The Beauty of Atonement

30 Sep

dove_of_peace_312270When I was younger, I thought of atoning as primarily dark. It was about apologizing for actions I’d already taken, with the promise of betterment should the situation arise again. Making amends. Sometimes I’d grasp for things to apologize for, some years I’d have a list prepared. Oh the college years!

I’m not very religious. But I always participate in Jewish High Holiday traditions, and will always buy Chanukah presents. I don’t go to temple (unless to watch my nieces sing) or belong to a congregation, but I do my own thing. Maybe not as conventional, but it feels more authentic.

As I was doing my Rosh Hashanah hike and throwing Atonement rocks over Runyon Canyon, I began to see the beauty in all of it for the first time. I’d of course known the loveliness of renewal and beginning a New Year (even if in September) – but the atoning portion usually felt shameful. This year was the first time I saw the beauty of atonement, as it wasn’t so much about apologizing for my sins but rather acknowledging that I can be a better human.

So I made 6 Acknowledgments. Well really 5, and 1 bonus. Having said that, no offense taken if you stop reading here. Truly. Also I haven’t eaten, so babble is almost guaranteed. What follows is basically me putting my acknowledgments (and atonements) out to the universe in hopes of keeping myself accountable.

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FREE Lauder Lipstick

4 Sep

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Okay here’s a cool brand promo you’ll love – barring you’re in the area. In celebration of their NEW counter at Macy’s South Coast Plaza, Estée Lauder is doing a huge in-store  “Lip Switch” event this Wednesday.

Just bring in ANY old lipstick (doesn’t have to be Estée Lauder!) and they’ll swap it for a full-sized Pure Color Envy LipstickFREE.

  • Macy’s South Coast Plaza
  • Estée Lauder counter
  • Wednesday, September 6th | 11am-6pm

TIP: Save yourself some tissue and makeup remover. Use their NEW YouCam Virtual Try-On App at the counter to see how all their shades look on you without having to try them on!

xo

3 Practical Summer Totes

9 Aug

We’re approaching the dog days of summer, but there’s still time to squeeze in another road trip or three. For every other season, I love a good luxe handbag. Clutches, crossbodies, hobos, shoulder bags… I’m flexible! For summer though, I’m all about a big tote or straw bag. Something you can pile everything in, throw over your shoulder, and basically stick in the sand without care.

This summer, I’ve been primarily switching off between a few practical styles.

FOR PLAY…

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I’ve taken the Carmen Sol Angelica Jelly tote with me on picnics, to the beach, to Palm Springs, and to Ojai. It still looks brand new – and has kept its rose scent. All the Carmen Sol accessories (adorable sandals!) are water-resistant, smell like faint roses, and are made in Italy. The baby yellow color makes me happy + I get stopped a lot by people asking where they can get one, too. Here’s WHERE.

FOR WORK…

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For all of my work gear, I’ve been using a huge vegan leather toe by Be Brilliant Bags. First I’ll go on record and say that I’ve yet to find a vegan leather bag that goes the distance. My last favorite work bag was from Working Cute. It even had wheels. It was the perfect carry-on. And it lasted a year before starting to flake all over my shoulder and hands. RIP Working Cute bag. And company.

It hasn’t been a year, but my Be Brilliant bag has traveled well so far with a laptop, iPad, multiple cords, notebooks, shoes, makeup bags, and more. The inside is lined with moisture-wicking neoprene. Think: wetsuit material. It also has a special removable compartment to carry wet stuff. Awesome for a bathing suit, post-swim. I remain hopeful on its lifespan. Shop HERE.

FOR WHATEVER…

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I love traveling with an extra bag on hand. I keep this perfect cotton canvas tote folded up in my purse to use for things I pick up along the way on a road trip, or carrying hiking shoes, bottles of wine, and shopping local farmer’s markets. The brand is known more for its letterpress stationary, but Sky of Blue Cards carries adorable gifts, too. Shop HERE.

And John Muir had it right… When the mountains do call, I’m outta here.

xo

 

 

 

 

What’s an Angel Shot?

22 Jul

I’m probably late to the party here, but it can’t hurt to overspread the word. Consider this a public service announcement for all the single ladies. If you’re dating online, or just good ol’ fashioned dating, odds are you’ve been in an uncomfortable situation at least once.

Hopefully this messaging will find its way into every women’s bathroom in the city – and beyond. The sign below has all the details, but the gist is to order an Angel Shot if you’re on a date and need some assistance. An Angel Shot isn’t an actual drink, but a signal to the bartender that you need his/her help.

Whether you need an Uber or the police, or even if you sense someone else might be in trouble – this is a system worth trying to implement.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need an Angel Shot. But city life isn’t perfect and we’ve gotta take the good with the… assholes.

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xo

Girl Heads North: Carmel Road trip

17 Jul
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Hyatt Regency Monterey

This one’s kind of a two-parter, as I made two stops on a recent road trip up north.

First I met a fellow group of writers up at the Hyatt Regency Monterey. I’ve never stayed in this area before. It’s inland a bit so there aren’t any immediate ocean views, but the hotel golf course provides a peaceful backdrop. And the course is beautiful. To me, most are – but the trees here give it an extra oomph of serenity. Truly the best part of this hotel is the staff. From the front desk to the wait staff, everyone goes above and beyond to ensure your satisfaction.

They made sure we took a field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A treat for any sea life lover – and just minutes away. Honestly, I could sit and mediate on the jelly fish tanks all day long. They’re mesmerizing.

We were also introduced to a local artist – Patricia Qualls. We had lunch at her airy studio in Carmel Valley and learned about the inspiration behind her work. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend stopping by. Her pieces are exquisite, and she is about as warm and lovely as a human gets.

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Back at the Hyatt, the food is surprisingly good. I enjoyed every bite during my stay. And I took a lot of them! Especially dinner. Everything, down to the salads is prepared with taste and aesthetic in mind. Like most restaurants in the area, it’s a farm-to-table feast. Very family friendly. Even the honey is locally sourced. Originally created by a 10-yr old boy for a school project, Carmel Honey Company is now a burgeoning business.

The hotel rooms could use some updating. And some style. They’re average at best. I’ll leave it at that.

It’s a big property so there’s parking available in front of each building. Very convenient. As much as I adore valet, there’s something to be said for being able to come and go without having to call for your car or wait in line.

 

My next stop took me back toward the coast to another Hyatt property. It’s a spot I’d been once before, and will always look forward to returning.

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Hyatt Carmel Highlands view

 

As I sit here overlooking the great Pacific, silently reveling in my Rosé and Brussels sprouts appetizer, I am filled with an awestruck appreciation for this 100-year-old hotel. It’s perfection. The Hyatt Carmel Highlands is like so many beautiful women we know – aged, elegant, resilient, and always evolving… if you pay close enough attention.

Celebrating her centennial birthday this year, she is still as relevant and adored as ever. Her vaulted ceilings, stone columns, and windowed walls are truly timeless. But the deck has been updated since my last visit – and it’s been acquired by the Hyatt. There’s new sparkling glass with modern tables to take in the sunset. And I hear other dining room upgrades are in the works. Something to look forward to for my next trip.

Some of The Highlands’ rooms are mid-renovation. But I’m in a townhouse-style room and it couldn’t be more comfortable. All the kitchen necessities of home, but with a modern fireplace and out-of-this-world tub.

Perched atop these cliffs and cypress trees with the waves crashing and foaming below, it’s easy to forget about everything else. But somewhere in between all the letting go-ness, unexpected new perspectives and realizations are woven.

Life makes sense. We are where we should be. And wherever that is, we have ourselves to thank.

This week I did good.

xo