Restaurant Review: Kokkari Estiatori

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I had a fantastic dinner with our friends Mark and Liz at a Greek restaurant called Kokkari which is highly recommended by my colleague Marilyn who not only met her husband at the restaurant, but later celebrated her wedding there.

It’s a large, darkly lit space with a great rustic decor – including a huge fireplace near the entrance with spit-roasted game hens, country-style woodblock tables and giant, aged vases.

After catching up and getting the oh-so-important wine ordering and bread buttering out of the way our little food-obsessed group ordered some excellent appetizers for the table followed by some superb main courses.

The Kolokithokeftethes (say that three times fast!) are crispy zucchini cakes that came with a side of pickled cucumber slices and a yogurt & mint-based dipping sauce. Absolutely scrumptuous, perfectly crispy and delicious. The cucumber slices were pretty tasty as well.

Feta sto Furno is baked Feta with tomatoes and capers – a gooey masterpiece that everyone enjoyed thoroughly.

The Gigantes were by far my favorite (I had two orders – shhhhh) which are oven-baked giant beans dripping in delicious tomato sauce and olive oil. Yuuum.

The Makaronia was roasted butternut squash ravioli with feta and covered in three different varieties of mushrooms.

I’m not going to lie, when the Psari Psito was brought out I had flashbacks of a family trip to the Yucatan when my parents accidentally ordered fish with heads the entire trip because none of us spoke Mayan. As you can see, this dish was a whole fish grilled with braised greens & lemon.

Sean got the special of the night, which was a large, piping hot braised goat stew with orzo, gobs of goat cheese and a variety of grilled vegetables.  

Clearly we hated our food.

Then we had an important discussion on the merits of different methods of decreasing the drag on napkin airplanes…

In addition to a fun environment, amazing company and delicious food, we had a great waiter who made excellent recommendations and entertaining conversation. Overall it was a great evening and I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in the area – it would be great for a business meal or a fancy evening out on the town with your favorite someone.

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January Round-Up

After my oh-so-ambitious New Years Resolutions – kidding – I wanted to touch base after this first month and see how I did on my January goals, whether I made any progress or plans for the year and to set some new goals for February.

Let’s see how I did:

Overarching 2012 Resolutions:

  • Buy a house: While I did spend a weekend in Glen Ellen in January, I didn’t look at any houses – I did search Zip before we headed out though and there were no houses that I wanted to see at that point. Unfortunately I can’t plan or rush this one, I have to try to be patient while I wait for the right house to go on the market. I don’t do patient well though…

  • Take no money out of my savings accounts: DONE 🙂  
  • Publish something: While no extracurricular writing has occurred thus far on 2012, I did take step #1 and created a writing schedule for the month of February – I set some baby goals for myself to work on and plan to do some serious editing of one of my novels in my spare time. Spare time? Ha – I crack myself up!

January Goals:

  • Start back rehabilitation: Unfortunately instead of getting this happy sign off I had two more epidurals, so this goal moves to February! At this point I am literally dreaming about the gym and going running – at least weekly. I need me some exercise endorphins!
  • Finish decorating new apartment: 90% done! 🙂 Pictures coming soon.

  • No taxis: I did incredibly well with this one – My doctor recommended walking as possible so I was really determined and dragged Sean around the city on foot nonstop. I think he only managed to get me into two taxis all month!


New February Goals:

For February I’m going categorizing my goals according to which area of my life they will affect most:

Health: In February I am going to give up all sweeteners (aside from baking uses). I usually use all-natural organic Stevia or Agave Nectar to sweeten my tea or in overnight oats on almost a daily basis. I’m curious if giving this up will affect my health in any substantial way, especially whether giving it up in my evening tea will change my sleeping patterns. We shall see!

And yes, I’ve been hording holiday tea, I hide it in the back of the cupboard so Sean wont see it. Shhh…

Fitness: Last month’s “fitness” goal will roll over to February – Start back rehabilitation & be diligent about my exercises. As I said, I’m DYING to get back into the gym, so it’s really important that I take my rehab seriously and work really hard to keep my core strong.

