Beside Every Great Woman Are Her Great Girlfriends

girls weekend, wine weekend, wine tasting, bridlewood, bachelorette party, hen do, girlfriends, friendship, santa ynez, santa barbara, wine country, california, travel, weekend getaway, saarloos and sons, saarloos & sons, buttonwood, qupé, los olivos, solvang, winnie the pooh, piglet, e.h. shepard, a.a. milne, original drawing, illustration‘We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.
– A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh”

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!!

I can’t believe how fast the week is flying by!  Especially since I’m still on a high from my past weekend… You see, this past weekend I was reminded just how fortunate I am to have so many beautiful girlfriends in my life.  Over lots of delicious glasses of wine, beautiful vineyard and cellar backdrops, and laughter to fill the entire day and night, I was reminded about how much a person needs his or her friends. 

Continue reading

Advertisements

{Eastbound & Definitely Not Down}

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!!

The past week has been whirlwind for me with travel, introducing my parents to my parents-in-law, and finalizing more wedding details. Needless to say, life has been hectic recently. But there’s no feeling like finding a home away from home in another great city, and for me that city is Philadelphia!  I have experienced some incredibly heartwarming and inspiring moments in Philly in between all the recent hectic times, and it’s those moments that have moved me to appreciate everything I have presently and the many blessings to come.

The best way to show my appreciation of those blessings is to share them with others – so, voilà! Continue reading

~ La Presénte ~ Treat Yo Self This Summer

Bonjour, mes beaux amis!

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and got to enjoy some relaxing time with family and friends, near or far.  I stayed near home but certainly did enjoy some time to decompress.  The last week was an intense one at the 9-7 day job, so not having planned much was exactly what my body and mind needed this past weekend!

Summer has peaked its head out previously for us in Southern California, but this weekend definitely had more of the true summer feeling to it.  Friday night here in LA was a particularly clear evening, and I walked over to a friend’s house for a cocktail and some laughs to end the night (we actually DO walk in LA).  On my way, I was floored by the brightness of the full moon – at 8:30pm, the moon shone so bright that even the dark parts of the three block walk were still well lit.

memorial day weekend, full moon, unofficial start to summer, evening moon, moonlight, moonlit sky

even the bright happy moon celebrated the long weekend!

Having caught up on some house chores, I enjoyed a nice long walk with Mr. Bings through my neighborhood in the early evening on Saturday.  It was impossible to miss the incredibly bright purple blooming Jacaranda trees bursting on nearly every street in the area – I’m kinda proud that Forbes recognized my Miracle Mile neighborhood as being one of the best areas in LA to see the Jacaranda tree during its somewhat rare bi-YEARLY blooming season!!

Jacaranda tree, purple rain, los angeles trees, biyearly bloom, unofficial summer, memorial day weekend

the gorgeous Jacaranda trees are currently in season and bursting with color.

Finally, Joe’s Restaurant in Venice was the perfect setting for a bottomless mimosa Sunday brunch with a girlfriend, followed by some ‘treat yo self‘ time at the spa!!

treat yo self, treat yourself, parks and recreation, aziz ansari, donna, spa time, massage, burke williams, joe's restaurant, venice beach, sunday brunch, mimosas, bottomless mimosas, unofficial start to summer, memorial day weekend

this weekend I enjoyed a little Treat Yo Self! time

Hopefully the short week won’t feel so long after the extended weekend… but it was certainly the perfect unofficial start to my summer.  Next on the agenda: vacation planning!  And I’m looking for inspiration and ideas – I’m tossing around a 4-5 day vacation to Hawaii, a week-long stay in Martha’s Vineyard, a 4-day stay in Big Sur and Carmel, CA, or some other great place to get away and do lots of nothing and maybe a little (or a lot) of eating fabulous food and enjoying delicious wine.  Any ideas and suggestions?  I would love to hear them!!

Have a wonderful week, mes bons amis!!

♥ – LBH

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mother’s Little Helper

Bonjour, mes bons amis!!

Have you ever felt like your body, and consequently your mind and heart somewhat too, were a bit out of sorts?  Recently I had mentioned that my sleeping habits have been changing, and doing something I was absolutely professional at and thoroughly loved, is now so much more challenging.  I’ve purchased new pricey pillows ($100 for 2 pillows convinced me they had to be great, right?), I make sure to keep the temperature cool in my bedroom, I’ve taken relaxing baths at night – I’ve even stopped watching anything scary or suspenseful after dark.  And yet, just like Mick so famously sang, at times I find myself running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper…

valium, mothers little helper, medication, self-medication, anxiety, pills, pill popping, drug addiction, vintage prescription advertisement, valium ad

Mother’s little helper, helping for over 50 years… (img: stayfreemagazine)

Let’s not get dramatic now – I’m not popping pills or the such.  But I can tell you that I understand how some people desperate for some relief end up falling down that rabbit hole.  Some believe that contrary to the plethora of technology to make life easier and give back more personal time, we’re actually being DRAINED of time.

