Diptyque: Rose Delight Candle

Diptyque Rose Delight (6.5 oz/$68)

Happy Valentine's Day!

This years Diptyque special edition rose candle is Rose Delight. It's described as a mix of rose petals, honey and lemon zest, and was inspired by the dessert Turkish delight. The lemon note is the most prominent to me. The throw on this is strong without being cloying. There's also a powder like quality to the scent that makes it very soothing. It's a great bedtime candle. I think a Rose Delight bath oil with the same notes would be amazing. And that's coming from a girl that prefers showers to baths.

The packaging for these special edition candles is usually lovely and this year was no exception. Although like most Diptyque fans I'd love for them to offer another hand painted candle like they did with Rosa Folia pictured above. I think Rose Delight would be a good option for any one looking for a unique take on a classic rose scent.  The standard 6.5 oz I have pictured is still available at Nordstrom (here) and online at (here).


Chanel Spring-Summer 2018 Neapolis Collection

On the nails: Giallo Napoli

On the nails: Nuvola Rosa 

Chanel Lip Balm and Powder Duo - 410 Rosso Pompeiano/$37

Close up of the balm to the left and the powder to the right

On the lips- #410 Rosso Pompeiano

On the nails: Arancio Vibrante

The inspiration for Chanel's Spring/Summer 2018 collection was the city of Naples. The birthplace of their Global Creative Make Up Artist and Color Designer, Lucia Pica ( I like the name Lucia).
The bright nail polishes were the first to catch my eye.  Let's talk about that yellow. I read on
Chanel.com that it took some work to get the yellow just right. I appreciate their efforts. Giallo Napoli is the best yellow nail polish I have ever used. Wearing it was like carrying a very cute puppy around. Everywhere I went someone stopped me to compliment the color. I usually change my nail color every week but I wore Giallo Napoli for three weeks straight. It was that much fun. The next fan favorite was the pink nail polish- Nuvola Rosa. It's a sophisticated light pink that would be flattering on a variety of skin tones. Chanel makes some of the best red/orange nail polishes and Arancio Vibrante is an example of this. It's a rich and creamy reddish orange that screams bring on the sun. All of these colors wore like iron with minimal tip wear after seven days.

Now the lip balm and powder duo Rosso Pompeiano is interesting. As it was explained to me by my friendly neighborhood Chanel counter lady you apply the balm to the left first, and then layer the powder. The powder can be layered over other lipsticks and/or used as a blush. I've been using just the balm layered with the powder in the compact. I like that I can layer the powder lightly and get a nice stain or build it up for a fully pigmented pout. The color is a matte powder so this is not for when I'm having an especially flaky lip day. Also, because it's a powder if you drink anything you are going to have to reapply it. I remember wearing this for the first time at work and thinking in the morning, yesss this is a "lewk". That same day I was on my way to lunch after having had several cups of tea. When I looked at myself in the rear view mirror I looked like I had been drinking Kool Aid.

I think Ms. Pica hit it out of the park with this collection. The colors are perfect for spring and summer. My favorite item is the Giallo Napoli nail polish. What's yours?


Morocco: 31.7917° N, 7.0926° W

The courtyard of the riad where I stayed.

The second floor of the riad.
Breakfast on the rooftop of the riad.

They drink hot mint tea in Morocco all throughout the day.

Fishing boats in Essouira.

Marrakesh Médina at night.
Alternate caption- runway for an unknown local dude :) 

One of the many beautiful doors in Morocco.

Marrakesh Médina

Last year was a record year for me with regards to travel. I went to Washington DC twice,  Cuba, Aruba, St. Kitts & Nevis, Tampa, Cleveland, South Africa and finally Morocco.  I love to travel but by the end of 2017 I was tired of flying.  I didn't have any specific travel plans for 2018 but I went to lunch with a friend recently and we started talking about Croatia and Iceland so we'll see. Anyhow on with the post.

Morocco is in North Africa and is officially known as the Kingdom of Morocco. Its capital is the city Rabat. The official currency is the Moroccan Dirham. It's a closed currency meaning that technically you can't buy or sell it outside of Morocco as it's not freely available outside of the country. What that means is if you visit you'll want to spend all your Moroccan Dirham while you are there. As I write this the internet has the exchange rates as noted below.

The official language of Morocco is Arabic. Every local I dealt with also spoke English, French and some Spanish. As it was explained to me the country is run as a constitutional monarchy. The king is the head of state and he appoints a prime minister.  The Moroccan constitution declares Islam as the official religion. 

I went to Morocco the end of September early October last year and visited the cities of Marrakesh, Ourika and Essaouira. I stayed in a riad which is a traditional Moroccan home with an interior courtyard or garden.  The temperature was in the 70 - 80 degree fahrenheit range while I was there.

