A Rose is a Rose

IMG_8126A rose is a rose is a rose. Or as William Shakespeare said, ” What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” There is just something about the smell of roses. And, they are the classic Valentine flower. Though, I would steer clear of a dozen red roses…so cliche. Roses mixed with tulips and hydrangeas or any other flower let the roses soar.

Perhaps something rose scented. The new RosaViola fragrance from Diptyque is divine. I’ll have to admit….I treated myself. The packaging inspired by Olympia Tan takes it over the top. But, the scent is still the star.IMG_0662Dark chocolate reigns supreme at our house and this dark chocolate-rose bar by L.A. based Compartes would send me to the moon!IMG_8168woa-embed-el-brunch-2-smallNever kiss and tell, but always have your lips “done”! Whether it’s the rose balm lipsticks from Aerin or Smith’s Rosebud Salve…you are kiss ready!

Wishing you bunches of roses from that special someone. Even if that someone is YOU!!!


Holiday Treats

final 1Better than eggnog! Here’s the Gingerbread Milkshake by The Kitchn, that you can make for the whole family with just 4 indgrients.

Cover one gingerbread cookie with 1/2 cup milk. Blend. Add, 1 scoop vanilla ice cream (size up to you) and blend. Top with a little rum if you’re over 21. Blend again!
process 1process 3 process 4 process 5-1final 4Then, top off your luscious drink with a whipped cream, nutmeg & a little festive garnish – either a gingerbread person or a little gingerbread house. Have on hand for hot cocoa breaks, too! Both available at Williams-Sonoma.Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.20.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.21.36 PMBest enjoyed with those you love most! Here’s to the holidays and all the sweet treats that how with them!

Plan diet for January!


images: Maxwell Ryan for The Kitchn

Giving & Framing Experiences

IMG_7586I recently read (and believe) that experiences we give people can often be more meaningful than tangible gifts. Often, these experiences make lasting impressions that continue to give the recipient joy as they recall the exquisite dinner, the watercolor or calligraphy class, the Saturdays spent at the museum or a trip they had always dreamed of.

I found this to be true for myself, as I finally got around to framing the receipts of some incredibly special dinners (albeit extravagant ones) at some world renown restaurants. Yes, the food was delicious and the wine divine….but it is in recalling these experiences and the circumstances that surrounded them that continue to bring a smile to my face.

French Laundry in Napa Valley on a work, turned pleasure trip with my husband. L’Arpege in Paris on my birthday, again with my husband. Dream trips. Wonderful memories.

For ideas of experiences that you might want to give someone special, check out this article, 10 Experience Gifts That Keep On Giving.IMG_7584 IMG_7583 IMG_7579IMG_7587Now, these framed memorabilia hang in my kitchen, as a reminder of meals and experiences that were extraordinary….even as I unload the dishwasher and make another batch of cookies for my kids. Because not every day feels extraordinary, we sometimes need reminders.

What’s one of your most memorable experiences?