Fashion: My fashion goal for February is to keep up the level of effort that I put into the Freckles In April Challenge. No more playing it safe and falling back on go-to outfits. This experience really shook things up for me style-wise and I hope to be able to keep challenging myself on a daily basis.

So Happy February to you all, I hope that all your January goals & resolutions went well!

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10 Day Style Challenge – Part IV

This is the 4th of the five posts that I’m going to publish relating to the Freckles in April Winter Style Challenge. By way of background, the purpose of this little exercise is to challenge myself to try new styles, put together interesting clothing combinations that I haven’t tried before and learn to look outside the box when it comes to my personal approach to fashion.

If you’d like to catch up on what you missed so far, here are the previous installments: Part I, Part IIPart III.

Freckles in April


Day 7: Bright Colors

Winter tends to be a time of blacks, grays and browns. My trips into public places have been awash in people clad in dark neutrals. It fits the weather and, sometimes, our moods, but bright colors have their place in winter too! For tomorrow I want you to add bright color to your winter wardrobe. It can be all over color or a small splash- whatever works for you.

Rather than do an all-over color or even a single neon piece, I wanted to simply do a splash of color to brighten up an otherwise traditional look. Luckily I found some great inspiration on three fashion blogs that I like to frequent on occasion.

{Source, Source & Source}

What I liked about each of these looks – and what I hoped to achieve with the outfit that I was putting together for myself – was to use the color as a way to highlight and emphasize. A way to draw the eye to certain pieces that I wanted to show off. In this case my accessories – gloves, scarf and gorgeous faux leather planner.

{Bags – Vintage & Longchamp, Coat – bought in Rome yeeears ago, Scarf – from Manila market, Dress – Max Studio, Ballet Flats – Lucky, Jewelry – Vintage & Gloves – A gift from my mother}

I absolutely love this coat and I was thrilled to be able to make it part of my look after rescuing it from the depths of my closet. Which I have to admit was half the reason that I wanted to do this challenge in the first place, rediscovering buried treasure!

Day 8: Dress Up A Coat

Coats in and of themselves tend to be icing. I think just about everyone who lives in a cooler climate has a decent, good-looking coat that adds instant polish or style to their outfit. The idea of dressing up a coat hadn’t really occurred to me (possibly just because I live in AZ which doesn’t have a real winter) until I saw this post from Elsie at A Beautiful Mess.

Want to know what went through my head when I read this prompt?

THIS IS MINE!!! MIIINE!!! (Insert evil laugh here)

And why, you ask? Because right behind ‘purse addiction’ on the list of reasons why my friends and family will one day send me to rehab is ‘coat fetish.’ I kid. You. Not.

Clearly my issue was going to be narrowing it down. Then I had a moment of blind panic when I realized that I had already worn my two favorite coats. OH. MY. G*D.

P.S. I refuse to apologize for the fact that clothes, my closets and getting dressed make me so emotional – it’s just who I am. 🙂

The next step was to find some direction and then pick which coat would become the foundation of my look. Similar to the great post that Kayla found on A Beautiful Mess, I found a fab Do It Yourself style post that included one of my favorite things in the world – PEARLS. The Beaded Collar Blouse post that Moda, Moda published was a simple-to-follow How To on spicing up a standard blouse with extras like studs, beads or pearls.

Perfect! And while I’m determined to try this out on one of my blouses in the very near future, I didn’t want to do anything quite this drastic to my chosen coat yet so I used this as inspiration and went a slightly different route…

Rather than glue individual pearls to my coat lapels, I deconstructed a couple of costume jewelry pearl necklaces and sewed the strands on either side, under the adorable Peter Pan collar of my cropped coat. As a finishing touch I pinned some cute vintage heart charms to one of the strands of pearls, to give it a retro-feel.

Stay tuned for the final Challenge post next week!

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Spring 2012 Couture – Front Row Fashion & Streetstyle

Almost as interesting as watching the runway shows are the looks put together by the celebrities, A-listers, models, editors and industry insiders as they sit front row watching.

