Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bubbles, Bites & Baubles

Last weekend, while en route to the chic coastal community of Newport, Mr. Chat and I dropped by one of our favorite wineries, Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, RI. A chilled bottle of wine (our favorites being Vidal Blanc and Blanc de Blanc), a light lunch and some much needed conversation is just a small slice of our romantic road trip to Rhode Island.

Once in Newport, we popped into one of my favorite Bellevue Avenue boutiques, Sequin. I adore this shop and its explosion of brightly colored baubles including bangles, beads and bountiful bands. True bliss, I tell you. Although Mr. Chat was bored beyond belief, he was there when I need to borrow some bucks.

For a glimpse into the lifestyles of the rich and famous, we stopped by Sotheby's for some champagne wishes, caviar dreams and of course a modest country estate in Tiverton (town of the dream home).

Following dinner on the patio at 22 Bowen's Wine Bar & Grill, we sipped crafty cocktails at one of our favorite ocean-front resorts, Forty 1° North. Lady A and Bill-ionaire, the next round is on you. Cheers!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sailing into Summer

Summer unofficially starts this weekend. Finally! It took you long enough to arrive, Memorial Day weekend. With breezy beach-like weather on the horizon, it means 3 things to me: sun, sails and savory drinks. Mr. Chat and I are headed to our favorite summer spot, Newport, where we'll visit vineyards, sail the sea and perhaps pay a visit to our preppy pals Lady A and Bill-ionaire. Enjoy your sail into summer.

Newport, Rhode Island ~ 2011

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seaside Serenity

The April/May issue of Adore Home magazine had me crushing on a oceanside oasis located in the picturesque suburb of Curl Curl, Australia (just north of Sydney). Vanessa Dixon and her husband, Matt, bought the home when it was a mere sea shack covered with red brick and lime green walls. Today, the two-story adobe has been totally transformed into a soothing sanctuary boasting beaming white walls, neutral home furnishings and a cozy collection of corals.
One of Dixon's biggest decorating splurges was bringing the outdoors in. It's wise to incorporate the beauty and bounty of nature into a home. I absolutely loved the jarred shells and vibrant greenery she scattered throughout the space. I believe that greenery gives off goodness. Dixon's home could easily grace the catalog cover of Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware. The clean lines and demure decor emulate the simple pleasures in life -- sun, sea and serenity.
"The house is like being in a resort," Dixon told Adore Home magazine. "A lot of people call it the Four Seasons Curl Curl."
After writing this post, I've come to one very important conclusion -- I need more natural beauty in my life and especially in my home.

{images via Adore Home magazine}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Fascinating Life

This illustration is right. The recipe for happiness is following your heart and pursuing your passion so indulge in what you love. I know I do (writing, blogging, reading, chatting, crafting) and the end result is always fascinating.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nude Attitude

How gorgeous are these nude platform pretties by Charlotte Olympia and Valentino? In a perfect world, my Fairy Godmother would have delivered these designer darlings to me with a wave of her wand. Alas, my name is not Cinderella (even though I feel like it is) and this is not a fancy fairy-tale (even though I feel that way too). For now, a picture is worth a thousand words and I'm dreaming of a thousand different ways to pair these heavenly heels with some haute couture.

Charlotte Olympia Mesh Pom-Pom Platform

Valentino Couture Bow Platform

Valentino Crystallized Lace Platform
{images via Bergdorf Goodman}

Monday, May 21, 2012

When in Doubt

When my creative juices are tapped and I've nixed my nightly knockout (kickboxing that is) because my footwear conveniently disappeared from my bag, I look to my pal Pinterest for some lofty inspiration. Or just a killer cocktail recipe to get me through my favorite mindless Monday TV shows (think the triple B: Basketball Wives, The Bachelorette and Bethenny Ever After). I know. I know. There's nothing intellectually stimulating about these TV train wrecks, but they're the addictions that keep on giving...sort of like Fifty Shades of Grey, I imagine. My friend K-Fox can certainly attest to that. She and I recently had a marvelous (and mindless) Monday filled with sushi, wine and the best reality TV shows a couple of girls could ask for.

So, when in doubt about what to write, just start typing away and eventually something substantial (however not Pulitzer Prize-winning) is bound to make its way from your brain to your blog. As for tonight's cocktail creation, I'm the bearer of flavorful fruit pops and I no doubt have a bottle of bubbly so prosecco poured over popsicles it is!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vira Boutique Opening

Last week, I attended the grand opening of Vira, a new boutique in Boston's Beacon Hill. With its gleaming wood floor, whitewashed walls and soaring ceiling, the space is charming, chic and reminiscent of specialty shops in Miami.

After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), owners Radhika Rana and Vivek Patel embarked on an international sojourn in search of fresh fashion from India, Australia, Paris and beyond. Names such as Masaba, Al & Alicia and Sosume are just some of the trending designers that you'll find at Vira.

The posh location was an obvious choice since Rana had always dreamed of owning a boutique on Charles Street. The evening welcomed style seekers and many in Boston's fashion scene including Coco Knudson and Alexandra Hall, the brains and beauty behind Coup Boston. And of course no event would be complete without an onsite tarot card reader. My fortune told of a fabulous future (duhh!) and apparently October is my month. We'll see if I get that dream writing assignment after all.

Visit Vira at 107 Charles Street and indulge in their current collection while enjoying complimentary water, tea or champagne with your fitting room finds.

