Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ahhh....autumn

For most of the the United States, it is that magical season called autumn. One conjures images of  hot apple cider, potted mums, pumpkins and cooler temperatures. Blankets and throws claim their position of importance and are strategically placed on sofa arms, while deciduous trees put on a spectacular display of warmthannouncing that the season of harvest has arrived. 

Photo from Southern Living  The South's Best Season 

Living in Arizona, fall comes much later in the year usually around November or December. However, it does not mean that my inner clock isn't envisioning jumping in a pile of leaves and breathing some crisp cool air.

I have learned there are ways to enjoy the season with the rest of the country even if it is 90 degrees outside. And I would like to thank Trader Joes for helping me achieve a state of bliss with their newly launched Pumpkin Body Butter. 

Hello it is just devine!  Rich and thick and loaded with wonderful things to hydrate a girl's skin and the scent is out-of-this-world!





While other parts of the country are treated to colorful displays that are guaranteed to render one speechless...........








I have learned to admire the colors of autumn in a different way.



Be Well,  Laurie

Monday, September 1, 2014

Things that float your boat

Things that float your boat are the key to creating your style.  For me it is to surround myself with things that make me smile.

Lately, I am into pillows with messages.  I like to think the subliminal messages work on my brain. So even though right at this moment I am not able to live in beach country, I can still surround myself with things that make me smile and remind me of where I am headed.


In my boudoir, the first thing I see when I walk in the door is a cheerful buttery yellow pillow that reminds me that life is better at the beach. There is something about the sunny yellow that instantly lifts my mood. The color of vitality and happiness. I think mixing it with gray makes it work in the bedroom. It's kind of that yin and yang thing. The serenity of gray keeps the tone restful balancing the happy yellow.


Little messages all through my home keep the mood light, and turn the corners of my mouth up. After a stressful day at work my brain zeros in on the joyful messages. It is my safe space to come home and dream about the future.



   And someday real soon I will be enjoying the beach!

Be Well,  Laurie

A little relaxation




Every once in a while life hands you a bone, and I received one last week.  I learned that I was one of the winners of the Tommy Bahama: Relaxation defined contest. I have to share with you I never win anything so I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to everybody that voted for my story and photos!


http://www.tommybahama.com/live-the-life/stories-and-essays/nrd-contest-2014.html

http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Stories.jsp


The plane landed with intention as if to announce its arrival into The Tampa International Airport. It was cloudy outside but I did not care. The minute I stepped out of the plane, I could feel the humidity envelope me in her sweet embrace. After being in the desert for so long my skin was thanking me and taking a big long hydrating drink. I made my way to the train that would take me over to the baggage claim. I let out one long breath. It made me realize I had been holding my breath for a month. Note to self….Breath deep and breath often.

High above the emerald green waters of the Gulf from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, I marveled at its architecture. I wondered how frightening it would be to experience driving across her during a bad storm. I wondered at what point they shut the freeway down. I looked out the window and saw the pelicans greeting my arrival. I giggled at their gregarious nature. Their amazing wingspan made them fly in straight long lines and then they would dive bomb into the water to catch their prize. Their heavy bodies, long necks and flat bills made them look prehistoric to me. Note to self…there is no way I am getting back on a plane to leave.

My vehicle headed toward Sarasota and its little piece of paradise known as the island of Lido Key. The lushly landscaped island plays hide-and-seek and slowly reveals hidden white sugar sand beaches. I take off my flip flops to feel the sand between my toes and drink in the day.

My visit to this island would not be complete without a spin around St. Armand’s circle, home to chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants. My strong affection for the Spanish Colonial Hemingway architecture leads to a stop at Tommy Bahamas for a world-class pineapple mojito. The price of the mojito is well worth the admission price to sit and bask in the design elements of my delight. Entertained by the bartender as he pulled out his muddler and went to work mashing mint and sugar to hand-craft my cocktail. He set the magic elixir in front of me. I reached for the glass to take a sip, but I kept hearing this strange noise. For some reason I could not get the drink to my lips and that noise. What is that annoying noise?
Suddenly I realized I was in my bed, my alarm was bleating that horrible battle cry to get up. I opened one eye, slowly cognizant that it was Monday morning at 5 a.m. and I had dreamed a beautiful dream called Florida.




Be Well,  Laurie

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A little whimsy

Life is just better when you add a little whimsy into it! These sweet necklaces are made from spoons.



Purchased from Posh, Venice Beach, Florida
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Posh-On-Palm/168537756587442 


I am required to wear a badge at work and it can be a fashion drag. And then one day I decided to attach my badge to my statement necklace and voila .....instant panache.

By Friday I am hiding my crazy!





Be Well,  Laurie

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A beach dream

I have been a little blue since returning from holiday so for fun I decided to revisit my trip to the beautiful gulf coast of Florida with a fun story and photos from my trip.


