Oh Napa Valley, how I fell for you! Your sexy, curving roads thrilled. Your warm October breezes, heady with eucalyptus, rosemary, and grapes intoxicated. Your wine sated and delighted. And your food. Oh, your food! Each ingredient shining but not overpowering, casually lending just-yanked-from-the-garden character. And your insouciant beauty, from vista to vineyard lunch, aroused both inspiration and envy. Don’t tell Chicago, but I’m dying to see you again. Continue reading
Our much anticipated summer sailing trip has come to a close. My daughter Hannah and I have returned home, exhausted yet exhilarated, with sun-kissed cheeks, giant seashells, and cameras full of images merely touching on the rocky coastal beauty of our Maine to Boston adventure. Continue reading
While I love to grab inspiration from pages of fashion magazines and images of the editors who put them together, what inspires me most are the beautiful women who surround me in my everyday life. Their beauty routines and how they put themselves together each day are only a few brushstrokes on the painting. What inspires and motivates them, how they carry themselves, deal with adversity, what makes them crazy or leads them to laughter – to me, these are the things that comprise a beautiful, inspiring woman.
The first profile I’m sharing with you is of my dear friend Stephanie. We met our freshman year at DePauw University and instantly became close. We roomed together in our sorority house, and after graduation moved into a little apartment on Dayton in Chicago where we shared closets and many nights we’d love to relive (and a few I’m sure we wouldn’t!). Steph and I now live three blocks apart here in Lake Forest, and I am lucky enough to see her several times a week, often working out at our friend Fronzie’s studio or walking our dogs, who are quite in love. She continually inspires me with her effortless beauty, quick wit, and extraordinary outlook on life.
What is your go-to work outfit? Skinny pants with cropped jacket/blazer and a chunky necklace, most often my Mom’s pearls.
Your go-to date night outfit? Dark skinny jeans, black top, heels, some kind of leopard accessory.
What are your absolute beauty essentials? My Clarisonic, Neocutis bio-restorative (what that means I’m unsure) skin & eye cream, Laura Mercier eye basics and tinted moisturizer with SPF 20. Also, something neutral with just a hint of color on my lips. And I do really like this mascara called They’re Real. This sounds way more high-maintenance than I really am.
Favorite flower? Tulips
What inspires you? Perseverance
I couldn’t live without my….family & friends.
What is your biggest pet peeve? Laziness.
Favorite places to shop? I’m not a big shopper, so when I need something I like to be able to get it quickly. If I’m not purchasing online, I will go to J.Crew and Valentina, both within five minutes of my home.
What never fails to make you smile? Hearing my kids laugh.
What makes you blush? Certain compliments.
What’s on your DVR? That I watch? I’m somewhat of a news junkie. The Daily Show with John Stewart, Nightly News, 60 Minutes…and mostly HBO shows…Girls, Looking, Togetherness, Silicon Valley, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Not on my DVR, but loyally watched – House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
What is your guilty pleasure? See previous response, and Starbucks.
If I had 24 hours of absolutely nothing to do, I would… This is such a difficult question, because it’s hard to even imagine! Whatever it is, I would want to be with Eric and my boys.
You’ve traveled all over the world. Do you have a favorite locale? Domestically, I would say the Montage in Laguna Beach. Internationally, I love Paris.
My favorite childhood memory is… From the time I was born, my parents owned a home on Marco Island, and we drove to Florida a lot. I loved it when we had driven far enough south where we could open the car windows. I just remember the warmth, the smell, how happy I was to know we were getting closer to our destination. Being together with my family on Marco were very happy times.
When do you feel most beautiful? When I’m happy.
Thank you, Steph, for your inspiration and for sharing your thoughts here. I know you’re blushing!
I just returned from four amazing days spent with my little sister (affectionately known as Little J) at her Florida beach house. On our last and best day, we took the ferry to a place I’d always longed to see: Cumberland Island, Georgia.
Cumberland Island is a magical, chill inducing place. No bridge links the island to the mainland. Accessible only by boat, visitors explore on foot or bicycle, wandering ruins of old mansions and cemeteries while observing wildlife without boundaries. Life and death are imminently present on the island. Skeletal fragments seamlessly, exquisitely, meld with the earth while birds fly overhead and wild, feral horses and hogs roam without boundaries.
We rented island (i.e. rustic) bicycles and pedaled our way to Stafford Beach for a picnic, where we spent most of our time with no one else in sight. A giant steel buoy eroded next to horse shoe crab exoskeletons of the same color, striking an incredible visual chord. Wild horses grazed silently while seabirds circled marine life that had washed ashore. Fishing boats trawled as the men aboard waited to heave their catch on deck. It was impossible not to contemplate the circle of life and one’s place in it. William Cullen Bryant’s Thanatopsis filled my mind as I saw so much beauty in life and death, and the natural progression of it all.
Our week of sailing with my cousin and his family was a fantastic adventure! After weathering a few crazy storms while moored in Red Brook Harbor, we sailed to Naushon Island, anchoring in idyllic Tarpaulin Cove. Hannah and her cousin Sasha immediately jumped on a paddle board and made their way to the island in search of shells and sea glass.
I followed in the dinghy with camera in tow, capturing as many seabirds as possible before the sun went down. The rest of the family joined us for a sunset dinner on the beach. Above, my cousin Blake and his beautiful boat Calypso. The next day, we sailed to Martha’s Vineyard where we spent a long, lazy weekend indulging in lobster rolls, ice cream, and our cozy bed at the Hob Knob. And though we loved being back on land, our favorite moments of the trip were spent on Calypso and exploring Tarpaulin Cove.
This Sunday, my daughter and I leave the boys behind and head east for a sailing trip with our Connecticut cousins. We’ll make our way from Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard, then spend a long weekend in Edgartown. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this trip from the moment we planned it and can’t believe it’s actually here! I’m dying for her to experience the thrill of sailing – crossing my fingers that she loves it as much as my sisters and I do.
Two summers ago, our family spent a week on the Vineyard and the trip was by far my favorite that we’ve had with the children (the photos shown are all from that trip). At one point during a fishing excursion my son looked at me and said, “Mom, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so happy.” And he was right. You know you’re doing what you love when time slips away and your joy-filled soul has no room for worries.
My posts and photos from that trip are without a doubt my absolute favorites, so I am sharing them here, here, and here as many of you are new to the aesthete and the dilettante since I first posted them. I hope you love them as much as I do. I can’t wait to share with you what I discover this time around. Until then, Happy Summer!