Are there places you’ve always wanted to visit? Of course there are. I know I have a ton of them. A long, infinite list – a list in constant flux – as one destination is crossed off, another is quickly added.
Dubai has long been near the top of my list – not the new Dubai crisscrossed by American food chains, Vegas-style mega hotels, overtly hip eateries and LA-esque traffic jams. No, give me the Dubai with its once active ports, quaint fishing enclaves and seemingly endless supply of pearls.
Most of the time, I try to let the experts guide me when it comes to what’s in my closet. Because if left to my own accord, I might end up wearing up wearing a pair of jeans, a tank top and Havaianas everyday (not the worst thing in the world, I suppose).
My fashion reference bibles are Nina Garcia’s The Little Black Book of Style and Rachel Zoe’s Style A to Zoe: The Art of Fashion, Beauty, & Everything Glamour. One thing that both Garcia and Zoe agree on is to pay the bucks for wardrobe classic staples and spend less on trendier items. The theory is that if you invest in the good stuff, the styles will eventually come back around and you can rewear them because they’re that well made and classic. I was thrilled to be enlightened to read that shoes are in fact, a staple.
So about those shoes…a friend of mine went to high school with Monica Favela, designer and owner of Gigi Favela, purveyors of to-die-for gorgeous Italian shoes. Using the six degrees of Kevin Bacon method and the magic of email, I scored an interview. Here’s the Q&A.
Drew Barrymore’s sartorial wink and a nod to the Valley of the Dolls at the Golden Globes last week made me realize it’s a good time to talk about that literary gem. I finally got around to reading it recently. Now, I see what all the fuss is about.
Valley of the Dolls is loaded – with sex (and more sex), celebrity, and of course, all those dolls (for those of you who are still wondering – dolls are pills) – all chewed up and spit out by the sacrificial beast of Hollywood. Upton Sinclair, it’s not – nor does it even try to fake it – it’s just true chick-lit all in its delicious glory. All those authors out there with their cotton-candy pink-hued book jacket covers could learn a thing or two from Jacqueline Susann about how to write a timeless piece of fiction. A piece of fiction so great you fly through it over a weekend (preferably a weekend where you’ve stocked up on a couple bottles of wine to compliment the reading – dolls optional).
For my birthday this year, I received a chocolate bar. Not just any chocolate bar that you blindly rip off the wrapper and scarf down like Charlie searching for his golden ticket entry into Willy Wonka’s factory. Nope. This was a bar worth savoring. The flavor so distinct and pure it was only enhanced when I closed my eyes and made moaning noises.
It made me feel like I’d never really tasted chocolate…gone is the day when a Dove, Hershey’s, Cadbury or Ghirardelli will do. After all, if you’re going to indulge why not make it count and taste the most rich and phenomenal thing you can? Enter Taza Chocolate.
I recently had the privilege of an interview with Taza Chocolate partner Larry Slotnick. Here’s the Q & A.
Travel can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be with the things you can actually control (this doesn’t include how fast your cab driver can get you to the airport after you’ve overslept or forgetting to pack your passport). By investing in good quality accessories to accompany well-made luggage, you too can travel with ease.
Here are some must have travel companions…
Baby it’s cold outside – at our house that usually means one thing…lots o’ television time. With the world in repeats, season endings and such, thought it would be a good time to do a TiVo roundup of sorts of shows worth watching, if you’re not already.
Quality luggage can make all the difference in the world when traveling. Just a few key pieces can help for efficient packing and a more enjoyable overall trip.
A few things to remember when selecting luggage:
1. Pick something with a little bit of style that reflects you, but something you won’t tire of in a few years’ time. I personally avoid busy prints, but if giraffe is your signature pattern, by all means – go for it!
2. Luggage should be well made (this does not necessarily expensive) but at the same time, it should be somewhat of an investment. It’s kind of like shopping at Old Navy vs. Nordstrom. Sure, items are cute from Old Navy, but do they get nubby and piley after two washes? Same goes for a suitcase – you don’t want your delicates circling the carousel for all the world to see because your poorly made bag’s zipper malfunctioned.
3. Think about how you use luggage – does your job have you traveling for weeks a time where you just park it in one hotel? Then maybe you need a large suitcase with lots of dimension. Or do your trips involve taking advantage of last minute fares over a few days? You might just need a solid weekender bag (so many cute ones out there).
4. Sets vs. individual pieces. There are pros and cons to both – sets are cost effective and generally include several key pieces, but can sometimes be very basic or include bags you will never use. Whereas, individual pieces are great because you can customize a set to your liking based on exactly what you need. The drawback, this adds up quick.
Here are some of my luggage favorites…
I am not hugely into New Year’s resolutions. But, usually there are goals I set to start the year off – sort of the notion of approaching the year with an intention. That intention generally involves some sort of growth process. For instance, this year, I really want to work on my Spanish comprehension. That’s so I don’t end up with a ginormous whole chicken for an afternoon snack when I thought I was ordering vegetable empanadas in Costa Rica. Or so I can hold my own when I am well aware I’m being screwed out of a ridiculously high cab fare because I’m “not from around here.” You know, useful, practical stuff.
My husband has this great friend from back home whose motto in life is to just simply be better. I think we could all use that phrase from time to time. Be better with choices in life. Whether it is allowing a moment of pause before reacting (om before ape shite), driving a bit off the beaten path for an authentic roadtrip meal instead of hitting the Arches, or not being as wasteful (Is it normal to go through a box of tissues in a week? Would Kimberly-Clark’s stock plunge to all time lows if I stopped using Kleenex?). Whatever it is, this year should be about being better across the board.
Nissan – the Japanese automaker is potentially embracing the be better mantra. I came across an article about a prototype they have for a new car concept called the Nuvu (new view). It was unveiled in 2008 at the Paris auto show. To say it’s slightly cartoonish is an understatement…it’s beyond something George Jetson would commute to work in, but perhaps our picture of a vehicle should advance alongside technology. The buzz around Nuvu is that it’s being touted as the future of urban transportation. It operates through solar panels on its glass roof and the power generated is fed through a battery, allowing the car to function electrically with a top speed of 120 km/h. While the nuts and bolts of the car are impressive in design, so is the interior, which uses natural, organic and recycled materials. Pretty sweet.