A dream called Florida



The plane landed with intention as if to announce its arrival into The Tampa International Airport.  It was cloudy outside but I did not care. The minute I stepped out of the plane, I could feel the humidity envelope me in her sweet embrace.  After being in the desert for so long my skin was thanking me and taking a big long hydrating drink. I made my way to the train that would take me over to the baggage claim.  I let out one long breath.  It made me realize I had been holding my breath for a month.  :Note to self….Breath deep and breath often. 


Beach path to paradise


Lido Key Beach



The road to Sarasota
 High above the emerald green waters of the Gulf from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge I marveled at its architecture.  I wondered how frightening it would be to experience driving across her during a bad storm.  I wondered at what point they shut the freeway down. I looked out the window and saw the pelicans greeting my arrival.  I giggled at their gregarious nature.  Their amazing wingspan made them fly in straight long lines and then they would dive bomb into the water to catch their prize. Their heavy bodies, long necks and flat bills made them look prehistoric to me. :Note to self…there is no way I am getting back on a plane to leave.



My vehicle headed toward Sarasota and its little piece of paradise known as the island of Lido Key. The lushly landscaped island plays hide-and-seek and slowly reveals hidden white sugar sand beaches. I take off my flip flops to feel the sand between my toes and drink in the day.


Phillippi Creek Village Oyster Bar http://www.creekseafood.com/


My visit to this island would not be complete without a spin around St. Armand’s circle, home to chic boutiques and fabulous restaurants. My strong affection for the Spanish Colonial Hemingway architecture leads to a stop at Tommy Bahamas for a world-class pineapple mojito. The price of the mojito is well worth the admission price to sit and bask in the design elements of my delight. Entertained by the bartender as he pulled out his muddler and went to work mashing mint and sugar to hand-craft my cocktail. He set the magic elixir in front of me. I reached for the glass to take a sip, but I kept hearing this strange noise. For some reason I could not get the drink to my lips and that noise. What is that annoying noise?

Upper level view Tommy Bahamas-St. Armands Circle http://www.tommybahama.com/TBG/Stores_Restaurants/Sarasota.jsp 


Pina Colada Cake


Suddenly I realized I was in my bed, my alarm was bleating that horrible battle cry to get up. I opened one eye, slowly cognizant that it was Monday morning at 5 a.m. and I had dreamed a beautiful dream called Florida. 









Be Well,  Laurie

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beach time

The beach came a knocking on my door, so I headed to the gulf coast of Florida. While checking out Lido Key, Siesta Key, Nokomis and Venice Beaches I am happy to say I scored some great deals at some of their boutiques.






First stop is my favorite boutique for bathing suits, The Sunbug, Venice Beach, Florida.  The beautiful turquoise bikini was a major score. Can you believe the original price  was $136 bucks, I got it for $26.00. The material feels like silk.

http://www.thesunbug.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunbug-At-Venice/157597784260931

The cover up was purchased at a little boutique across from The Sunbug (sorry I don't remember it's name) But I do remember the price: $9.99. SCORE!






Cuban style hat - Target
Perfect style for the beach, it did a nice job of protecting my face from the sun. A few freckles across the bride of my nose.


Ray bans - wayfarer - Sunglass Hut
It is a long story but I lost my Maui Jim's to the gulf on Lido Key. I don't mess around when it comes to eye wear and my pocket book just could not do the extra splurge for a new pair of Maui Jim's. I did find this great pair of polarized wayfarers. I pulled up right in front of Sunglass Hut - at St. Armands, left the car running with my passanger in the car and walked into the store sand still attached to my flip flops and purchased my new sunnies.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunglass-Hut-at-St-Armands-Circle/296449327141205





 

Life is just so much sweeter at the beach!

Be Well,  Laurie

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer sun dress

It is summer time sundress season and the stores are having seasonal sales. I caught this dress on a mark down plus an additional percentage off - Hello jackpot!





Truth be told a friend purchased this dress a few months ago, and it was adorable on her. Thankfully, she lives out of state so we will never show up rocking the same dress. But I envision it with a pair of sexy summer strappy heels, maybe a cute pair of silver wedge Marc Jacobs - just waiting for a pair to go clearance.  



I adore the beaded band around the top.  It means all I need are great earrings and I am ready to go! The material is luxuriously soft which means it is ultra comfortable. I leave for vacation in less than two weeks. I am excited to wear this along the Gulf Coast of Florida.




Be Well,  Laurie

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Zen and the Art of Style: Summer fun find

Zen and the Art of Style: Summer fun find: I love summer, but it takes a toll on a girl's makeup. Keeping a fresh face is tough when it slides right off of your face.  I have a to...

