Monday, December 28, 2009

The Saints are Calling...

As I prepare for my next trip west over the New Year's holiday, I realized I still haven't written about my fabulous trip to Santa Barbara in September. So, what's a must there? Read on...

We stayed at The Canary. I'm pretty much obsessed with Spanish architecture, white stucco, dark wood, so I was in heaven. And, they give all the guests rubber froggies for the bath - ours now sits in our tub at home so it can remind me of our amazing trip. There are a lot of beautiful hotels in Santa Barbara, so pick the one that fits your personality best.

Santa Barbara has just about anything you might desire, with Saks, Nordstrom, Apple and the local Blue Bee panoply at your toes along State St. Downtown Montecito (vacation home to Oprah) will give you your mega-luxury fix, and there are cute antique shops hidden along the 1. I recommend just getting off the road and toodling around.

Hmm, one of my favorite subjects. For breakfast, definitely The Original Sambo's on the beach. For sushi, Arigato. For Mexican, Carlitos or Julia Child's favorite La Super-Rica Taqueria (sadly, we didn't get to try it). For steak, Holdren's. For guac, you must, must, must go for the Avofest in Carpinteria (Oct. 1-3, 2010). Beer, Island Brewing Company. And finally, wine - drive up to Los Olivos with your DD. Stop off in Solvang on the way for your fill of kitsch and some darn good Danish pancakes.

If you've got some extra pocket change, stay or eat at the San Ysidro Ranch. The legendary honeymoon escape for Jackie and JFK, this place is so special even for normal couples. Dinner in the Stonehouse at sunset may be one of my most memorable meals ever.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sid is Vicious

If I was a boy, I’d only shop at Sid Mashburn. Why, it’s even heaven for a fashion-obsessed girl like me – hmm, come to think of it, why didn’t I buy myself a great men’s shirt to wear with my favorite jeans? Tailors in the window with their little (er, I mean manly) sewing machines, an amazing horse painting over the check-out, ping pong and cocktails while you shop - what’s not to love? Plus, the guys that work there rock the clothes and will inspire you to try something a little different.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Word of the Month: Sartorial

adjective 1. of or pertaining to tailors or their trade: sartorial workmanship.
2. of or pertaining to clothing or style or manner of dress: sartorial splendor.

Also as in The Sartorialist - fashion project and blog extraordinaire by photographer and man-about-town Scott Schuman, where I draw so much fashion inspiration on a daily basis. Get his new book and take a look each morning before you get dressed - it will make you a better, more creative person.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rica Suave

Some people are triply blessed with brains, beauty and talent. Such is the case for my friend and world-traveler Zach McDuffie. While I’m never lucky enough to see him in person because he lives in Costa Rica, I can live vicariously through his amazing photography of the exotic locales he visits – and you can too.

Next Up?

My fashion radar is going off again. Here are a few predictions for what’s next:
White tights – cute in a schoolgirl sort of way, but made more interesting and sophisticated by pairing them with structured dresses, black poufy skirts and chunky ankle boots.

Velvet – I tried on a fantastic, draped DVF dress in ultra-soft velvet that I am still dying over (OK, I just bought it). Baroque color combos and creative shapes are a must to keep the look from getting too precious or Juicy-sweatsuit-esque (yuck).

Braids – Follow the lead of California’s surfer girls and put a single mini braid on each side of your center part before pulling up in a pony, or two big side braids or one big braid down the back – long hair is a must to work this look, so start growing out now.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crosstown Expressway

There's a new "It" bag in town and it's the Crossbody (or Messenger) bag. In-the-know readers, get one now before a mass proliferation later this fall. The ultimate for me is the Derek Lam Davina, though it's already sold out so I can't get one! I'm on the hunt for another version in super-soft suede. Here are a few others that fit the bill:

Hermes Victoria II Tote
Be & D Garbo
Fendi Peekaboo Roll
Botkier Taylor

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Get It!: Fall Shopping (Affordable Edition)

The gauntlet has been laid. The challenge put forth. The mission: create the ultimate fall shopping list – but this time, on a budget. OK, I’m up to the challenge (Claire!) and to make it all the more difficult, I tracked down each item from my original list and tried to keep it under $100 (OK, there are a few splurges at just under $150). You better recognize. This was really, stupidly hard.

