Megan

Packing for Paris

Paris is my second favorite city (surpassed only by London), and I’m heading there now. Goodbye Palombara Sabina. Thank you Nonna Angela and Mariana for my incredible stay. Let my virtual trip around the world continue! Here’s my itinerary of Airbnb Online Experiences:

My virtual suitcase is packed. Allons-y!

Works Sighted

J.Crew Factory schoolboy blazer; J.Crew 2011 icon coat; Italic Annie mini trunk bag; Cuyana alpaca scarf (heather light grey)

Everlane modern Breton tee; J.Crew Martie pant (navy); Veja Campo

J.Crew striped boatneck tee; J.Crew Martie pant (black); Margaux Demi flats (cerulean)

Eric Bompard classic V-neck pullover; Grace Karin vintage pleated A-line midi skirt (black); Margaux Demi flats (black)

Hinson Wu Isabella White Stretch Cotton Tunic; Grace Karin vintage pleated A-line midi skirt (navy); Repetto Lou ballerinas (lux patent leather beige)

Pasta with the Grandmas: An Airbnb Online Experience

“Making Pasta with the Grandmas” offers virtual cooking classes for various types of pasta. Each Zoom meeting is hosted by one of five Italian grandma/granddaughter duos. My lasagna class began with lively Italian music and was lead by Nonna Angela and her granddaughter Mariana. The event started at 5:00 PM Philadelphia time. Palombara Sabina was six hours ahead, but the time difference didn’t show on the presenters’ faces. Nonna Angela was an attentive instructor, and Mariana translated the directions for the nine guests in an upbeat manner.

In an effort to bring Italy to their students, the hosts played a video montage containing footage from the in-person version of the experience and scenes from the town. I imagined that the stunning Lazio landscape was right outside my window. We rolled dough by hand, made sauce from scratch, and, an hour and a half later, finally put our creations in the oven. The guests thanked Nonna Angela and Mariana for the delightful evening, releasing them from their teaching duties. My husband and I enjoyed our lasagna with salad, Chianti Classico, and S.Pellegrino. Dinner was straight from Italy.

I’ve spent a bit of time researching Palombara Sabina. Here are a few sights that piqued my interest:

Works Sighted: Antimo Caputo 00 flour; eggs; Corelle bowl; Anchor Hocking measuring cup; Trader Joe’s Tunisian fouta towel

An Introduction to dōTERRA Essential Oils

I was first introduced to essential oils in March 2018 at a dōTERRA demonstration. My friend K., a natural party planner, hosted the event at her house. Guests were greeted by lemon-infused water and a rather pleasant scent emanating from the diffuser. An abundance of snacks, such as lavender muffins, soon followed. My friends and I spent the night on K.’s comfy sofa sampling the thoughtfully-prepared assortment and passing around bottles of wine. J., the product consultant, shared her testament with the group; the oils had helped her recover from numerous medical complications.

Twenty days after attending the demonstration, I purchased the family essentials kit along with individual bottles of lemongrass, thyme, cypress, and fractionated coconut oil. I hadn’t planned on making a purchase so soon, but I encountered a minor health hurdle that needed to be addressed. The oils contributed to the resolution of my issue. Initially, I’d spent a generous amount of time deciding which kit to buy, but the one I selected has proven itself quite essential over the years.

You may be wondering if there is a difference between dōTERRA essential oils and less-expensive ones manufactured by other companies. Allow me to clarify; you get what you pay for. dōTERRA essential oils are pure, which is why they are so versatile. I only use a few drops at a time due to their high potency. Although they have an expiration date, you probably won’t have to worry about that for a few years after placing your order. In this post, I’ll discuss my five most-used essential oils, all of which are included in the aforementioned kit, which, by the way, comes with a useful guide detailing all of the brand’s products.

Lemon / As I write this, I’m making a plan to replace my almost-depleted supply of lemon. I enjoy at least one can of chilled sparkling water every day, and I’ve been flavoring my cans of plain water with a drop of lemon essential oil. It’s cheaper than buying an excessive amount of Spindrift (which I still love but can’t afford to drink like champagne at the club).

Peppermint / When a family member gets a headache, I’ll break out the peppermint, dilute a drop with fractionated coconut oil, and rub it on their forehead. The pain dissipates with a tingling sensation. In the olden days of commuting to work, I’d pass out peppermint beadlets to my friends when they weren’t feeling their best.

Lavender / On nights when I can’t sleep, I fill my diffuser with water and add a few drops of lavender. The calming scent puts me to sleep.

DigestZen / This product is a blend of the following essential oils: anise seed, peppermint plant, ginger rhizome/root, caraway seed, coriander seed, tarragon plant, and fennel seed. When my stomach is upset, I diluted a drop or two of DigestZen in a cup of cool water. This concoction is best consumed at a sipping pace.

On Guard / This product is a blend of these essential oils: wild orange peel, clove bud, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus leaf, and rosemary leaf/flower. It smells like autumn in a bottle. I diffuse this in the air during the day. The idea of boosting my immune system with minimal effort makes me very happy.