Summer fun find

I love summer, but it takes a toll on a girl's makeup. Keeping a fresh face is tough when it slides right off of your face.  I have a tough time with eyeliner, because it ends up fading away or under my eyes giving me the dreaded raccoon effect. Yesterday, I purchased the newly released "they're real push-up liner from Benefit  http://www.benefitcosmetics.com/



I figured it was yet just another liquid eyeliner. Boy was I wrong.  This stuff has major staying power. I put it to the test today.  I ran errands ALL DAY LONG in 106 degrees, worked out, and then took the following photos.  My eyeliner is still put where it is supposed to be!



I think it is worth the splurge. Its like drawing with a marker, goes on easy. I am a bit challenged when it comes to makeup, and I was able to pull it off.




Benefit - they're real! push-up liner is a yes!

 Be Well,  Laurie

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer fun sun dress

One way to stay cool as a cucumber in the summer heat, is a pretty sundress.  There is something romantic about a sundress. It is flirty, fun and lightens up the work day. The days might be sizzling hot and steamy, but this effortless style is a classic, day or night.

I wore cute flat embellished sandals for work, but I could just as easily pair some sexy strappy heels to change up the look taking it into the evening.


I prefer to keep my arms covered in the office. I added a sea glass blue shrug to make it office attire acceptable.




The dress is super soft and comfortable and the fact that it was an end of season clearance purchase at Charming Charlies makes it even that much sweeter.



 What is your go-to summer look?



 Be Well,  Laurie





Sunday, June 8, 2014

Summer is calling...get your tan on!

I love summer. It conjures up sweet memories of beach time, boating, back yard BBQ's and a great summer tan. I am always trying to figure out how to get a gorgeous glow with less sun damage. As a matter of fact, I purchased my own air-brush tanning equipment to better achieve my summer bronze. Here are a few of my 2014 summer favorite products.



Living in the desert the climate is harsh on a person's skin. There is an on-going quest to keep skin hydrated and supple. Hydration is also one key to prolonging your beautiful tan. Another important step to lovely skin.... exfoliate! I try to dry brush my skin before I jump into the shower twice a week.

Next, I am digging Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil by the Body Shop. It has a great scent and moisturizing oils in it to hydrate your skin. It ads a hint of shimmer and is not greasy. Note it is not a self-tanner. To really get me into a beach mood, I like to mix it with some of their coconut oil. It adds hydration and the scent is like a mini vacation in my mind.


In between spray tanning, natural glow daily moisturizer extends  the life of my tan. It is inexpensive and does a nice job. I purchased Target's brand.  I find it works just as well as the more expensive brands.



June brings out the hot temperatures. We run anywhere from 110 - 118 degrees. It's HOT! I love to swim and be in the water. I prefer to do this in the morning. It is cooler and the rays are not as damaging. But just driving in your car can zap your skin.

I have fallen in love with Isa SunGuard by IsAgenix. It contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide along with antioxidants and botanicals to protect the skin. I use this on my face, shoulders, chest and arms.  It gives strong protection.  For my body I love Solar Body Mosisturizer by DEVITA - Paraben Free and 100% Vegan.




What are ya waiting for summer is calling!

            Be Well,  Laurie


Sunday, June 1, 2014

I am on a kick with trying to stay cool this summer.  At the moment, I am sitting under my glorious ceiling fan, drinking some Chia Fresca to quench my thirst.






Thank you to Oh She Glows for the refreshing recipe!  If you are looking for some wonderful health inspired recipes you have to check out Angela's blog.
http://ohsheglows.com/2013/03/01/chia-fresca-a-natural-energy-drink/


Last night, I had some friends over to chill( pun intended). It was a lovely evening of yummy food, spirits and friendship. I wanted to serve something snappy to drink. I settled on white nectarine sangria.





There a a hundred ways to make a peachy sangria, here is my recipe.

1 chilled bottle of Sauvignon blanc - Cupcake Wines http://www.cupcakevineyards.com/product/wine/sauvignon-blanc

Lemonade (chilled) - http://www.califiafarms.com/products/lemonade/

Vanilla Vodka (a shot or a couple)

seedless grapes

nectarines

strawberries


Freeze once cup of lemonade
Add to pitcher one bottle of  white wine, one cup of lemonade, two or so shots of vanilla vodka (add to your taste) Add cut fruit and whole grapes, add frozen lemonade to the pitcher and serve.  Voila guaranteed sassafras in a glass.






 My dress is clearance JC Penny's -  nine bucks! I don't have a lot of purple in my closet and I have decided it is a fun color to wear.  Purple looks smashing on most skin tones and hair colors. Every body should have the color of royalty in their wardrobe.


Give my sangria a try, I would love to hear what you think. What are your favorite summer beverages! Keep Cool!

                                                             Be Well,  Laurie