Beach · Food · Skin care · summer · Travel

Packing for a day at the beach

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My love affair with the beach began while I was still in diapers.  Born in Eastern North Carolina with a Dad who grew up spending summers frequenting Cherry Grove, Myrtle Beach and OD and a Mom who spent her childhood summers in pluff mud, salt marshes along Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach, it was natural that I’d be whisked to the Atlantic Ocean before I could walk.  So what do I pack for a day at the beach?

The chair is key.  I love a good sand chair, one that is perfect to sit in the water with the tide.  Umbrella and straw mat are other necessities.  I typically grab a grass mat at the local beach store. They tend to cost around $3.00 and are great for lying on to sunbathe.  They also serve as a place for the cooler, beach bag and other assorted items to avoid dumping everything in the sand.  As gorgeous as the Carolina coast is with that sugar white sand, I try to avoid bringing it home with me.

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Next up is a cooler packed with ice, drinks, sandwiches and a spray bottle of water.  There is nothing better to cool off with than ice water.  I love Evian but there are multiple options that include just a drugstore pump spray filled with water.  I keep a bottle of Evian in the refrigerator so I always have one cold for tennis and the beach or pool.

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My beach bag filled to the brim with all those things one needs – sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, goldfish, my kindle and my iPod.  This year I’ve got a new beach bag, the Goyard Belharra.  I am loving it.  It is easy to stuff with everything I want for a day walking along the beach, reading in the sun, and swimming in the ocean.  See my post from last summer for What’s in My Beach Bag.

 

Exercise · Skin care

Sunscreen plus the hat!

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Do you have a go to sunscreen?  My favorite sunscreen has not been available for the last few summers and I continue to seek out the perfect sunscreen.  I’m fanatical about applying sunscreen.  My Dad was the quintessential southern outdoor guy – hunting, fishing, golf, tennis, gardening – you get the idea.  He also had several skin cancers removed when I was a teen.  From that point on, hats and fifty sunscreen with titanium dioxide became the routine.

I’m no expert on sunscreen and know next to nothing about what makes one better than the other.  The titanium dioxide was a recommendation for my Dad from his doctor.  I am also prone to what my Mom calls sun poising – little bumps around my knees and on my hands after prolonged time in the sun.  Given my love for the beach, pool, and tennis court, prolonged time in the sun was a given for me in the summers.  I quickly discovered there were some sunscreens that seemed to exacerbate this condition.  I also tend to like a product specifically designed for the face for my face.  This means I typically purchase a 30 and 50 for the face and a 30 and a 50 for the rest of me.  I also like a spray rather than a lotion.  With this in mind, I recently went shopping at Blue Mercury.  I opted for two old but goodies, and two new to try.

For the new – Moroccan Oil 50 – This one is a spray lotion.  It sprays out but you have to rub it in.  I like it but it is much more lotion than spray.  The other new is Soleil.  I purchased the spray version in 50 and a lotion version in 30.  I love the spray.  It has great coverage and stays after swimming.  The downside is that I went through a bottle a day on the beach.  That is a bit pricy given how much sunscreen I go through.

The tried but true include Coola and Supergoop.  I love the Coola spray.  The face lotion and lip balm also get a thumbs up from me.  Supergoop (no TD) is another go to from last summer but I’ve only tried the lotion version.  I just picked up a spray mousse version that has strong possibilities.  So, what is your favorite sunscreen?

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Whatever else, remember the sunscreen and the hat! Protect yourself!

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Exercise · Fashion · Skin care · Travel

Summer is here!

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I don’t believe that I’ve ever anticipated a summer as much as I anticipated this one.  Snow in April was my undoing.  I love all four seasons but I was ready for a spring that never quite seemed to arrive.  This made me long for summer and it is here!

Hot days, warm nights, long walks on the beach and visits with family and friends are all on my schedule for this summer.  The pace seems slower in the summer; time to enjoy life in a way I don’t seem to manage in the rest of the year.

I’m prepping for the summer.  Here is my checklist:

  • Mani/Pedi in preparation for flip flops and shorts
  • A case of new tennis balls as I plan to spend hours on the court.
  • 50 sunscreen  –   I’m serious about sunscreen.  I go with 50 for most of the summer and titanium dioxide as an ingredient.  I love to spend time in the sun either walking, playing tennis, or spending time on the beach or at the pool but I don’t want to risk skin cancer so it is time to lather on the sun screen.
  • Sisley Lavender body scrub for the shower.  Nothing like it to make you feel great post outing and make the bath smell wonderful.
  • A visit to the bookstore and audible for beach reads.  Audio books are a must as it is a drive to the coast.
  • Review beach gear – suits, hat, and bag to see if new additions or replacements are required.  1DF512E4-6941-4CE8-9504-CC36D58B1B00
  • Trip to the farmer’s market for fresh veggies!

What is on your summer prep checklist?

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Fashion · Skin care · Travel

How to thrive when your bag takes a trip of its own!

 

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A good friend of mine always worries about the airline losing her bag.  I’ve never fully considered this until my most recent trip overseas.  On a trip that was jinxed from the start and when everything one might imagine going wrong does, what do you do when you finally sink down in a chair in your hotel room with  only your carry-on and a blizzard outside?

By the time I arrived at the hotel, I was exhausted.  I normally sleep on an overnight flight but sleep eluded me on this flight.  Then the re-booked connecting flights, the train, the weather and the new destination of London.  All I wanted was a hot bath and a change of clothes.  Of course the majority of my clothes were on a holiday of their own  – if only my bag could speak.