Thierry Lasry ~ Paris

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beautifully Brunched

Yesterday I hosted a Mother's Day Brunch for my mom (Stella Bella), aunt and a few other family members. But this isn't a post about the delicious dishes which were prepared by my personal chef, Mr. Chat. This is a story about my beautiful tablescape (if I do say so myself). By incorporating finds from two of my favorite home décor stores (HomeGoods and Crate & Barrel), my tablescape slowly transformed from a tiny thought to an alluring afternoon.
Upon arrival, my guests gushed over the bursts of blue and ivory illuminating from the table. "Ohhh, how b-eee-a-uuu-t-iii-ful," Stella Bella exclaimed in her high pitched tone. If you know Stella Bella, you know this tone. She was especially enamored with the brunch menus and intricately placed butterflies. It was as if the whimsical creatures had landed on the menus themselves, she said. Oh the results of a glue gun, a touch of creativity and a Saturday afternoon at Michaels. Pure magic.
HomeGoods ~ Table Linens | Flatware | Stemware
Crate & Barrel ~ Dinnerware | Candle Holders
Michaels ~ Candles | Paper | Butterflies

Friday, May 11, 2012

Master of the Mane

circa 1963

Legendary hairstylist and trendsetter Vidal Sassoon died May 9 at age 84. When I was a little girl in the 1980s, I remember watching Sassoon's famous "If you don't look good, we don't look goodcommercials. This was probably around the same time I was enamored with the "Calgon...take me away" commercials. There's just something reminiscent about television commercials from my childhood, but that's chat for another post.
Sassoon grew up in England. After serving in the Israeli army, he trained to be a hairstylist (or hairdresser as it was known in those days) before opening his first salon in London in 1954. Sassoon is probably best known for the posh pixie he gave Mia Farrow for her role in the 1968 horror film Rosemary's Baby. He was also the brains behind the wash-and-go "Sassoon bob" -- a short and straight style offering a lot of swing. I, of course, flaunted a bob-like hairstyle for the better part of the 1990s.
Sassoon was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2009 and was reportedly battling leukemia. For seven decades, the master of the mane trimmed tresses, coiffed curls and made locks luscious. Vidal Sassoon, you will be missed.

circa 1964

styling Mia Farrow ~ circa 1967

circa 1969

circa 1980

circa 1989

circa 1992

styling Anna Wintour ~ circa 2010

{source: &}

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Survival of the Fittest

I'm loving Scarlett Johansson in the May issue of Vogue where she sat down with Jason Gay to dish about life, love and the little things in between. After an extremely public and a very painful divorce from actor Ryan Reynolds last summer,  Johansson seems to finally be in a good place in her life. In her most recent role, as Natasha Romanoff (a.k.a. the Black Widow) in the Marvel comic box office smash The Avengers, the actress is stellar. Johansson has also found love and has been seen cozying up to Nate Naylor, an advertising creative director in New York. Any woman who can endure a public breakup, survive an Internet hacking scandal and walk a wild cat on a leash (all in one year) is alright in my book.

{photo credit: Mario Testino, Vogue}

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Blazing Bouquet

How fun is this Cynthia Rowley Liquified Bouquet Tuxedo Jacket? It's formal meets fun with a dash of fancy. Just the name gets me going...Liquified Bouquet. Even with a $425 price tag, I still want a piece of this liquified lusciousness in my closet. This bold blazer can be easily paired with dark skinny jeans and a white tank or take your look to the next level by adding a very unexpected (but fashion-forward) turquoise pant. I would even throw it over a simple black dress. The mixed print pant (pictured below) is certainly a statement, but way too Liberace-esque for my taste. Keep it clean. Keep it classic. That's my motto.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Best Dressed at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute is one of the most fashionable places on Earth. Home to a vast collection of clothing, costumes and accessories representing five continents and seven centuries, this is the epicenter of fashion and style....and also the location of my next closet. 

Last night's annual Met Gala (a.k.a the Fashion Oscars) welcomed yet again the beautiful and elite from film, fashion and beyond. The red carpet saw a few fashion don'ts like Beyonce's hideous Givenchy haute couture embroidered gown with purple ombré train. This was more like a fashion do-not-wear-ever. The dress was so ostentatious that it's not worth the first photo spot in my fabulous post. As for my favorite gowns and accessories of the evening, here's a look at my top 10.

1. Kristen Bell
Tangerine, keyhole-cutout Tommy Hilfiger gown, a golden Judith Leiber clutch, Jimmy Choos and Van Cleef & Arpels gems

2. Jessica Alba 
 One-shoulder, draped lamé Michael Kors gown, Brian Atwood platforms, Roger Vivier clutch and  Wilfredo Rosado jewelry

3. Lea Michele
Diane von Furstenberg gown, Lorraine Schwartz jewels and Christian Louboutin sandals

4. Gwyneth Paltrow
Prada dress embellished with paillettes on the pockets, Prada heels and Anna Hu hoops

5. Hilary Swank
Michael Kors burgundy turtleneck gown, golden clutch and sandals (all by the designer)

6. Emma Roberts 
Escada gown in marigold, Christian Louboutin heels and Daniel Swarovski clutch

7. Camilla Belle 
Ivory tulle-and-beaded dress and champagne-hued sandals (Ralph Lauren Collection)

8. Nina Dobrev
Donna Karan Atelier gown, H. Stern jewels, Jimmy Choos and Judith Leiber clutch

9. Julieanne Hough
Raspberry mermaid gown with black detail at the bust paired with Jimmy Choos

10. Kristen Wiig
Tangerine lace gown and two-tone platform pumps (Stella McCartney)


Who were your picks for best and worst dressed at the Met Gala?