Destinations: A Sleek Escape to Singapore...

All I can say over this hotel is a mouth agape WOW. Singapore is one of those amazing places I simply can't wait to visit. The celebration of the city-state's superrich new money society was widely celebrated in Crazy Rich Asians (a must-read, by the way) and enlightened many of us to the wonders of this hot spot on the tip of the Malay peninsula. Singapore is a wondrous land of business deals and bank accounts only barely eclipsed by the height of the insane height of the shining downtown skyscrapers. 

Where to stay? The Fullerton Bay Hotel looks amazing in every respect, although the Marina Bay Sands boasts the infinity pool that is much the obsession of travelers, pinners and thrill-seekers everywhere. Fullerton shines like a polished gem in the Marina Bay district. A sparkling steel creation with opulent interiors worthy of adoration, it actually reads "low key" compared to its more ostentatious neighbors. Just look at those well-appointed rooms, plush velvet sofas and iridescent textural walls. As a design fan I assure you, this is one swanky place to rest your weary shopping-fatigued feet.

Speaking of shopping... what to wear, what to wear in Singapore, you ask? I'm so glad you inquired. Let's pack a make-believe suitcase. I love to pack for comfort and style. A black jumpsuit is a standby I am grateful for constantly. It takes you from airport to sky bar without skipping a beat. Wear a crossbody bag for convenience and security and by all means, don't be shy about wearing flats. Especially if you'll be checking out the sights, a comfy pair of shoes (especially of the studded variety) will look far more chic than you hobbling through the lobby on your blistered feet.  

Along those lines, I love to pack away a neutral makeup set that has a bit of everything in one compact palette. Laura Mercier always turns it out with her amazing sets. The compact size makes it easy to freshen up post-landing. Spritz on some of your favorite exotic fragrance to add to the "we're just a 85 miles north of the equator" vibe and you're all set. Sunglasses, of course, are a must. My favorite are all oversized and exude an effortless air of mystery while still protecting you letting your jet lag show. Fine luggage: chic. Bags under eyes: not so chic. 

For the flight itself, don't skip wrapping a luxe scarf around your neck for warmth and comfort. Once you've headed out for dinner & drinks, switch it out for a glam bib necklace. Also post-flight: Omorovicza makes the most amazing facial mist. Somehow, some way this delicately fragranced mist brings tired skin back to life. In addition to the skin plumping qualities, the aromatic wonders of this Hungarian spray are almost magical. Toss a travel kit into your tote for a pre-landing zhush session. 

Rimowa Topas Titanium Multiwheel Weekender // Rachel Pally Heathcliff Jersey Jumpsuit // See by Chloe Beki Tote // Saint Laurent Cross Body Monogram Bag // Valentino Rockstud Flats // Tory Burch Leopard Scarf // Kate Spade Statement Necklace // Chloe "Marcie" Oversized Glasses // Byredo Baudeliare Eau de Parfum // Omorocicza Travel Essentials Kit // Laura Mercier "Nude" Limited Edition Set

Now... on to the business of what to do in this lively environment? Try the surprisingly fun hawker food markets for anything you can dream of dining (and many things you'd never have imagined). Indulge in a night safari at the zoo. Shopping is almost a natural sport, of course. But if Instagram is to be believed (and of course, it is) the Singaporean experience is all about the rooftop. Swimming, dining, sipping cocktails and taking in the panoramic views from any of the city's many cloud kissing buildings. Don't miss your chance to take the elevator to the top and enjoy the sunset (or sunrise as it may be) from your choice of venues. 

So... do dish my traveling friends! Have you been to Singapore? What spots do you suggest? Is it all business or is it actually a fun tourist destination. Will there be more to it than just taking a luxe cab ride to a strand of high end boutiques and swimming in an infinity edge pool? Do tell, do tell! 

Destinations: Escape to the Isle of Capri...

There's no question that Capri is one of the world's most magical places. On your first visit it will seem as though you are in a dream state, walking through a delicious creation of your unbridled subconscious imagination. Impossibly, this picturesque island paradise does indeed exist. Blooming bougainvillea climb stone walls with perfect patina. Endless views of the azure horizon abound. Boats of all sizes and pedigrees rock back and forth in the port. Lemon groves taunt you with their lively scent and the promise of zesty creations they generously produce. Everyone you encounter is happy, smiling and enjoying themselves. 

If ever there was a place to escape from your current reality, Capri is surely it. Our first journey to this living paradise was on a foggy morning. The atmosphere adding the the surreal experience, this Italian vacation destination was dripping with intrigue and surprises. We meandered down curved paths leading to unknown outlooks. We gasped at the occasional view down the dizzying cliffside. We popped into cafes for refueling. Window shopped for scarves and handmade shoes from charming cobblers. We considered the purchase of unnecessary but somehow justified overpriced designer sunglasses on offer from passionate Italian grandmothers. We gazed out at the craggy rocks dotting the watery landscape. We pondered how such a place could possibly exist and be inhabited by charming residents. 

