Monday, July 30, 2012

Chic of the Week :: London Olympics Opening Ceremony

Even with the bold colors, rich fabrics and ornate designs that made up the London Olympics Opening Ceremony, Kate Middleton scored major style points (as far as I'm concerned) when she stepped out in an icey blue Christopher Kane coatdress. The belted ensemble, with its classy blue hue, was conservative-chic meets contemporary. I need one in my closet stat.

As a lover of narrow cuts and cinched waists (designs which are popular with the Duchess), I love incorporating elements from Kate's classic look into my daily fashion rotation. My selections may not always be designer (for the most part they're not), but I make a conscious effort to work with pieces that make sense and can capture that Kate Middleton "je ne sais quoi."

Whether she is fancying a fashion remix or sporting a never-seen-before trend, Kate Middleton is the epitome of a style icon. She has even brought sexy back by way of long sleeve dresses. A coatdress is next on my "must have" list.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Day at Blo

I was invited to the preview party at Boston's first blow dry bar, Blo. A pink carpet led me from the tree-lined streets of the South End into a haven for hair. Surrounded by neutral walls, white shelves and pops of pinks, the space was modern meets minimalist chic. I had been looking forward to my first blow dry bar experience since speaking with owner, Gina Gesamondo earlier in the week.

A North Shore native and former South End resident, Gesamondo was introduced to Blo in Los Angeles three years ago. The no cuts, no color concept was started in 2007 with the motto: Just WASH BLOW GO. Gesamondo had always hoped Boston would get Blo'wn away. But when the city never did, she made it happen.

Gesamondo, who has always had an affinity for beautiful hair, worked in the technology and recruiting field prior to opening Blo. She began training with the company's corporate team last year. And today, the first-time business owner has finally brought her vision for beautifully blown bobs and perfectly perched ponytails to Boston.

"I don't want people to think this is cookie cutter just because it's a franchise," Gesamondo said. "I have a lot of creative freedom. I want everyone to walk out feeling amazing and beautiful because life is too short to have bad hair."

I met my sassy stylist, Blake, and was immediately offered a champagne cocktail (courtesy of Stephi's) and cupcake. I could get used to this, I thought. As I sipped on bubbles, I browsed the hairstyle menu. Blo had seven sexy styles to choose from (one for every day of the week), so one could literally live there. I was beginning to think I could, too. Being the indecisive individual that I am, I decided to blend "Red Carpet" with "Holly Would" for a feminine and flirty finish.

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about allowing a complete stranger to tame my curly tresses, but Blake certainly proved his professionalism. And although the day's humidity was a bit of a hazard to my hair, I was pleased with the end result.

Blo Blow Dry Bar is located at 437 Columbus Avenue. Let them Blo you away.

Rue Le Chat & Gina Gesamondo

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good Enough to Eat

While strolling along Bowen's Wharf in Newport one summer afternoon, a tower of tantalizing treats caught my eye. A sign above the display read -- Arianna. I hadn't recalled the what-I-thought-was-a-pastry shop during my last visit to the seaside town. 
The scent of vanilla and lavender greeted me at the door. Vases filled with brightly colored popsicles lined the shelves and a bouquet made of cascading cupcakes graced a corner table. My mouth watered. My inner sweet tooth sighed. Everything looked good enough to eat. But they weren't pastries made for the palate. As I took a closer look, I realized that they were sensuous salts made for the bath. I knew I would indulge in a delicious dip come nightfall.

A skin care specialist named Tal Rotman introduced himself. Now, I'm every cosmetics salesperson's dream come true. They could tell me a tarantula would rid me of blackheads and erase my laugh lines and I'd probably buy it...or maybe not.

Tal introduced me to Avani, a mineral based skin care line from the Dead Sea. Dead Sea
, I thought. This had to be good. After sampling the natural mineral body scrub and ultra rich body butter on my arm, I was told that my entire body would feel as soft as a baby's bottom after one use. Sold.

Next, I tested the skin renewal facial peel and moisturizing cream. Infused with vitamins C & E, the facial peel sounded like the perfect remedy for my clogged pores. And one can never have too many moisturizing creams, so I would buy that too. Hook, line and sinker.

Though it was an expensive afternoon, as are all of my visits to the cosmetics counter, the products (so far) have been well worth the price tag. Two weeks into my Dead Sea skin regime, and my skin does feel softer and more supple. As for the cupcakes that initially drew me to the shop, one was on the house. Thanks, Tal.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Postcards from Gloucester

Located 35 miles north of Boston, the picturesque, fishing town of Gloucester inspired the famous novel and film The Perfect Storm. Hailing from a culture that holds fishing and the ocean sacred, I have always held an appreciation for New England's seaside villages. But Gloucester is not only home to a prosperous fishing industry, it's also where artists such as Fitz Henry Lane created beautiful oil paintings.

During a recent stroll along Gloucester Harbor with Mr. Chat, I was immediately drawn to a statue of Fitz Henry Lane sitting atop a hill and overlooking the ocean. Adjacent to the status was the artist's former residence -- a magnificent seven gable, granite house with a third floor studio boasting panoramic views of the town. One step into Lane's shoes and I became inspired (as the mural suggests). I hope you enjoy my postcards from Gloucester.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Set Sail :: Tall Ships Boston to Newport

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Boston Seaport District}

{Newport, Rhode Island}

{Newport, Rhode Island}

Monday, July 9, 2012

Polo, anyone?

Mr. Chat and I channeled our inner prep at the Newport International Polo Series at Glen Farm in Portsmouth, RI last Saturday. The US was victorious against Ireland in the 2-hour, 6-chukker match. It all felt so prim and proper -- like something straight out of a Ralph Lauren catalog. We opted for a preppy casual look consisting of white polo shirts and colorful shorts. However, I would have loved to mimic Julia Roberts' polo attire circa Pretty Woman. Remember that brown and white polka dot dress and matching wide brim hat (insert infamous: hoot, hoot, hoot)? There's always next time.

Some consider the sport of polo to be snobby, but it wasn't pretentious at all. Upon taking our seats in the tented area, Mr. Chat and I enjoyed a glass of wine and soaked in the ambiance. It was a cloudy day, but that didn't dampen the mood. Music played and the succulent smell of lamb roasting on an open fire filled the air. Families, and four-legged friends alike, enjoyed fun on the field and others (like Mr. Chat and I) visited event sponsors such as BMW and Alex and Ani. 

After a few players made their grand entrance via helicopter, the crowd stood for both national anthems and the match began. As I watched the ponies prance gracefully across the field, I thought about my father -- a man who had been enamored with horses his entire life. He introduced me to horseback riding at a young age. I thought about the countless times I had been thrown off of a horse and the numerous vows I had made to never ride again. But, I least a few more times. I wondered why we had never been to a polo match. And as the early evening sun peeked through the heavy clouds to kiss my face, I knew the answer.   My father was watching it, too.