Be Good To You - Belle Année
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Be Good To You

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Relaxing in the bathThe holidays are here and in full swing.  I can tell this not because of the wreaths adorning doors and the enormous tree at my dad’s house that blocks the entrance to his bedroom (true story) but because I have an ever-present knot of stress in my shoulders giving me a Quasimodoesque  profile and the complexion of a 13-year old boy.  I think you might too.

You spend so much of this time of year giving, don’t you?  You give your time to see your children’s holiday programs.  You give your money to retailers in exchange for what you hope are fantastically thoughtful gifts, you give your energy to your friends and family by baking and cooking and planning festive gatherings and you give yourself a hard time for not doing more, cooking better or drinking less at the annual holiday get together.

So one last thing:  Give it a rest and give yourself a break.  Just be good to you for a minute.  While you are online shopping instead of working, take a look at these things and order one in your size.  Just for you.  No sharing.

VInce Sweater Cardigan

Vince Cardigan Sweater

This is the softest, snuggliest, most flattering sweater ever.  It is perfect for airplane trips, long road trips or just to keep on hand for running out to the car to unload the trunk full of presents your sister just pulled up with.


White and Warren Travel Wrap

White + Warren Travel Wrap

If a cardigan is too much commitment for you just go for a travel wrap.  It’s all the warmth without the sleeves.  White + Warren make the best ones – light as air and in great colors.

Aesop Toiletries 

Aesop Toiletries

Don’t let the clinical packaging fool you.  This is luxurious, good smelling, good feeling stuff.  I don’t know what to recommend for you because I love it all.  If you insist on a starter kit, try the London kit or, if you are travelling,  Ginger Flight Therapy.  The stores are super streamlined industrial chic meccas.  If you don’t believe me check Instagram.  They are ALL over Instagram. 

 cole haan shoes


Cole Haan Comfy Heels 

In 1998 Nike bought Cole Haan and started a trend to combine dress shoes with Nike Air technology.   It was kind of ground breaking to make dress shoes that weren’t back breaking painful to wear, unfortunately they were also ugly.  So there’s that.   Eventually, though,  they found their stride making really great looking classic dress shoes for men and women.  I have been a convert since this summer when I wore a pair of black Air Juliana Pumps on the flight from London to Copenhagen, the 20 minute walk to from the hotel to lunch, then for 3 hours walking around the city after lunch.    The next day I had no residual “HOLY****MYFEETAREKILLINGME!”  Not even a little, “OUCHIE”  Just nothing.  

It gets complicated from there.  Nike sold Cole Haan last year but it looks like they left their top-secret recipe in the Cole Haan Company Computers because Cole Haan is now selling shoes with Grand/OS which they claim is an “operating system” for your feet made up of three major characteristics: increased cushioning, greater flexibility and reduced weight.  Bottom line:  Cole Haan shoes are really comfortable.  Like, seriously so.  So dress up this season – but treat your feet right! 



Bliss Labs Micro Magic 

Bliss Labs Micromagic Microdermabrasion Treatment

I know you love that St. Ives Apricot Cleanser you’ve been using since you were 16 but treat yourself to an upgrade.  Bliss Labs has come up with the best exfoliating scrub.  Teeny tiny little bits of volcanic pumice give you the best scrubbing of the season to make your skin all happy and bright.  

Wunder Under Pants

Lulu Lemon Wunder Under Pant

These are technically Yoga pants but I won’t tell anyone if you slip these on with a black t-shirt, some black boots and your super comfy Vince Cardigan Sweater to steal the show.  Beyond perfect for long flights, short road trips or anything in between.  

 Brooks Brothers Tuxedo Jacket

Brooks Brothers Tuxedo Blazer

Is it just me or does everyone seem super dressed up this time of year?  I can’t take it.  What happened to jeans, boots and a black turtleneck being good enough for anything?  We can’t change the world (wait, can we?) so until then pick up this blazer and a pair of black Cole Haan heels and wear it every day until  January 1st.  Every.  Day.





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Jessica Bride

I am a Notting Hill based lifestyle writer and Instagrammer. My reason for being is my family plus a combination of food + travel + art + life between London and New Orleans. Find me at @belleannee or covering arts & culture for @London.

  • Liz

    December 17, 2014 at 07:38 Reply

    Oh la’ la’! Wonderful reverie pose! Wish I had a bath (mine was ripped out in our renovations!), but know all about pre-teen into early teen boys! My 12.5 yr-old in full strop these days! Ah, and long Xmas hols to come… but perhaps I should leave serious hints around the house about those comfy heels (for the odd time I do get to put on the glad rags!). Enjoy some more relax moments if you can.

    • jessica

      December 17, 2014 at 11:43 Reply

      Liz, I’m working on it. I slipped on my White + Warren travel wrap for a very chilly school run this morning. Made me feel slightly better dressed than usual in the mornings. Happy Holidays! Definitely get those heels! JB

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