Fast forward to the next year, we visited again with intent. As a couple, we were mentally prepared and by this time far more seasoned travelers. Surely this fantastical place would seem less like a fictional backdrop and more like a cute tourist trap. Amazingly and gratefully, Capri did not disappoint. On that trip we took the ferry from Sorrento not once, not twice, but three times to visit. Each time we stepped off the boat it was as if we had walked into a dream sequence. A few hours of bliss on a breezy and visually stunning Italian isle does wonders for the soul. 

Should you have the opportunity to walk those cobblestone streets, do not miss the chance. For a special treat, stay a night or two on this magical isle. The J.K. Place Capri is a glamorous choice overlooking the Grand Marina giving you first glimpse at those Rivas and fishermen pulling into bay. Its attentive staff will make you feel like Jackie O. herself as you sip your limoncello watching the sun set over the Mediterranean. The elegant decor will whisk you away to a fanciful state of mind only befitting this dreamy destination. Stroll into town for an evening meal and a bit of shopping. Take a private cruise to see the shore from the waters. Let your mind run free with possibilities and the realization that this moment is really happening. 

The truth is, Capri is not large by any means. What it lacks in scale it more than makes up for in intrigue and natural beauty. It is an escape from the normalcy of life and a detour on the path to wherever you might be going next. But I cannot wait to visit again and while away the time with the lightly lemon scented breeze blowing my hair back from my face. It is enchanting. In Capri anything is possible... if only for a night or two. 


Destinations: Making the Most of a Napa Valley Wine Tour...


All travel experiences change the traveler, but certain journeys leave such a permanent mark on the soul that they stay with you forever. I've been to California numerous times, each of them memorable trips. But Napa... where do I begin? First, I'll give full gratitude to Zephyr for inviting me to join their amazing group of design bloggers for this incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience. From start to finish this was easily one of the most flawless travel experiences I've had the privilege to enjoy. 

Now... on to the rolling hills and tasting room wonderland that is Napa Valley. Our plan for the day was to take in a trio of diverse wine tasting experiences at three very different wineries. I'll use the term "winery" with liberty here, as one such stop was merely a curator of wines, but more on that in a bit. 

First up, the esteemed Joseph Phelps Vineyard. Talk about beginning with a legend. Even the most uninformed wine drinker has likely heard of Insignia, the winery's most coveted bottled gold. We were treated to an introductory tour of the private tasting rooms, the library and the barrel room. Our gracious hostess offered such tantalizing stories of the rich history of this redwood building and surrounding property, and what a property it is. Beyond the floor to ceiling glass panes we were treated to what is iconic Napa: rolling hills, verdant vineyards and nary modern office building or nuisance in sight. A travelers dream. (All images above except very top) are from the JP Vineyard.)

And the wines? I've made no secret of the fact that I don't drink. I simply don't enjoy it and my body doesn't metabolize it the way everyone else's physical being does. However that's what's so great about wine "tasting" is it isn't about consumption. While we captivated by our host's marvelous details of each vintage, each varietal and the amazing journey this award-winning winery has been on, we were able to sip each aromatic red. Trust when I share that Insignia is likely to change your mind about reds whether you're a bonafide oenophile or a teetotaler such as myself. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Napa, put this winery at the top of your list. 

Next stop? One you may already know of... Ma(i)sonry. Sound familiar? RH fans may recognize this as the brand's own property. Part art gallery part restaurant, Ma(i)sonry is unique among unique properties. Between the bucolic outdoor scenery, the dynamic art gallery vibe and the Silicon Valley clientele (a large table hosted a dozen or so Google employees the afternoon we were there) Ma(i)sonry is hip, cool and all about the experience. Think: vintage Louis Vuitton trunks, pop art and a dreamy Lucite 9real Lucite, mind you) with every design book you ever hoped of owning one day. 

Our ridiculously fresh meal was paired perfectly with a handful of wines my fellow travelers seemed to love. But it was the light-as-air potato chips we were addicted to. It's worth a stop for those alone! Between sumptuous bites we moved through the space and took in the smaller details that make this unique establishment so unique. Open, breezy and garden-centric, this is one of those interesting stops I highly recommend. Tip: bring a group and reserve dining space outside. The long, rough hewn plank table beneath a towering tree was an almost magical place to sit and take in the perfect weather. 

