More Souvenirs from Paris

~ More beautiful souvenirs from Paris ~

In a previous blog, J’adore Paris, I talked about how I like to shop for one-of-a-kind items while on vacation to commemorate my trip and bring home something special. There’s nothing better than having an item you can continue to use or display that has a unique memory attached to it. That’s why jewelry is one of the first things I look for when traveling.

During our trip to Paris this past summer, we spent a lot of time in the Marais area which is full of fun boutique shops. During one of our shopping escapades, we ran across a cute little store called L’Esprit Parisien, which specializes in hand-made jewelry created right in the Marais district. 

I was immediately drawn to the triangular gold pendant as this is right up my style alley. I love geometric shapes so I knew right away this would be going home with me. Then the woman working the shop showed me the sun pendant necklace which is unlike anything else I have in my collection. She showed me that the chain is long enough to wear traditionally or it can be doubled up as I have it pictured above. I loved the versatility of this so it came home with me as well.

~Takeaway~ When on vacation, always keep your eyes peeled for one-of-a-kind, hand-made, or specialized items that you couldn’t get at home. While a light-up key chain of the Eiffel Tower is fun, I’d much rather walk away with something a little luxe for my daily life that will instantly remind me of the vacation I so much enjoyed. When a friend notices your unique jewelry, you automatically have a fun story to tell them about how you got it.

Laura’s Moscow Mule

~ My tips for a delicious Moscow Mule ~

One of my favorite cocktails is the good old Moscow Mule. Something about the super cold copper mug and ginger/lime flavor makes it on of the most refreshing drink on a super hot day. Although we are heading towards Fall on the calendar, we are still setting some record high temperatures in Colorado right now. Plus, all of my garden items are still going strong, so last weekend I mixed up my favorite rendition of this delicious drink for myself and my husband. Here’s how you do it.

My husband first discovered the Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Lemonade can and instantly thought it would be perfect for a Mule. We’ve tried several Ginger Beers which is the traditional mix used, but a lot of them are just too harsh and can be a little bitter. The Canada Dry has a perfect blend of the crisp ginger flavor with a sweeter lemonade taste. Simply mix that in with your vodka of choice – ours is Tito’s – and voila, you have a pretty good drink.

However, I like to kick it up a notch by first adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a lime wedge for garnish. To add a summery, herbaceous quality, I head out to our basil plant and tear off a few leaves to add to the mug. Lastly, I pick one of our home grown jalapeno peppers and cut off a few thin slices. Depending on how hot your pepper, this can add a real kick to the drink. Pro Tip: I like to stir all the components around in the copper mug and let it sit for a few minutes to allow all of the flavors to come out. Add some ice and you are ready to drink!

~ Takeaway ~ If you grow a garden of goodies, think about how you can incorporate them into some of your traditional cocktails to spice up your life! Moscow Mules are a great vehicle for fun added flavors and make for a delicious refreshing beverage on hot days – cheers!

Take A Trip: Colorado Wine Country

~ Come with me to check out the best wineries in Colorado! ~

If you know me at all, then you know wine tasting is one of my biggest passions. My husband and I started taking an annual trip to the Napa/Sonoma area of California back in 2012. At the time, we knew very little about wine or wine tasting, but we were happy to learn, (wink).

In the last three years, we’ve also made it a tradition to visit our local wine region of Colorado, Grand Junction/Palisade every Labor Day Weekend. It’s not as established or developed as California, but they are doing some fun and interesting things. If you know where to go, you can find some pretty great tasting and inexpensive wines. Plus, it’s only a 4 hour drive west of Denver so it is an easy trip to make.

Come along with me as I introduce you to some of my favorite Colorado Wineries in Grand Junction and show you the wines I love from each one. (YouTube video above, or hop over to my channel) Cheers!

Jade Roller – Fountain of Youth?

~ An ice cube a day keeps the wrinkles away ~

We have a delightful family friend that is well into her 90’s who is one of those ladies that you could sit and talk to for hours. Her stories and outlook on life will have you laughing along and feeling the greatest respect for all she’s done throughout her years. She is known in her family for being a style maven and a beautifully elegant woman. One night a few of us were asking about her beauty secrets and what she’s done to stay so gorgeous. “Ice cubes”. That was what she attributed to her long-lasting beauty – ice cubes, lol. We couldn’t believe it. She told us about her routine of wrapping ice cubes in a little thin towel and rubbing it all across her face every evening. So there you have it – the holy grail of beauty is sitting in your freezer right now!

That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see the rise in popularity recently of the Jade Roller. These have come to the forefront of must-have beauty tools in the last year or so, but have actually been used in Chinese culture for hundreds of years. You will commonly see them in green jade or in pink quartz, most often with a larger rolling piece on one end and a smaller version on the other. Either way, the objective is the same – it’s the ice cube massage for your face. 

The quality of the stone will have a natural coolness to it, but you can also store them in the refrigerator or in the freezer to amp it up a level. Pro Tip: I keep mine in a zip-lock bag so it doesn’t absorb any food smells – nobody wants to roll food stink on their face! Then, you simply roll the jade or quartz over all areas of your face utilizing the smaller end for places like around your eyes. This massaging tool is said to affect our lymphatic drainage – helps remove waste products from the tissue and carries it to the heart. Therefore, we are boosting our blood circulation and reducing swelling/puffiness which is why people love these. The feel of the cold jade rolling across the skin also just feels refreshing and soothing which is nice.

~ Takeaway ~ I personally like to use my frozen jade roller in the morning for a few minutes right when I wake up. I constantly feel like my eyes are swollen and puffy in the morning, so this helps me feel like I’m doing something good for my skin in the a.m. Many people also like to use it at night, especially to help massage their night serums into the skin. However you want to use it, at bare minimum, it feels really great on the face. Maybe if we are lucky, it’s also the modern-day ice cube trick and we will all look gorgeous into our 90’s too (fingers crossed).