You Need These Sandals In Your Life

Have you ever heard of Fibi & Clo?

Maybe not. I hadn’t until recently, when I stumbled on them via Pinterest. I’m obsessed now. Obsessed. These sandals are simply gorgeous and timeless. We’re talking about beautiful details that take a normal sandal and twist it up.

Perfect for warmer weather (which is thankfully around the corner)!

The line comes in eight styles, and each pair of sandals can go easily from workwear to a night on the town. My favorite is the classic “She Said Yes” sandal in beige–I already have a pair on the way and I’m dreaming up places to wear them.

Like what you see? Make sure you shop with me! 

Don’t Miss the Brunch at Temple Orange

As I’ve said before, I’ll go anywhere and do almost anything for a good brunch. Brunch is one of my favorite meals. I love a good mimosa, a bloody Mary bar, some eggs Benedict….

But I digress.

We recently brunched at the Temple Orange restaurant in Lantana, and I loved it. It lived up to the hype. Temple Orange is the signature restaurant of the Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa, a five-star hotel located just south of Palm Beach herself. At one time, the Ritz owned the property, but now it’s a part of a small line of boutique resorts.

Temple Orange turns into a delightful spot for Sunday brunch. A flat rate gets guests access to a plentiful buffet full of smoked salmon, pastries, humus, breakfast favorites, fresh fruit, omelets, and more. A small additional fee allows guests to experience a champagne and blood Mar bar–and I must say, that should be passed up by anyone. It’s too good.

Topping it all off, however is the view from Temple Orange. The restaurant lies in the middle of the resort, and gives guests a perfect view of the main pool, resort grounds, hotel rooms, and the ocean. It’s magical.

Put Temple Orange on your list. You won’t be disappointed.

A Piece of Camelot on Peanut Island

It’s well-known that JFK and the rest of his family loved Palm Beach. The Kennedys had a home there for many years, and members of the family often visited. A few of the most iconic images from the Kennedy administration were taken on the island.

A little less well-known are how many steps the secret service put in place so that JFK and his family could enjoy life in South Florida at the height of the cold war. Among those things: the government nuclear fallout shelter built just for the Kennedys on a small island just across water from Palm Beach herself. Today, the shelter is a tourist attraction on Peanut Island which is a county park where people can spend the day sunbathing, picnicking, hiking, and more.

We visited the bunker on our last visit to Palm Beach. It’s the crown jewel of the Palm Beach Maritime Museum. After a short tour of the old coast guard station on the western edge of this manmade island, a tour guide led us to a small hill and then underground to the shelter that government officials hoped would keep Kennedy and his family safe should a nuclear attack occur on Washington (or another high value target) while the president spent time at his family’s South Florida retreat.

The shelter isn’t very big, and spartan at best.  We’re talking about one large room a few feet underground, along with a few beds, storage for non perishable food, room for a desk, and not much more. The shelter could house people for up to 30 days in case of a nuclear fallout, but our tour guide said most agents expected it to only be used about four days.

Still, its fascinating–and a great example of a time long gone, a time when this kind of event seemed imminent, and preparation was prudent. Add to that the fact that Kennedy presided over the Cuban Missile Crises, and it’s enough to send chills down your spine.

So, if you have a chance–check it out. History is important, and this shelter is certainly a part of that. It’s worth seeing, and a side of Camelot people don’t normally remember.

Four Fashion Brands You Need In Your Life

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I’m always scouring the web for new collections and styles. Right now, I’m obsessed with a few, and I’m sharing them here. You might find they fit with your personal style, too–so make sure you check these out–just in time for spring styles!

1. Nightcap Clothing: If you love lace, this is the place to start. Nightcap makes beautiful dresses and puts a creative spin on evening wear and unique separates. I love this line because the pieces look great on so many different kinds of bodies. Nightcap makes the wearer feel sexy and look great. I’m not the only devotee…. celebrities love it as well!

2. Lark & Ro: Amazon’s exclusive line for prime members offers fantastic work separates at great prices. Lark & Ro is a great place to find day-to-night dresses, classic skirts, and other flattering pieces for prices that make your jaw drop (in a good way!).

3. Rebecca Minkoff: This line of accessories (and a few clothing pieces) focuses on affordable luxury, and does it well. Most of the handbags are on trend, and don’t break a budget. This is a great line for cross-body bags and fun clutches.

4. Joie: Boho chic meets French fashion in this line, and I love it. Look to Joie for festival fashion, and for comfortable pieces that are well made and classic. Oh, la, la!

After 60 Years in Business, You Learn a Few Tricks

Earlier this week, a local joint on the northern fringes of Cincinnati celebrated 60 years in business. Not bad, huh?

