February 2011 update

Home. And for the first time in a while, I'm not already packing for the next trip. I have two weeks to soak it up before we head out again, this time with the kiddos. February was a wonderful, fleeting month, although it was not a good month for resolutions:

Read: The one resolution I'm excelling at, in large part to all the time spent in airports and hotel rooms. This month's reads were Angels Dance and Angels Die, Alice I Have Been, One Day - only three? seems like there were more - and I've already started reading A Spy in the House of Love, I Am Ozzy, and Jude the Obscure. I think, once again, that if I can read (or donate) all the unread books in this house, I will buy a Kindle.

Eat healthier: Way too much airplane food, again, and way too much beer, wine, and mixed drinks (we were on "vacation" for half the month...). The worst day was in Disney World when I had a huge plate of chicken nachos and beer for breakfast, a giant hot fudge sundae (with whipped cream, of course) for lunch, and popcorn and a bottle of wine for dinner.

Cook more: Again, being out of town meant most of the meals were eaten out. I was super proud for cooking whenever we were home, and am going shopping today for this week's meals. My favorite moment was cooking dinner the one day we were home in between Florida and New York, using all of the things that happened to be left in the fridge/pantry. it was simple: whole wheat pasta with shrimp and a sauce made of olive oil, diced tomatoes (canned), gorgonzola cheese, and wilted (fresh) spinach. It was a complete experiment and it was divine!

Play guitar better: Seriously, I don't even know if this is still a resolution. I haven't picked up the guitar yet in 2011.

Like the way I look: I still need a hair cut. And some exercise.

Exercise: Nope, not even once. Again, not since 2011 started. I keep saying it's not too late, but in two weeks we leave for a beach trip.

Keep keeping the house clean: Yes! Even for being away so much, house looks very decent. I also purchased a Bissel Pet Hair Eraser, which I think is the best $30 I've ever spent. It removed cat hair from all the upholstered surfaces in seconds. I think I'm going to buy this next to cut down on sweeping time.

Wake up early: Yes, and no. Mostly no.

Diary/Blog and photos: Only 12 blog posts for February means I haven't even done this half of the days, but at least I'm consistent. And sad to say, the camera didn't come out in Florida or New York, although the phone camera did.

Improve day-to-day apartment living: Good reminder that I need to just order the vacuum, instead of continuing to ponder it.

dream tub

This is the exact bathtub that's in my dream apartment- gorgeous view, endless hot water, and you can sit neck-deep when completely full. I took a four and a half hour bath, no kidding. Ahhhh.

best grilled cheese sandwich ever

This is one of our New York traditions. Cheap beer (relatively) and sandwiches for dinner.

One Day

Really disappointed me. If I could take back reading it, I would. I wanted a love story, a romance, a happy ending - and it seemed promising - but instead got a tribute to wasted potential, squandered chances at happiness, and lives pathetically lived.

One Day

I love this movie poster, and hope that the book lives up to it. I'll admit that is the only reason that I bought the book.

back at the airport

Two new books to keep me occupied. I'm really considering a kindle at this point.


Home again, for a breather. For one day of unpacking and washing clothes and repacking and petting my kitty. I love to travel, but sometimes I wish it would not come all at once.

We have been in Disney World. Sort of.

Everything is mouse ears here.

We were at a Disney hotel, although honestly we skipped all the parks with the exception of a fireworks/dessert reception at Epcot. The fireworks were very cool and we actually entered into the park gates where it was very crowded, with lots of kids, and over to France, and then finally onto the French Island - it wasn't really an island - where everybody was in line for dessert and the bar lines were empty. Except for us. Go figure.

I don't really like Orlando particularly, or Disney World especially, and I definitely don't see any reason why people would vacation there without children. I also don't think adults should wear clothing with children's cartoon characters on them, unless to bed or workout maybe. That being said, we always have a good time in Orlando, mainly because we stick to the resort and mostly just relax. Highlights of this week:

Dualing pianos playing Crazy Train at our request. I have found my life's calling.
Having the one restaurant that we walked to every day for lunch.
Ordering room service and watching Titanic.
Nachos for lunch and ice cream sundaes for dinner.
Breaking in my beautiful heels.
Drinking a bottle of wine on our little patio in the absolutely gorgeous weather, feeling full of life.

We stayed at the Boardwalk. It reminded me of San Diego, but only a tiny bit.

