Britt-Marie Was Here

"At a certain age all the questions a person asks him or herself are really just about one thing: how should you live your life " pg 31

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman was a great vacation read. It was part Mary Poppins, part cautionary tale and part motivational story. I'm not ready to confirm or deny the similarities between the title character and myself with regards to housekeeping. All I will say is I too can appreciate a good box of baking soda. 

Britt-Marie is at a crossroads.  She has spent the majority of her years behind the scenes handling all of the mundane things that make life for her loved ones go smoothly. When an unfortunate event upends everything she holds dear she sets off on an adventure. And like all good adventures there's trouble, romance, laughter and heartache along the way.  

I think it's human nature to get reflective as you get older, and we all have things we wish would have turned out differently.  This book was a great reminder that it's never to late to start living the life you want to live.  

Have a great week! 


Summer 2016: Paros, Greece

Hi there!

Ahhh yes. The last of the summer 2016 vacation photos. According to Google summer doesn't end until September 22nd so I'm going to do my best to squeeze every last drop of it until then. I want to log some serious beach time in the weeks ahead and catch a couple movies. I've been reading more so my big screen time has suffered.  I'm also very particular about hearing everything that is being said without cell phone interruptions or unruly children so I try to wait until the crowd thins before I venture out to the movies. This has been a big summer for blockbusters so I've been waiting a while.  I'm hoping that with the Olympics and the back to school craziness I can catch a couple matinees and enjoy my movies in peace and quiet. Don't worry though, if I see you at the movies I will say hi (insert friendly wave here 👋🏾)just as long as the previews haven't started.


Estēe Lauder - Bronze Goddess Eau Fraȋche Skinscent


Fragrance story: A sensuous, sun-drenched blend of bergamot, warm amber, tiare flower and vanilla combine with delicious creamy coconut to create a fragrance that is all heat, all desire and all woman. Reminiscent of a sun-drenched beach, this exotic scent has a heart of golden amber that is pure summer.

Style: Solar, floral.

Notes: amber, coconut milk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver, myrrh, juicy mandarin, Sicilian bergamot, lemon, pulpy orange, tiare flower, jasmine, magnolia petals, orange flower buds, lavender.    Source

Estēe Lauder- Bronze Goddess ($65/3.4oz)
Hello there!

Estēe Lauder Bronze Goddess is all the glory of summer in a bottle. I picked mine up from Bloomingdale's towards the end of March. I'd never tried it before. As you can see I'm down to half a bottle so I figured this was a fine time as any to publicly profess my love. Bronze Goddess is a Eau Fraȋche(fresh water) which per my Internet research means that it contains 3% or less perfume oil. I don't have a travel sized version of this yet so I don't reapply it throughout the day. I've found that if I wear this to work people I meet within the first two hours will comment on how nice I smell. By lunch time there is just the slightest trace left very close to the skin.

I've listed the fragrance notes per the experts above. The coconut, the amber and the vanilla stand out the most to me with this one. When I wear it I'm transported to that perfect spot on a beautiful beach with just the right mix of shade, breeze and sun. It is such a delicious, warm and stimulating scent but it's light enough to not be cloying or headache inducing.

From what I read online Bronze Goddess is usually only offered up to and through the summer months. If you live in an area where the temperatures are going to start to dip soon I think this would be a great fragrance to stock up on to remind you of warmer days.

Estēe Lauder has an impressive amount of companies in their portfolio. My first perfume experience with them was a birthday gift of Beautiful from my father as a teenager. I liked it back then but they seemed to have changed the formula so I stopped wearing it. Several years later I was gifted Aromatics Elixir(Clinique) which must work really well with my body chemistry because I've had people have follow me on the street to ask me for the name of my perfume when I wear it.

Have you tried any of the fragrances from the Estēe Lauder brands? Tom Ford is under their umbrella. The next time you are in a department store check out the new Tom Ford private blend perfume Soleil Blanc then mosey on over to the Estēe Lauder counter and check out Bronze Goddess. Let me know what you think.

