30 November 2013

House: A Castle

One must make house a castle and spend time there.
Home: A Castle


25 November 2013

Signature Scent

The search for a signature scent is taxing. The French, Diptyque, was the first brand I investigated if only to see their photogenic candles in person. Liberty and John Lewis played hosts to my French fragrance hunt.  On both smelling sprees, Eau Duelle emerged as my favorite. With other options to pursue, I pressed on, this time to the British brand, Jo Malone.

The assistance I received at the Jo Malone boutique was unparalleled. I met every single scent in just about every single form (perfume, eau de toilette, candle, room fragrance) but was not captured by any of them. However, Lime Basil and Mandarin did raise an eyebrow of interest. The possibility of making a custom scent by layering more than one looked grim. I could not decide on one scent, let alone two. My nose could not bear to extend the smelling session and I planned to revisit this raved about brand in the distant future.

Back to the French I went, in the form of Chanel. I owed Coco a chance to sway me. It was a brief confrontation. Nothing she had to offer was slightly impressive; not Number 5 , Number 19, or Chance, did I give a chance.

Dior swooped in for an opportunity to impress and Christian did not disappoint. I approached the Dior boutique. Miss Dior and I had already gotten fairly acquainted via Autumn 2013 advertisements featuring Natalie Portman in a black dress. At our actual meeting, I was swept into the perfect dream that only perfume can induce. I insisted on meeting J'adore and Addict for protocol's sake, only to leave with Miss Dior. We are spending every day together. Only if I purchase more when her 30 ounces are up will she be cemented as a signature scent. Time will tell. 
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21 November 2013

How to Be Type B (Particularly for the Type A Variety)

1. Spend less time being impatient.
2. Be whimsical - do things on a whim.
3. Do not work seven days a week.
4. Go to sleep at a decent time and minimize unnecessary moments of worry.
5. Rise early to seize the stillness of morning, not to check the same email inbox you looked at eight hours ago.
6. Spend lunch break away from workplace.
7. Turn off the Internet.
8. Make home a castle and spend time there.
9. Reflect on the day and be thankful for it.
10. Read a book for pure enjoyment.
11. Drink water when thirsty, not after completing several "imperative" endeavors.
Acknowledge growth. 
13. Consider what is happening now to be most important.
14. Do not anxiously anticipate opportunities in the future, while unaware of the one taking 

      place at this very moment. They are actually called blessings and are limitless.
15. Celebrate small achievements with a macaroon or truffle.
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18 November 2013

Twenty Pretty Pounds

I was pleasantly surprised when I met the pound. It is gold, one of my favorite colors and bears the image of Her Majesty The Queen. The varying designs on the reverse represent the United Kingdom and its four constituent parts. The GBP is heavier, prettier and more powerful than the USD. A weighted purse is a small sacrifice for beautiful currency and substantial buying power. 
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15 November 2013

Acquiring the Classic Ballet

Step 1: Selection
The interior, body, insole and sole of the ballet flat should be made of leather. It is acceptable to have some sort of cotton lining over the leathered interior. The height of the heel should be between 1-1.6 cm. Combined with the height of the insole, your heel should rise approximately 2 cm from the ground. Cheap ballets, consisting of man-made materials, tend to be very flat and offer no support. Quality is at the heart of selecting a pair of classic ballets (or any shoe for that matter). And no, your ballet flats should not bend in half.

Step 2: The Tap
Once you have selected your classic ballet flat, it is time to pay a visit to your cobbler. You need to ask him to place taps on the heels. These may be made of either plastic or metal. They are hammered into the upper right area of the right heel and upper left area of the left heel. This protects the heel from rapid wear. Bid goodbye to your cobbler. You will be visiting him again.

Step 3: The Bow Tie
If your ballets do not come with an adjustable and/or self-tie string, you may proceed to step 4. If the loose string on your shoes is meant to be self-tied, step 3 is crucial.

a) Turn your ballets, toe box is facing towards you.

b) Begin by crossing right string over left string, with a pull, to make a knot.

c) Then make two loops (a.k.a. bunny ears).

d) Cross the right loop in front of the left loop.

e) The left loop then goes over the right and through the middle hole. Pause - do not tighten the knot just yet.

f) The right loop then goes to the back of the hole and through to the middle. Now you may pull on the knot to tighten.

g) Arrange the tails of your bow. 

For visual instructions with sub-steps d-f please view The Ultimate Knot

Step 4: The Initiation Outing 
After tying your perfect ballet bows, get ready to take them outside for a stroll. The socks you wear with your flats should not show, unless they are a deliberate component to your look. You may have to shop around until you find an ideal pair of no-show socks. But keep in mind, the perfect socks for your perfect flats do exist. Take a stroll down the pavement, steering clear of gravel. You are preparing your soles for step 5 and need them to be a little worn, but by no means punctured. This step could have been completed manually by the cobbler, but I take pride in doing it myself. Once you have scuffed up the soles of your shoes, you need to revisit your cobbler.

Step 5: The Rubber Sole 
Ask your cobbler to apply a thin rubber sole to your flats. In the past, I have requested oval shaped anti-slip pads. But recently, I have decided on the superiority of the thin rubber sole, due to its durable nature. The rubber sole protects your ballets from puncture, preparing them for outings in the city.

Step 6: Your Moment
Once you have completed the ballet flat acquiring process, it is time to live and relish the imperfections of life. It is time to sing and dance like no one is watching...read, write and speak like you have a sense of self...be yourself... make a mark on this world, your way...never compare yourself to others...be chic in your own right.

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14 November 2013

Twinings Spell

My earnest attempt to live at a slower pace has affected my tea drinking habits. I find the steeping of tea in a pot, tranquil. A cup and saucer have become imperative, along with the ten minutes I set aside to enjoy my favorite drink. Twinings products have quickly multiplied in my pantry. Clearly, I have made it a personal rule never to deny myself opportunities to indulge in a wide variety of tea.
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09 November 2013

Required Rest

Day of Rest


07 November 2013


No school or profession has ever required me to wear a uniform. However, I have adopted my own version of uniformity that I find most appropriate when doing battle of the academic kind. Lately it seems that combat in the library has been taking place everyday. Thus, every day I am dressed in some version of the outfit below. Dissertation disorder rages on.

01 November 2013

Operation Smythson

I arrived home to find a pack of biscuits paired with a lovely note from Y. Immediately I was placed in an urgent situation. There was not one sheet of Smythson nor an accompanying envelope upon my desk. It was impossible for me to fashion a note of thanks. Amidst the bustle of daily demands, I had not been prepared to find myself the target of such a thoughtful, unpredictable gesture. Two days later (thank you note already overdue), I made my way along Sloane Street with intention. Only when I had selected the White Laid Kings writing paper and envelopes did I allow for leisurely browsing. Needless to say, I penned my note of appreciation the moment I returned to my desk. I hastily placed the sealed envelope with an assortment of chocolates in a small, plastic Peter Jones bag. I ran to Y's door like a student delivering an overdue assignment. Adjusting the bag around the door handle, I was met with relief. Operation Smythson was complete. 
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