• Living

    Making the Holiday Season Work for (and Not Kill) You

    I’ll tell you a secret. I’m stressed out. Life is not going swimmingly. I have plenty to worry and obsess about. You don’t hear about it on this blog because I want it to be a respite from all of that. To be a place where I can intentionally focus my intention on what brings me joy. Which brings me to the subject of the holidays. I know that for many, this season is challenging. There may be strained family relationships. Money troubles. The recent…

  • Living

    Expressing Gratitude for 2019, Tangentier-Style

    A few weeks ago I presented you with an invitation. So, did you take me up on it? Did you think about what good things, big, small or average entered your life in 2019? Did you also think about how they got there? Perhaps a friend sent you a link? Or you literally walked into it? (Large bump on forehead, but hey – the apartment of your dreams!) Maybe you talked with a stranger about a book you weren’t crazy about, which prompted her to…

  • Living

    A Gift of Tips for Gift-Giving This (and Every) Holiday Season

    I’m one to talk. Every year I overspend on gifts. But you know how it goes; sometimes it’s hard to heed your own advice. Even still, I have saved money and some aggravation as a result of using the methods I list below. Which means, yes, I would have spent even more without them. I’m hoping you’ll benefit from these gift-giving tips, too. Start making lists early So it’s a little late already. That’s okay. What you want to do is make a list of…

  • Living

    Comfort in Soup and Sameness in an Unsettling World

    I like to think of myself as a minor adventurer. You won’t see me signing up to climb Kilimanjaro, but I’ll try something new (and mainly safe) now and again, explore new places, and enjoy meeting new people. But when I feel as though my world has been upended, or I simply turn on the news, sometimes finding pleasure in normalcy and the mundane is necessary. These rituals, habits and favorites are sources of comfort. Sometimes I want to visit the same coffee shop over…

  • Living,  Style

    Fall Decor, No Veggies Required

    I don’t know too many people who have decorated their homes around the color orange. Or even those who have used orange as an accent color, at least since the ’70s. But every year, fall approaches and everyone storms the pumpkin patches or parking lot pumpkin purveyors. People plunk nice, mid-sized pumpkins or groupings of autumnal gourds on their dining room tables or fireplace hearths and call it fall decor. And these vegetables can appear out of place. I mean, at what other time of…

  • Living,  Travel

    The Trip Begins with the Planning

    I read recently that the experience of a vacation begins with the planning. I agree that for the post part it’s best to live in the moment, but when the anticipation of a trip can actually create pleasure in the moment, that kind of future-tripping can be positive. This is great news for someone like myself who likes to dig deep into research, skimming Instagram and blogs for inspiration. I have a trip coming up next month, so I’m revisiting all the travel tips that…

  • Culture,  Living,  Style

    October Lusts List

    The fashion, beauty, books and more I’m lusting after this month. If you read my post about how “When Harry Met Sally…” has influenced my love of fall, you can imagine how tempted I am by just about every retail email I receive in October, each of them filled with wooly and pumpkin-scented and -flavored delights. So, here, in what will be become a regular (monthly? bimonthly?) thing, my Lusts List is a curation of what is inspiring me at the moment. Cider in my…

  • Living

    That Time I Didn’t Plummet to My Death

    You ever have one of those days when you wake up and find your fully charged phone has died, so your alarm never went off and you overslept. But! You still have 30 minutes until your phone interview. Phew. Except the interview has to be rescheduled by the interviewer. Wait…what kind of bug is that crawling across my foot? Is that a…a termite? Termites have wings, though. Not all termites have wings, you say? You’ve never had one of those days? Me neither. But if…

  • Culture,  Living,  Style

    Color & Mood: Peacock Blue & Petrichor (Reader Tangent)

    In a post from a couple weeks ago, Linda commented about how she’s inspired all year long by autumn’s colors, which she uses around her home. I feel the same way about peacock blue. But it wasn’t always this way. Several years ago I went shopping for a new sofa. I figured I’d order one with a neutral mushroom-brown cover. Or else I’d go in the other direction, and wind up with emerald velvet. I did neither. At the urging of the saleswoman, I went…

  • Culture,  Living,  Style

    It Had to Be Cable-Knit Sweaters and Pumpkin Candles

    It’s 92 degrees as I write this, but the scent of pumpkin and apple fills the air. It’s Labor Day weekend, and I’m determined to bring fall into my house even if it’s sweltering in Los Angeles and will likely continue to be for another two months. I’m the person who walked through Target’s home section yesterday just to fondle the new, cozy pillows and sniff the maple candles, so that for a moment I could be transported to a place where brush fires aren’t…