5 Essential Pieces of Outerwear for Moderate Weather

Trench Coat

My favorite piece of outerwear, the trench coat is polished and highly versatile. Acquire a traditional, khaki-colored one that suits you in water-resistant cotton. It’s fine if you’re eyeing trench coats at Burberry, but, I don’t want to see you in the street covered in Burberry plaid. You should limit that to your coat’s lining. Here’s another example of what not to buy at Burberry. The name of the brand should only appear on your coat’s inside label.

Utility Jacket

For outdoor adventures in nature, you’ll need a utility jacket. Whether it’s waxed or unwaxed is up to you. When I lived in the UK, I wore my navy Barbour Bedale jacket on daily walks through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. When I’m stateside, I also wear a green utility jacket (sans wax) from J.Crew in moderate weather.

Activewear Jacket

I’m currently on the hunt for an activewear jacket that can be worn on brisk walks to and from the gym. Something that weighs less than a trench coat but is heavier than a disposable plastic poncho would be ideal. Also, I need it to be long enough at the back for my liking.

Vest

When it comes to acquiring a vest, you have two options: a puffy vest or one of lesser thickness. The puffy vest can be worn over sweaters, knits, and other tops with long sleeves. However, it might be too thick to tuck under another piece of outwear. I own one vest, and it’s on the thinner side, which gives me a lot of flexibility in the ways that I wear it. I especially like wearing it under my cape during the colder months.

Cropped Jacket

A jacket that pairs flawlessly with every or almost every dress in you wardrobe may be a little difficult to come by. But, don’t rush your search. (By the way, I’d steer clear of boleros and shrugs if I were you.) I own two cropped, military-inspired jackets in navy and camel. They pair well with my sleeveless A-line dresses and skirts.

Honorable Mention: Raincoat

I don’t own a raincoat, and I won’t be in the market for one until my next trip to Scotland. (The winds in Edinburgh will turn your umbrella inside out until you become fatigued and give up.) Stateside, I prefer to wear my trench coat in the rain with an umbrella and Le Pliage.

Works Sighted

Hearts and Found Elizabeth dress (on Etsy); Margaux Demi flats (platinum); navy cropped jacket (an obscure brand; purchased at a now-defunct discount clothing store)

Margaux Demi Flat

I’ve kept at least one pair of ballet flats in my shoe collection since I was in high school. However, it’s taken me quite some time to find what I would consider the perfect pair. I’ve come across two styles that meet my expectations, but today we’ll focus on the second of my discoveries, the Margaux Demi flat. (The other style, the Havana flat by Blue Velvet Shoes, isn’t available to ship to the U.S.)

I’ve never had a more glamorous shoe shopping experience than the one I had at the Margaux showroom in 2017. The business was located at 37 W 20th St. back then, and I’d made a special trip into the city for the occasion. (They’ve since moved to 387 Bleecker St.) Before the pandemic, I’d make up any excuse to be out and about in Manhattan. The building on W 20th was a high-rise with multiple business suites, and Margaux lived in number 1206. The plain, white hallway gave no indication of the beautiful decor beyond the door. The soft grey walls, the picket-fence-white shelving, the circular table that reminded me of a tree, the plush seating…all of this was surpassed by the sales associate who made sure I was trying on the proper size. Before departing the studio, I placed an order for two pairs of the Demi: one in black and another in navy/black. Having my shopping sent to me felt luxurious, like an experience from an era long gone.

When my Demi flats arrived, I put them to work right away. My two original pairs have since been put out of commission; they’re sitting in my closet awaiting new insoles. I recently purchased the style in platinum. In fact, I’m wearing them as I write this. They look pretty in the light of my desk lamp. Not only does the style’s low vamp accommodate my high instep, but the insole is comfortable and cloud-like. It has a little bit of a heel (not including the inside padding, I measured about a half inch). The grosgrain drawstring that is mean to be tied in a bow on top of the vamp isn’t just for show; it also functions. A feat of engineering indeed!

Works Sighted

Margaux Demi flats (platinum); Brooks Brothers Red Fleece skirt (old)

Easing into Autumn with Above-the-Knee Woolen Skirts

It’s that time of year when the daily temperature ranges between 50 and 70°F. The forecast leaves you baffled. You’ve put the summer-specific clothing away, but it’s not quite time to pull out the tights. You keep a few lightweight jackets and sweaters on standby in case the temperature plummets. Your winter coat is patiently waiting to be dry cleaned. It’s still too warm for your blazers, cashmere, heavy woolens, and boots.

Autumn is the most difficult season to transition into, and anyone who does so successfully deserves a standing ovation. My advice: ease into your cool-weather wardrobe. Start with your above-the-knee woolen skirts. Your lightweight button-up shirts will complement them well. As it get colder, you’ll want to add on warmer layers.

Works Sighted

Loft shirt (old); Brooks Brothers Red Fleece skirt (old); Margaux Demi flats (platinum); Fitbit Alta HR; GLDN Yue Necklace

Further Reading:

Brooks Brothers Red Fleece wool-blend trumpet skirt; Celtic & Co. Celt wool skirt; Boden Fairlie full mini skirt; Boden Poppy boiled wool skirt; Boden Eloise mini skirt