The Root Beer Stand has served hungry folks in Sharonville the same homemade root beer and chili since 1957. This is the kind of spot that does a few things–and does them very well. If you’re looking for root beer that tastes fresh and crisp, this is your spot. If you’re looking for a burger topped with cheddar cheese, nacho cheese, and bar-b-q, this is your spot. And, if you’re looking for a famous hot dog served with everything on it all at once, this is for sure your spot.

By the way, employees make gallons of fresh root beer every day at this joint. Every. Single. Day.

The folks in Sharonville love this restaurant. On any given day during the spring and summer, you’ll find it packed with folks enjoying a few twists on basic fast food. Many say The Root Beer Stand is synonymous with their neighborhood.

Which meant they didn’t let the drive-in’s 60th anniversary pass without a celebration. Not only did the city declare last Monday “Root Beer Stand” day, but city leaders and officials turned out with cupcakes for a root beer toast of 60 years service to the community.

Here’s to 60 more…

When Dive Bars are the Best Bars

img_4701-1Sometimes, you just want a cold one. Or a quick stop somewhere that isn’t about scene or a fancy drink menu. Sometimes, you’re just looking for a place with no frills.

And the dive bar does the trick.

Down the street and around the bend, we’re lucky to have one such spot. The Vogue has been serving up beers and quenching thirsts in Cincinnati’s Hartwell neighborhood since 1925, and I love it for that. The bar is tiny and spartan, but that’s part of the major appeal. It’s also located in a nondescript part of town anchored by a grocery store and a few other struggling businesses.

 People of all races and classes mix at the bar, and the staff doesn’t overcharge. Recently, my husband and I shared a beer and a margarita while watching March Madness.

We paid $6.50. Total.

The Vogue is fun. Unique. A mainstay. And always a good choice when you just want a change of scene. Bring cash, though, if you go. They don’t accept credit cards for payment.

Four Travel Essentials You Need NOW

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Everyone knows I love a good deal. I love ingenious design even more–especially when it comes to doing less with more, something that is essential when on the go.

Recently, I’ve come across a few products that I think are GAME CHANGERS when it comes to making it easier to get out there and get after it. I’m sharing my favorites right here.

1. This travel hoodie:  XY37 designed this travel hoodie, and I think it is absolutely brilliant. t is stylish but functional, and contains pockets for all the things a   needs: a passport, ear buds, neck pillow, iPhone, knit cap, water bottle, and so on. I don’t think I’ve seen anything this awesome!

2. These travel adapters: Never get caught without the right plug again. This set of adapters will take you all over the world, and they work in 150 countries! You need these!

3. This set of travel organizers: Keep your items separated with this chic set of organizers. I especially like the laundry pouches!

4. This deep sleep eye mask: It can be hard to sleep on planes, trains and in automobiles, so I always recommend ways to work around the noise.

Ancient Rome or Southern California?

Tucked into the hillside around Pacific Palisades, just before the edge of Malibu, lies one of the most gorgeous museums I have ever seen.

The Getty Villa is amazing. Full stop. It’s even better than I expected, and I highly recommend it to anyone who’s visiting the Los Angeles area. In fact, I like it better than it’s more famous sibling, the Getty Center.

This is an interesting fact, since I usually favor museums with an impressionist and modern art focus. Not this time, though. The Getty Villa is all about antiquity, and I loved that about it. I’m hankering to go back. This is partly because J. Paul Getty built the villa with a specific focus. He wanted to create a place that would complement his collection of treasures from Ancient Rome, Greece, and Persia, so he designed a museum that mimicked a countryside villa in Ancient Rome, likely near the city of Pompeii.

He succeeded.

We spent half a day there recently, and I found it unforgettable, peaceful, and beautiful. Not only did we learn more about antiquities, but the museum helped me appreciate that era in a new way. It was also fun to traipse around the grounds, enjoying the gardens and the villa underneath the California sunshine.

In all– totally worth it! Put this museum on your ‘to-do’ list! Plus, admission is FREE!

Fred Segal: LA’s Most Quintessential Boutique

Fashion is fickle. Everyone knows it. One day, a brand is so hot it flies off store shelves. The next day, no one touches it.

Boutiques are like that, too, and the ones that pop up around LA are no exception. I’ve been to the City of Angeles dozens of times (it’s one of my favorite American cities), and some of the best boutiques one year can’t be found the next.

But Fred Segal is always there. Always. And, to my delight, it doesn’t change. For years, this store has offered SoCal’s most fashionable unique and curated clothing, accessories, and housewares. The brands inside the store change, but the overall feel doesn’t. There’s just something about Fred Segal.