Marrakesh and its markets are a shopper's paradise. Even more so if you enjoy haggling. It's crowded and has the same variations in cleanliness that you would expect from any big city. Marrakesh is the place where all your favorite stores get the textiles that they sell at a ridiculously marked up price. They sell everything there. That scene in Aladdin where Jasmine has snuck out of the palace and is walking through the market as the vendors offer her everything from sugar dates and figs to a pretty necklace for a pretty lady is a good example of what to expect in the Marrakesh markets. I was making the rounds with one of my friends one day while I was there when we ran into a vendor who was offering "100% authentic fake Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags". Yeah, we thought it was funny too.  If you don't like being bombarded by salesman as you maneuver through a winding and crowded maze you might want to limit your time in the markets. I wouldn't say to skip it entirely because it definitely is an experience. I would just want you to be prepared. Another thing to keep in mind if you make it to Marrakesh is that everything has a price.  If you want to get some Instagram video of the snake charmer in the big square or you get lost and need to ask for directions expect to shell out some dirhams. Morocco had been on my travel list for a while so I'd done a lot of research before my trip and I knew what to expect.

Outside of Marrakesh and its markets the vibe is more relaxed. Essouira is a windy beach city on Morocco's Atlantic coast. If you are into seafood you can pick your fish from the catch of the day and have it cooked while you wait. I spent most of my time taking in the colorful boats and checking out the markets. Essouira had a laid back artsy old world vibe which I was told attracts a lot of artists and writers. 

Ourika was my favorite part of Morocco. The area has a valley that looks up at the Atlas mountains and a very popular waterfall.  The day I went to the waterfall was one I'll never forget. I got on a tour  bus with about 15 other people. They were from Italy, England, USA, India and Spain. We all started talking and it became clear that we were all told different things about where we were going. The duo from England were two middle aged women who said they booked the tour through their hotel when they first arrived to Morocco about two weeks earlier. They got up the morning of the tour and were greeted by two men on motor bikes who took them to the tour bus. One of them said she hadn't been on a motor bike in over twenty years! We stopped at an argan co-op, we went through some mountains and finally we got to an area where the waterfall was supposed to be. Except the waterfall wasn't there. You see we had to climb to get to the waterfall.  So it is at this point I'll mention that  one of the tourists from India was blind in one eye. As the guide pointed to the first rope bridge we would have to cross the half blind lady from India tapped out. The English ladies decided they'd had enough unexpected excitement for one day and tapped out as well. That left the US, Italy and Spain. It was harrowing but we all made it. One of the guys from the US wiped out on the way back down. Lucky for him he was a doctor so he was able to stitch his own knee up. I kid you not.  

So yeah Morocco was quite the trip. I have stories for days. I also have a whole set of pictures just from the Majorelle Gardens that I'll post later.  If you've been to Morocco I'd love to hear about your experiences.


2017 Books Review

Happy new year guys! All is well on my end. I hope the same goes for you. Last year with the help of   Goodreads I set a goal to read thirty books. The covers of all the books I read in 2017 are pictured above. I use my Goodreads account to read book reviews, rate books and track how well I'm doing with my reading goals.

According to Goodreads the longest book I read last year was The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón which had 522 pages. The book I gave the highest rating of 5 stars was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  I gave the following books four stars: 
  • The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafón  ( Reviewed here)
  • The Fire Next Time- James Baldwin 
  • Somewhere Towards the End- Diana Athill 
  • Eleanor & Park- Rainbow Rowell
  • The Story of a Brief Marriage - Anuk Arudpragasam  (Reviewed here
  • The Mothers- Brit Bennett  (Reviewed here)
  • Lincoln in the Bardo- George Saunders  (This was the 2017 Man Booker prize winner!)
  • Celine - Peter Heller  (Reviewed here)
  • City of Saints and Thieves- Natalie C. Anderson  ( Reviewed here )
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J.K. Rowling
The books I liked the least were The Fig Eater by Jody Shields and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I know The Old Man and the Sea is considered a classic but it just didn't do it for me. Maybe I'll read it again later in life and be moved profoundly. Or maybe not.

My goal this year is to read 45 books(eek!) and include some non-fiction authors.  I very rarely read non-fiction but I enjoyed the memoir Somewhere Toward the End by Diana Athill last year.

What are your reading goals for 2018?


What's In the Bag?

Bag: Coach Crosstown Crossbody in Canyon Quilt Leather (I've had this bag a couple years now. See a similar style here. )

1. Hand cream- Supergoop! (review coming soon)
2. Sunglasses- Prada (here)
3. Lipstick- Lipstick Queen Berry Sinner
4. I Phone 6 phone case - (here)
5. Smith's Tropical Ambrosia Balm (here)
6. Uni-ball Signo RT .7 black gel pen
7. Ginger essence sensuous skin scent/1.7 oz (reviewed here)
8. Small notebook JFK airport Muji store

Hi there. It's time for another fun edition of What's In the Bag? The bag today is an oldie but goodie from Coach. I don't think my bag is still around so I linked a similar style above. Tis the season for trips to the airport and nights out at restaurants with family and friends so I've switched from my well loved tote bags to a small cross body one. A smaller bag really forces you to edit what you lug around. I managed to fit what I consider my basics into this one.

