Do You Talk to Strangers?

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Lately, I’ve been going to my local coffee shop to do my job applications.  It makes me feel like I’m actually getting something accomplished by getting ready and heading out the door versus staying in my PJs all day.  Maybe it’s been serendipitous, but for the past two weeks, I’ve sat next to the most interesting people having the most interesting conversations during my coffee shop time.

Usually, I sit there with my earbuds and sip my very large latte while hoping that they don’t realize I’m definitely eavesdropping.  Then there are other times that I can’t help myself.  Someone says something funny and I laugh or they debate an answer to a question that I know and I chime in.  Sometimes it leads to a great chat and sometimes it’s a brief exchange but either way, I enjoy it (I hope they do too).

It might be because I’m still getting used to living in a new place where all my friends aren’t just a phone call away. Is that it?  Am I just a friendly yet friend-starved coffee shop patron?  Or is this forming habit making me seem like the neighborhood’s new crazy coffee lady?

Let me know what you think.

P.S. If you’re ever in the Boston/Brookline area you absolutely have to check out these two places.  First, Tatte.  There’s something for everyone and not a bad item on the menu.  Next is Pavement Coffee House.  Their dirty chai lattes are both incredible and incredibly large.  You’ve also got to get one of their multi-grain everything bagels.  SO good.  Plus, they’re both great places to strike up a conversation with strangers…

 

I Dunno, What Do You Want to Do?

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Like many, I suffer from severe indecisiveness.  This malady is made worse when having to make a decision with one or more other people while trying to decide what to do or, even harder, where to eat.  A few years ago, my father, in his travels, discovered an incredible app that completely solves the problem.  It’s called UrbanDaddy, have you heard of it?  It’s got listings for most major cities and not only recognizes which city you’re in, but also  which neighborhood you’re in– how cool is that??

All you have to do is plug in what you’re looking for (brunch, dinner, drinks, dessert), who you’re with (boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, parents, your ex, you name it) and then you get to plug in a wild card.  You can stipulate that you want karaoke, dancing, to breakup with whoever you’re with, you’re looking for a place with good beer, the list goes on.  It’s amazing.  After you input your information you just have to click go and it generates a long list of possible places that you could check out.  While it doesn’t make the decision for you, it definitely makes the process a million times easier.  Check it out he next time you’re playing the “I dunno game” and let me know what you think!

Sorry I’ve Been So Slow…

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but hopefully this tiny little turtle on a leaf that’s totally pumped for the weekend will help you forgive me.  I promise that there will be a round of posts up to greet you first thing Monday morning but for now, here are some links that I’ve found around the web that I’ve been dying to share with anyone (read: everyone)…

I’ve been trying to become a morning person and this has been insanely helpful.

I watched the live performance last week and totally loved it.  Try this quiz and find out which Pink Lady you would be.

Kate Spade just rolled out their kitchen line and it’s kind of making me want to throw out ever single pot, pan and dish and replace them all with quippy casserole dishes and patterned plates.

I really loved this list (with recipes) of 44 Classic French Meals You Need to Try Before You Die.

Have a spa day at home and give this insanely easy DIY body scrub a try.

fun and thoughtful way to show a friend you’re thinking of them just in time for Galentine’s day.  (Leslie Knope would be all over this site.)

This is, without question, one of the strangest-sort-of-greatest-but-still-super-weird things I’ve ever seen.

Did this make your heart sing too?  I can’t wait.

How good does this cocktail sound?  (Created by my favorite cocktail connoisseur)

Have a lovely weekend my forgiving and wonderful readers.  See you Monday, I promise.

So I Went on a Road Trip

Wormsloe Plantation, Savannah, GA

Wormsloe Plantation, Savannah, GA

Last week I took a long weekend and went on a road trip with my good friend Leonora and her cousin Wilhelm.  Our plan was to see as many quirky antique malls as possible and the rest we were just going to figure out as we went along.  We still saw a ton of great antiques but, we seemed to somehow shift our focus to ghost tours, coffee shops and revisiting allegedly haunted houses discussed on the aforementioned ghost tours.  Don’t worry, we did some other stuff too.

