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January 2018

Random Things

In 2018, I Resolve…

November and December seem to fly by every year, and this year was no different. You may think it’s a little late to be writing a post on my 2018 New Year’s Resolutions, but I actually think the timing is perfect. It’s not just “a whole new day” (said best by Oprah the night of the Golden Globes award show) but it’s a whole new year. And trust me: I know I’m late to this party, but I’ve decided to listen to Nike and… “Just Do It,” because it’s better late than never.  

We went on a little vacation at the end of December and I have to say, even though we live in a pretty great vacation spot, it was really wonderful getting away. This trip was a ‘playcation’ with no work involved for my husband, which was especially nice. Initially, our plans were to be in Santa Barbara, but due to the fires and evacuations at the resort we were supposed to stay at, we came up with a Plan B.

We decided to go to Miraval, a health and fitness resort outside of Tucson, Arizona, and it was wonderful. It was kind of like being at an adult day camp with fitness classes and activities all day. There were also many different spa services in a beautiful setting that were out of this world. Being away from home and having quiet time to myself at this beautiful desert oasis gave me a chance to sit back and reflect on the challenges of 2017 and to gather my thoughts about my goals and intentions for 2018.


The thing that I noticed when I was there was that I was loving trying something new every day. I was doing workouts and signing up for classes that I’ve never done before. I was up for trying anything and everything. This has been a big part of my being ever since I moved to LA. I like to push myself out of my comfort zone. I enjoy a challenge and I love to learn.

And this brings me to the point of my 2018 New Year’s resolutions. Because most people take on their resolutions in such a fast and furious way, I’ve noticed that by the end of January many of these people lose steam. This is the reason why I’ve chosen to call my New Year’s resolutions my New Year’s intentions. To me, resolutions are mostly about shortcomings and what I could do better, so I’m just reframing things and approaching 2018 in a whole new way. I’ve found that intentions are more inspiring than resolutions. I want to celebrate the things that I did well last year and continue to do them again this year. Here are my intentions:

  1. Just Show Up
    Soon after I moved to LA, I had to have gum surgery that was really painful. The day after the procedure, my dear friend Teri showed up at my home with two containers of homemade lentil soup. When I tell you the soup hit the spot, I’m not exaggerating. I’m also not exaggerating when I say that this thoughtful gesture meant the world to me. I didn’t know many people in LA, and her kind gesture let me know that someone here cared. She was the one who taught me that if you even think about whether you should go visit someone, just call. If they don’t feel like having company, drop off a little something at their front door. If you live out of town and want to be there in spirit, call or text to check in. If you find yourself debating about whether you should send a card or thoughtful note to someone, then send it. If someone new has moved to town, reach out and make a plan to meet for coffee. In other words, if you’re thinking about doing something thoughtful for someone, act on it and just show up.
  1. Exert Every Day
    Whether this means taking on a new challenge at work, taking up a new hobby, signing up for an online class (and trust me, there are some interesting ones) at www.skillshare.com, or making a difficult recipe, just exert. When I moved here, I knew no one. I had to make a life for myself. I needed to meet people, to join organizations I was passionate about and to make a community for myself. Sometimes it’s really good to step out of your comfort zone. Keep doing, keep moving, keep exerting and keep on keeping on because at the end of the day, it just feels good and you’ll feel really accomplished.
  1. Try Something New
    I’m lucky to live in a pretty awesome city. There’s so much going on here and I’m always up for a day full of exploring. As I’ve said before, many new trends start here. New culinary trends, new fashion trends, new exercise trends and new beauty trends are right in front of our eyes here, and I really enjoy checking out new things happening all around town. It’s never the ‘same old, same old’ here in LA.

As you’ve noticed, I’ve left the following off of my list: I’m going to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to cut out caffeine. I’m going to read two new books each month. Going through life focusing on the ‘should haves’, ‘would haves’ and ‘could haves’ can be exhausting. Instead, I’m taking this moment in time to continue to focus on the positive and what I know is attainable for me, not on what I can do differently. For me, it’s about right here and right now, being present and being the best version of myself I can possibly be.

Share your resolutions and intentions in the comments – I’d love to know what you’re up to and support you in 2018!

Smooch!

xx Barbara

Beauty, Fashion, Pretty Things, Random Things

Coats Galore: From Dusters to Heavy-Duty

While most people get excited for sweater weather, I actually look forward to good old-fashioned coat weather. Here’s the reason why. For most of my life, I’ve lived in temperate climates where it rarely (if ever) gets to freezing temperatures. The temperature here in Santa Monica today is 65 degrees. When the evenings dip to 50, I love having the opportunity to wear one of my coats since we don’t have many days like this. Yes. This is our winter in Southern California. I know it’s hard to believe that it’s even possible to have mild winter weather like this in January at the same time our friends up north are experiencing temperatures in the 20’s. Even Texas has 20 – 30 degree temps this week.  All I have to say to weather that cold is “Yikes” and “Brr!”

So yes, while we definitely need jackets right now, we Californians aren’t really in the market for heavy duty fabrics…which brings me to the duster coat.

The duster coat is the perfect kind of jacket on a slightly chilly night. It is a guaranteed way to add another chic layer to any outfit and takes any look from basic to sophisticated. It is quite versatile and can be worn from day to night. You can throw it on to keep warm but still stay cool, all at the same time. It’s effortlessly glamorous and makes for an extremely stylish look – even when worn over black jeans and a white t-shirt or henley.

When I am in New York during the winter months, I love checking out street style winter fashion. There’s always such a variety of fabulous coats to look at while walking the streets. It’s a great time of year to “people watch”. My friends who live in cold weather climates truly believe that all you really see of an outfit in the winter is your coat (especially if you’re outside), so why not have a fashionable coat, or two or three? It totally makes sense, because when it’s summer here in LA, we wouldn’t wear the same top every day; why would people who live up north continually wear the same coat? Here are a few of my favorite duster coats and heavy duty coats to get you through the winter months while looking fashionable – no matter where you live.

DUSTER COATS

X Revolve Nico Duster – $198
House Of Harlow 1960

http://www.revolve.com/House Of Harlow 1960

X Revolve The Siamese Duster – $132
L’Academie

http://www.revolve.com/L’Academie

X Revolve Sienna Duster – $198
NBD

http://www.revolve.com/NBD

Tie Sleeve Duster – $100
J.O.A.

http://www.revolve.com/J.O.A.

Menswear Maxi Duster – $298
Free People

https://www.freepeople.com/Free People

Jacquard Shantung Duster Coat – $479
Lisa Perry

https://www.barneys.com/Lisa Perry

 

HEAVY COATS

Down Fur Trim Coat – $473
ADD

http://www.revolve.com/ADD

Prelude Layered Puffer With Faux Fur – $198
Tularosa

 

http://www.revolve.com/Tularosa

Wool Coat With Fur Trim – $595
Soia And Kyo

https://www.bloomingdales.com/Soia And Kyo

Fox Fur Trim Cargo Coat – $1,495
Jocelyn

https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/Jocelyn

Long Sleeve Cashmere coat – $597
Sofia

https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/Sofia

Rita Fur Coat – $168
Free People

https://www.freepeople.com/Free People

Faux Fur Coat 84 – $318
LPA

http://www.revolve.com/LPA

Winter is the time of year for comfort, for good food and warmth, for a touch of a friendly hand, for a talk beside the fire and for a mug of hot chocolate. It is the time for home…and a new coat.

By the way, the flower coat at the top, the model, and the photograph are courtesy of my dear friend Kathy Trank.

Smooch!

xx Barbara