Friday, March 25, 2011

Shoe Love

I found these darlings in the window of a consignment shop in Bruges, Belgium. They always remind me of spring time (and birthday parties, I always wear them on my birthday). With our last snow behind us, Let's hope spring is on the horizon!

I took the day off to roam around Tribeca and perhaps see the Pictures by Women exhibit at the MOMA. What are you up to this weekend?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Travel Bags

I am on the constant hunt for the perfect luggage for my many travels. I consider luggage to not only be an extension of your total vacation look but as a companion that shares in your adventures. I recommend investing in suitcase staples, no matter how often you travel.

Even if you only travel once or twice a year, isn't it infuriating when you dust off that old bag and the zipper breaks before you leave the house? Or what about the handle of your wheely bag ripping off as you leave baggage claim? Imagine you're trecking through the Rocky Mountains, your bag rips open, and everything gets soiled (Horrible! Why are you in the mountains?)? Its little frustrations like this (luggage breaking, not nature) that keep people from experience the true joy of getting away from it all. It might seem expensive up front, however, having reliable bags will only enhance the enjoyment of the awe inspiring journey you are choosing to take.

This little baby goes everywhere with me

The two brands I highly suggest, based on their durability and fantastic warranties are Briggs & Rily and Tumi. They are both pretty darn stylish too.

Since we bought our Briggs & Riley luggage two years ago it has gone from NYC to: Canada, Boston, Nantucket, Bar Harbor, Vermont, Washington D.C., Chicago, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Pakistan, Paris, Bordeaux, Dublin, Florida (five or ten times at least, what can I say? It's home!)... and I'm sure one has escaped me. You get the idea. And the bags are still in great condition.

We did encounter one handle break (they are awesome but not magical). But because we registered the bag with the company, the bags are guarunteed for life worldwide and we reiceved a free same day repair at a shop near our apartment. The nightmare of having to find another bag (or duct tape the handle for really classy travel) was diverted and the whole experience - dealing with the company, finding a repair shop, and getting the bag - took less than a day and was relatively stress free. Worth every penny.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bark Hotdogs, Park Slope, NY

Chili Dog, nom nom
As many of my friends live in Brooklyn, and its an hour door to door, I like to take little day trips out to visit them. By the time I get off the subway at Bergen Street I'm already starving. So it must be luck (or chance or destiny?) that Bark Hotdogs is located just steps away.

The owners/creators are proud to source all of their ingredients from local, organic vendors. Even the wood on the walls is from reclaimed local buildings. But you don't have to read the resource menu to know how mouthwatering these dogs are, just bite into one. My favorite is the NYC DOG, but you really can't go wrong. Especially if you add some Chili Cheddar Fries and a Chocolate Milkshake. The milkshakes are sinfully thick and creamy... oh yeah. Once I have my fill, I'm ready to hangout!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day Trip: Sarasota, Florida

Rose Gardens at the Ringling Museum of Art

Sarasota, Florida is conveniently located directly between Tampa and Ft Myers on the West Coast of Florida. Like Sanibel, it has fantastic white sandy beaches with crystal clear blue water. The locals like to go boating and I recommend you stay on the beach on Longboat, Lido or St. Armands Key if you stay for the weekend. In St. Armands Circle you will find a wide range of shopping and restaurants. If you are here for a weekend, I would spend time strolling around the circle and going to the beach. However, if you only have a day, skip all that and go to the Ringling Museum of Art.

The Ringling Museum of Art started as the art collection and home of John and Mable Ringling (yes, like the circus). It is located just off the inter coastal waterway and as you walk around the grounds you can imagine the wildly fabulous parties they must have through back in the 1920's and 30's.

Ca' d'Zan Mansion
These days it is the cultural center of Sarasota. It has a fantastic collection of fine art ranging from medieval to contemporary including a number of momentous Peter Paul Rubens Baroque style oil paintings. Start your day by perusing the art museum in the morning. Then have lunch in their cafe, which is actually quite delish.

In the afternoon, check out the miniature circus museum. Not only does it give a thorough history of the circus, and John and Mable's role, but it will take you back to your childhood in an instant! As a die hard Barbie fan growing up I found the miniatures really impressive.

Banyan trees
My favorite part of this cultural compound is their beautiful rose garden. Lovely and fragrant, being in the gardens feels so romantic. I also must point out the famous Banyan trees. You can't miss them as their roots start growing from the branches (!). Many tourists come here just to see these trees.

Lastly go to John and Mable Ringling's home, the Ca' d'Zan Mansion. Although I don't normally recommend guided tours, this one gives a good history of the home and the pieces inside. Walking through here, you can imagine the fabulously glamorous parties they once threw...

Back porch of the Ca' d'Zan

I found these old tiles surrounding the pool (now garden) particularly inspiring. I would love to design a kitchen around these!

(Getting there: As with all destinations in Florida, the best way to get here is by car. )

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shoe Love

The Coveteur via Apartment 34

Think of all the adventures you would have in these!

this is glamorous

Is this what heaven looks like?!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland. photo my own
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Did you travel to celebrate? Any favorite destinations? Ireland is a given, but where else? I've heard the celebrations in Chicago, IL and Savannah, GA are great fun and the cities dye their rivers green (!). The parade here in NYC is a must too. Any great destinations outside the U.S.?

I'll be celebrating by having my favorite: Jameson on the rocks.

Wardrobe: Sanibel Island

Roberta Roller Rabbit Classic Kurtra, Lanvin Bag, Sierra Estrella Sandal, Starfish Cuff, Victoria's Secret Bikini, LNA Rialto Sunglasses

Sanibel Island is where one goes in Southwest Florida to find a sophisticated and secluded beach atmosphere. Keep your look classic with a tunic cover up like this one.