So what to do… I thought about this on my way into work this morning.  What is it that truly reinvigorates and resets the mind, body and soul?  Besides the obvious big-budget vacation ideas, what small things can we do to feel like we’ve found the shelter of mother’s little helper?  Here are a few of my best ideas:

  1. Don’t overbook yourself in one day, one week or one month.  This is somewhat an obvi tip, and yet everyone is guilty of ignoring it.  We pack our days as full as possible with meetings, conference calls, appointments, dinners, drinks, showers… the list never ends.  And of course, all of these things are wonderful and enjoyable in and of themselves.  But if you’re like me, too many scheduled events in one day, week or month is disastrous.
  2. Instead of over-extending yourself to others, make sure you book personal time.  For every 2-3 events for others, formally book a personal event, just to treat yourself – a mani/pedi, massage, facial, some shopping time, beach/pool/outdoors time, a hike.  And make the appointment in your calendar, just like you would a meeting or conference call.  And definitely keep the appointment.  You deserve it!

    mother's little helper, personal time, me time, vacation, pool, pool time, negril, jamaica, spa, relaxation, relaxing, getaway, weekend getaway, caribbean, tropical

    don’t flake on your Me-Time appointments!

  3. Cook your favorite meal or dish – for yourself.  I came home one evening this week and made myself breakfast because bacon, eggs and hashbrowns all sounded so good, even if it was 8pm.  It was my own little treat!
  4. Make yourself MORE tired – but in a great way with a nice long hike or walk, and preferably in sunlight if possible.  The vitamin D from the sunlight will naturally help lift your spirits, and the warmth from the light exercise will help relax tense muscles in the neck, shoulders and back.  And by the end, you will probably be a bit more tired than usual and ready to enjoy a nice long night of sleep afterward.

    abalone cove, rancho palos verdes, hiking, mothers little helper, stress relief, tide pools, southern california beaches, los angeles beaches, travel, cliffs

    Abalone Cove is one of SoCal’s greatest gems – perfect for a day hike to the tide pools!

  5. How many times have you thought to yourself how much you would love perusing the local museum, local garden or park in your city on a weekday when there are no crowds?  Why not take a day off from work, and spend the day doing one or two of those things you don’t get to do more often!  Check your local museums’ schedules – most offer discounted or even free admission on specific days/times, so take advantage! (LACMA is free after 3pm for LA residents; and you can visit the Huntington Botanical Gardens on their Free Days!)
    LACMA, los angeles museums, los angeles contemporary museum of art, urban light exhibit, mothers little helper, relaxing, staycation, vacation, los angeles, southern california getaways, discount admission, free admission

    LACMA’s Urban Light outdoor exhibit (img: LACMA)

    The Huntington, Huntington Botanical Gardens, rose garden, relaxation, staycation, vacation, southern california getaways, mothers little helper

    Huntington Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, CA are perfect for a relaxing day (img: The Huntington)

What little things do you do to help escape life’s little stresses and return to find your center once again?

Enjoy the rest of your week, mes beaux amis!!

♥ – LBH

Enhanced by Zemanta

Je Veux Y Manger: The Best Restaurants On The Planet

Bonjour, mes bons amis!

Restaurant magazine, 50 Best restaurants in the world, world's 50 best restaurants, culinary experiences, Spain, Girona, Denmark, Copenhagen, New York, Chicago, Yountville, Paris, France

Restaurant Magazine’s 2013 List!

In case you haven’t heard, prestigious and international authority Restaurant magazine released its annual list of the World’s Best 50 Restaurants. For the last three years, Copenhagen has proudly been the home of reigning Noma, known for its molecular gastronomic experiments (they make edible dirt…) and breaking the stereotype for what Scandinavian/Nordic food is widely thought of. There ain’t no meatballs at Noma!

But Bravo! to Girona’s El Celler de Can Roca, dethroning Noma’s three year reign and returning the culinary crown to Spain, in the same way legendary El Bulli managed year after year. The three Roca brothers – Joan, Jordi and Josep – have worked to redefine and set the bar for culinary and pastry techniques, creativity, authenticity and overall mind-blowing food. Or so one would expect from the best restaurant in the world.

After reviewing Restaurant magazine’s list, I’ve come to realize that I have a growing list of places to visit, not just because I love traveling and collecting international passport stamps, but for the chance to perhaps enjoy some of these unforgettable transcendental culinary experiences!

The five American restaurants are obvious and easy must-try’s:

  • Eleven Madison Park (5), Per Se (11), Le Bernardin (17) and Daniel (29) in New York are relatively easy if I plan my future trips right!
  • My boyfriend promised that he would take me to Chicago’s Alinea (15) which he said was one of the most exquisite meals he has ever enjoyed.
  • Yountville, CA is still in the Top 50 with French Laundry (47), and is an easy and beautiful six-hour drive or quick flight/shuttle into the Napa wine country. Consider it done!