- Chunky black high-heeled boots (Aldo - $150)
- Studded platforms - (Aldo - $125)
- Tan or caramel flat boots, preferably a bit worn-in (Kenneth Cole - $70)

- White boyfriend v-neck or drape-neck tee (JC Penney - $17.99)
- Grey wrap sweater (Uniqlo - $39.50)
- Tan blazer (Martin & Osa - $89.95)
- Fur vest (I've been wanting this for two years!) (Zara - $99)
- Leopard print coat (MICHAEL Michael Kors - $149)
- Red patterned blouse (Marc by Marc Jacobs - $74.24)
- Loose black tank top (Topshop - $24)

- Black bandage skirt (Topshop - $50)
- White skirt – must be worn with black tights (disclaimer, this is not as poufy as I’d like but it’s still cute) (ADAM - $89.99)
- Skinny, dark jeans (Gap – $69.50)
- Baggy, capri cotton pants (Lulu’s - $34)

- The perfect black tights or patterned black tights (Wolford - $52)
- Gold disk earrings (Kenneth Jay Lane - $24)
- Black bag (Monserat de lucca - $107.25 with “luckybreaks12” coupon code)

Here’s what I’ve learned. Aldo has some darn good designers on staff -- who knows if their shoes are comfortable, or how long they’ll last, but they’re cute. You can’t skimp on a good pair of black tights. White poufy skirts and disk earrings are very hard to find. Zara rocks. I love expensive handbags.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Get It!: Fall Shopping List

With September right around the corner, it's almost time to break out the fall clothes!! OK, I know it will still be hot in ATL for two months, but I'm planning ahead. I've made my list and checked it twice (and am listing specific items if I've found just the right thing - although the hunt is half the fun). Here's what I'm buying this fall, hope it will help you get a jump start on your shopping too:

- Chunky black high-heeled boots (Perfect pair: Prada)
- Studded platforms (Perfect pair: Cesare Paciotti)
- Tan or caramel flat boots, preferably a bit worn-in (Perfect pair: Frye)

- White boyfriend v-neck or drape-neck tee (Perfect top: Helmut Lang)
- Grey wrap sweater (Perfect sweater: Vince)
- Tan blazer
- Lamb vest (I've been wanting this for two years!) (Perfect coat: BluGirl)
- Leopard print coat (Perfect coat: Aqua)
- Red and white, abstract patterned blouse (Perfect shirt: Missoni)
- Loose black tank top

- Black bandage skirt (Perfect skirt: BCBG)
- DVF velvet wrap dress
- Skinny, dark jeans
- Baggy, capri cotton pants (Perfect pair: Prancing Leopard)

- The perfect black tights or patterned black tights (Perfect pair: Wolford)
- Gold disk earrings
- Black bag (I wasn't going to list any bags or purses since I'm on restriction, but this is for Stephanie) (Perfect bag: Jimmy Choo)

Friday, August 14, 2009


Dear Mom and Dad -
Despite my yuppified lifestyle, I am at my core, still the hippie child running on the beach in nothing but my birthday suit. In my old age, I've come to appreciate the things you showed me. I can understand why we lived on a commune at the beach, and why we had to stop at every Indian mound we passed on our state-to-state journeys.

It's all coming full circle - and I now know why I love the idea of placemaking. It's because of you and all of the odd, wild and wonderful experiences I had as an unsheltered child.

