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 :) 


Kamari Beach, Santorini: 36° 22' N / 25° 28' E

Hello. We here at otc got a jump start on summer by heading to one of our favorite parts of the world. On one of the islands a shopkeeper was telling us about a couple from Germany that has been coming there twice a year for over forty years.  I love the idea of having a great travel destination that you return to regularly.  It would probably be very interesting to see the changes over time.  I know people that don't like to visit the same place twice. I also know others who go to the same place every year because it works for them and they like it. I think I'm in the middle. I try to travel to a new place at least once a year but I have my favorites that I will always return to.  I'm not ready to commit to a forty year streak but I always have a great time in Greece so I will definitely be back.

What camp are you in - never the same place twice(where to next), sticking with the tried and true(what place stole your heart) or a hybrid like me(what are some places you will always return to)?


Diptyque Rich Butter for the Body & Satin Oil for Body and Hair

Rich Butter for the Body (6.8 oz/$90)

A sumptuous blend of choice ingredients, rich butter combines the renowned soothing properties of rose floral water with the radiance boosting effects of organic honey and the long-term protection of argan oil which nourishes even the driest, sensitive skin. It leaves the skin glowing and delicately perfumed. Does not contain parabens, synthetic coloring agents or sulfates. Source

Diptyque Satin Oil for Body and Hair (3.4 oz/$60)

The gentle influence of jasmine absolute enhances the natural beauty of both hair and body leaving the skin soft, soothed and satiny and the hair bright and glossy. Its light, silky texture with a base of avocado oil and refined urucum oil delights the skin with its moisturizing, nourishing and renewing virtues while warding off skin aging. The warm, honey and spicy notes of Jasmine, ylang ylang and saffron add a voluptuous touch. Source

I had some samples of Diptyque's Body Butter and Satin Oil from my candle and perfume purchases. I liked them so much I decided to pick up the full size offerings from my local Nordstrom.  My skin tends to be very dry so I usually prefer heavier body creams and oils.

Diptyque's Rich Butter for the Body has a nice thick consistency that melts quickly into my skin leaving it soft and moisturized with a light floral scent that lingers throughout the day.  The Satin Oil for Body and Hair is non-greasy and works well as a moisturizer on its own or layered with your favorite body lotion.  It gives my hair a nice sheen without weighing it down.

Both the body butter and the satin oil come packaged in beautiful and weighty glass containers with the signature Diptyque lettering.  I'd been lusting after them for quite some time and as I expected based on the samples they did not disappoint.  At their price points I would not consider them must haves but I would highly recommend them if you are looking to treat yourself to something luxurious.

Tell me about some bath and body products you've been lusting over.  Here in otc land we (I, myself and me) have been eyeing the Le Labo body oils and perfumes.  I'd love to hear from you if you've tried anything from them.


Aēsop Marrakech Intense Eau de Toilette & Aēsop Tacit Eau de Parfum

Aēsop Tacit Eau de Parfum(1.7 oz/$110)

  1. understood or implied without being stated.
    "your silence may be taken to mean tacit agreement"
    synonyms:implicitunderstoodimplied, hinted, suggested; 

Aēsop Marrakech Intense Eau de Toilette  (1.7oz/$79)

I admire people that can really break down the way a perfume smells to them. I'm talking about those types whose description can make you feel like you were with them the first time they ran barefoot in a garden after a spring rain. This is even though you know your mother didn't let you run outside when it was wet, especially without shoes.  I am not on that level yet. What I can tell you about  Aēsop's Marrakech Intense Eau de Toilette and Tacit is that they smell good. Real good.  

I bought Tacit first. Per the description from the Aēsop website Tacit has citrus and basil grand vert notes. I smell the basil more so than the citrus on this one, and also just the slightest hint of mint. It reminds me of sweet fresh herbs. It's subtle but noticeable in a "you always smell so nice" kind of way.  I get a lot of compliments from women when I wear Tacit.  The guys love it too. I was in Target after work on a day I was wearing this when I passed by a guy who stopped me to tell me I smelled nice. That was after a nine hour day with no touch ups, so it's safe to say that on me this one lasts a work day. 

Marrakech Intense Eau de Toilette has notes of neroli, jasmine, cedarwood, sandalwood and bergamot. I thought I smelled cloves but what do I know. Whereas Tacit leans more feminine to me, I think anyone could wear Marrakech. It's bold and sexy without being overpowering.  I like to wear it when I want to feel energized and confident. It starts off very bright and zesty and dries down to a rich, smooth and warm scent that I find very calming as the day progresses.  All of those woods must really work well with my chemistry because I get a lot of "you smell fresh" when I wear this.  Aēsop also offers Marrakech in an intense parfum roll on. To be quite frank I don't think I'm ready for the attention that might bring so I'll stick with the Eau de Toilette for now. 

What are your thoughts on unisex scents? 


Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo- Histoire & Chanel Rouge Ultra Wear Lip Color- Ever Red

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo- Histoire/ $37

Chanel Rouge Ultra Wear Lip Color-Ever Red/ $37

Chanel Rouge Ultra Wear Lip Color-Ever Red

Chanel Rouge Ultra Wear Lip Color- Ever Red

Chanel Rouge Ultra Wear Lip Color- Ever Red with gloss

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo- Histoire

Hi there! This just in. I bought some more red lipstick. In my defense I thought The Chanel Coco Stylo in Histoire was kind of peach-ish. Yes, I know everyone else sees red. I am special what can I say.

The Chanel Rouge Ultra Wear Lip Color in Ever Red is a nice matte red that lasts hours. If you add the gloss it will stay on ALL day. I tested it out and it was a wee bit scary. I ate breakfast, drank water throughout the day, ate again and it.did.not.budge.  I'm calling alien DNA on this one.  I sniffed it in an attempt to give you a thorough review(you are welcome), and I was able to detect a very faint scent of vanilla.  It isn't something that I notice when I wear it.

The Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Histoire is my favorite of the two. I see a bright reddish/peach color.  Glosses with doe applicators can sometimes be a little tricky for me to apply evenly so I appreciate that the Stylo is a turn to click up lipstick that I can easily swipe on. I think the description from the Chanel website for this one is spot on.

The intensity of a lipstick, the shine of a lipgloss and the comfort of a lip balm — all in one creamy yet lightweight formula. 

To me it smells like perfumed plasticine(play dough for the US based folks), but once again it's not something that is noticeable when I have it on.  Wear time on me for the Coco Stylo in Histoire is about 3-4 hours. That's also generally about the time between my meals so you do the math.

I haven't bought any Chanel lippies in a while so I was very pleased with these two. If you are looking for a fun pop of color I would recommend the Chanel Rouge Coco in Histoire. If you are looking for a knockout red to take you from the office to dinner then the Chanel Ultra Wear in Ever Red is for you.

What lip colors are you wearing for spring?