On weekends in the spring my condo ownership seems a bit lack luster and I start to get a touch of patio lust. Just a little taste of the outdoors would be nice. Let’s not go all willy-nilly suburban and say that I would want acreage that I would then complain to my friends about having to mow (I’m pointing fingers and you know who you are…) but it would be nice to sip coffee outdoors on Saturday morning. Maybe also drink a mimosa or enjoy a poached egg.
When I think of outdoor space I mainly think of it in terms of entertaining. Let’s be honest, the SomeEcard “I’m outdoorsy in that I like getting drunk on patios” completely pertains to me. I don’t want to mow anything, plant anything, spread mulch, collect weeds, negotiate with neighbors about fences or have to call an arborist. Ain’t nobody got time for that no matter what they convince themselves of. This is why the man above invented parks – so you all can go for a walk and sit on the grass without moaning to me about the cost of shrubs or asking me for help blowing leaves.
However as much as I may be griping it would be nice to throw a dinner party outside. All Under the Tuscan Sun status with a long table, carafes of wine, good food being passed around, laughter, music in the background (or this year the incessant noise of cicadas) and a bizarre lack of biting bugs. When I close my eyes this is how I picture it… If there happens to be a vineyard in the background then, I mean, I guess shit happens.
It’s a holiday made by marketers, but hey, that’s how both of us make a living (and I also actually love Lillet), so we’re celebrating – Happy National Apéritif Day!
I like to revisit word definitions (nerd), so an apéritif is an alcoholic beverage (duh) usually served before a meal to stimulate the appetite (that’s why it’s typically dry rather than sweet). Lillet is an apéritif wine from Bordeaux made from a blend of 85% wine and 15% citrus liqueurs that comes in Blanc, Rouge or Rose varieties. It’s one of those French staples that was made to help pass time at sidewalk cafés or jazz up a cocktail hour.
I don’t have a big apartment, but I always have a bottle of Lillet chilling in the fridge. Lillet Blanc is my favorite, you can throw in a slice of lemon and some carbonated water (flavored if you so desire) or champagne (if you’re feeling frisky) and you’re good to go. Looks fancy, but it’s easy to throw together on a moment’s notice. The Lillet does all the hard work for you, like a little black dress. This summer I’m going to experiment a little more with Lillet Rose – that pink, floral Martha Stewart creation is making me thirsty.
There are so many delicious versions – happy creating and drinking. Santé! Cheers! TGIF!
P.S. A big thank you to mychildhood friend Ana Beth, who is an incredible hostess, to introducing me to this favorite many years ago.
Photos courtesy of The Kitchn and Martha Stewart (1, 2) [listed from top to bottom]
Yesterday I walked into my office building past the beautiful garden of tulips and realized tulip season was officially done. All the beautiful green stalks had officially lost their blooms. Sadness. While I love living in an apartment and am an opt-of-house suburbanite, spring is when I have slight jealousy for those who have a yard and can enjoy just a touch of nature outside of their front door. Maybe even plant something. But that takes effort. Never mind. #lazy
So over the last few weeks I’ve been putting tulips everywhere for a little hint of color and nature but it’s time to move on to peonies. Just like tulips they can easily make up a bouquet all by themselves and be cut to be in whatever container happens to be on hand. Set out either a couple at a time or in a huge bunch – they are so beautiful. While not quite as predictable in shape as my beloved tulips, they are so wonderfully rotund that it makes me happy. Clearly I’m easily amused.
A lot of people in my office get free magazines because they’re on one media list or another. And while I do dig around and try to grab The Economist or Harvard Business Review, my top mailroom score is an issue of People. Sad, but true. Most recently, I dug up the 2013 World’s Most Beautiful List issue. Le sigh.
The cover girl, Gwyneth Paltrow, is gorgeous as usual (and apparently works out intensely for at least an hour everyday – sweet baby J, I do not have that kind of motivation… and it shows?), but inside there was a picture (and interview online) of Jane Fonda that really piqued my interest.
The actress (and fitness guru of high-cut 80s leotard repute) looks incredible at 75. Did you see her at the Oscars? She said to People: “I do yoga three times a week. I’m learning tai chi, and when I go home, my assistant drops me at the bottom of the hill and it’s a mile to walk up.” Plus, “I don’t forget to take supplements; I moisturize; I have a lover [music producer Richard Perry, 70]; and I’m careful about what I eat.”