So, here's to you parents - this is right up your alley. Waterpod - life and art mixed together in a commune for the 21st century - in (but of course) Manhattan. Seems the bohemian lifestyle continues to revisit. And most surprisingly, it sounds kind of appealing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Get It!: On the Cheap ($25 and under)

How could a pickle inspire a blog post you ask? Well, it's not just any pickle - it's a Wickle! I have no idea how I first decided to pick up the cute little jar (OK, you got me - probably because the label was so cute and reminded me of the hot dog and bun dance in Grease), but I sure am glad I did. Now I eat Wickles in slice or relish form on almost everything I make at home. I am addicted and dedicated to this "Wickedly delicious pickle."

Price: $4.95
Where do you get 'em?: Publix for one, the web site is another option

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm predicting a trend come fall, and I'm going to name it "Nib-bling." Blatant bling is out, but there are still elements of bling - mini blings or nibbles if you will - that will be in. Metal studs, crystals, gold accents and shiny makeup will grace the streets in a way that still makes people shine, just in a less - ummm, showy -- way.

Here's evidence:
Black, long legs leggings with tiny metal studs
Statement jewelry remains
Cutie booties

A little originality will go a long way, and anything quietly Gucci is lovely as we continue the trend toward hippie, rocker and bohemian chic. Most importantly, black is going to be THE color again - yay, my wardrobe is already in place! Real Housewives, your 15 minutes are up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Horse is a Horse?

Not when they're a puppet! I'm bloody mad I didn't take the leap of faith and see War Horse when I was in London, December 2008. Now that I've seen the amazing puppetry involved, I need a time machine to take me back - or push me forward to 2011, when the play will come to New York.

Lifesize horse puppets grace the stage in the adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's novel by the same name. Apparently, they leave not a dry eye in the house.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille with...Blanche and Borat?

Today's installment in honor of Bastille Day is marked by some incredibly intriguing spottings from this sit-back-and-observe kind of gal.

A celebratory Bastille Day happy hour was marked with fun, girly conversation, champagne, cheese (but, of course) and sweat (we did sit outside). But as usual in my case, the sights were the most compelling part of the evening. Unfortunately, I did not capture these sights on film for posterity, but I think we witnessed what could be best described as the ne plus ultra of Glamour don'ts at Atmosphere tonight. A 60-plus something and her wild-n-crazy husband glammed it up for the big Frenchie night - she in a white, cut-off jean skirt with belly and breast-baring low cut maroon bathing suit(?). The outfit can best be described as Blanche from Golden Girls meets Borat in his green unitard. Mon dieu!

Cap that off with a rotund bike rider replete with helmet and zebra-striped tee and the party was on! Guess my Louboutins and YSL handbag were a little overdone.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Get It!: Splurge ($$ To Infinity and Beyond)

Holy motherlode of all that's fabulous and vintage. I got my 1stdibs e-blast this afternoon and lo and behold, they are now auctioning couture - crazy good stuff.

I priced this entry as "to infinity and beyond" because this gorgeous Dior black velvet cape is not priced on the site - which means it's so outrageously expensive that if you have to ask, you cannot afford it. But isn't it a beauty?

And, the Fifties-era Chanel necklace...the 60's Eyelash Mini...the Valentino tiger print velveteen coat. OMG.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Word of the Month: Beach

OK, I'm not teaching anyone anything new with this installment -- but, I am reiterating what's on everyone's mind - and that's a great big, salty, sunny, sweaty beach trip. I know I personally cannot wait to hit the blazingly hot, humid shores of Florida this weekend!

Beach: noun - an expanse of sand or pebbles along a shore; the area adjacent to a seashore

Beach, beach, beach, beach, beach! I can't say it enough.

Here are a few of my faves:
Rosemary Beach (here I come!)
Santa Monica
Chatham, Mass.
Puerto Vallarta
The North Shore, Oahu
The Maldives (a girl can dream)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get It!: Skip Lunch Out ($25-$50)

This week, we'll go up in price just a tad to grasp one of summer's most essential staples within our reach.