The sunglasses are a new purchase. I finally had to retire my old ones. I think I've had them since I started the blog. I like a simple large black frame which is very difficult to find. When I find a pair that works I keep them for a long time. I've been testing out the Supergoop! line and so far I'm quite pleased. The hand cream pictured above is the perfect size for when you're on the go. The Origins Ginger Essence Skin Scent is almost finished because I've been spritzing it every chance I get. I plan to go back for a full sized bottle and a back up travel sized one soon. I must have a lip balm on me. If I forget  to bring one I'm going home. I'd give the Smith's balm a B-. It has a gel/ointment like consistency which gives you a nice sheen but I think it could be a little more emollient. The Berry Sinner lipstick from Lipstick Queen is probably my most reached for shade. You can tell from the wear and tear on the bullet in the bag shot how loved it is. Berry Sinner is a reddish brown creamy lipstick that works when I'm dressing down or dressing up. 

So there you have it. My last What's in The Bag post of 2017. What's closing out the year in your bag? 


Diptyque, L'Occitane & Antica 2017 Advent Calendars

I remember waiting all year for Christmas when I was a kid. I'd cross off the days on the calendar leading up to the big day. As an adult Christmas seems to come and go in the blink of an eye but I still look forward to it. Advent Calendars are a great way for me to combine my love of beauty and the holidays. This year I picked up three calendars. I was pretty good at not peeking ahead to see what was in all of the boxes. But in true adult fashion there were days where I forgot to open the box for the day. This meant that when I did remember I was opening the boxes for two or three days at one time. 

Diptyque 2017 Advent Calendar/$390

First up we have the Diptyque Advent Calendar. This year Diptyque offered 15 mini candles,  1 standard size candle, 7 travel sized spray eau de toilettes, a mini body polish and body oil. I think their Advent Calendar is great for Diptyque collectors.  The first box was a mini Baies candle. The last box was a standard size of the Frosted Forest(Unicorn) candle. See my review of the 2017 Diptyque holiday candles here.  I think the mini candles(35g) are adorable.  They're not sold separately so you can only get the mini candles when they have a promotion. They are a great way to travel with your favorite scents and they make very cute gifts. 

L'Occitane 2017 Luxury Advent Calendar/$124

The L'Occitane Luxury Advent Calendar has the cutest packaging.  Their calendar had 24 days of creams, gels and perfumes. This calendar would be a great introduction for those new to L'Occitane. For those already familiar with the brand it offered enough of L'Occitane favorites like the shea butter hand cream and products from their almond line to make it worthwhile.

Antica 2017 Advent Calendar/ $175

Antica is a new to me brand. I loved that their advent calendar had full sizes of products. They even had a full size wick trimmer.  The Antica prosecco room spray has been a hit with my holiday guests. I also burned the Vanilla, Bourbon & Mandarin scented candle for a bit and was very pleased. I'm looking forward to trying everything else. I thought all three Advent Calendars were great but I would give Antica's a slight edge due to the size of the products.  Let me know which one is your favorite.

I hope you guys have a great day. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!


Origins Ginger Greats Gift Set Review

Ginger Essence Sensuous Skin Scent 1.7/oz

Origins is a brand I've been using off and on for years. I've used their mushroom line and I am a fan of their masks. I was leaving Sephora with a friend a couple of weeks ago when we passed an Origins store and decided to go in for a quick browse. About an hour later I left the store with the goodies pictured above.

The Ginzing Mist caught my eye first.  I always liked the idea of a facial mist but never actually bought one for myself.  The sales associate saw me checking out the bottle so he misted my friend and I, and we were sold. If you've never been professionally misted I highly recommend it 😊.  My friend was wearing light make up. I was bare faced. I loved the light, slightly citrus scent and how I instantly looked and felt refreshed.  My friend felt the same way and she also loved that her make up wasn't affected. I've been reaching for it after workouts, as a finishing spray before I head out the door and as a pick me up throughout the day. I give the Ginzing Mist a big thumbs up. 

The next things to catch my eye were the Origins candles. You know I love a good candle. A candle with ginger, bergamot and clove sounded like a great idea. They were offering a holiday gift set with a ginger body wash, body creme and the smaller version of the Ginger Essence Skin Scent. That set has since sold out but all of the items are still available individually. I ended up loving everything in the set except the candle which had a very weak throw. I get an aromatherapy experience every time I shower with the body wash. The body creme was surprisingly moisturizing for a light creme. The Ginger Skin Scent is amazing! It's such a unique blend of spicy and fresh that lasts about several hours on me. The 1.7oz is so sleek and portable I've been keeping it in my bag and spritzing throughout the day. 

We only have a few shopping days left. If you're still gift buying pop in to your nearest Origins for a quick browse and check out their Ginger and Ginzing lines. Don't forget to get misted!