September 11, 2014

Thanks IFB for Featuring Me!


So Many Great Pieces

This week had so many great links, it was super hard to decide which ones to pick. Like a wardrobe filled with amazing clothing, sometimes it's just overwhelming to chose the best among greats. I know, #firstworldproblems. Leave it to us to find a way to complain about being so lucky. This week, it's all about having fun, enjoying life and getting on top of things. You know, striking the perfect balance. Sure, the perfect balance doesn't exist, but it's sure as heck worth trying!

September 11th, 2014

September 4, 2014

7 Things I Learned about Skincare in my 20's

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Taking care of your skin in your 20's isn't difficult and it can determine what it will look like in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond.  I just turned 36 years old with very few wrinkles so I decided to share with you the things I learned about skincare during my 20’s and early 30's.  The secret to radiant skin has nothing to do with expensive products.  It’s about healthy habits that will keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.  Here are the guidelines I follow when it comes to skincare.

Whatever your skin type, I think it's good to cleanse and moisturize both morning and night - which I have been doing ever since I was 18.  Start with a very gentle non-soap cleanser.  You want to cleanse your skin but you don’t want to strip the moisture out of it.  If your skin gets dry from the cleanser, switch to another brand until you find the perfect one for you. After cleansing your face, apply immediately a moisturizer.   There are plenty of affordable ones for every need.  The more your skin is moisturized, the less likely it is to wrinkle.

Your skin doesn’t need it yet.  Anti-aging products will only irritate your skin and make it age faster.  Are there fine lines on your forehead and around your eyes? It probably means that your skin is not hydrated enough. Simply apply a second layer of moisturizer or switch to a richer one.  I speak from experience.

Sometimes, we get home late and we just want to go to bed.  Your skin regenerates itself while you are sleeping so you want to have a clean, well-moisturized face to get the most out of this process. Actress Kate Bosworth recently said she could count the times she has gone to bed without taking her makeup off in her life on one hand— her skin is flawless.

It is cliché but it’s true.  I stayed out of the sun as much as possible and wore sunscreen on my face.  Unfortunately, I was not as careful with my body.   Brown spots are now appearing on my back and I wish that I had taken care of my body as much as my face. We all want to have sun-kissed skin.  Keep in mind that that you will pay the price for the rest of your life for only a couple of summers with a beautiful tan.

Luckily for me, I never smoked…but I dated a smoker for five years.  Second-hand smoke had an impact on my skin.  It was small but it made me think that if I saw a difference with second-hand smoke, it must be incredibly bad on the skin of the person doing the smoking.

For some people, it’s almost impossible to wake up without a cup of coffee but trust me it will make a difference in the long run.  Our body is dehydrated after a night's sleep and the first thing that we drink in the morning is a coffee that will dehydrate it even more.  It is not good for your skin.  I never drank coffee until two years ago and when I do I really can see a difference on my face.  You don't believe me? Listen to actress Lucy Liu.  She believes caffeine is really bad for the skin and she never drank coffee in her entire life. She looks amazing at 45!
Try to switch to tea, herbals or hot water with lemon. If you can't live without your cup of coffee in the morning, drink a tall glass of water before you have your coffee and drink a lot of water throughout the day.

You need your beauty sleep and there is a reason why they call it that! Dull complexion, bag under your eyes, dark circles, dry skin, pale lips are results of a lack of sleep. Don't make the mistake of not getting enough sleep.  If you had a short night, take a nap and catch up on your sleep as soon as possible.

The key to beautiful skin starts in your 20's with simple and healthy habits.  These tips have done wonders for me.  However, now that I am in my late 30's (gasp!) I realize that my skin needs more care than it did in my 20's.  I had to kick it up a notch. I made some research online and I came up with a new beauty regimen that I will use until I am in my early 40's.  Wondering what it is? Stay tuned, I will share it with you soon!

July 24, 2014

Hello Summer! | Issue #4

I just emailed my monthly newsletter to my subscribers and here is a copy - if you want to know what it looks like. The newsletter is roundup of my lastest posts under a different theme each month.  It is a very convenient and easy way to read my blog.  I do not use my subscribers' email for anything other than this newsletter, so you don't have to worry about spam.   If you want to subscribe, you can do it here.

July 23, 2014

The Swimmers of Eric Zener

It happens every single time I look at Eric Zener's paintings.  With just one glance, I am no longer working in my office.  I am happily swimming in a pool on the most glorious summer day.  I am a child playing and jumping in the water, laughing and having fun in the sun.  I feel free, happy and relaxed.
Eric Zener is an American photorealist artist who is currently living in Mill Valley, California and painting at his studio in Sausalito.  He is self-taught and has been painting for 20+ years. I was very lucky to be able to ask him a few questions.

Water is present in almost all of your paintings. Why do you think that you have this fascination for water? 
Eric Zener: From our conception, culture, religious sacraments, cleansing, joy and our mesmerizing gaze at the horizon, we are connected to it. Water provides both an escape and a return. A surrendering.  A summer pool, a beckoning sea, a long hot shower all provide an aqueous reset button.
Nature moves much slower than us. It is much bigger than us. If we recognize that perspective it is a gift that can humble us and relieve us of the daily trappings of modern life. As an artist I am drawn to imagery that reflects nuances that often go unnoticed. A blade of light across a morning cafe table. A single cloud, seemingly lost, looking for it’s clan.  Water affords us a place to return to that endless summer left behind. A place, if only for a moment, to comfort us with memories of pool parties, suntan lotion and long summers.

July 22, 2014

Dining & Entertaining Al Fresco

Most of my favourite moments this summer involve good friends hanging out on patios. After my last day at work before my summer vacation, my childhood friend Anne invited me for dinner at her house.  She has the beautiful outdoor space and garden I have ever seen....thanks to her architect husband! Anne and I spent the entire evening al fresco, talking over cocktails and food during one of the most beautiful nights of the summer.  Once it got dark, she brought out candles and lanterns.  Did I mention that she is the perfect hostess?
Another patio that I love is at my friend Martin's who is a bar owner. He turned his small backyard in the city into a oasis filled with flowers and greeney and also has an outdoor fireplace.  He is a beer aficionado and his patio is the perfect place for happy hour, trying new beers and hanging out with some friends.
As for me, I can't talk about my own backyard right now because I live in an apartment.  I am saving up to buy my own house and a backyard is definitely on my must-haves list. I will not need much space but I want a lot of greenery, a small garden and a fireplace.  Here are a few ideas for my future backyard and yours!

July 17, 2014

My Photos of Amalfi Coast, Italy

Looking through my posts and my travel photos, I just realized that I never posted the photos of my trip to the Amalfi Coast. In June 2012, I stayed 9 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Venice and spent some time in Tuscany and on the Amalfi Coast.  Here are the photos of this beautiful day in paradise on the Amalfi Coast!