fragrance

ring in the SPRING!

March 20, 2015

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she’s here!

my favorite season, the best time of year: spring!

even the word “spring” brings a smile to my face; i dare you to say it without the corners of your mouth delighting upward into an arc of happy.

and although i’m aware there is still major snow and frost in much of the country, nary slush or sleet should prevent you from enjoying our vernal equinox.

spring is a state of mind, not a weather forecast: it’s a fresh start, a rebirth, an opportunity to grow; an optimism and new vigor awakening after a long winter’s hibernation.

so how do you “ring in the spring?”

for me it always starts with our house.

my spring cleaning is more of a purge: clothes, food, old electronics, and any other cabinet clogging items i haven’t thought of in a year are donated or thrown out; never underestimate the power of a closet gut to make you feel like a superhero.

not ready for a major household overhaul?

start smaller.

this week i cut off stems from our backyard jasmine bush–last year’s $4.99 trader joes purchase whose vines now serpentine up the whole backside of our house, fragrancing the porch with a sweet, sunny aroma.

 i brought the lone stems inside, dropped them in various pink goblets throughout the downstairs, and, clouds or no clouds outside, our house feels and smells like spring.

here are a few other ways i’m “ringing in the spring.”

puregrass

it’s no secret i’m a sucker for a seasonal scent; even in my cleaning products. the pure grass scent from good home company is a staple for me this time of year. we use the dryer sheets, the laundry detergent, and the vacuum balls to give the house a fresh, clean, green aroma.

we are also using this soap in our nursery.

mug

lasting no more than a month or two, this time of year brings a craving for teatime to rival my typical, 2pm binge on black coffee.

mighty leaf organic spring jasmine and teavana’s wild orange blossom herbal tea are two of my post-lunch favorites.

and i’m thinking these initial mugs from anthropologie are the perfect vessels for that afternoon recess.

kiwi

even my skin gets its own version of spring cleaning. now is the time i bust out mario badescu’s kiwi face scrub to start unearthing the permafrost of dry and dehydrated skin brought on by winter.

i also use tata harper’s resurfacing mask and juice beauty green apple brightening pads for major exfoliation.

burt’s bees cucumber facial wipes are well-stocked in my refrigerator; every morning while my coffee brews i treat myself to a quick cucumber scented facial-the puffy and fatigue instantly evicted from my eyes and jowls.

  seda

my big splurge this time of year is always a jo malone orange blossom candle.

pricey?

yes.

worth it?

hell YES!

 this clementine/water lily scent is instant prozac for my disposition. some girls have that favorite red lipstick, that short black skirt, or that stiletto pump to revamp their mood….mine comes in the form of a candle.

less expensive but just as pirouette-inducing is the moss + mint candle from nest; think minty garden fresh infused with apple blossom.

the cutting garden from seda france is another one i love; with one stroke of a match a fragrant green bouquet permeates the house; one king’s lane is having a sale on a ton of seda france candles.

and i’m a total fool {both for the scent and the price} of mrs. meyer’s basil scented clean soy candle; i’m always asked about these candles when i put them out for entertaining.

nailpolish

for outside the front door i’m looking at all of the pretty, new, spring 2015 nail collections to bring the primavera party to my toes and fingers.

 zoya’s spring delight practically reinvents the rainbow for your feet.

and essie‘s latest spring medley has me unpacking all my peep-toe platforms {totally appropriate for a woman 35 weeks pregnant.}

sping

i don’t require major renovation or second mortgages to ring the spring into my life; a flower here, some dryer sheets there, maybe a new coat of polish, and i’m set.

how will you be ringing in the spring m’loves?

wishing you a weekend of hop in your step and posy in your play.

see you on the other side of sunday.

love,

katie

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the fountain of youth in a blue bottle…

July 22, 2014

laurie (1 of 1)

oh happy day my beloved readers!

today’s post could be your winning lotto ticket in the battle against fine lines, discoloration, and slack skin.

we have laurie herman to thank.

laurie herman and her all-natural, AFFORDABLE, effective, skincare fell into my lap last month when ms. herman got in touch after reading about my love of fitness and healthy living.

thinking our obsession for all things ‘mother earth‘ could collaborate, and hearing about my affinity for skincare, sometimes at the behest of my pocketbook, laurie wanted my opinion on her products.

no strings attached, no promises to find the nearest mountain-top whereupon i sing her praises; i agreed to use laurie’s serum, toner, body moisturizer and facial wash.

wash

the first product i tried was the pacific facial wash.

unlike any face cleanser i’ve ever used before, this product comes out in a dry, grainy, powder.

it’s best to wet your face first, and THEN pour out a little bit of product into your hands, mix into a velvet scrub, and then apply to face.

each time i use this wash i am instantly surprised at the difference in texture and softness in my skin.

it’s a bizarre grand finale of squeaky clean and satin-pillow soft.

most skincare lines use heavy fragrances to make their products more pleasing; these perfumes, many of them phthalates are actually very toxic, and have been linked to hormone disruption. using only essential oils, laurie’s products are completely fragrance-free; therefore sometimes the scents truly are NATURAL. the face wash has a strong kelp scent.

i actually like the fact that i can smell the ingredients {even if it is a bit oceany} of this product.

