-alongs are inevitable. A guaranteed good time. No need to stay for the Steak Diane.

Workshop Kitchen + Bar. This is a special occasion spot where you assume the impeccable design is going to outshine the food, but it doesn’t. I have been on a few occasions now and the menu is creative, delicious and fresh. Expensive, yes. But worth it. Contrary to what the vibe may lead you to believe, you can bring kids here (if they are good restaurant kids) and the kitchen will happily make them a margarita pizza. The mezcal cocktail is worth having twice. In one night.

Palm Springs Yacht Club. Venture back to the Parker for a trip to the spa. It is one of the coolest ones I have been to with a design that feels relaxing in a not-at-all typical spa way, fantastic services and a his and hers relaxation space that lets you chill with your man, which is always fun. We got a welcome shot of ice-cold vodka at reception last time we came but I am not sure if that’s customary or we just looked like we needed it. A favorite for a reason.

Have any other Palm Springs favorites to add to the list? Let me know!