The LL Bean Boat and Tote has long been a part of my life (and I am guessing many of yours as well) during the warm weather months, and it holds a special place in my heart. LL Bean recently introduced the Heritage Boat and Tote, a lovely cream-colored confection, with leather-trimmed handles, brass rivets and the ever-adored monogramming option. Monogram yours in simple black, cream, white or chocolate brown for a classic that will last you for years.

Total cost: $45 (with monogram).

Friday, June 12, 2009

Get It!: On the Cheap ($25 and under)

Starting a new regular installment to tell you what to get, where and how much. The first edition is for you lingering recessionistas.

Want to look like a million bucks for only $25? Buy yourself (or your lady) one of Chanel's new Robertson Boulevard-inspired polishes and make those toes the life of the party this summer!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goin' on a Manhunt

The ever-inspiring photo collections of Bill Cunningham continue this week with his gallery of men's fashion in "On the Street." It's amazing to me how much attention men in New York put into their appearance - and it really does pay off. Expect to see a few of these trends catch on in mainstream America by fall.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Lived the 80s

It is with mixed emotions that I say, "The 80s are back!" Every few years a few 80s trends are revived to throw us off a little, but this year I'm seeing more and more signs that the 80s may be coming back at us in a big way. Gossip Girl flashbacks, Dynasty shoulders, old-school Rolexes, neon. A revival of John Hughes flicks is in order - God, I loved Sixteen Candles.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Precious

Thanks, Mom. You're fueling my newfound addition to beautiful pots and pans. While the debate rages on between Le Creuset devotees and Staub fans, I've strayed from the matriarch's leanings and am trying out Staub (I like the colors better).

The first piece of my collection is the stunningly greige 5 ct. dutch oven. I'm cooking Italian Wedding Soup first, stay tuned.

Word of the Month: Louche

In this day and age of recessionistas and frugality, harkening back to the louche-ness of our old ways should give everyone a good reality check. Hmmm, did I use louche right?

Louche: adjective; dubious, shady, disreputable; of questionable taste or morality, decadent.

Sometimes I feel like my old purse collection is louche, but I bought my treasured bags before everyone was broke, so I'm considering them vintage.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Les Lalannes

When I was in Santa Monica last month, I was intrigued by two dinosaur sculptures covered in ivy in the 3rd Avenue mall. What I didn't know is that I was looking at the work of two living legends in French sculpture, who I serendipitously happened across again on my visit to Serenbe where artist-in-residence Tom Swanston showed me a book on their works.

The Lalannes, Claude and Francois-Xavier, live on a 30-acre farm outside Paris and sculpt anthropomorphic animals out of bronze, primarily. I love anything animal, but these exquisitely detailed and beautiful pieces set off a totally different sort of creative gene in my brain. Take a look and get your creative juices flowing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Don't Drink and...Dress

There are some people in this world (like me) who take both people watching and fashion very seriously. There are others who think it's all a big joke and dress to impress leaving all of us in the other category to utter, "what were they thinking?"

At tonight's The Big Finish party benefiting the High Museum of Art, there were residents of both camps in attendance. Sure, there were some well-dressed Atlanta recessionistas in the house, including the requisite SEC-gameday-esque Tori Burchettes and their bow-tied companions, and what appeared to be fledgling designers slash stylists trolling the halls. But what really caught my attention were those no holds barred fashion don'ts. Here's a quick overview in our first-ever fashion faux pas extravaganza:

Too many brights don't make a right (you can't see the bright gold purse here):

Taking a cue from the brightest girl in the room isn't always smart:

Tam o'shanters aren't cute unless it's St. Patty's Day (and neither are jodhpurs with stockings and partial loafers):

If it's bigger than your head, it's probably not meant to go atop it:

Big props to Candace for helping capture these images.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Les Jambes

There's no better predicator of upcoming fashion than the streets of Paris during Fashion Week. All black, check. Drool-worthy ankle boots, check. Chanel bags, check. Opaque and patterned black tights, check. Thigh high skirts and Daisy Dukes, check. Better get your workout on.

