Cozy and Chic Fall Essentials

Fall is my favorite time of the year, although winter is a close second. Spring and summer seem to be received with much anticipation from nearly everybody, but personally, I can’t wait for fall – a time for contemplation, comfort and détente.

Take a look at what I like that puts me in that warm and cozy mood:

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1. CHANEL Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Color in Daring Red

Colder weather calls for deeper colors that warm up our color palette. What I love about this lip gloss is how long wearing it is. I can put it on at 7AM and it will keep lasting through meetings and lunches until around 4PM. My preferred way to wear it is as a stain by dabbing the color and spreading a thin layer all over my lips. That way I get the statement lip that I want but it is still appropriate for the workplace

2. ZARA Faux Suede Coat in Beige

The clean and minimalist look of this collarless coat is amplified by the soft ivory hue and gold button detail on the front and the sleeves. The material is ultra soft and provides just the right amount of warmth for the fall months without weighing you down.

3. ORIGINS Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

Moisturizing the skin is important year around, but most definitely when temperatures start to drop. This mask has become part of my nightly routine due to its effectiveness at making my skin supple, soft and radiant.

4. Kabocha Squash

I purchase these at my local Korean market but I’ve been able to find them in any Asian market. Fall is the season for this squash and it’s my go-to breakfast and snack. It is a well-known Korean diet food due to its nutrient dense, low-calorie and low carbohydrate qualities. What I love is the taste of it – it is sweet and similar to a chestnut. I cut it in quarters, clean out the seeds and steam it over a colander for about 30 minutes until the entire squash is soft.

5. CHARLES by Charles David Shirley Herringbone Knit Booties

I purchased these during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and have been storing them until I could wear them in the appropriate weather. These are so comfortable and unique! They look so chic with any sort of cut of pant: skinny, straight leg, wide leg. The thick heel makes it easy for me to wear them on a daily basis too!

6. INGLOT O2M Breathable Nail Polish in 653

I always get compliments whenever I wear this color. While I’m not convinced that it’s “halal”, it’s still a great quality polish for that time of the month. I love how it brightens my skin up and makes  my hands look a bit more finished.

7. Sweet Potatoes

Along the same lines as the kabocha squash, sweet potatoes are in! I actually steam them at the same time to treat myself to a medley of fall flavors. I eat both of them without any accoutrements but popular toppings include butter with cinnamon and sugar, maple syrup, or even a bit of sea salt.

8. INAYAH High-Neck Jumpers

I have missed these warm and easy staples! I own five of them (black, mustard, charcoal, beige and navy blue) because they are so incredibly easy to wear and I can add layers such as a sleeveless trench to change up the look.

What fall staples do you look forward to using? Let me know!

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Book Review: French Women Don’t Get Fat

I am sure many of you have heard of a very popular health and cooking book called, “French Women Don’t  Get  Fat”. It was an enormous commercial success amidst a transition in the diet and health industry towards favoring a holistic,  pleasurable, “slow food” approach to long-term health and weight loss, in stark contrast to the obsessive calorie-counting, restrictive, puritanical tone to achieving your ideal body that had dominated the weight loss industry. If you have not yet read the book, I highly suggest you do so.  It will shift your attitude towards your ideal body, the traditions and ritual of food preparation and enjoyment with the larger goal of discovering and cultivating your little pleasures.

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Giuliano writes this diet book within the context of her own weight loss story after some late adolescent weight gain after a study abroad trip to the states. The experience of reading this diet book is so different from any other you may read because it is a story that Giuliano tells so charmingly well. It is an incredibly liberating and enjoyable experience to see the subject of food and weight loss presented in such a way that puts back the ritualistic and sensory pleasures of dining. There is no mention of calories, counting, fat, carbs, gym memberships. and the endless other unpleasantness that are found in any other weight loss book. Just sensible portions, fresh and seasonal ingredients, some light walking and other slow and easy shifts in your habits is what this book is about. A distinctly French method that emphasizes pleasure over deprivation and shuns the “no pain, no gain” approach to living in and loving your ideal body.

Although the concepts are simple enough to remember and apply in my daily life, and while I may not eat certain staples of the conventional French diet such as wine, cheese, or bread, I still find myself reaching for this book every once in a while just to enjoy Guiliano’s storytelling. I find that this book is more than just about weight loss; it’s about getting to know yourself and cultivating your own pleasures in not just food, but also in life. I think that we all work very hard to create the lives we want to live and between the demands of schooling, work, and family, this book has helped me to learn how to take my moments to take care of myself and perhaps its can bring about that same shift for you. 

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