— Feathers and Wax

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You can’t deny that that a specific shade of blush pink is THE color these days. I’ve been so drawn to anything in a pale and dusty rose pink lately. Seeing how these cocktails turned out to be exactly that color made my heart flutter! And the rosewater and Hendrick’s gin (which is rose-infused) really drive that floral, rose scent and taste even further.

Read on for how to make your own!

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The first Houston Ballet performance after their summer break always feels like the true start to Houston’s fine arts season to me. I love being at the Wortham for their very first show, watching the late September sun set through the building’s huge picture windows, champagne glass in hand.

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My final day in Paris was spent mostly alone. That morning I packed up and left our Airbnb and bid my parents goodbye — their flight was taking off in a few hours and my stepbrother’s family had already left for the states.

But I had one more night to spend in the city of lights. So I headed to the hotel I had chosen for my final stay and planned out my day.

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After our peaceful morning spent in Giverny, my parents and I went to Versailles. I had seen a few photos before but they really did little justice to the raw opulence in store for us. Gold-plated everything, crystals dripping from everywhere, richly-dyed brocade fabrics covering the walls and details in every remote corner — there was so much sparkle for my eyes to take in.

No wonder the poor French peasants hated these monarchs!

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On an overcast, cool morning during my stay in France I traveled to Giverny to see the home and gardens of Claude Monet. I had expected it to be beautiful, but it far exceeded my expectations. Beauty surrounded us on all sides, with each view more idyllic than the last.

It was easy to see how Monet felt inspired here.

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One of my earliest introductions to the city of Paris was from the movie Funny Face. If you haven’t seen it before I highly recommend it. Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, models and beatniks all set against the backdrop of 1950s Paris. It’s so retro and fun and at times quite feminist for a classic musical, if you ask me.

When Audrey and the gang first arrive in Paris they all make a big to do about how they’re definitely going straight to their hotel rooms and NOT going out to sight see like typical American tourists…and then they catch each other all out sightseeing, exactly like typical American tourists. Paris just does that to you; you can’t help but gawk at everything.

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I’ll admit I was a bit apprehensive about the flared jeans trend at first — it reminded me too much of the early 2000s hippie-turned-raver look, when you paired a ripped up pair of bell-bottom jeans with your Adidas sneakers, a baby tee and piles of rubber bracelets.

But I’m here today to tell you all that there is indeed a graceful way to embrace the return of wider jean hems.  It’s very 70s but never hippy-dippy and no Adidas in sight.

Read on for how to lean more towards Jane Birkin than Paris Hilton…

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My first trip to Paris ended with me already missing that city so much that I could barely enjoy my final day there. There was this overwhelming need to do everything I could possibly fit in and yet also to walk slowly to see and experience everything at a glacial pace — and the sinking underlying guilt that I was already failing at both. I could never box Paris up, tie a pretty bow around it and take it home. Photos don’t do it justice and my memories would fade.

That was all there was to it: I had to go back.

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This drink was born out of a lot of rather random bits of inspiration — some of it from my recent trip to France, some of it from the cold I’m still trying to kick this week. I’m so drawn to all things that have lemon and honey right now.

I wanted something fresh and citrusy but also soothing, with just a hint of French influence and a boozy kick. Voila: the Lavender Stinger.

Read on for how to make your own!

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I wish I could remember when I had my first glass of champagne. Even though I can’t recall the exact details, I know I was immediately smitten with it. The fizziness, the slender glasses, the intricate dance of the bubbles from bottom to top. I liked how it wasn’t too sweet but still played on your palette, instantly banishing all solemnity.

It’s difficult to be sad while drinking champagne.

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