Have a great week!


Chanel Le Vernis- 530 Rouge Radical

Chanel 530 Rouge Radical/$28

Top to bottom:
          1. 530 Rouge Radical
2. 504 Organdi
3. 506 Camélia
  4. 520 Garçonne

Two coats in outdoor lighting

Chanel reformulated their nail polish line earlier this year to a new and improved longer lasting formula. I've tried a couple of the new polishes and they do seem to last longer than the old version.  The bottle also got a slight change as the polish names are now on the back.

Rouge Radical is part of Chanel's Le Rouge Collection Nº1 which is all about celebrating the color red. I thought Radical would look like a clear coat with a hint of color on the nails. Imagine my surprise when after two coats I got the vibrant, pigmented, beauty pictured above. Nothing about what I saw in the bottle prepared me for the gorgeousness that was to come.  I love it. I think it's just the right combination of red and orange that is perfect for summer.

Is it a love or a meh for you? Have you tried any of the reformulated Chanel polishes?


Summer 2016: Athens, Greece

Top: Target(old)
Jeans: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Banana Republic
Bag: Marks & Spencer(old)
Sunglasses: Burberry
Watch: Fossil

I spent more time in Athens this summer than on my last visit to Greece.  I got suckered into climbing up the Acropolis to the Parthenon again but trust me when I tell you I will not be doing that ever again. The steps were just as steep and slippery as I remembered them. If you are going to brave them please wear some shoes with good traction. We saw a couple people slip and stumble. It was not pretty. 

I also found a great vegetarian restaurant named Avocado in Athens. Avocados are right up there with sunshine and air in terms of things I think are necessary for life. I knew as soon as I saw their sign that I had found my tribe. I found the food throughout Athens and the islands we visited to be simple, fresh and flavorful. I took some detailed pictures of the Avocado menu so I could try to recreate some of the dishes once I got home. I'll let you know how that goes. 

Have a great week! 


Jakob's Colors

**Trigger Warning: This book contains graphic descriptions of physical abuse. 

This stand out novel is from what I was able to find the author's first. It tells the story of eight year old half gypsy Jakob on the run during the Holocaust of World War II.  The story shifts between Switzerland, England and Austria from the 1920s to the 1940s. Throughout the book we meet Jakob's family past and present, and experience through his eyes the events in his young life that give him his "colors".

As you would expect with such a grim backdrop the characters experience a lot of pain and heartbreak. The author though with her vivid use of words tackles those scenes in such a way that the reader is left saddened and bruised but not defeated. There is an underlying current of hope which lifts this book up and stayed with me to the very last sentence.  It was a good read and I recommend it. I also recommend that you have some tissues nearby if you plan to read it in public.

I've been on a going to the library and getting an actual book kick. My M.O. has been to wander the new release aisle until a book cover grabs my eye. In the past three months I've read seven books as a result of my library excursions. I even took one of them on vacation with me but mums the word on that because I'm not sure if there are rules regarding taking library books out of the country. I didn't ask so don't tell me.

When was the last time you went to an honest to goodness in the flesh library? What are you reading now?


Summer 2016: Santorini, Greece

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."
 - Mark Twain

Hello.  How have you been? 

To be quite frank I came back from my lovely vacation cocoon of bliss and within days was knocked out by the maelstrom that is our current state of world affairs.  I really was not prepared. But can you ever be? Do you think that there are more terrible things happening in the world now than there was before or does it just seem that way because we have so many more ways to transmit information in this century? I think that there is nothing really new under the sun. Back in the day however there were no 24 hour news channels invested in spreading dread. 

So here we are in this little corner of the Internet with some of my vacation photos. They make me happy and I hope they do the same for you.  Thank you very much to all of you who visit the blog and those who take the time to leave comments. I wish you all well. 

P.S.  Yes that is a donkey :)