Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category


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The Marina Motel, our home in San Francisco

We left San Diego on Sunday afternoon and flew in to San Francisco. After our awesome shuttle driver went out of his way to give a scenic route to the Marina district (he diverted to bring us into the Marina via Pacific Heights, both to show us the mansions of that neighborhood and to show us the view from the Pac Heights hills before you descend toward the Bay and the Marina area) we arrived at the most charming little motel I’ve ever seen.  We were just five blocks from the Bay, and the street behind our motel was bustling with markets, boutique shops and fantastic restaurants. Quiet, charming, and jasmine-scented, Marina Motel was our little home-base as we toured the city each day. (more…)

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I’m being seduced by summer. In spite of my complaints of sweaty walks to the metro station and the muggy haze over the city, I find warm nights on the balcony irresistible. The Monkey bought a wonderful bistro table and chairs, so we can eat dinner there, and drink wine in the dusk that lingers till 10pm. We read, drink and talk till I’m nearly asleep in my chair.

Not my photo, but - it's lovely, isn't it?

The tomatoes and basil are soaking in the heat and transforming it into fruit and fragrance. There was enough basil to make pesto last week – Zach made it. Sublime. Our first sweet pepper is black – which is the color it turns between green and red. Another week and we’ll eat it. The cayenne plant is virtually dripping with long, slender green peppers, and those tomato plants not already pregnant with round green fruit are covered in yellow blossoms. All of them, soaking in the sun and heat, sucking up the water and soil nutrients, and in the astonishing alchemy of gardening, making food for me. Working away when I’m not looking.

The Monkey bought a long coil hose – it looks like a giant version of the old telephone cords that coiled from the phone to the handset. It lives coiled over the mop handle in the front closet, and it hooks to the bathroom sink faucet and stretches to the balcony, thus preventing multiple trips with a watering can. He added lime (calcium) to the plants last week. He provides water and soil, the universe provides sun, wind, heat. It’s marvelous.

So, I forgive the heat for my sweaty back. Today, at least. Here’s a song for us to share:

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Routines: Morning

My morning routine is very ritualistic. What about you, are you a creature of habit? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants, different every morning?

After years of sampling the variety of interesting and lovely products, I think I’ve settled on a suite of delights that meet my needs and leave the world a little better off too. Scent is usually my most important factor, and these mingle seamlessly, charming me in the morning, and charming the one who kisses me later in the day.

My morning routine (all photos by me, taken this afternoon):

Here is a picture of my pretty sea shell curtain, a memento from my wedding on the Outer Banks. In the steam of the shower, the strings relax and the little shells chatter against the tile.

Lotions are the post shower finale – my favorite is Nature’s Gate Hemp Oil lotion — mmm, smells like sweet cinnamon! Z. says I smell like cookies.

Finally, face: on the shelf over my sink are my face lotions. Boots’ brand Brightening Facial Balm and e.l.f.’s tinted moisturizer SPF 15, blended together, are my skin’s idea of perfection.

What is your morning routine like? What products impart the qualities you need to be happy for the rest of your day?

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