Wait a minute! Parisians are wearing Daisy Dukes? Right on - and they're cutoff jean shorts too. OK, I'm not permissioning "jorts," but let's get ahold of this trend-mix before fall please.

Watch the NYT slide show here and get inspired.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kermit was Wrong

It's easier being green.

My buzzometer went off this weekend (finally!) following an inspirational visit to Serenbe. I got married there almost seven years ago and always enjoy heading down to see what's new. It got me thinking a lot about being green - and not in a Kermit THE Frog kind of way.

I work with a lot of clients who have green teams, sustainability missions and more, and I myself try to be energy-mindful and don't use plastic bags. But there's much more to it and I'm excited to see a lot of really great green communities coming online in spite of the economy. Here are a few of my faves:

New World Home Atlanta - It's not even a neighborhood (yet) but these eco-friendly houses are so darn charming, I want one! And, they're modular! You have to see it in person to really get the full picture.

The Brookwood (full disclosure, this is one of my clients, but I can still like it!) - Atlanta's first LEED-designed high-rise condo, The Brookwood is gorgeous! I've seen a lot of condos, and this is the first I can truly see myself living in thanks to the clever design and development team.

Serenbe - The grandaddy of green living in Atlanta, this lush spot is away from it all, but well worth the drive. That's the only problem - the commute alone probably makes up for all the earth-saving you're doing by living there.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Shopping Guide

For me, Daylight Savings Time always marks the start of spring. This year, despite the fact that everyone's on a budget, there are a few additions you can make to your wardrobe to inject a little fun and start spring off on the right foot! Here are my top picks:

- Thong sandals - J Crew has some great ones in a variety of colors
- Boyfriend jeans - the more trashed and torn, the better
- Cardigan - three-quarter sleeves are a must, dusty pink is a great color option
- Chunky necklaces - a carry-over from fall, these are still a great accent
- Hobo bag - slouchier and hippier than we've seen in a while, make sure yours is made of ultra-soft leather and preferably gray, blue, tan or ivory
- Spring scarves - in black or white, they go with everything
- Ultra-high, statement heels - they're the new "it" bag
- A flowy, pleated dress in a fun color

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fashion Flu

Gosh darn it, the flu has held me down long enough and I've got to break free. Sunday night's Oscar broadcast and "Super Bowl o' fashion" was dampened by the onset of a viral plague, but it won't befall the muddy-headed fashion commentary I've been waiting a whole year to write (read at your own risk).

The Winners and the Losers
Honestly, I can't say there was one red carpet walker I felt stole the show, which is kind of a disappointment. I also can't say there was a horrid display of bad taste, which means most are getting it somewhat right, but not totally.

Here's my rundown of the B+ vote-getters in my book:

Taraji Henson - Gorgeous gown and just the right jewels, perfect hair - pretty much flawless

John Legend - Well-suited in his classic tux with a slim, modern cut

Natalie Portman - Possibly the stand-out of the night both for the color and the outfit's overall simplicity

Robert Pattinson - Yummy in all his delicious Edward Cullen-ness. A big thank you to the Academy for including him in the line up.

Mickey Rourke - An honorable mention for his originality, that's what fashion is made of folks. Plus, I adore that he loved his dog so much.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Word of the Month: Draconian

In homage to my colleague Randall and his use of this extraordinary adjective in a harmless internal meeting, the word of the month for February is draconian!

Definition: Adj. Exceedingly harsh; very severe: draconian budget cuts

If you can work draconian into a sentence at work next week, you win 100 points and my eternal friendship!