toner

next was the neroli water hyrdating toner.

typically i’m not a big believer in toners. i think they’re kind of a waste of time; like first marriages or foreplay, just let me wear my vera wang dress and buy me my breakfast in the morning.

but as i get older {less hydrated} i’m noticing the importance of toners and their hydrating properties.

this neroli water hydrating toner, designed to tighten and firm, gives a nice boost, post wash.

serum

last but not least is the face serum firm it.

this is a game-changer.

using the neroli firm it serum all the way up to my eyeballs and down to my chest, i noticed an immediate difference–i’m talking “let’s make an infomercial” results here.

it’s like my skin gets a juice-cleanse and barre class every night.

toned, lifted, full of vigor, and more vivacious; my face drinks this serum up like a sad, wilted, dehydrated, desert animal.

i could give you my opinion, but i think the opinion of my friends and husband are more convincing.

hunkiest, a man who typically wouldn’t notice if my hair was on fire, let alone when i cut it 6 inches shorter, has been a factory farm of compliments; churning them out like well-packaged, precise hamburger patties of kindness on how pretty my skin looks; he even missed a crucial left turn opportunity on 17th street one saturday afternoon he was so confused by focused on my new complexion; we’re still in the center divider, by the way, waiting to make that left turn.–i’m typing from the car.

and a couple of weeks ago, in the harsh morning, non-instagram filetered light, my friend alexei, who at 8 months pregnant doesn’t have time to stroke my already texas-sized ego, told me:

you’re skin looks amazing, what are you doing different?

i was all:

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you, like?

but then her husband marc, excited to also notice my new, dewy skin, tried to play with the big girls in the compliment game, by adding:

yeah..i was like…is THAT????………that’s not katie is it?????”

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um, thank you? i guess.

a compliment, even served wrapped up in a tortilla of insult, is still worth gobbling down.

thank you laurie herman for turning this troll katie into something safe for public consumption.

social

now it’s your turn to fool your friends.

even if you think your skin is flawless and you’ve been dunked in a vat of perfect, i still implore you to try laurie’s products.

she has a 100% satisfaction guarantee good for 365 days {that’s one year for you english majors} and she’ll even pay your shipping.

 laurie has graciously offered a limited time 20% discount and free shipping on all of her products to my readers; thank you so much laurie.

when checking out use the coupon code: xokatie

this will be valid until august 8th.

laurie and i both like to keep you informed on the latest and greatest in health so make sure you stay connected with us for more offers and deals.

find laurie on facebook, twitter, instagram + pinterest.

and you know i love it when you like/follow me/tweet/pin with me …i always follow back…

here’s to happy, shiny, all-natural skin m’loves.

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summer happens

June 10, 2013

although gloomy june tried to murk up newport beach with its grey sky and misty-morning, coastal fog, and then seemed to party crash until early evening, i still managed to find major summer sunshine during the weekend.

maryjo

apparently my birthday is more of a birthday season this yearbecause even though we are past 30 days, the celebrations, the presents and the cheer still keep rolling in. on saturday my gorgeous friend, mary jo matsumoto, feted me with lunch and festivities at my favorite a market.

we went bananas over shelly register’s homemade banana pudding- officially my dessert of the summer. you can buy these puddings {also available in butterscotch & chocolate} in perfect, little single-serve containers, although i’m able to single-serve myself with 6 of them. #dumbgirlproblems

as if the pudding wasn’t enough sunshine, mary jo gifted me with her new bougainvilla beach wallet i’ve been dying to have.

it’s even prettier in person. the perfect summer wallet: it’s a cloth and nylon floral beauty that’s made for the beach. mary jo nailed everything that is fun, hip, casual, and oh so beautiful about southern california when she created this wallet.

everything in her shop is an ode to the jubilee of living in this paradise. it’s so hard to choose a favorite. but right now mine is my bougainvilla beach wallet.

thank you mary jo.

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summer also happened in the form of fragrance. this summer i’ve switched from my beloved gardenia and yuzu flowered if to the heavy jasmine-scented acqua di parma gelsomino nobile. this so-called species of jasmine grows only in calabria, “which gives it a refreshing, green, and airy aspect reminiscent of the famous italian gardens of the renaissance.”–look, i don’t exactly know what the gardens smelled like during the renaissance, {but i know what pretension sounds/reads like,} and i do know there wasn’t indoor plumbing or febreeze in the 16th century, so this description isn’t exactly great marketing to me. but one spritz and i was sold. so if that’s what caravaggio’s ferns and cacti smelled like, amongst all the chamber pots and city sewage, then sign me up for auto-ship. and as for pretension? um hello, this is a brag blog. 

ridingokay! and i’ve found, after several false starts…my official summer read: the yonahlossee riding camp for girls! it’s SO up my alley for what i like in the summer: it’s historical fiction {1930’s,} it’s in the south {north carolina,} it’s a coming of age, it’s set in the summer {a girls’ camp?} and i think there’s some juicy, gross family muck. 

check✔ check: ✔check: 

seriously what more could i want…

tolstoy it’s not. but am i really EVER going to read tolstoy?

do you know how many times i just had to go look up tolstoy’s spelling?

so i showed you mine. now you show me yours…any objet’s d’été currently rocking your season?

love you lots! like totally!!!

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