I've never been a fan of ponchos but even I have to admit that this is striking - I love the combination of the vibrant, cobalt blue & the grey tweed. Don't you just love seeing the models after the shows in their own clothes but still in hair & makeup? Like the meeting of two worlds! 🙂

Alexandra Golovanoff stunned in a black and white printed knit shift dress with slouchy boots, a fedora and a cashmere coat at Valentino. I would be so tempted to wear pretty, frilly Valentino despite the freezing temp so good for her!

Diane looked gorgeous in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture. It's hard for blonds to wear grey but she found the perfect shades. I love the intricate beading on the tweed and her cat-eye make up the best.

While Josephine de la Baume & Olympia Scarry don't look thrilled to be there, Ni Ni looks stunning, happy and perfectly coiffed for the front row of Christian Dior Haute Couture. Gorgeous!

Miss Diane was also front row at Versace in a stunning black and white dress that included stripes and florals, and a hippie-inspired white leather belt.

Leave it to the models fresh off the runway to put together the best streetstyle looks. Cable knit sweaters and double-breasted wool peacoats with liquid leather leggings, skinny jeans and boots of all heights. They certainly know what they're doing.

Diane was a vision in an adorable in a black & white high-necked, sleeveless dress with a sweet drop-waist. Chanel Haute Couture of course darling.


Fur & leather are both good ways to keep warm during a Parisian winter. Olivia wore a knee-length open fur vest with leather leggings and carried a printed umbrella to get her from show to show.

Cameron Diaz has been all over Paris for the shows but this was the first picture that I really fell for. The color of this Valentino frock is absolutely great with her skin tone and I like how its interesting and eye-catching without being revealing.


What would a trip to Paris be without a glimpse of the oh so famous Clarins sisters? I love the floral printed blouse mixed with the white lace booties, makes me wish it was warmer.


This is an unusual dress to be sure and I was a little confused/unsure about the sheer bust area but overall I like it. It's a fun & unique color, yellow lace is new and the fit is flattering. Also, j'adore those shoes!

Oh Anna, we love you!


Source, Source, Source & Source

Harper’s Bazaar even has a style breakdown of fashion editor Miroslava Duma’s great leather leggings & cropped red coat look here.

*** Please note that I do not in any way advocate the use of fur in fashion and personally make an effort not to wear/carry fur, exotic skins or leather. This day in age there are many beautiful alternatives to these products which are cruelty & animal-free and should be utilized instead.

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Looks of the Week

Welcome back to Moi Contre La Vie for a handful of beautiful shots from the last week. From celebrities to bloggers to editorials, these are some of my favorite photographs from the last week.



I love love love the art of mixing high and low and what better than a well-loved sweatshirt paired with a cute sequined miniskirt? Such a great look!

Miranda Kerr looking supermodel chic in leather pants and a simple white button down in NYC.

Emmy Rossum looked great in multi-colored tweed Carolina Herrera on Live With Kelly. I like that its ladylike but still fun and has a youthful feeling.


Swedish blogger Kayture is Spring-ready in a belted daffodil-colored lace dress and boyfriend blazer. I especially like the two toned shoes & similarly colored bag. Too cute.


These striped trousers are great and could probably make an outfit all on their own, but Flavia from wisely paired them with a fitted blazer, stacked bracelets and a ridiculously cute skull embossed clutch.


Zara's not just for the ladies, believe me! Alexander's stunning gray blazer is from Zara but what I'm really pining for is his bag. Tres chic!


Kate Beckinsale brought her A-game to the Underworld: Awakening premiere in Madrid. The scarlet Michael Kors dress was a striking color and flattering silhouette. Different shoes would have been even better though I think...


Streetstyle photographer Jane Keltner de Valle stands out in the crowd in this seriously cute blue shift dress with white Peter Pan collar.

And who is Jane's photographer mentor? The stylish and gorgeous Hanneli Mustaparta of course. Jealous much? Ya - Me too.

See their story in the very cute Teen Vogue article here.

Not sure how to pair your two-toned blouse? You can't go wrong with jeans. Her accessories are absolutely amazing, I want that necklace!


Back later today with Spring 2012 Couture Streetstyle and Front Row Fashion. Didn’t get a chance to check out the runway shows? You can see my reviews here or you can get a preview of the AMAZING streetstyle from Tommy Ton here.
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