How France Reminded Me “It’s Ok to Feel Fabulous”

DSCN0537Imagine, sitting in the main square of small French village in the South of France drinking local wine, indulging in local cuisine with Edith Piaf performing in the background.

Well, that was me a couple of months of ago.Whenever I’d dreamed about my first trip to France (yes, it’s hard to believe), I always thought about eating local fare and taking in the culture while sipping a local wine. And, voila, here I was, experiencing what I’d been dreaming about for months.

Provence Couldn’t Have Come at a Better Time

My trip came at the right time in my life. It’d been a very long time since I’d done DSCN0553anything for myself-very long time.   Having just been dumped, and tired of celebrating everyone else’s major milestones while I was still single at 36, I decided to do something about it. I booked a trip to France with my favorite aunt. And, let me say I am so glad that I did because Provence welcomed me with open arms and made me feel fabulous. The timing couldn’t have been better.

How France Made Me Feel Fabulous

Eating breakfast every morning under the warm sun away from the daily grind and stress, I reconnected with myself. I felt happy and it DSCN0545wasn’t because of someone or something, it was because of me.  So, what did France teach me within 24 hours of arriving?

  • Spend an extra few minutes on yourself, you’ll feel fabulous.  Whether it’s adding a string of pearls or a scarf to add a bit of color around your neck, take an extra minute to add that special touch. It’ll make you feel wonderful.
  • Sit down and take in the scene. When traveling somewhere new, many of us want to rush to the next place on our itinerary. But,  look at the people around you, they are not running around instead they are sitting somewhere soaking in the culture. Remember, you are on vacation.
  • Take something back with you that you’ll incorporate into your life.  When I returned back to DC, I brought back not one but several things with me that I incorporate into my life now–I wake up early each morning and take about 20 minutes to enjoy it. It includes a short walk with Nikki, reading the paper and sipping a cup of coffee. It has changed my life. Sometimes it’s the little things that you do that lead you through life. Don’t you agree?

And finally, you don’t need an excuse to enjoy a glass of wine BUT sip it don’t gulp it down … just like life.

Have you been to Provence? How would you describe your experience? And what lessons did you bring back with you?

Friday Night’s Epiphany

sherinthecity110It’s been awhile since I have blogged. My plan was to blog about my fabulous trip to the South of France, but that all changed Friday night. It was beautiful in DC, and on a rare occasion, I went out. I and every other single woman their 30s, hoping to spark a conversation with an eligible bachelor. Yes, I did say ME and EVERY other single woman living in Arlington.

But, that’s not what made the night an “episode of Sex and the City (yes,I am going back to one of my favorite shows). It was what my friend Gita said and what came after. We were walking down Clarendon Boulevard surrounded by a bunch of people in their 20s. Feeling somewhat discouraged that we didn’t engage in conversation with at least one interesting person, we made our way to grab a quick bite to eat, we heard in Hindi “There is so much crime here (or something a long those lines). Passing us, were two Indian men much much shorter than us (people tend to call those of us born here ABCD. We call these guys FOBs) Gita and I looked at each other as if someone had just punched us in the stomach. “Oh my god,” Gita said, “Is that all that’s left?Is this a sign?”

I really hope that’s not all that’s left. I am trying to date. I have gone on date after date after date. My friends and family say I am too picky. But, I am not. I just want to meet a nice guy who enjoys culture,  travel and has good manners, and maybe resembles George Clooney or John Hamm (I am kidding!).

No, let’s be serious here for a second. I have a lot of single, fabulous friends. We are all  attractive, have great careers, lovely homes, and wonderful circle of friends. But, when it comes to finding Mr. Right, only a few of us have found them. Is it because our expectations are so high? Is it that we are set in our ways and may come across intimidating? Is it we are just TOO independent?

I don’t know the answer, but I do know this, being single is fine, but having someone around would be nice. Just saying!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Single is NOT the Same as Being Alone

“I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” — Audrey Hepburn

sherrie_nikki061I am 36 and I am single, but I am definitely not alone. I have an amazing family,  a wonderful group of friends and Nikki, my eight year old Finnish Spitz mix.

When I leave for work each morning,  she says goodbye to me at the door and when I return home she is there to greet me.

Nikki has been with me for nearly a decade. The minute our eyes met eight years ago in a local animal shelter, I knew it was love! As Anne of Green Gables would say, we were two “kindred spirits.”

When Nikki had surgery a few years ago to remove a tumor on her leg, I was scared. The word “cancer”  rocked our world. But, I remember, Nikki looking at me and in her own way, told me she was going to be ok, and she was right.nikki017

Those who have dogs understand where I am coming from. Nikki has been with me through some of the most difficult times of my life and she has also been there to celebrate the best times. Whether it’s spending a weekend afternoon the dog park, lounging at home or enjoying a road trip together, every moment we spent is precious.

I may be single, but like I said, I am definitely not alone.

Am I the Indian Carrie Bradshaw?

“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them. -Carrie Bradshaw”

sherinthecity099I know it sounds funny, but sometimes I wonder, “Am I the Indian Carrie Bradshaw?” A few weeks ago, I posted it on Facebook and the responses were hysterical.

The truth is, I think many of us relate to her or one of the characters from Sex and the City. I remember watching the show when it first came out more than a decade ago ( has it been that long)? I was in my 20s and I believed Carrie and I so related. I whined about my daily dilemmas,  yearned for the attention from my then “love of my life.” and yes, drank cosmopolitans because it was “trendy.”

But, let’s be honest, I relate more to Carrie Bradshaw now then I ever did in my 20s.