Tomorrow: Blogging on the Oscar red carpet! Big day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ga Ga for LA LA

Coming back from the Left Coast can be exhausting - that time change doesn't seem like much, but it hits you like a ton of bricks on your first Monday back in the real world. I'm a little overdue here, but wanted to give a quick rundown of my Top Five Los Angeles must-dos:

1. Santa Monica - Take a run in Palisades Park overlooking the beach - it's doggy and people-watching heaven. Afterwards, grab a cup of coffee at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and if it's a Saturday, head on over to the farmer's market. Next time, I'm staying at the Fairmont.
2. Sushi at Sushi Katsu-ya - Yum. Spicy tuna on crispy rice, red wine. Yum.
3. Brentwood Country Mart - I'd live here if I could.
4. Drive by the Playboy Mansion - you can't see much but it's still pretty darn neat and you might see a bunny or two stumbling in...or out.
5. Rodeo Drive and beyond - any shopaholic has to at least take a gander. Have a glass of wine on Via Rodeo, watch the hordes of people and then head over to Neimans, Saks and Barney's for some real shopping.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Itty Bitty

I heart Bitty. Mark Bittman, he of New York Times foodie fame, is just so great. I love that he loves food. I love his dry sense of humor. I love that he's a minimalist who enjoys the simple flavors of real food and doesn't try to get all Gourmet magazine-fancy on you.

I'm adding a new feed to his blog on the right. And, check him out in all his glory in The Minimalist video series and column - you'll love him too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Belle du Jour

After further analysis of the Golden Globes' looks from Sunday's spectacular, I've made a final decision on my best dressed picks. I won't be panning anyone's outfits here this time around, although I will give Drew Barrymore's hair an honorable mention for horrid behavior.

Best Dressed Woman: Cameron Diaz
Flawless, pink Chanel - as usual, Cameron is setting trends for spring.

Best Dressed Man: Tom Cruise
I haven't lately been a fan, but whatever Katie's putting in the water (or the plastic surgery budget) is working. This man looked impeccable and like an old-fashioned movie star.

For a full blow-by-blow of the fashion hits and misses from this year's show, the NYT has the best coverage.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Two for One

Since it's Friday, I thought I'd post a two-for-one in honor of happy hour (and because I can't sleep!).

The second most important thing I need to tell you about today is Lady Antebellum. I was lucky enough to catch on to them during my much-needed holiday break, and I have to let the cat out of the bag now before they get too famous.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of country music - despite the fact that my husband is from Nashville. But, I've got to give it to this band - they've got that all-powerful star quality that you just can't deny. And, I have to admit, it doesn't hurt that lead-singer Charles Kelley is flat-out sexy (and a fellow Georgia Bulldog).

Try 'em out, before someone else tells you to.

Hot Child in The City

Hey there Upper East Siders. If you're a fan of all things trival (aka The Hills), there's a new gig in town, er, I mean the City. I have to apologize for being slightly behind the curve on this one, but I have to post info. on The City for those fashion and gossip mongers who aren't already aware.

The spin-off of the top-rated MTV series, The Hills, is now in full-swing this season on MTV, and what a swing it is. Fashion, oh my. Male models, oh my. Catty society girls, oh my. I love it!

Watch it now to see what DVF is preparing for Spring 2009 so you can hit the streets in the latest before everyone else, and watch especially for "social" Olivia Palermo's pouty looks every time she asks about Whitney's beau, Jay. LC better watch out, or her reign will soon be over - everyone knows NYC is much more fascinating than LA.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Road Weary

After too much road time, I decided to stop the blogging nonsense. There was nothing trendy, chic or "it" about our destinations - despite the fact we did have a fab time. I will provide a few quick tips here about our last stops in Nashville and Chattanooga in case you're planning a trip:

Union Station Hotel - gorgeous!
Loveless Cafe - delicious (save your calories up though)!
Green Hills Mall - sad and lonely, I realize how lucky we Atlantans are with all of the shopping options despite my lust after New York's shopping institutions
Mafiozza's Pizza - quite the scene and some delicious antipasti

Bluff View Inn - I've said it before, a gem for a weekend jaunt
St. John's Restaurant - creative food with a price tag fit for the big city
Good friends and coming home to our beloved pups the next day - priceless!

Next stop, LA LA Land. I can't wait and I know there will be much to blog about!