I can hardly wait to return to France after je laisse mon cœur dans Paris, falling in love with her last fall, and now that I’m determined to parler Français, the universe is paving a road for me to also experience SIX more best restaurants in and around Paris. Not to mention that Spain, Germany and Switzerland are all close neighbors, just a quick plane ride or lovely train ride away…

IMG_5247

Paris, fresh markets, cuisine, culinary experiences, Restaurant magazine, World's Best 50 Restaurants, France, Paris

Paris’ fresh markets are undeniably part of the reason for its culinary reign.

Now, I just need to get that money tree growing in my backyard…

If money were no object, which restaurants and places would you travel to FIRST, SECOND, THIRD, etc?

Je travaille à voyager!!

(Will work for travel!!)

♥ – LBH

A Not-So-Hot Weekend of Music!

Bonjour, bon ami!!!

It feels like FOREVER since I’ve updated my little space of the world wide web here, because it has been a LONG time!!  I just thought I would pop in with a small update and give you a preview of what will be coming after this weekend!!

coachella indio california music festival logo 2012 polo field

If you’re an independent/house/rock/hip-hop/folk music fan, then you are probably aware that this year’s music festival season kicked off a few weeks ago with SXSW in Austin.  This weekend is the first of two Coachella Music Festival weekends, and like every previous year that I’ve been fortunate enough to attend, I’m packing up my bags and preparing for a fun-with-a-lot-less-sun-filled weekend of music, weirdos and all around craziness!!!!

mexican hat coachella tent desert indio polo field 2011 bathing suit beer party air conditioned

{typical Coachella weirdo}

Fortunately (or UNfortunately) the weather forecast  is extremely undesert-like (hence my more thoughtful packing job).

weather forecast coachella 2012 indio california desert rainy rain cool heatwave

{not-so-hot desert!}

Here’s a quick visual preview of the plethora of musical madness featured this year at the normally quiet Indio, CA polo field:

radiohead live concert coachella music festival 2012 stage show indio california tour

{RADIOHEAD}

One of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE bands, Radiohead… if I could express the excitement through the screen right now, it would look something like this:

excited doggie french bulldog vanity fair bruce weber cute dog smiling laughing

{vanity fair}

WOOHOO!!!

Other bands I’m super-duper-excited to see and hear:

dr dre snoop dogg eminem warren g coachella music festival indio california 2012 hip hop concert tour live show legends on stage

{hip-hop legends Dr. Dre ~ Eminem ~ Warren G ~ Snoop Dogg}

Yes, the legends all on one stage – it’s going to be memorable, needless to say!

And then we round it all out with some good ol’ grimy rock.

the black keys coachella music festival indio california 2012 rock concert tour live stage show

{the underrated Black Keys}

So get ready, bon ami!!!  My Coachella recap promises photos, stories and possibly a few amazing videos of food, fashion and the FABULOUSNESS that IS COACHELLA!!!

And just because we all love it, here is the most classic-to-date Coachella video everYou’re welcome… for the second year in a row.  See you in the desert!!!!

LBH

For Every Door That Closes…

Bonjour, bon ami!!!

head heels standards high quotes words of wisdom girl power
{my personal mantra}

We all know the ol’ adage, “For every door that closes, a new one opens.”  I can’t say how true these words are as of recent in my own personal life.  The universe works in mysterious ways, and after watching a door close, immediately a floodgate opened.

music concert rock & roll festival balloons crowd live band act
{weheartit.com}

I work in marketing and advertising in my 9-5 life, and I now have the pleasure of working for an amazing agency handling the funnest account I’ve ever had the opportunity to work on: MUSIC.

 

madonna throwback like a virgin early years jacket icon music 80s prayer
{yes, Madge…}
madonna super bowl 2012 halftime show icon jean paul gaultier queen of pop give me all your lovin{THE Madonna}

During my first day in the office, I sat in a meeting with Madonna’s staff.  Not too shabby so far…

crystal cruises ship travel sailing luxury vacation international penthouse premium best line{crystal cruises}
crystal cruises ship travel sailing luxury vacation international penthouse premium best line{crystal cruises}

And just to appease my love for all things glamorous, I also have the the great pleasure of adding to my roster of clientele the best cruise line in the world, as deemed by Travel + Leisure for the last 16 years: Crystal Cruises!!

It has been only one week, and I am just so very excited for the incredible experiences and stories to come.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

victory oscar de la renta new york fashion week 2012 glamorous glamour fashion couture runway show black gown success
{fromme-toyou}

 

Je gagne!!!

I do hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  Unfortunately all this recent running around and change has brought me a cold that I’m trying to shake off this weekend, but I know by Monday I’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed once again.

Until then, here’s to la belle vie, bon ami!!

LBH