And that’s why I recommend a stop there to anyone visiting Los Angeles. It’s a great place to kill an hour or two, and it’s easy to get lost in the racks discovering all that the store has to offer.

I mean it. Other spots are “in” one day and “out” the next. Fred Segal does what it does better than anyone else. The Melrose location is LA at her finest. Don’t miss it. Besides, where else might you get the chance to talk Cameron Diaz out of a truly heinous Angora sweater?

 

The Thrill of the Hunt

I love a good find–especially a good vintage, mid-century modern find. Over the last few years, I’ve developed quite a passion for furniture, artwork, lamps, and more made right in the middle of the “American Century”. I love the clean lines, bright colors, hopeful tone, experimental craftsmanship, and quality of so many of the pieces. They never go out of style.

So, I was in heaven this afternoon at the Sharonville Convention Center, which played host to the “20th Century Cincinnati” vintage design, art, furniture, and fashions trade show.

I arrived expecting a small crowd and maybe two dozen exhibitors. Instead, I found hundreds of people, vendors from all over the US, and sales happening everywhere I looked. Apparently, I’m in good company when it comes to my mid-mod love affair.

We had fun just browsing, and talking with people about the booths they curated. So many of them see antique and vintage preservation as a passion, and I heard it in their voices as they shared where they’d found special items and stories about the pieces. We made about four trips around the show before I felt like I’d seen everything–and while browsing didn’t turn into buying, I walked away with plenty of ideas for future decor.

Good news! The show lasts through this weekend. It cost $8 to get in the door, and parking is free. It all kicks off again on Sunday at 11.

The Best Things I Have EVER Done For My Skin

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I’ve had the same struggle since 12, when the acne started. My skin has given my fits. You name it, I’ve had it: cystic acne, patchy skin, overactive oil glands, freckles, sun damage, and a myriad of other issues.

It hasn’t always been an easy ride.

However, in the last few years, I’ve developed a routine that has given me better results than anything in the past. These days, I’m hardly wrestling with my skin. I figured that it might be time to share my tips and tricks.

1. Moisturize. This is the one thing I cannot stress enough. Dry skin leads to major problems and early wrinkles. I liberally apply moisturizer twice a day, in the morning and evening. I’ve seen fewer fine lines and far less wrinkles as a result. The best part? It doesn’t take an expensive one to see real results. I find that Oil of Olay works just fine.

2. Invest in a Clarisonic. Hands down the best thing I have ever done. One of these isn’t cheap, but this in an investment. I started using mine a few times a week a few years ago, and my skin is brighter, cleaner, and far happier. It’s also a great supplement to regular facials.

Speaking of facials…

3. Get regular facials. Facials do so much for skin. Many of them are tailor-made for various skin problems, and in addition to being healthy, they are also relaxing. They don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, or take up a bunch of time, either. A 30 minute express facial is often more than enough.

4. Wear sunscreen. Sun damage is one of the worst things possible for skin, and sunscreen should always be worn, even in the winter. My favorite on-the-go brand, Sun Bum, comes in a handy little stick.

5. Get some sleep! I can’t stress this enough! A good night’s sleep counts!

Five Travel Book Must-Reads to Jumpstart Your Wanderlust

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Sometimes, heading out of town on an adventure doesn’t jive with our everyday lives. While we might be ready to jet off somewhere, the only thing that can really leave is our mind.

And that’s why sometimes it is nice just to get lost in a good book. Over the years, I’ve picked up a few travel book favorites, and I wanted to take a moment to share them with you. Through the pages of these favorites, I’ve gone on culinary adventures in France, ridden on the back of a motorcycle in South America, hiking in Yellowstone, and more.

Without further ado, here are my top five travel reads:

1. My Life in France: This memoir by famed chef Julia Child provides a unique insight into live in post WWII France. Julia is new to the country, and hardly knows anyone, but she makes quick work of falling in love with the cuisine, culture, and countryside. Need an afternoon in the French countryside? This is your book.

2. The Motorcycle Diaries: Before Che Guevara helped lead the Cuban Revolution, he was a 23-year-old medical student who traveled South America on an unforgettable journey. While in many ways I don’t agree with the path his life later took, this book does have some important insights.

3. Madness Under the Royal Palms: My favorite vacation town gets a scathing and scandalous review by Laurence Leamer, and it makes for a quick and page-turning read. This part of South Florida has always had an interesting history, and he gives it an insight like never before.

4. Dear Bob and Sue: This love letter to our national parks left me wanting to visit as many as I could! It’s a funny, irreverent, and unique look at all 59 parks, and the things about them that make them great.

5. Humans of New York–Stories: I’m a huge fan of the Humans of New York IG account, and this is a great supplement to that. I’ve always thought that NYC’s best asset is her people, and this book proves it!