Monday, August 25, 2014

BOSatoga :: A Love Story

Photo by Alexis Kletjian

Those of you who are avid readers of Rue, know just how much I love cats. I'm crazy about them to be honest -- truly smitten with their fluff and purrfection. Well, that same love and affection (only toned down a tad) burns for horses. My father had a connection to these majestic beings. He loved all creatures to tell you the truth, especially his parrot, but held a special place in his heart for horses. I wrote about this briefly in 2012 when I attended Newport Polo.

Naturally when America's Best Racing invited me out to Saratoga Springs for a day at the race track, I said yes. I hadn't been around horses since the polo match and was longing to be around their spirit and energy. I extended my invitation to a slew of my savviest friends. You didn't think I'd travel three hours to Saratoga Springs without my style sisters from the big city, did you?!

So, on Saturday, August 9 at the crack of dawn, Troupe BOSatoga boarded a luxury coach from Boston with a videographer in tow. Why the cameraman, you ask? Well, Jordan Craig was sent to film our entire experience for a Jockey Club Racing Tour segment that aired the following evening on Fox Sports One. He also produced a video exclusively for America's Best Racing. Brushing off my television skills and acting as a reporter of sorts, I was happy to help.

Photo by Alexis Kletjian

Jordan Craig

Photo by Georgina Castellucci

Our luxe coach was stocked with pastries fresh from Mrs. London's in Saratoga Springs, juice, water and of course fuel in the form of fermented grapes. That's right, wine courtesy of Boston-based Richer Pour. It's never too early for an elixir, so we started the morning off like champs with rosé and chardonnay. Our journey called for a "powder room" pit stop and of course I  couldn't help but ask Georgina to snap some pics of me in my chic navy jumpsuit…or is it a romper?!

 Getting "ambulance-y" - a new term coined by Georgina

Upon arrival, we were welcomed with a gourmet brunch at Fasig-Tipton, North America's oldest thoroughbred auction company. Our private dinning room overlooked the stables and had a darling mimosa and Bloody Mary bar on the outdoor balcony. Cocktails were made-to-order and brunch was a light and refreshing concoction of salads, fruits and petite sandwiches. Don Little, Jr., president of Centennial Farms, and Jimmy Jerkens, trainer for Boston-bred Wicked Strong, spoke to us about our hometown hero and their efforts to support Boston Marathon bombing victims through the One Fund.

After a brief betting tutorial, the troupe took to the track. Onlookers were in awe as the fashion-focused females of Boston (clad in vibrant dresses, grandiose hats and eye-catching fascinators) seamlessly bridged the gap between style and sports in Saratoga Springs. Holly, the beauty and brains behind Holly Dolly, and I even won on our first bet.

 Jean of Extra Petite and Khatu of I am Khatu // Photo by Holly Darling

Heather of Glamorous Baggage

Mama needs a brand new bag...

My bet was on #9 King of New York

#Winning with Holly

I had so many memorable moments during BOSatoga so it's difficult to name my favorite, but if I had to name only one, it was definitely meeting a three-year-old thoroughbred named Black Jack. The dark stallion never made it to the races due to an unfortunate injury, but had an aura about him that is hard to put into words. I know I'm going to sound like a mushy animal lover, but our connection brought me back to my horseback riding days with my father at Canton Equestrian Center. I swear, I'll have to return for a ride one of these days. My moments with Black Jack were luckily caught on film, so I'll have them forever.

My new friend, Black Jack

Laura of LoSo Fancy

Katherine of Style Tab

Amy of Cupcakes & Couture

Christine of Rules for the Modern Girl

The beauties behind Glamorous Baggage, Style by Tiffani and Notes on Lifestyle by Georgina

Photo by Dan Tordjman

A special thank you goes to Dan Tordjman and Victoria Garofalo of America's Best Racing and Don Little, Jr. of Centennial Farms in Beverly, MA.

Friday, August 22, 2014

All Hail the Zodiac

I've always been fond of “seeing into the future.” So naturally when I came across a recent Sagittarius horoscope on Refinery 29, I knew I had to share this glimpse into what some may say is meant to be. Could it be a mere coincidence that the stars have aligned precisely as these millennial wordsmiths have predicted? Perhaps. But for all I know, it's as simple as destiny and as beautiful as fate.

2015 Sagittarius Horoscope

"In the coming year, until August 2015, you may travel overseas to an exciting, exotic city far from home, to a location new to you. If you cannot get away to travel, you may expand your horizons in other ways, such as by going back to the university to get an advanced degree. Jupiter will not only open the door to make this opportunity possible but probable (assuming that would be a goal for you)."