Our first order of business was seeing the World’s Largest Peanut.  It was simultaneously weird, anticlimactic and totally awesome– all things that a giant, paper mache peanut located just off the interstate should be.DSC_0069

Our next stop was Atlanta.  Our hotel was in Atlanta but we actually spent most of our time in this super awesome town called Decatur.  Have you been?  I would live there in a heart beat.  It’s got great book stores, lots of history and outrageously good ice cream.  On the drive there I came across this old sign:DSC_0075And this book share:

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Before we (begrudgingly) left Decatur, we made one more stop at Kudzu Antiques.  If you get the chance to go, you absolutely have to.  Try to contain yourself as your go through the entire wall of kitschy salt and pepper shakers.

Kudzu Antiques

Kudzu Antiques 

After an hour or so, we began our four-hour journey to Savannah.  We listened to lots of Motown and made lots of stops for snacks.  Five hours later we made it to our mildly weird (but still great) retro hotel, The Thunderbird Inn.  They give you fresh popcorn and lemonade when you check in and leave you moonpies and RC Cola on your pillows– how great?!  Plus, while they don’t offer breakfast, they do provide Krispy Kreme doughnuts and coffee putting any continental breakfast to shame.

The Thunderbird Inn, Savannah, GA

The Thunderbird Inn, Savannah, GA

In between doughnuts and deciding which ghost tours would be best, we tooled around went to different shops.  I’ve been to Savannah a million times and The Paris Market is probably my favorite shop.  It’s got a little bakery in it and sells all kinds of great stuff that you don’t need but really want.

The Paris Market, Savannah, GA

The Paris Market, Savannah, GA

While I was sifting through all the trinkets, I discovered something amazing: there’s a basement level.  All this time I’ve only been seeing half of the market.  It was pretty cool…

DSC_0199 They were completely decked out for halloween.

We finished up our weekend at the Wormsloe Plantation (first picture of the post).  Apparently, it’s the most photographed site in Savannah.  This is completely understandable the moment you start the mile long drive under canopied by live oaks dripping with Spanish moss.

The trip was a blast but it was nice to get home.  Tell me about your best road trip!

Face to Face

Face to Face

TOP ROW (left to right) : NIP+FAB Skin Glycolic Cleansing Fix, Guerlain Abeille Royale Preparing Toner, Alba Botanica Good& Clean Toxin Release Scrub. BOTTOM ROW (left to right) : Clarisonic Brush, GLAM GLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment, Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme.

Lately, I’ve been having some very real skin struggles. I’ve done every mask imaginable, tried an array of toners and considered ever cleanser under the sun. Then it dawned on me, I still hadn’t tapped my most valuable resource: fellow faces. This week I asked a bunch of wonderful women I’m lucky enough to call friends (and family) to share some of their useful tips and tricks as well as their tried and true regimens. Here’s what they had to say…

 

“Everybody’s skin is different, what’s yours like?”

“I have combination, sensitive and acne-prone skin. Some parts can get dry, while my T-zone is where I produce the most oil. The goal of my skincare is balance. I want my skin to feel soft and radiant.”—Natacia, a Student in Winter Park, FL.

“My skin is pretty dry, especially in the winter, so I’m a little obsessive about achieving a hydrated, dewy glow when the seasons change. My favorite products to use are Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum and their Hydra Beauty Gel Creme—they are light enough to avoid shine but still incredibly hydrating.”—Olivia, a Key Leader for Lululemon Athletica in Arlington, VA.

 “I use the Rodan+Fields Redefine line of products. I buy them from a sorority sister and love the idea of using all of one product [line]. Previously, I would buy whatever the salesperson at Sephora said I needed, and I had a hodgepodge of products. At night, I wash my face with Cetaphil, then use the R+F exfoliating roller, the Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream and the Multi-Function Eye Cream.” — Lynn, from AZ

 

What’s your go to routine?

 “[In the morning] I wash my face with Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap and try to incorporate Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale also. Once I finish with washing my face, I put on Natura Bisse C+C Vitaman Cream. [At night] I do the same thing but I also put on the their eye cream.”

Lisa, a beach-lover in Davie, FL.