Next? Our increasingly playful group rolled through the countryside to reach the acclaimed Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Our appetites sated, we were primed and ready for our educational tour of this unique estate. Whereas Joseph Phelps is the upscale, classic, sophisticated wine experience and Ma(i)sonry is hip and cool, Stags Leap welcomes you with its powerful modern architecture rising from the Napa Valley floor.

Once inside the reception area of SLWC your education begins. Like sparring siblings, the ground of the same property produces two very different wines: Fay versus S.L.V. Fay is the more refined, elegant of the two siblings, with hints of cinnamon & clove meeting the sweetness of berries. Fay is easy to love. The feistier sister is S.L.V. This cabernet is spicy, rich and a full on sensory assault, perfect for those seeking more complexity in their red. And then there is... Cask 23. This highly sought after blend of Fay and S.L.V is limited in quantity high in demand. Earning an enviable 97-100 points from The Wine Advocate, this bottled beauty combines the best of each of the primary cabernets to create a drinkable masterpiece. 

The history of Stag's Leap was as much about the pursuit of excellence in win as in architecture. Widely known for being the winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the 1976 Judgment of Paris, was founded in 1970, and is considered a Napa Valley "first-growth" estate. With the wine cave arcade and visitor's center designed by Barcelona architect Javier Barba (a pioneer of green architecture), this is a modern gem that somehow blends with the mountainous surroundings and shows off its man-made origins at the same time. Their history page will offer a much more robust and colorful view of their storied past, but Stags Leap is a legendary winery with a truly legendary collection of wines you must not miss when in Napa. Book a tasting, take in the resplendent view of the stunning landscape and count your blessings. This was the perfect end to our busy day. 

So... what are my Napa Valley tips?


Book early. Tastings at wineries in this region are some of the most sought after experiences in the area. With limited capacity and high demand, you'll want to do a little research and whittle down your list to a select few you'd love to visit.


Drinking & driving? Not cool. Plus, you and your squad can have plenty of fun enjoying the scenery and chatting about your experiences en route to the next tasting room. Place the responsibility of driving in a pro's hands and relax. 


Our happy group was marvelously content to sip & learn for most of the day. But I can tell you that our attention span was pretty spotty by the end of the day. If your squad leans more towards the wine enthusiast side, allow more spacing between tasting experiences and give yourself a few hours at each location to fully soak in the view and the moment. It will pass too quickly as it is. 


Tastings are fun. Really fun. The staff at each location were uncommonly good looking, excellent conversationalists, impossibly well-informed and skilled at the art of hosting. Why not take your favorite people in the world with you to enjoy the experience? Wine and food are best enjoyed in the company of others. Bring along your besties and your love to make the memory of the day (or days) more meaningful. I will forever be grateful for the fun day with my old and new friends in Napa. Come prepared to have a fantastic day. 


I'm a digital citizen. I live for (and with) my iPhone almost glued to my hand. But in Napa? I hardly wanted to touch it. Aside from the epic scenery and marvelous company, my desire was to take it in with my eyes. I wanted to BE in the moment and capture as many mental pictures as possible. Napa is best seen with the eyes and then captured with a high quality DSLR camera. You'll never capture the majesty of the landscape with your iPhone. 


Ahhhh, fashion. My comfort zone. My love. My private passion. Napa is certainly more upscale than its laid back sister Sonoma. Still, the art of low-key chic is at play. Blessed by that impossibly pleasant California climate, you'll have flexibility in your choices but versatile layers are ideas. If you follow my lead you may want to consider nice jeans, dressy flats (or wedges or booties if the season commands), a simple cashmere sweater and a scarf and or vest. Layers are key, as a warm day soon turns to a chilly evening and pleasant breezes become gusty winds very quickly when you turn a corner. Tastings will be seated at large tables, so you'll have plenty of time to rest your feet, but sophisticated comfort is the vibe. You'll be walking  briefly in wine caves and touring parts of the various properties, but no long distance trekking is required. Still, those stilettos are best left at the hotel for dinner back in the city. 

Here's the look I rocked on my tour of the heavenly Napa Valley...


Napa is stunning. Stay there. Find a fabulous hotel like the Auberge du Soleil and make it an affair to remember. Or, for an even more serene mountain vibe and upscale experience (and the above is hard to beat) try Callistoga Ranch. Both offer jaw dropping vineyard views, unbeatable culinary experiences and posh accommodations. Did I mention spa treatments? Yes, it's all waiting for you. 

Destinations: The Wintery Appeal of All Things Palm Beach Chic...

If you've not yet discovered the joy that is the winter jaunt to Florida, you've been missing out. It's at about this time every year I begin longing for those tall waving palms, white sand beaches and Worth Avenue. While I've enjoyed the sandy shores before, this year feels especially right for the preppy chic style feast that Palm Beach affords.  