I'm more of a European traveler than a Caribbean and South/Central America vacation goer. With that said, Buenos Aires still ranks high on my list, but places like the the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and Costa Rica just don't do it for me…although all quite lovely. Exotic European locales on my list include: Madeira, Capri and Santorini. My mom and I have been talking about a girls trip to Madeira for years. We need to make Maderia happen. Agora! Oh and let's add (French) St. Martin to the list. C'est bon.

As far as education goes, I don't need another advanced degree. Just for the heck of it, however, I’d love to crack open the books again and saturate myself into something like art history or theater arts -- something really cool that won't necessarily get me a job in that field (I'm content writing), but will sharpen my creativity and spark that vivid, only-child imagination that still runs deep.

"Also, glittering for you will be opportunities in broadcasting and publishing, as staff worker or as subject of an interview that may bring outstanding applause for your work. With Jupiter in the twelfth house, that indicates that you will have VIPs behind the scenes to help you in your career. Be ready with a polished resume and bio, for the new moon on August 25 will open the floodgates to new career offers that would give you the opportunity to raise your status and influence in your industry."

I mean, if this is not THE horoscope of horoscopes, then I don't know what is. This is just the type of fuel a Sagittarius hungry for her “big break” needs. Although my professional writing career began in 2002 and then took a hiatus for approximately 6 years (yeah, what the eff was I thinking?!), writing for me has always been a place where I go to escape the (sometimes) inescapable.

This month has also reinvigorated my passion for broadcasting, both as a reporter and subject, with the on-camera time in Saratoga Springs. According to the stars high up above, August 25 will usher in new opportunities that could CATapult my media career to the next level. We'll see, kittens. We'll see.
"While this may be a whirlwind few months, Sag, do not neglect your health. Now's the time to kick those bad habits to the curb, or seek help for any personal issues that need to be resolved. Make a change for the best. Know that all things are possible in the coming year, dear Sagittarius, for it’s simply dazzling.

Health and wellness are both very important in my life. Although sometimes I feel like I have 5 full-time jobs, I always make a point to take time out for me -- physically, emotionally and spiritually. Lack of sleep and caffeine overload combined with my "go, go, go" routine can start to take its toll after a few days since I'm no longer a spring chick. Yoga, cardio, writing, a walk on the beach, a kiss from Mr. Chat, a meow from Manolo, face-to-face time with family and friends (cue in a cappuccino or glass of wine for conversation sake) -- these are the people, places and things that help to calm me and put life into perspective.

images via Refinery 29

What does your horoscope have in store for 2015?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Seasons of Beauty

With September slithering its way into our lives in just two short weeks, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the whirlwind tour I've been on during the past four months. I've been busy and that's apparent given my lack of writing. For that, I apologize dear readers. I've been cruising along the coast, soaking up a little sun and laughing with like-minded ladies. To sum it up, I've been relishing in beautiful places and equally beautiful things.

Ever since I returned from London and Paris (I WILL be sharing my European excursion at some point), there has been a carousel of events, celebrations and commitments vying for my time and attention. Although I'm exhausted and slightly ready for the hibernation that is fall and (gasp) winter, I wouldn't change things one bit. Life's too short to skip what's important and as you know, writing and my relationships rank among the most important in my life.

Despite my blog taking a bit of a back seat this season and to be honest this entire year, I've never once forgotten about you -- my purrfectly chic readers whom I love and value so much. Thank you for continuing to relish in the beauty that is Rue Le Chat and enjoy these snapshots filled with love, laughter and life.

Mr. Chat and I toasted to our first class upgrade on Virgin Atlantic from Boston to London in April. It was a total splurge, but so very worth it. Trust me. 
Fly first or fly home, friends.

 Ello, London calling. So, I've waited 30-something years to take this picture and it was everything I thought it would be. London is just such a proper place brimming with rich history and designer style. Hats, fascinators, high tea, kings and queens. Don't mind the filth on the phone booth floor.
London, my dear chap, is for everyone.

No city in the world can compare to Paris. None. If you haven't been, add it to your list. You won't be sorry. When you're there, visit Pont de Arts a.k.a the world famous Love Lock Bridge. This was my second visit to the quintessential city of lights and celebrated land of love. Seventeen years ago, I just didn't get its mystique. My friends and I were too busy scouring the city for cute French boys which is totally natural for American girls in Paris. My second visit, with Mr. Chat, was beyond beautiful and left us breathless. Paris just has that je ne sais quoi. Oui.