I am obsessed with this Lanvin bag and am wishing it could be a permanent addition to my spring and summer wardrobe (le sigh)!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day Trip: Sanibel Island, FL

Sanibel Island is located just off the coast of Ft Myers, Florida. From it's first inhabitants of local fisherman, it has blossomed into a classic Florida get-a-way destination for Floridians and tourists alike. I recommend a day trip here for a taste of natural and relaxed high-end Florida style.


Young Mangroves

Get started with a fresh roasted coffee at the popular local hangout, Sanibel Bean. Then grab your camera (with zoom lens, I regrettably forgot mine) and head over to J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Here you will see classic Florida wildlife and landscape. Read up on local species and anticipate what you might see by starting at the visitor's center. The best way to see the four mile long refuge is "the American way": by car. And keep your eyes out, you could spot an Alligator!

Afterwards, bask in the sun at Bowmans Beach. The beaches here are known for their beautiful shells, so visitors are welcome to scour the shore and take a few as souvenirs. For lunch, I love bringing picnics to the beach but if don't have time to pack one, try one of the famous local joints, Mad Hatter or Bubble Room. There is also great local art and shopping on Periwinkle Way and further North in Captiva.

all photos my own

Have you been to Sanibel? Any favorite spots?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Always Bring Lipstick

my favorite lipsticks: YSL, MAC, Chanel, NARS

I am easily annoyed at the airport. Not only is there so much room for error and delay (thank you Delta for overbooking my flight, and thank you TSA for taking my lotion) but non-experienced travelers get in my way. However (in my romanticized brain) half the fun of traveling should be getting to your destination. Your vacation should start when you leave your house. As a frequent flyer I'll share with you some of my tips for reducing airport stress and making travel fun again.

1. Don't over pack: You don't need to bring your entire wardrobe with you. First consider what you will be doing on your trip. Are you going on a beach vacation? Are you going to Paris? Then coordinate your wardrobe accordingly. If you are going on a hiking trip, leave the LBD at home (and sadly your heels too). Under packing also leaves room to pick up a few local items, including local toiletries. I like to experiment with local toothpaste, shampoo or even makeup. I usually find a new brand I love, and whenever I see or use it, I am reminded of my time away.

2. Check your luggage: Most airlines are past charging $50 to check a bag. So check your bag. Unless you have a small weekender, there is no reason to lug all your crap around. Experience the lap of luxury by letting someone else (the plane) do it for you.

3. Show up early and have a drink: If there is one thing I do not want to do while on vacation it is be in a rush. This starts with the airport. If you want to reduce stress, show up the recommended 1.5 – 2 hours early. You never know what sort of mayhem will greet you and you don’t want to loose it when the yokel in the security line can’t untie his shoes fast enough. Once you get through security, immediately find the bar and order a drink. If you aren’t a big drinker, find the Starbucks. Giving yourself time to recoup and relax will invite your vacation to start immediately. And it’s also fun to make friends at the airport bar!

4. Bring lipstick: After a long flight I usually want to refresh myself. Putting on lipstick is a quick way to feel put together. Once you de-board the plane, stop in the rest room rinse your face, brush your teeth (try Crest Brush-ups to save room in your handbag) and apply your lipstick. It does wonders I’m telling you!

5. Wear a nice outfit: The airport is a public place. Have some self respect and don’t wear sweats. Leggings, button up shirts and scarves are chic and comfortable.

Southwest Florida

photo my own
Southwest Florida has earned a reputation as the place where North Easterners and Mid-Westerners go to get out of the snow and retire. While that is certainly true, it has a lot to offer for the young as well. The pace is slow and the locals are friendly. This is a place you can come to get away from it all. The beaches have the finest powdery white sand and many remain secluded. Much of the wildlife is preserved and easy to access, including the Everglades. There are also many festivals, cultural scenes, and lots of outlet shopping to keep you entertained.

You might even discover that you can get used to the idea of sitting on a porch watching an afternoon thunderstorm roll by while sipping sweet tea in an old rocking chair...

photo my own
Tourist season in Southwest Florida is during winter. This is when the weather is mildest. However, if you are interested in less traffic than I suggest going in late spring or early fall (August gets very hot!).

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Want to go to There

via Miss Moss
Instead of heading back into the office today, could I work from here? I promise to check my email in between magazines...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shoe Love

So I decided to take my own advice and I'm off to South Florida for the week! I'm in dire need of a break from the figid weather. In the meantime, here's some shoe love. These need to be in my life. Right. Now.

Christian Louboutin

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Little Something Extra

Before ending your trip, leave a little treat in the car. It will make the drive home all the more enjoyable. 
photo my own, Mast Brothers Chocolate
Mast Brothers Chocolate is great choice to add more local flavor to your adventure as they are made in Brooklyn. Don't you just love the papers they are wrapped in? I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What's in your bag?

photo my own, Bear Mountain

Once you reach the peak of your mountain hiking destination, you'll be ready to rest and check out the sweeping views. Unpack your picnic spread of Salame, Grueye, fresh local apples, mustard, olives, and a french baguette. And what better way to celebrate your foray into nature than a half bottle of champagne? If you don't like sitting directly on the ground - and adding more dirt to your experience - then bring a small blanket to rest on as there aren't many picnic tables. Don't forget you camera, lots of water, and some baby wipes to clean the great outdoors off your hands before you eat. ;)

Stick all your goodies into a rugged yet elegant backpack. I couldn't resist these...
Marc Jacobs, Madewell, Patagonia
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