About Me

I am inspired by life.  I find joy in the simple things: fresh bread toasted to a golden brown, the smell of tomatoes on a hot summer’s day, or the breaking in of new stilettos while wearing my pajamas.  These are the things that consume me, fill my being with gratitude, and give fullness to my life.



This blog began as a personal experiment.  In my early twenties, I found myself being “caught up.”  I was constantly concerned with the expectations of others, rushing from point A to point B without any sense of personal direction. The stress caused emotional strain on my relationships and physical illness.  Being stressed out, sleepless, overworked, and overbooked are qualities that are applaused in our society. I believed there had to be a better way.

I have always been obsessed with European culture, and recently the “French Woman Paradox” of having their cake and wearing their skinny jeans, too.  As a child living in Germany, I remember while some people sported serious beer bellies, the majority of the people were happy, healthy, and nowhere near the icons of obesity we see standing in line at our local grocery store.  My suspicions were further confirmed when my sister-in-law came back from Italy explaining how amazing the food and fashion was.  Surprisingly, in the land of pasta and wine, if you were anything larger than a size six, you would have a hard time finding things to wear in the shops.  Three separate countries – it couldn’t be a coincidence.  These people were on to something.

After religiously following the advice of Mireille Guiliano, I decided my life needed a 180 make over.  If I went on with my current lifestyle at such a young age it would eventually lead to chronic illness, weight gain, self-esteem issues, relationship problems, and a gamut of other undesirable elements.  I wanted to learn how to live healthy life, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. So, is it possible to adopt a European lifestyle in a country where lunch is a 15 minute break and 4 hours of sleep is the norm?

I believe and know it possible.  It takes commitment, gracious acceptance of failures, and enthusiastic celebration of achievements. However, despite the trial and error, there is always the satisfaction that these are my choices for my life.

So, here it is.  My blog. An exploration of life through my passions for food, fashion, and all the little pleasures that make me take advantage of every minute of every day.

Cocoa – I’m a food snob. Picky about where it’s from and how it tastes. These posts cover recipes I’m trying, favorite meals, restaurant reviews, healthy eating, and all things food related.  If you plan on trying any of the recipes posted, note that I try to use at least 75% organic ingredients in all my cooking and baking.  I also use organic cane sugar and 365 brand flour (no malted barley) for baking – unless otherwise specified in my post.

Chanel – Fashion is something I have always loved, but sometimes failed miserably in execution. Posts will cover my favorite current looks, building my wardrobe, and all other thoughts on the subject.

&  – Everything else!  From travel to yoga, my love of books to how rubberneckers on the beltway should all have their licenses revoked – who knows what you will get.

Welcome to, Cocoa & Chanel. I would love to hear your comments, questions, and ideas.  Feel free to contact me at: cocoaandchanel@gmail.com



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