I also finished two books on this trip:

Jim Morrison and Pamela Coursen were a mysteriously fascinating, beautiful, in-love couple, with a very sad ending. I try to imagine living any part of their lives, and I honestly can't. By far, my favorite of the (few) Jim Morrison biographies that I have read.

Very sad and I could not put it down. I've decided that I dislike historical fiction and don't want to read any more of it. You just shouldn't make up stories about real people.

Tomorrow, we will be in New York, my favorite city on the planet (so far).

Black Swan

Hubby took me to see this movie last weekend, and honestly, I have mixed feelings about it. I feel it's the kind of movie that I should like, but I just don't. I hate to be a hater, and I wonder if my feelings were influenced by all the hype surrounding Black Swan.

There were a few beautiful images, and I've been a fan of Mila Kunis since That 70s Show (it's nice to see her getting some stardom) and who doesn't love Winona, but I could have done without and hour and a half of Natalie Portman looking on the verge of tears. It was not even scary (the trailer was!), just stressful to watch. I feel a bit let down, it could have been so much more.

I didn't want to even see it, this beautiful Vogue spread convinced me. You know, I think I expected the movie to look more like the editorial:

The Runaways

I watched this movie the other day, not expecting much at all from it, and it was excellent. Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning did great jobs, and I was really pleased to see that Joan Jett was executive producer, which I assume means they didn't take as much liberty as otherwise. I knew nothing about The Runaways, or Joan Jett, and I really enjoyed the story.

I've been really into memoirs lately, specifically rock memoirs, and this movie definitely made me want to pick up Cherie Currie's book:

It also made me want to pick up my guitar and rock out, but, ummm, that feeling passed.

Also, how hilarious is it that this is Lita Ford on the left:

I remember her looking like this on Headbanger's Ball:


that's right, folks

Snow in San Antonio! Of course, it was back in the 70s the next day. What is happening to the weather?

hello, winter

Seriously, a few days ago I was wearing shorts and a neighbor was outside studying in her bikini top. Now, it's 21 degrees and we had this lovely note stuck on the door...


We were shopping a few days after Christmas, and I walked past this display of Balanciaga Paris perfume. The smell stopped me right away, and I sprayed it on to see if it was any good on me (how it would mix with my skin, and whether it would give me a headache after a while). I sort of liked it more and more, and I went back for it for a Christmas present to me. They had a gift set, with the body gel and the cutest travel size bottle in a box with Charlotte Gainsberg’s picture on it.

I couldn’t immediately place the scent’s ingredients, so I looked it up: Bergamot, violet, carnation, cedar wood, vetiver, patchouli, moss, labdanum.
It smells very grown up to me, and not at all like anything I would usually be attracted to, and yet, I love it. It’s so interesting to me to analyze what scents I am attracted to (along with everything else, let’s be honest), and I’m anal enough to have a record of all the fragrances I’ve every worn and their notes. I like to see try to find commonalities between them. Shall we take a little journey?
Incognito by Dana (very early 90s)
The first perfume I ever wore starting when I was about 13 - after, of course, Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth, which I think was every girl my age’s first foray into scent? - was Incognito by Dana. I remember it being a really heavy, sort of off-putting, scent. Internet says it was (they stopped making it) an Oriental Floral, with top notes of aldehydes, orange, green notes, basil, bergamot, brazilian rosewood and lemon; middle notes of honey, carnation, cinnamon, orris root, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lily-of-the-valley and rose; and base notes of amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, patchouli, benzoin, civet, vanilla, incense and styrax.
Escape by Calvin Klein (early 90s)
Next was, Escape - the first perfume I really loved. I can recognize it right away if someone around me has it on, and while I still love to smell it, it gives me a huge headache if I try to wear it now. Internet says it is classified as a Luxurious Aquatic, and the notes include chamomile, apple, mandarin, rose, plum, peach, musk, sandalwood.
Encounter by Victoria’s Secret (mid-90s)
I started wearing Encounter in high school. It was very sweet and vanilla-y, and unlike any Victoria’s Secret perfume that I’ve smelled since. I was really sad when I couldn’t find it anymore, after already having worn through a couple of bottles before it was discontinued. I can't find any information on it, other than that it had vanilla.
Happy by Clinique (late 90s)

