I just realized I spend significantly more time on airplanes than in cars, but I’m not complaining. I guess that explains why I haven’t driven more than a golf cart in years. So far this year, I’ve had some incredible adventures – Colombia, St. Kitts, Aspen and England were a few highlights. Sometimes I miss Chicago, but when I look out the window in April and it’s snowing, I’m ready to check-in for my next flight.
Looking forward to several girlfriend getaways coming up this month and I’ll reflect on a few things I’m currently obsessed with.
After staying at more than two dozen hotels in New York City over the past few years, I’ve finally found one that I love – The Surrey. NYC’s only Relais & Chateaux property is in the tony Upper East Side but has a warm, welcoming vibe so genuine that I immediately felt at home. I love the quieter, more civilized location that’s more residential than Midtown and with better shopping up and down Madison Avenue. The Cornelia Spa at The Surrey is a quaint boutique alternative to some of the massive spas you’ll find at other five-star properties in the city. Plus, there’s no better way to spend the evening than listening to live jazz at Bar Pleiades. Bobby Darin + champagne = perfection.
Several friends have asked me for skincare recommendations lately and I’ve found myself suggesting Jurlique, an all-natural Australian brand, time and time again. They source all of their botanicals from their own farm in the Adelaide Hills and it’s perhaps one of the most effective botanical-based skincare lines I’ve ever used. Amala is great too, but Jurlique is so much more affordable. I use their herbal recovery antioxidant cleansing mousse every morning and evening – it’s so light and ethereal yet does a great job at thoroughly getting makeup and dirt off.
My eyes don’t even sting when a little bit of this gets in, which speaks to the quality of their ingredients. Every other day I also use their exfoliating cream, which just may be the gentlest and most hydrating exfoliator I’ve ever used. The chunky paste might look a little odd at first, but you just wet your hands and gently press onto your face. No need to rub hard and instead of salt or sugar, which can be abrasive, this scrub uses oats and almonds, along with sesame seed oil and has a pleasant smell of oats and honey.
And in my latest chocolate escapades, I’m totally in love with these chocolate elephants from L.A. Burdick. This family-owned New Hampshire chocolate shop is famous for their adorable chocolate mice and penguins, and elephants are their latest edible animal endeavor. Sometimes cutesy chocolate isn’t necessarily the tastiest, but I was impressed with how rich and satiny smooth the orange and passion fruit Amarula ganache is in both varieties. Bonus points for making the elephant ears out of almond halves – quite clever and adds a contrasting crunch. Best of all, this is a good samaritan indulgence since 10% of all proceeds are donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a non-profit dedicated to African wilderness conservation and fostering orphan elephants and rhinos. In honor of Earth Day (April 22), and protecting our planet’s flora and fauna, enjoy a chocolate elephant with me.