In my carry-on bag, I had basic essentials.  My makeup bag, brush, toiletries, a wrap I always include in case the flight is cold.  It always is. Things were not looking good for me.  While the idea of shopping for a new outfit is normally appealing, I’d been up for over twenty-four hours,  there was a blizzard outside, and evening was quickly approaching.  A quick word with the concierge and I was out the door to procure essentials.  Just down the block was a chain store.  I ducked into it delighted to find a clearance sale.  That might be interesting.  I grabbed a cotton tank, a long sleeve white tee, and a pair of leggings.

Next up was the pharmacy.  While I had the majority of my toiletries, I still needed a couple of things.  This was beginning to be fun.  I had no clue what one would find in  a London pharmacy in travel size containers.  I grabbed what I needed and journeyed on to one more store for socks.  I desperately wanted to get out of my shoes and socks to the point it was becoming an obsession with me.

Essentials procured, I was back to the hotel for a wonderful dinner and most importantly a hot bath.

Three days later, my bag finally arrived; a bit worse for the wear.

I am happy to say, I love my new purchases.  They were serendipitous and basic but they worked with what I had.  The tee and tank were wonderfully soft.   I was able to pair them with the sweater I had in my bag and the cardigan I’d worn on the plane.  I eventually broke down and purchased a beautiful sweater I saw as I made my way back to the hotel after a visit to the National Gallery.  I confess, I probably would have purchased the sweater regardless of my situation.  The greater point being, I added for relatively minimal expense a few basic items which enabled me to thrive with what I had.   Did I really need a checked bag or is a carry on all I truly needed?  Here is the secret I learned – I was fine with what I had.

I confess, that I was elated when I opened my bag to find all the things I’d packed.  No more washing things out overnight and leaving them to dry.  Oh the conflict- minimal versus comfort!  I know what I will have in my carry-on for the next flight.  I learn and adapt.

So my capsul wardrobe ended on consisting of :  black  cashmere  turtleneck, grey cardigan, grey poncho style sweater,  white long sleeve tee, white tank, black leggings, and jeans.  The  color scheme of black, grey, and white served me well.  I was able to mix and match for the occasion.

Reunited !

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Holiday · Skin care · Travel

Pamper me Sunday taken to the Greenbrier!

Did I ever need Pamper Sunday.  Last week was one of those weeks that wouldn’t stop.  Saturday I spent the morning cleaning out the basement.  By noon, I was covered in grime but had the basement sorted into trash and charity with the Christmas decorations finally put away.  Mission accomplished!

A good friend and I had long planned for a girl’s day at the spa at the Greenbrier.  As I stood there in the basement covered in yuck,  all I could think about was my long-awaited day at the spa.  The Greenbrier is located in an area rich with mineral springs and is famous for  its spa as well as the bunker.  A short drive this morning and I was looking at the great white hotel decorated by Dorothy Draper and Carlton Varney.  After a wonderful lunch at Drapers in the hotel, we headed to the spa.

Note about Drapers.  It is wonderful.  Famous for its sweet southern ice tea and chicken salad, the ice cream counter will make you drool.  I opted for a BLT with a delicious tomato. That is a miracle given it is the middle of winter.  I passed on dessert and we headed to the spa.

The first hour of our experience was spent in the relaxation room.  There I began to let the toils of the week evaporate.  Next up, a sulphur bath from the springs, then followed a scotch spray that reminded me of a water massage and finally a Swedish massage.  Now I was relaxed.  Back to the relaxation room where I quickly found my comfort zone in a lounge chair with a soft blanket and I was in my happy place.

Despite the fact that the day was a rainy, grey, winter day, it IMG_0267was perfect.  Time with friends and a wonderful visit to the Greenbrier.  I think I’m ready to face Monday!  I’m also plotting my next trip to the Greenbrier.

Fashion · Home · Skin care

Do you pamper yourself?

 

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Each week I look forward to Sunday and Sunday night, specifically.   I set aside Sunday nights to indulge and pamper and generally get ready to face the week.  It might be something as simple as watching Downton Abby – uninterrupted-  a bubble bath, a glass of wine and soft music, a long walk on a beautiful evening, a new book I’ve been dying to read, or curling up with the latest magazines.  You get the picture, something relaxing, something fun that I enjoy, something I’ve not had time to do all week.

Tonight I’m going to have a bowl of chicken chili with a glass of red wine.  I’m planning a long hot bath along with my usual Sunday night skin care routine and last, but not least, a couple of episodes of Madam Secretary.  I can’t get enough of the show.

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My Sunday night skin care routine is the definition of indulgent.  I pamper my skin. A few years shy of eighty, my Mother has the most beautiful skin.  She’s never worn a lot of make up but she always took care of her skin.  I’m attempting to follow in her footsteps.  My first “holy grail” of skin care is eye cream morning and night.  I alternate between La Prairie and M-61 power glow eye cream but for Sunday night I opt for Sisley’s eye contour mask.  The mask is a once a week thing for me and it is decadent.  It is also the night to exfoliate. For my face, I opt for Channel’s Gommage Microperle Eclat exfoliant and for the body, Jo Malone’s vitamin E body treatment scrub.  Last, but not least, is a conditioning mask for my hair.  I opt for Moroccainoil intense hydrating mask.  It makes my hair feel soft and healthy the entire week.  I end with either Kiehl’s creme de corps or Jo Malone’s pomegranate body cream.

Now I’m ready to face Monday!