This, for me, was never a signature scent, but I think I got a small bottle in a makeup gift set and would wear it occasionally to work. I remember it being really citrus-y, but the internet says it is a floral, made from a blend of floral jasmine, lily of the valley, and carnation.
Desire (for Women) by Alfred Dunhill (early 00s)
Ok, this is the perfume that I thought I would wear until I died. When I put it on - and I doused myself with it - I smelled like the me I was supposed to be. It was sweet, but had a touch of something to contrast the sweet, chocolate-y, and semi-strong. The first (and maybe only?) perfume I got a lot of compliments on. They discontinued it and I was so mad! I actually bought a bottle a few years ago from one of those big internet sites, and I don’t know if it had spoiled (or maybe was just better in my memory?), but it was not at all good and I wound up throwing it away. Notes: licorice, amber, orange, myrtle, rosewood, bergamot, tiare flower, rose, freesia, sandalwood, vanilla, and caramel.
Breathless by Victoria’s Secret (early 00s)
I borrowed this from my cousin for a big occasion after forgetting to wear any perfume. I remember liking it a lot, it smelled powder-y and nice. I bought a bottle afterwards and wore it occasionally, but I couldn’t smell it without remembering that night, which turned out to be a deal-breaker. Internet says: Sensual Fragrance That Will Catch Any Moment In Time (sure did). Blend of orange blossoms, neroli petals, tangerine buds, sandalwood, cashgora, and musk.
Amor Amor by Cacheral (mid 00s)
This is a good example of a perfume that tricked me. I liked the smell of it, but did not try it on enough before deciding. It was good on paper – in the magazine sample – but terrible on me. I got it for Christmas, and although I tried to wear it several times, it was never good on me. I did love the way the bottle looks though, sigh. Notes include mandarin, black currant, melati blossom, lily of the valley, white musk, grey amber.
Dior Addict Perfume by Christian Dior (mid-late 00s)
Although I absolutely love the smell of this perfume, it is way too heavy for anything but a special night out (or in). It overwhelms me, and no matter how little I spray it still seems like too much. I keep my perfumes in my closet to remember when I am getting dressed, and whenever I wear this, I can smell it for days whenever I open the closet. Notes: silk tree flower, mandarin leaf, orange blossom, night queen flower, bulgarian rose, bourbon vanilla absolute, mysore sandalwood, tonka bean.
Amorito by The Body Shop (mid-late 00s)
A very, very sweet fragrance, but with a delicious chocolate-y smell that I loved. I bought this while evacuated from Hurrican Katrina - I hadn't brought any perfume with me and it was a little pick-me-up that I continued to wear everyday long after going home. When the time came to buy a new bottle, I found that the new one had a much different scent and smelled very cheap. I never wore it again. Notes: chocolate, jasmine, and vanilla.
The One (for Men) by Dolce & Gabbana (late 00s)
I have to include this here, even though it is a man's scent, because I love it and will actually wear it, on occasion, not very often as it is very masculine. I was so jealous when my husband decided that he wanted to start wearing cologne and immediately picked this - the first day of shopping! It is definitely his signature scent; it smells incredible on him, but at the same time just like him. It is a bit strong, especially when first applied, but not unpleasantly so. Notes: grapefruit, coriander, basil, cardamom, ginger, orange blossom, cedar wood, ambergris, and tobacco.
Pure Vanilla by Lavanila (2010)
I found a Lavanila rollerball sampler set last January at Sephora, and bought it on a whim. I fell in love with the Pure Vanilla, would actually sniff my wrists all day long, and went back for a bottle. I actually didn’t like the smell of the perfume spray at all, so I went with a full-size roller instead. I love this scent, it’s light, non-sweet, and not foodie smelling at all. It’s sort of warm and musky instead. It’s pretty cheap, but not cheap-smelling. I wore it every day in 2010, and will definitely wear it again in the future. Notes: madagascar vanilla, freesia, patchouli, heliotrope, tonka bean.
Scents carry such powerful memories, don't they? Today, I wear Balenciga almost every day, sometimes I spray it on twice a day. When I get over it, I will probably alternate it with Pure Vanilla (or switch back to that for the summer). I still have a bottle of my beloved Dior Addict, but it is so heavy that I only use it once in a blue moon. I have been know occasionally to spray on a bit of hubby’s D&G The One, which is better on him, but still such an intoxicating scent. It's fun too to see my tastes changing from so pink, girly, and sweet, and becoming a bit more mature.