Four Fashion Brands You Need In Your Life

fashion 2

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!

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 Best Things I Have EVER Done For My Skin

Clarisonic .JPG

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


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!

Kyle Richards’s Boutique Spices Up Palm Beach

Palm Beach is known for its fabulous shopping. It’s a cornerstone of any trip to the island, and there’s hardly anything a person desires that they won’t find here. And last year, Kyle Richards of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, opened up a Palm Beach arm of her celebrated boutique, Kyle by Alene Too.

I had a chance to visit it for the first time this week.

Located on Royal Poinciana Way, the store is well-positioned to capitalize on the Palm Beach crowd, as well as daily visitors from West Palm Beach and beyond. I found the store delightful, and the selection a reflection of Kyle’s own colorful and trendy style. Many of the clothes work well in Palm Beach, but could easily fit in Beverly Hills, too. I saw a sweatshirt I simply had to have, and I’ve got my eye on a few other items. The boutique also maintains a selection of purses, small gift items, and accessories.

In other words, there is something in the store for everyone.

So what’s the verdict? I’ll be back. For sure.

Cincinnati’s Fountain Square: The Perfect Place for a Winter Soiree

I’ve always been a fan of Cincinnati’s Fountain Square, especially during the holidays and in the winter. There’s just something magical about heading downtown for dinner, taking a turn on the ice skating rink, and enjoying an evening underneath the gigantic Christmas tree.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that Fountain Square’s Warming Tent can be rented for private parties and events.

Here are the details from

The Fountain Square Ice Rink and the Lykins Energy Solutions Warming Tent are available for birthday parties, corporate events, holiday parties, private rentals and group outings or for anyone who just wants to have a party. To make a reservation or to inquire about availability, please contact Andrea Hawkins at or call (513) 977-8002. CLICK HERE for additional rental information.

Party Packages with Lykins Energy Solutions Warming Tent Rental

Available only during rink’s normal operating hours, excluding Friday and Saturday evenings from December 16 – January 2. Minimum 15 guests/Maximum 70 guests.

All Party Packages Include:
– The chance to skip the line to get your skates!

– Free skate rentals for all guests
– Private Warming Tent rental, with tables and benches for set-up and guest seating

Half Warming Tent Rental (10×40 space): For parties of 15-30. $75/hour rental fee + $6/guest

Full Warming Tent Rental (24×60 space): For parties of 31-70. $125/hour rental fee + $6/guest

NOTE: Bar packages are available for an additional cost.

Amazing, right? Make sure you bookmark this so you won’t forget it! What a fun place to have a party!

Guilded Age Beauty in College Hill

IMG_1570Laurel Court, also known as the Peter G. Thomson house, might be one of the most gorgeous homes in Cincinnati. It also might be one the best kept secrets in the city.

It shouldn’t be.

Built in 1902 as a private residence, this home hearkens back to an era of tremendous Cincinnati growth. Stately mansions, new parks, public transportation, growing suburbs, skyscrapers all cropped up around during the period between 1880 and 1920. In College Hill, then called Pleasant Hill, Peter G. Thompson, founder of The Champion Coated Paper Co, selected a large tract of land for what would become his massive family home.  His architect designed the house with the Grand Trianon in mind.

The home turned out grand, indeed.

Today, guests can enjoy Laurel Court as an event venue, and that’s how I first came to see it. I attended a wedding there, and it was an elegant backdrop for the ceremony and reception. The couple married in the garden, guests drank cocktails on the first floor of the mansion, everyone joined together for a fantastic dinner on the lawn, and we finished up the night with dessert and dancing in the solarium.


You don’t have to be part of a wedding party to visit this fantastic slice of Cincinnati history, though. The homeowners regularly schedule private tours, and keep the house open for guests.

What are you waiting for? Visit!

Urban Serenity in French Park

It’s no secret that Cincinnati has some amazing parks. In fact, the city has won numerous awards over the years for the high quality parks enjoyed every year by thousands of residents and visitors.

French Park, located in Amberly Village but owned by Cincinnati, is one of the better ones. It’s also one of the more overlooked, with many area residents thinking of Smale, Ault, and Eden Parks ahead of French.

They shouldn’t.

My husband and I spent part of a recent weekend at French Park, and the best part about this park is the open green space. 275 acres of wide lawns, rolling hills, a small trail system, and creek make up the majority of this park. It also has volleyball courts, picnic areas, and the famous French house, which can be rented for special events.

During a time when everyday live can seem so stressful, and we’re bombarded with a lot of sad, terrible news, I’m thankful for the natural serenity that a place like French Park provides. It’s easy to escape the constant whirl of real life with an afternoon at this park. Getting back to nature is a good idea for anyone.

Pike Place Market: The Heartbeat of Seattle

For years, I’d heard about awesome trips to Pike Place Market from others. In Seattle, it is a huge tourist destination, and as one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the US, people who visited always told me it’s an unforgettable experience.

A variety of reasons have led me to spend a few days in Seattle, and a trip to the city’s walkable downtown topped the list of things to see first. Pike Place Market wasn’t on the “do this or else” list, but we stumbled into it on Thursday and found ourselves a part of the bustling afternoon crowd.

And what a delight.

First of all, Pike Place Market is much larger than it seems at first blush. City block after city block teams with crowds, stalls, shops, stands, street performers, tourists, and more. Every  color, smell, and taste appears here, and it almost creates a sensory overload.


I think the trick to an awesome Pike Place Market experience is just to let yourself go– just let yourself enjoy it. Stop in this shop, or eat something from that stall, interact with those performers, and just people watch. Take time. Slow down. Don’t move so fast.

Just enjoy. You’ll be so glad that you did.