Why, Thank You

{Fragrant gifts: candles and herbs}

With Thanksgiving just a day away, many of us are starting our preparations early – brining the turkey, cleaning the house, setting the table, making five or six trips to the grocery store, pulling out our hair, etc. If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving, it’s easy to show a little appreciation to your hostess with a small gift. As a guest for any gathering, whether it’s a casual dinner party or a formal Thanksgiving dinner, a good rule of thumb is never to show up empty handed.

Thanksgiving dinner is an easy one: help lighten the load and bring your favorite side dish or dessert – there’s no such thing as too much food on Thanksgiving. If you’re not quite apt in the kitchen and don’t like the idea of bringing a store-bought pie as your contribution, here are a few other options to show your appreciation:

  • Champagne: Libations are always welcome, but wine is such a common gift. Add a little pizzazz and go with something of the bubbly variety.
  • Slate cheeseboard: Cheese platters are quick and easy to put out for guests, so for someone who hosts frequently, this gift is sure to make an impact.
  • Candles: Though not a very unique gift, scented candles are always appreciated by a hostess who aims to make her home as welcoming as possible. I’m a loyal fan of Voluspa candles, as they’re extremely fragrant and pretty to boot.
  • Whiskey Stones: A nightcap is the perfect way to end an evening with friends, but lukewarm or watered down drinks are never a hit. This set of whiskey stones and tumblers will keep your spirits perfectly chilled and dilution-free.
  • Rosemary Trees: Any type of herb plant will do, really, as they’re fragrant and useful. I’m particularly fond of Rosemary, as it’s a hardy plant that can easily be added to any garden or kept potted in a windowsill. Plus they’re festive during the holidays as mini Christmas trees.

{Whiskey stones are the perfect gift for the style-conscious hostess}


New York in the Dark

It’s difficult to believe that the “Storm of the Century” is currently sweeping the East Coast, as the weather has been near idyllic in Los Angeles the last few days. As image after image of the destruction of Hurricane Sandy appears on my computer and television screens, I’m left in awe of the magnitude of it all. My thoughts are with those on the East Coast, millions currently without electricity. Here’s hoping that the storm passes quickly and the reparation of the damage is swift. If any city is strong enough to brave this superstorm, it’s New York.

You can donate to the Red Cross to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy here.

Sick Day

{A comfy sweater and tea when you’re under the weather}

Despite my best efforts, my cold has turned into a full-blown flu. I suppose it’s my own fault for not getting the flu vaccine this year (ever, really). Dealing with chills, body aches, fever, and congestion is never a good time, but there are a few things I keep at the ready to help ease the discomfort. Here is my list of must-haves for surviving flu season, should you be so unlucky to catch it. Hint: everything that touches your body should be big and fluffy.

  1. A big comfy sweater that I can snuggle into whenever the chills set in.
  2. A super soft plush throw for curling up on the couch.
  3. Matzo ball soup. Matzo balls are the perfect addition to any hearty chicken soup. (If matzo ball soup isn’t available, tomato soup is next on my list.)
  4. Orange juice and tea. Not a big surprise there.
  5. Meds. As I’m prone to sinus infections, I’m a big fan of Sudafed to keep the congestion at bay.
  6. A movie that I could watch anyday and have seen hundreds of times, so I don’t feel like I’ve missed something if I dose off in the middle. (My favorites: Pride and Prejudice, You’ve Got Mail, Under the Tuscan Sun, or Chocolat)
  7. Back rub from the boyfriend – all around good for the soul (and for the body aches).

Stay Classy

{Night out in Little Italy}

Keeping with my resolution to go on as many outings as possible this summer, some friends and I decided to take an impromptu trip to San Diego, simply because one of them had never seen a polar bear. We packed our bags and left at the crack of dawn, spent the day of reliving childhood dreams of swimming with dolphins and playing with penguins (which sadly never came to fruition), and watching a polar bear blissfully roll around on its back, then ended the day with a meal in Little Italy and took in the view from the rooftop bar of our hotel.

{Dreams fulfilled}

{An evening stroll to the Gaslamp District}

{Reading by the bay before heading home}

Princess Aboard

{There’s always more to explore.}

This summer I made an effort to go on as many outings as possible. My boyfriend was out of the country for a few months on business so I took full advantage of the opportunity to do all the girly things I normally wouldn’t do. I ventured out to Long Beach one weekend with a friend to see DIANA: Legacy of a Princess aboard the Queen Mary. The collection of dresses was breathtaking, but one exhibit, a telephone booth that played actual messages left by Princess Di, was incredibly sad. No cameras were allowed inside the exhibit, but it was such a beautiful day outside, my camera was still put to good use.