If that’s the formula to looking phenomenal (plus a few nips and tucks? Despite my intense admiration for her outlook, skepticism of her fabulosity sneaks in, from fear?), well then, let me follow that to a T. Including having an assistant who drives me places. Ah, to be 75 and stunning.
Photos courtesy of People
It’s spring. It’s time to hydrate. Well one must always hydrate but spring makes me want to do it with style and bubbles. Now let’s be honest – I could drink prosecco at literally any time of day. However there is a point where that sways into the territory of full blown alcoholism. For those moments it’s time to pop open a bottle of Pellegrino and feel totally refreshed. I mean it’s the perfect way to enjoy bubbles at your desk – without being judged….
April is the month of film festivals in New York, ironically drawing you into movie theaters as the weather improves and the cherry and magnolia trees blossom. I caught a movie Sunday night with friends at the tail end of Tribeca Film Festival. Lucky gal that I am, my job hooked me up with some tickets to a sold-out screening of Möbius, the Franco-Russian spy thriller starring Oscar-winning Jean Dujardin (he does crazy things with his eyebrows… please look at the Google Images results) and the stunning Belgian actress Cécile de France.
The movie is really good and I highly recommend it, but what I couldn’t get over was how stunning Cécile’s character was – the costume stylist was a frickin genius on this movie. She was elegant, sleek, but with a hint of casual confidence. Very Côte d’Azur with all the linen as well. I’ll be taking some cues from her onscreen wardrobe for this summer. I clearly need to head over to Façonnable and get my hands on on a pair of those glorious Garrett Light shades…
A couple weeks ago we made the drive up to Watch Hill, Rhode Island to enjoy a heavenly weekend of peace, quiet and complete indulgence at the famous Ocean House. What we found was an experience that shows us how the other half lives. And we definitely could get used to it. Needless to say when you stay somewhere that anticipates your every desire before you even know what it would be, you begin to understand why people spend the money. It was completely worth it. A hotel stay that has champagne waiting for you upon arrival has our names written all over it.
We were astounded at the quality of every single detail… The bath and bed linens, memory foam mattress, chenille throws, orchids in the bathroom, Molton Brown bath products, robes with matching slippers, river rock bottomed shower, marble tub, and iPad that came with our room so you could read the New York Times in the morning while sipping coffee with a view of the Atlantic was only the beginning. We were struggling to find details that they actually had not thought through. When you enter the WC and think, “Oh crap where will I put my robe? I wish there was a hook. Oh, of course there f’ing is.”, you know you’re never going to find anything to complain about. And everyone knows we turn complaining into an Olympic sport.
We spent the majority of the Saturday we were there first enjoying lavender massages followed by sipping cucumber water while sitting on a chaise that overlooked the ocean from a circular room on the beach’s edge. This is when we realized that the trip we justified by saying it would be a once in a lifetime experience would be happening annually. Oopsie.
Because the Oh! Spa wasn’t enough ridiculousness we followed that with enjoying an evening in the Seasons restaurant and had a difficult time choosing from the delicious farm-to-table menu. What arrived on our table was simply a work of art. Perfectly sized portions (of course because they wouldn’t have it any other way) led us through multiple courses of a meal that didn’t leave us overly full.
By the time Sunday came to end we realized a couple things. On a serious note that spending quality time together was so important. As is investing in your own sanity. You need to find a getaway that allows you to escape from everyday stress, hustle and bustle. But on a less serious note we realized we really f’ing need a butler. Preferably a British one.
For all our pics take a look at Magdalena’s Instagram
It’s Monday. Ugh. After such a beautiful sunny weekend, to get up and have to sit behind my desk gives me ants in my pants. I wish I could get everything done sitting outside under all the blooming cherry blossoms. So what was necessary to sip in the sunshine? A latte of course. Just a perfect foamy latte with a touch of sugar. It went perfectly with the crisp breeze and blooming tulips (ok the breeze really could be a tad less crisp). This time of year the weather is still cool enough to enjoy coffee being hot. Once the heat picks up it’ll be time to make the annual jump to iced coffee.
Seeing as I’m getting gradually more and more into coffee maybe I should educate myself on all the different options. It can be my back up obsession to wine with all the varieties and flavor intricacies… What better way to learn than with a Pop Chart Lab creation?!
photos courtesy of Pop Chart Lab