 “In the morning I wash my face with Cetaphil, then I put Olay Day Lotion on before I put my makeup on. At night, I wash my face with Cetaphil then use Ren Under-Eye Cream and Ren Night Cream. Twice a week I use AmorePacific Exfoliator.”—Becky, an Assistant Buyer in Hoboken, NJ.

 “When I was 14 I had some skin problems and I went to the dermatologist who suggested a UV light treatment, which worked wonders after only four times. Ever since then I virtually have done nothing except apply lotion to my face after showering. I never use any products for washing it or exfoliating the skin. This mostly stems from my laziness, but I firmly believe that this is the best thing for my skin, because I’ve had no problems since except one or too pimples from time to time. Now that I live in China I wash my face with water more regularly and sometimes apply a very light cleaning product that simply gets rid of the oil.”

—Theresa, a Marketing Assistant in International Trade in Guangzhou, China.

“I use Clinique Foaming Cleanser, Clarifying Lotion, and Repairwear Cream. I use this every morning (after my workout and right before I put my makeup on) and every night right before I go to sleep. Once a week, typically on a weekend, I also use a gentle exfoliating cleanser. For makeup, I wear tinted moisturizer with CC cream and sunscreen to make sure I don’t damage my skin further.”—Erin a Graduate School Student in Maitland, FL.

 

What do you do when your face needs a little pick-me-up?

 “Whenever I need a pick me up I exfoliate 3 times a week and I’ll put a mask on 3 times a week—a different mask every time with a different task. I never do the same thing whether the mask is hydrating or just toning or just to mattify my face. At night I’ll put what my aestheticians gave me, which is .5% pure retinol, fixes me right up!”—Stella, a Student in Davie, FL.

 “A friend introduced me to Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel a while ago. I’ll pick up a pack of five if my skin has been looking dull for a few days and it gives me an almost immediate radiance. I also attend a heated power yoga class every Wednesday at 6am and sweating out all the toxins and pollution absorbed into my skin from the last week has made a definite improvement.”—Olivia

“I use the Therapeutic Sulfur Masque by Peter Thomas Roth about 2 to 3 times a week, sometimes I forget but, if my skin isn’t looking great, I’ll be sure to put it on”. – Leonora, a student in Winter Park, FL.

 “A couple times a month I use the Vivo Per Lei Dead Sea Minerals Facial Peel. It feels a little funny at first, but your skin is left feeling super soft. I found this at a spa as well, but they sell it online. A couple times a month I also use Chanel’s Hydramax+Active Moisture Mask.”—Brittney, an Assistant Manager at Lululemon Athletica in Arlington, VA.

 

Any skin trend you’ve never done but are dying to try?

“I would love, love, love to get a Clarisonic! Everyone who has one seems to be in love with theirs and to really swear by them and how their skin looks and feels after each use.” — Caroline, a recent college graduate in Boston, MA.

“I really want to try Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. It’s inexpensive and has tons of amazing reviews.”—Lulu, a Graduate and Lab Assistant in Claremont, CA.

“I’ve heard that coconut oil can do wonders for the skin and I would be very open to trying that for a change. One of my friends swears by oil pulling and says it has diminished her skin problems.”—Theresa

“I’ve been curious to try some of the Korean beauty products that have hit the market recently. They cater to the dewy glow I’m always after so I may have to pick up a moisturizer one of these days and test it out!”—Olivia

 

Are you going to try anything new?  I want to give this a go and play with this little guy.  Also, don’t these looks so refreshing for after a long trip or between work and happy hour?

Happy Birthday, Baby

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a loving nod to one of (if not my absolute) favorite programs. The beloved show Gilmore Girls turned 15 last week. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with the show and when it finally hit Netflix I shamelessly binge watched all seven seasons over again. Lately, in celebration of TV’s favorite mother-daughter duo, my newsfeeds have been filled with all things Gilmore Girls. It was there that I stumbled upon this heartwarming article about how a viewer’s relationship with the show and it’s characters changes over the years. Happy Birthday to the show that taught me water is good but coffee is a gazillion times better, it’s okay to eat salad straight out of the bag, Pop Tarts are a totally appropriate appetizer to pizza, and that your life is only as good as the quirky people you fill it with (but if you’re going to throw it away, he better have a motorcycle).