Scents of Summer

June 13, 2011 at 10:47 am , by

Over lunch last week I was reminiscing about a fragrance that I wore into the ground back in college. Anyone remember Ralph by Ralph Lauren? I don’t know if it was my obsession with turquoise (the bottle had a cute blue cap) or the light mix for fresh fruit and flowers. Whatever the reason, I was hooked. Once I weaned myself off of that I was able to clear my senses and search for a new signature scent, but I haven’t been able to find a replacement that I’ve fallen in love with. Now seems like a great time to resume my search.

While I may be too picky about perfume, the change of seasons, or at least the change in weather, is the perfect time to try a new fragrance. Here are some of the lightest, sweetest (but not too sweet), and cleanest scents that go perfectly with warm breezes.

Clean Summer Escape, $49

Notes: Crisp Bergamot, Beach Grass, Mandarin Orange, Water Lily, Summer Peony, Beach Honeysuckle, Orange Flower, Cotton Blossom, White Sand Accord, Driftwood, Coconut Water

Philosophy Summer Grace, $40

Notes: Blooming Flowers, Sun-Ripened Fruits

Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Lavender, $39

Notes: Meyer Lemon, Sicilian Mandarin, Spearmint, Wild Chamomile, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, Organic Lavender Bulgarian Orpur, French Lavender, Absolute Orpur, Chinese Magnolia, Soft Skin Musks, Birchwood, Ambrette Seed

Ralph Lauren Romance Summer Romance, $78

Notes: Passion Fruit, Hibiscus, Tiare Flowers, Apricot Musk

Lancôme Ô de L’Orangerie, $55

Top Notes: Orange zest, Orange Blossom essential oil
Heart Notes: Orange Blossom absolute, Jasmine
Base Notes: Cedar, Benzoin

Thymes Naia Cologne, $32

Notes: Yuzu, Lychee, Lemon Pulp, Water Lily, Cyclamen, Bamboo Leaves, Hinoki Wood, Musk

If you enjoy fragrance, but not particularly wearing one, this room spray may be a good alternative. I was surprised at how crisp and fresh it smelled for a Disney fragrance.

Imagination Room Spray by Disney Store, $16.50

Notes: Sequoia trees, cool moss and green leaves

We Scream For An Ice Cream Sundae Contest!

August 3, 2010 at 11:36 am , by

Ladies of LHJ with Gale Gand

Here at LHJ, we started our morning on a super sweet note thanks to a visit from famed cookbook author and pastry chef Gale Gand! Gale has teamed up with Breyers Ice Cream for its Sundae Scoop-Off Contest, and she swung by LHJ to tell us more about it and to share some of her favorite cold creations with us.

The person that submits the most unique, yummy and appealing sundae in 10 or fewer ingredients takes the cake – well, the ice cream in this case – and wins the grand prize of $10,000, a trip for four to Chicago for a private cooking lesson with Gale and one year’s supply of Breyers ice cream. Nine others will win a “Super Sundae Prize Package” (one year of free Breyers ice cream, $500 and sundae making supplies). Talk about a sweet deal!

Gale also shared her own spins on the classic sundae with us. Indulging both our sophisticated sweet tooth and the kid in us all, we sampled herIce Cream Lollipops 2 (Small) mini coffee sundaes and ice cream lollipops – perfect desserts for family fun or your next dinner party.

“An embellished ice cream dish is the perfect way to end a meal,” Gale said. She recommends thinking about contrast when dreaming up your dessert like a combination of crunchy and smooth textures in a sundae. Try crumbling a shortbread cookie over your ice cream and fruit, she said.

Make the most of your cool-off treats this summer by checking out Gale’s other sundae-making tips and recipes and enlist the help of your kiddos to come up with the grand-prize-worthy sundae. Or make the yummy ice cream desserts we enjoyed!

Mini Coffee Ice Cream Sundae 2 (Small)

Summer Wine Guide

June 24, 2010 at 10:38 am , by

Masi-Masianco-lgSummer is officially here! Translation: BBQs, picnics and beach weekends. And  who doesn’t love to get together with close friends? We all do of course; it can be intimidating, however, when the time comes to pick the wine to compliment your party. Summer lends itself to light, crisp and refreshing wines, but what goes best with the food you’re serving?

The good news is that  you can’t go wrong. Your friends love you and will love anything you give them. The better news is that we’ve put together a list of some fun wines that are perfect as gifts or for guests this summer. My favorite is the 2008 Masianco Pinot Grigio and Verduzzo ($17.95); take a look at the rest of our fave wines on The Dish page on, and see some recipe ideas for food pairings.

My Summer Countdown: DIY Herb Garden

March 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm , by

basil2 thyme2

Late March to mid-April is the best time to start thinking about your summer herb garden. Here, on the east coast, the weather just started to get warm after several snow day-worthy storms. There’s still a bit of frost in the air, so starting to grow seedlings indoors is a good idea to get a head start.  Homemade caprese salad isn’t as far away as you think.

A few herbs that are easy to grow include parsley, thyme, mint and basil.  Even you notorious plant killers with limited space shouldn’t be alarmed.  You can buy different varieties of seeds at a local gardening shop, and plant them in containers you find around the house — old pots, kitchenware and even cleaned olive oil cans poked with a few holes in the bottom for drainage work great.  Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell, author of Grow Your Own Herbs in Pots, suggests placing the growing plants near windows with plenty of light and moving them outside (in their containers) once the weather permits.  She notes that it’s important to transition the plants slowly to avoid overexposing them to the sun and causing them to dry out.

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Extend Your Summer: Sweet Tea Cocktail

September 10, 2009 at 9:48 am , by

fireflyHi there! I’m Arpita, Associate Editor here at and I’ll be blogging about food—so check back weekly for my favorite recipes, tips on cooking and eating, product reviews, food photos, commentary on delish dishes, drinks, and much more.

Now I’m aware that Labor Day weekend just passed by (and very quickly I might add), which marks the unofficial end of summer…but if you’re like me and you’re having a hard time saying goodbye to the picnics, parties, barbecues, and general deliciousness that is summer, then you’ll need a little something to tide you over until next year. Nothing says summer like a cool, sweet cocktail, and a glass of Firefly sweet tea vodka will take you right back to the season of poolside parties and popsicles. Pour it into a glass of ice and add a slice of lemon if you feel like it—you won’t need any other mixers—the vodka taste isn’t overbearing. This drink is a perfect, low-maintenance refresher if you’re having friends over, throwing a low-key party, or just want to have a taste of summer after it’s long gone. Firefly makes a few different flavors of this genius tea-infused vodka—you can buy your own.

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