My beautiful and beyond talented friend Alexis Kletjian doing what she does best -- talking jewels and gems at her recent launch party at Tryst Studio. Here she is with Boston style blogger Kerrie of Rarely Taken Seriously in what looks to be serious talk about bangles and other eye candy that's always a girl's best friend. Gentlemen take note and call Alexis for a custom piece for your lady.

Laughing with like-minded ladies, Georgian of Notes on Lifestyle by Georgina and Vanessa of Without a Measuring Cup at Tryst Studio. We love Boston, we love style…and of course we love good food and even better wine. 

Several times throughout the summer, Mr. Chat and I stop at Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineyard for a picnic on our way to Newport, RI. We've been going to Sakonnet for as long as I can remember -- definitely before it was "cool" and way before Carolyn Rafaelain, founder of Alex and Ani, purchased the winery in 2012. What's our secret? We always stop at Provender at Tiverton Four Corners for sandwiches (the bread is so good) and then continue our cruise down route 77 to the vineyard. A bottle of their sparkling Blanc de Blanc is always the elixir of choice. We veg on the grass, stroll miles of harvest and just get completely and utterly lost in the property's beauty. What do I always say about the ocean state?!

I always love a party hosted by uber-chic Boston Common. The magazine's collaboration with the Revere earlier this summer to kick-off the hotel's rooftop season was nothing short of the who's who in Boston.

It's never too late to do anything and my recent article for South Shore Living is proof. I took several magazine writing courses in college and for some reason it took me what seems like forever to finally write for a lifestyle glossy. In the July issue, I dish about solo artists and bands with ties to towns south of Boston. Check out center fold stars (above) the Aldous Collins Band.

A Sunday afternoon in Scituate needs no words (I know I just used a double negative, but it sounds good).

Photo Credit :: Alexis Kletjian
Last week, I had a rare and once in a lifetime opportunity to dust off my television persona and put my on-air interviewing skills to good use. Acting as a reporter of sorts for America's Best Racing and Fox Sports One, I had the time of my life interviewing fellow bloggers on our way from Boston to Saratoga Springs for a day at the races. I haven't been in front of a TV camera since my days at Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) twelve years ago. Here's the package that aired during the Jockey Club Racing Tour on Fox Sports One. There will be more to come on the blog about my reporting efforts, Saratoga style and a new friend I made along the way. Stay tuned. Film at 11.

What have you been up to this summer?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Chic of the Week :: Rear Window 60th Anniversary

Today marks the 60th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller Rear Window starring the always-dapper James Stewart and breathtakingly elegant Grace Kelly. Growing up, I remember watching this classic, among many, man others, with my mother so hence why I hold an affinity for such films today. Rear Window is the story of L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies (Stewart) who is confined to a wheelchair while his broken leg heals. He spends his home-bound days and nights spying on his neighbors from his rear apartment window. Later, he and his fashionable girlfriend, Lisa Fremont (Kelly), find themselves in the middle of a neighborhood murder mystery. 

Rear Window is one of my all-time favorite films from the 1950s. Every dress, handbag and accessory Kelly wore in the motion picture is like a piece of art - especially her 'fresh off the Paris plane' dress designed by legendary couturier Edith Head (without a doubt the most famous movie costumer of all time). Head's creation is stunning (to say the least) - a fitted black bodice sitting off the shoulder with a deep double-sided v-cut cascading to the bust (front) and small of the back (rear). Layers upon layers of white chiffon and tulle are gathered to reveal a full, tea-length skirt embellished with a branch pattern on the hip and black patent leather belt. Kelly's iconic look is finished off with a white chiffon shoulder wrap, black sandals, a pair of white elbow-length silk gloves and a single strand of pearls.

I love the moment when Kelly opens her leather Mark Cross valise to reveal a satin négligée, fur-clad slippers and whispers innocently, “A preview of coming attractions.” This is brilliant and by far, the best scene in the entire film. The starlet's notable eau de nil (pale green in French) suit is impeccable to say the least with its midi-length jacket complete with perched collar and matching pencil skirt. A simple, but refined white silk halter gathered at the waist is the perfect addition to her suit. Kelly's breathtaking look is finished off with a white pillbox hat and half veil (this is everything!!), a single strand of pearls, ornate stud earrings and a dazzling pearl bracelet dressed with lavish lockets. Rear Window is certainly ranked among the most iconic works in fashion and film history.