Thursday, January 15, 2015

Loveknot Links

This New Canaan home is to die for.

Apparently models are real people. Lindsay Ellingson's typical off duty day.

I'm constantly trying to declutter and organize my apartment and life. Some of these tips are a little extreme (keeping the coffee table clear? I much prefer styled with books)... but there were a few good takeaways.

Not much going on with me lately...  just popping in to share these links I have saved over the past few weeks. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Palm Beach Dreaming

Ted and I will be visiting West Palm Beach for the first time in April. I don't want to wish away 1/4 of the year, but it can't come soon enough. While Ted is playing golf, you will find me lounging by the pool or strolling Worth Avenue. The flights and accommodations are booked. Now I'm planning our itinerary, tips welcome.

Synonymous with Palm Beach is Lilly Pulitzer. If you are a Lilly fan living on Earth, then you most likely saw the news yesterday that a Target collaboration is coming. See the sneak peak here and search #lillyfortarget on Instagram. After initial shock that my online attempts failed, my life went on without a 3.1 Phillip Lim x Target crossbody bag last September.  As the years go on I am trying to overcome the hype of these sales. That doesn't mean I won't be at the door when Target opens on April 19, bee-lining it straight to the home section. But if it doesn't work out for me as planned, I'll survive. Do you think this will be the most sought after collab yet?

Monday, January 5, 2015

The French Pharmacy: Primp like a Parisian

Until Instagram's Valencia filter can be bottled up, I'm on the hunt for the best skincare products. This is where the French come in...

Gwyneth Paltrow spilled her French Pharmacy beauty and skincare favorites on GOOP back in 2011 and since I have continued to see articles devoted to la pharmacie and products favored by makeup artists, models and beauty junkies alike. High quality at reasonable prices.

It was my mission when I went to Paris last fall to come back with a haul of new goodies to try. The majority of my purchases are listed below and can be found online or at drugstores in the US, but with a higher price tag. Target has recently expanded their skincare section to include La Roche PosayVichy and Nuxe.

It doesn't take much research to learn that the place to go in Paris is City Pharma, widely known for discounted prices. I had a printout (old school, what if my phone died?) with pictures of all the products I wanted to find. I dragged my friend Kate with me for the foreign scavenger hunt. Once we stepped inside, it was mayhem. I can only equate it to Black Friday madness with a never ending supply and crowd.

After a half hour I called it quits and got in line to check out. I didn't want to hold up our crew any longer trying to decide on products that I didn't exactly remember their purpose. Luckily, the pharmacy closest to our flat in St. Michel had comparable prices to City Pharma. I picked up a few more items for myself after some last minute research and also travel size Bioderma, Avene and Nuxe oil for souvenir gifts.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc €4.90 @ City Pharma
Toner for irritated skin. From what I read prior to my trip, this mist is only available in France and the UK. I have yet to try it.

Avene Thermal Spray 10.5 oz €5.65 @ City Pharma, $16.00 @ Amazon
I use this everyday after washing and before moisturizing. Thankfully Avene is readily available because I'm running low. I swear my skin looks so much better since adding this to my routine.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse €10.49 @ City Pharma, $29.00 @ Target
A multi-purpose dry oil. Target added the Nuxe line online in October and it will be in select stores starting in March. My friend has been using hers on her face and loves it. It smells amazing.

Bioderma Two-pack 500ml €15.40 @ City Pharma, 500 ml £9.99 @ Escentual (plus £4.95 shipping costs) or $34.90 at
Gentle makeup remover that doesn't require any rinsing. I'm on the fence about this one because I feel like I have to use so many cotton swabs to get everything off my face and the concept of not rinsing is strange. On the other hand, I like the cool and clean feeling of my skin afterward. I use it once in awhile, but haven't made it part of my daily routine. When I go back to Paris (someday), I would buy it again but I wouldn't spend the extra money to order it online. See Lisa Eldrige remove her makeup with it here.

Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré Two-pack 75ml €19.99 @ City Pharma, 75 ml $28.00 @ Birchbox
A cult favorite moisturizer. I've been using it for the past few months and really love it. I usually change up my skincare each season (depending on how dry my skin), but this will definitely be in rotation. When my stock depletes, I will be ordering this online.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 1 oz €7.99 @ City Pharma, $18.00 @ Sephora
Face mist, can be used over your makeup for a fresh look. This was an impulsive purchase because I felt like it was a deal to try. I've only used it a few times... so far so good.

Biafine 3.2 oz €5.50 @ City Pharma, 6.5 oz @ Pharmacie Bader
Can be used to sooth burns and minor cuts.

Homeoplasmine €3.50 @ City Pharma
French version of Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream or Vaseline. I've been using it as a lip balm this winter and love it.

*Prices September 2014

City Pharma - 26 rue du Four, 75006 (close to Café de Flore)
Pharmacie Bader - 10-12 Boulevard Saint Michel, 75006 (close to Fontaine Saint-Michel)
Both of these locations are nearby other main attractions... pit stop along the way of your other adventures.

French Pharmacy Tips:
Leave room in your suitcase :)
Read the links below.
Use your phone or a printout to show the pharmacist what you are searching for.
If anything, pick up Biafine and Homeoplasmine for your medicine cabinet. (According to marie claire, Lara Stone is a fan of both.)
Look for popular products sold in two-packs at great prices. I bought some La Roche Posay hand cream and gave one as a gift,
Travel size products make great souvenir gifts.
Most pharmacies are closed on Sundays, plan accordingly.

French Pharmacy Resources:
Into The Gloss: Navigating a French Pharmacy (must read!)

I would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these products or have any favorite French product!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Cheers to a good year, and a better one to come!

Cape: F21. Sweater: F21. Blouse: Banana Republic. Shoes: Rachel Zoe (similar here, here). 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. We stayed local for Christmas with family and spent the rest of our time relaxing. It was very low key... I watched way too many Lifetime movies. I did browse some of my favorite store's sales over the weekend but didn't find anything. I opted to sleep in rather than be at Bloomingdale's when they opened... slightly regretting that since it was so picked over by the time I got there.

Scene from Christmas Eve that we spent with friends watching the best Christmas movie ever, Elf. (I need to order a monogram decal for that ice bucket. Adding that to my 2015 to-dos.)

See you next year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Entertaining

Last night Ted and I had my parents and brother over for dinner. We had a rack of lamb, that I had no clue how to make, and needed help eating it. (There is an Asian restaurant near my building if things in the kitchen go wrong.) We don't entertain very much in our small apartment so I get really excited when I have the chance.

I was able to get the starters and sides during my lunch break and this was a surprisingly non-complicated meal to make when I got home from work.

I miss having a Christmas tree this year but see that as an opportunity to get some extra blooms. My friend Sara gave me a flower of the month subscription for my birthday. December's delivery were these gorgeous red ginger flowers from Costa Rica.

Since my trip to Charleston back in the spring with my mom I have been obsessed with pimento cheese. I was beyond excited when I found this at Whole Foods... let me tell you it is GOOD! There is also a hot version that I will have to try.

If you live in New York/Connecticut and have access to Fairway you know how great their cheese selection is. My family loves the Yancey's Fancy Steakhouse Onion Cheddar. Typically I would serve multiple cheese blocks when entertaining, but for a small gathering I stick to one tried and true and know that I won't be eating the leftovers for midnight snacks. Wish I could remember where I read that tip.

Since I had no clue how to cook lamb, I consulted the Barefoot Contessa. I watched this video from a Today Show appearance for some pointers on her rack of lamb recipe.

For sides I roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash and made an orzo salad with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, feta cheese and toasted pine nuts. The butternut squash was pre-cut, which helps to save time. I was able to make the orzo salad while waiting to put the lamb in the oven along with the vegetables.

I had Ted take over to make sure the meat was cooked but not overdone. That's it!

For dessert we had chocolate covered sea salt caramels from Whole Foods. They are addictive and dangerous.

(Wish I could say I cooked like this every night. You know that Asian restaurant I mentioned? We are #1 customers.)

Putting our wedding gifts to good use... here are some of the items seen above.