  • I’ve got the best girlfriends in the world. I am not bragging–I seriously do. A woman cannot go through life without her friends. I sure can’t live without mine!
  • I still have my dating dilemmas. But, I have a group of girlfriends who make me laugh about them, vent to, etc. I mean seriously, the last guy I went out with may not have ditched me on a “post it,” but did on a text. And, guess what, my girlfriends made me laugh about it instead of  sulk!
  • I moved away from cosmopolitans and moved on to scotch and on occasion dirty martinis. Let’s not forget a good glass of Pinot Noir either. Like Carrie, my style, my thinking, my philosophy is changing with age.
  • I don’t mind being single anymore. I finally came to a point that I am “ok” with being single.  Yes, it will be nice to find a companion, but if I go on one more BAD date, I think I will just die (not literally, but can’t do it anymore). So, when it is meant happen, it will.  In the meantime, I will embrace my independence.sherinthecity009
  • I love being a city girl.I love going to fabulous parties, attending the performing arts, meandering though the city, hanging out with friends and brunch (it’s one of my favorite meals).

We all are our own unique individuals, but sometimes, we relate to the characters that we come across through books, movies and TV.

Who do you relate to?

Spring Means It’s Time for Rosé!

sherinthecity004Spring is officially here!  There are so many things that I love about this time of year–the weather, the food, the fact that it doesn’t get dark at 4 p.m. and you don’t have to make an excuse to enjoy a glass of Rosé .

Rosè Renaissance!

For many years, rosés were not the wine of choice for those that “appreciated good wine.”   But,  that’s no longer the case. Today,  one would define the taste of a good rose as “refreshing, crisp and simply lovely.”  Much of this can be attributed to the experience and knowledge of today’s winemakers who have truly helped make it a Rosé Renaissance.

There are a number of Rosés that I absolutely enjoy. In my opinion they are perfect for any occasion.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Graham Beck Brut Rosé. from South Africa There is no better way than a glass Brut Rosé on a Saturday afternoon. Cheesetique, one of my favorite wine and cheeses shops, serves this delicious South African wine. Pair it with one of their fabulous cheese plates and you are in heaven!
  • 2011 Fourgeray de Beauclair: A Pinot Noir from Marsannay, France. I first experienced this wine at a wine tasting at Grape + Bean. The combination of the perfume aromatics and berries allowed me to experience the wine’s aromatics with both my nose and mouth (a great way to experience any wine or food to say the least). If you haven’t been to Grape + Bean for a wine tasting, I highly recommend doing so. They are great.
  • 2009 Northpoint Rosé from Chateau O’Brien. This is a great Virginia wine. Served chilled, this wine  infused with a hit of citrusy flavors, leaves a refreshing taste in your mouth. It’s a great picnic wine in my opinion.

Are you a fan of Rosés? Which ones are your favorites?

How the Washington Ballet Inspired Me to Try Dancing Again

sherinthecity052Last night I attended a performance of Cinderella by the Washington Ballet at the Kennedy Center. I love the ballet! I absolutely love it!

Cinderella was absolutely beautiful. The dancers’ performances paired so elegantly well with the music that I was actually brought to tears. Each time, I attend a ballet performance, I feel as if I am floating away from my day to day woes.

As I watched the performance, I began to think about my many tries of being a dancer. The truth is, I am a terrible a dancer. I like to say I have two left feet. When I was young I took ballet for several years, and I wasn’t very good. I blamed it on my long legs.

A couple of years ago, I tried belly dancing. I had fun, but I was so stiff and felt awkward. I remember my instructor telling me to let lose, but I just couldn’t. I was more concerned with how I looked and seeing myself in a mirror did not help.

What I didn’t realize until now is dancing comes from within and one cannot expect it to give you confidence. You must go in with confidence, and for a long time my confidence did not come from within me but from others.

I am now in my mid-30s and for the first time, I feel differently about myself, about dancing. It took awhile for me to get to this point, but I am glad I am there. So, I decided to give it a shot again soon–whether it’s going for salsa, taking another belly dancing course or even give ballet another try, I think I am ready.

 

 

 

 

 

When Is it Time to Refuel?

“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.” –Audrey Hepburn

sherinthecity046When I was 21, 25, 27 and yes even 30, Friday nights were hot!  If I was staying at home, I felt like a loser. These days, it’s a different story. Living in a city like Washington DC, there is just so much to do!  There is an event every night, a cool exhibit opening,  an interesting talk at the National Press Club and let’s not forget work.

DC is ranked as one of the smartest cities in the country and it’s no surprise why. Individuals who move to DC have a purpose. They want to make a difference and many of them will. But, sometimes, you just have to take some time out for yourself. I do. So, how do I refuel:

  • Spending time with my dog Nikki. I live in a dog-friendly neighborhood. You will always see people walking  their dogs and when it’s warm, they will be out with them everywhere. We tend to enjoy meandering through the neighborhood or sitting on one of the benches in front of the library.
  • Watching old Hollywood movies. There is nothing like being taken back into time then through a classic movie. For awhile, I was watching a number of Cary Grant movies.I love old movies.
  • Listening to the classical radio station (90.9) and enjoy a freshly brewed cup of espresso and the paper. I love the mornings and there is nothing like listening to Chopin while reading the newspaper.
  • Cooking. For me, preparing a delicious meal for myself is relaxing. Pair it with a glass of wine and I am content.
  • Enjoying a delicious meal at one of the local neighborhood joints. I live in a great neighborhood full of fantastic restaurants. Sometimes, I just go and enjoy a meal by myself. I tend to take a book with me to keep me company. And, guess what I am not the only one!

I love living in DC. I love the many fun activities that I get to enjoy. I mean how many people get to attend a ballet performance at the Kennedy Center or see Joe and Jill Biden eating an arm length away. Or, be part of historic events. This city is exciting and I have been so lucky living in this amazing city, but sometimes a girl needs some time to refuel.

Do you take time out for yourself? How do you refuel?