Catherine Scott – Beauty Entrepreneur

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Last December just before I was due to go to Hawaii I was contacted by Catherine Scott who told me about an eye gel she had developed and a company she had set up called Honest Hazel. Catherine sent me some samples and I tried the product on my trip to Hawaii. Basically the products are especially designed gel strips that are placed under the eyes. I found the gel strips had an immediate cooling effect on the skin. After 20 minutes the skin under my eyes looked less puffy and felt refreshed.
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Strolling in Soho, New York

I had not been to New York for years and I was overjoyed to be spending the three day Presidents day weekend in New York, one of my favorite cities. The weather gods have been good to us this winter. Temperatures have been mild, snow and rain minimal, weather wise there really has not been a lot to complain about. Therefore, it was bad luck that the weekend we decided to go to New York was the coldest weekend of the winter season. Temperatures were well below freezing, making it impossible to spend any length of time outside.
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Oahu, Hawaii

surfinginbluesea, Oahu
Beach, Ohau
Island off kokohead Mountain, Ohau
This post is part 2 of my Hawaii write up, part 1 is here. After spending the first week of our 2 week vacation in Honolulu we drove out of the city and moved into a rented cottage on Lanikai beach on the east coast of Oahu. There are a couple of things Lanikai is particularly famous for. Firstly, having one of the best beaches in the US and secondly, being the beach community that is down the street from Kailua where President Obama rents a vacation home for his winter holidays every year.
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Honolulu, Hawaii

Waikiki Beach
Waikiki harbor

A belated Happy New Year everyone. Thank you all for reading this blog and following along with my travels – you all inspire me to keep posting and I hope I give you some ideas to add to your travel bucket list. I am looking forward to many more adventures in 2016 and I hope you will join me.
During the Christmas holiday season we were lucky enough to go to paradise for some rest and relaxation. I am talking about Hawaii, one of the most gorgeous places on earth. This is our third trip to Hawaii; we had previously visited Maui, Kuai and Big Island. This trip was our first time in Oahu. We spent the first week in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii and the only real city in the islands.
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Snoqualmie Falls – Washington

Thanksgiving this year was a family affair in the great city of Seattle. As with all holiday gatherings plenty of food and drink was consumed, plenty of netflicks watched and there was hours upon hours of conversation and laughter. However, when it was time to opt outside we took a trip to Snoqualmie Falls. A stunning 268ft waterfall on the Snoqualmie River about 40 miles from Seattle.
Living in an urban jungle like Chicago, waterfalls are not something I see very often. I find waterfalls exotic and exciting. I love to hear the thundering noise and see the mist rise up when the water hits the ground with force. These falls were especially beautiful on the day we visited because a frost had covered the ground creating a silver picture postcard effect on the river banks. Despite the cold temperatures it was a gloriously sunny day making the colors of the evergreen trees look lush. The entire scene was a sight to behold.


Indiana Dunes

Remembering how we all enjoyed the trip we did over the summer to Starved Rock state park. I really wanted to venture on another day trip outside Chicago, this time to see the beautiful colorful autumn leaves. Unfortunately work commitments, life commitments and rainy weather all combined to delay this trip. Continue Reading


Fallen Leaves

Are the trees near where you live bare yet? are the fallen leaves forming a carpet on the sidewalk ?
Here in Chicago quite a few of the trees in the city are still in bloom, this may have something to do with the unseasonably warm autumn we have been having. Don’t get me wrong I like that the summer weather has decided to stick around. Winter can stay away as long as it wants, however something about November days being 70 degrees is not right. I will admit that right now I would not mind being cozy in some cashmere, pulling on some boots and tying a bright scarf around my neck. When I tell folks this the response is the same “don’t worry, this is Chicago, the cold is coming, it’s coming”



sitting in the park3
The dictionary defines Autumn as “the time of year between summer and winter, during which the weather becomes cooler and plants become dormant” – whether you want to call the season Autumn or Fall the point is, it is here and it is beautiful. The warm midday weather is bookended with brisk mornings and evenings. The leaves are different shades of greens, yellows, oranges and reds. Trees look as though they have caught fire with their brilliant color. Unfortunately, this glorious spectacle is so short lived, in a matter of weeks the leaves would have fallen to the ground waiting for us to crunch them under foot. Therefore, before the long winter descends upon us lets walk in our parks, sit in our gardens, stroll along tree lined streets and take day trips to the countryside to enjoy this colorful show that mother nature gifts us.
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Colors of the farmers market

People at Market-4163
Root vegetables-4210
A Farmers market called Green City Market opens every Wednesday and Saturday morning near where I live in Lincoln Park.The market is seasonal opening from early May to late October every year. There are numerous vegetable stalls, food stalls and plenty of prepared foods like pizza’s, crepes and sandwiches. All this makes the market a treat to visit. I will admit that despite this wonderful markets proximity I tend not to be a frequent visitor mainly because I find everything the market sells in the grocery store often at cheaper prices. Also the added hassle of trying to find parking in a difficult area means my visits during the 6 months the market is open are intermittent.
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Catsash – Wales

I have sadly neglected this little blog of mine recently because life got very busy. However, now the kids are back in school and the after summer holiday chaos has calmed down so I am back to posting pictures and writing.
After our sun drenched mediterranean summer holiday in Sardinia we went to visit my parents in Wales for a week. Our house in Wales is in a small village called Catsash on the outskirts of a city called Newport in South Wales. When I was growing up in Wales I took the countryside around me completely for granted, in fact as I got older I longed to get away. My surroundings were too empty, too still and too quite. But now that I have lived in a city like Chicago for 10 years, I appreciate the slower pace of life that places like Catsash have to offer. The little cottages, the country pubs and the rolling hills, the peace and tranquility is beautiful.
For most of the week that I was in Catsash it rained. The dewy weather had made the green of the countryside particularly lush. On the few days that we had dry weather I took my camera and photographed the countryside. I hope you like the pictures.