For you snowbirds, I'd love to suggest you treat yourself to an extended stay at the one and only The Breakers. It's a classic for good reason with celebs and everyday style-seekers making annual visits to this oceanfront property. Golf, upscale accommodations and every amenity one hopes to find within those 120-year old grounds. It's simply a must at least once.

But let's just say you're more the sleek boutique hotel type. You won't be able to resist the appeal of The Tideline Hotel just steps from the Breakers and also right on the beach. Formerly the Omphoy, this hotel blends modern sultry design with Balinese intrigue for a stay that is at once sexy and posh. 

To busy to hop on a Virgin America flight? Grab a copy of Palm Beach Chic, Jennifer Ash Rudick's hardcover homage to the area's most wondrous residences. I have been devouring those book for a few months, but as the cold settles into Dallas I'm suddenly transfixed with its colorful imagery and cheery estates. 

To get you in the mood for those sunny afternoons on Worth Avenue (or to substitute for them) I'll dazzle your eyes with inspired picks that will conjure the vibe of this unique tropical haven where the rich and perhaps not-so-famous enjoy the sunshine. 


Planning a getaway? Don't miss the packages and deals Jet Setter and Expedia offer. But for you more adventurous (read: less hotel-oriented) types, Airbnb might have just the private oasis you seek. Some offering the preppy, pretty pink, green and white vibe we've come to know and love about Palm Beach itself. Here's a link for $20 off your first stay.

Now, back to that inspiring book I mentioned earlier. Palm Beach Chic takes you inside never seen before properties (as well as a few highly publicized icons) to showcase what chic Florida coastal living is all about. Beams of sunshine, a preference for happy colors, expansive arches and always an invitation to blur indoors and out. These are hallmarks of the luxe lifestyle that is Palm Beach. If you can't board a jet or venture out by car, this book will take you where you long to go without ever leaving the comfort of your cozy nest! 

{all images at top via Palm Beach Chic}


Destinations: Fabulous Food, Top Design & Creative Inspiration Collide in San Fran...

Later this week I'll be joining a small band of fellow designers for a fast but thrilling tour of San Francisco's Design District, Napa Valley and that all important 2015 Showhouse. Generously hosted and designed by Zephyr, the retreat has the making of one of the most enjoyable trips I've been on in a while. I can't wait to share stunning moments with you via Instagram and the like. If you're not following me yet, by social links are all below. 

Our goal? To dig into the design scene that San Francisco offers and share that with readers and clients like you. From those sexy modern hoods our hosts creates to artisan creations at showrooms like Coup d'Etat and one-of-a-kind wineries like Ma(i)sonry. The toughest part of any trip lately seems to be clearing the schedule to board the plane, but once aloft I know the thrill of it all will kick in and daily to-do's will be a blip on my mental screen. 

Stay tuned for updates and be sure to connect on Instagram and follow #ZephyrBloggerRetreat2015 on all your social networks. The flight takes off in just a few days! 

Destinations: Modern Classics, The Venetian Way...

I've recently written of Venice so if you've never been (or merely lack the passion for all things Venetian) I apologize. It's just that I love the city so much. It's been in the news of late thanks to the latest round of Acqua Alta (that's "flooding" for the rest of us). Carnival revelers walk on elevated sidewalks or merely trudge through the water-filled piazzas. It is heartbreaking and breathtaking simultaneously to see this city once again under unusually high waters. 

While I'm not a fan of Carnival or masquerade balls in general (I blame Tom Cruise for that), I do love the idea of a city steeped in tradition.  I find the the event a bit too "dark" for my taste, but... the art student in me loves the fanciful costumes and the idea of the masses so committed to the spectacle of charade. Millions flock to Venice despite rising waters to partake in this annual event. Tradition is a beautiful thing, and though modern day Carnival is surely the furthest thing from its historic origins, I love to see that the art form live on today. 

Also excelling at old meets new: the Aman Canal Grande Venice. Regal and dripping in old world luxury, this historic hotel is anything but outdated. Modern amenities abound in each suite. No detail has been overlooked. But looking around, lassic Venetian details abound - including a glorious salon boasting floor to ceiling original frescoes. This luxe property is not to be missed (and frankly, you can't miss it when you're on the Grand Canal). 

I particularly love the juxtaposition of sleek marble slab en suite baths with sweeping views of the paint-chipped colorful villas across the canal. Modern furnishings meet aging Venice. It's beautiful. Or dine in the elaborate dining room with classic age-tinged brocade wallpaper and minimal Mid-Century influenced furniture. Contrast is a rich and interesting thing. The entire 24-suite property is a study in melding timeless classics and modern advancements. 

Enjoy a vacation of the mind by gasping at the gallery of images. And promise yourself that one day you'll make your way to Venice. It truly is unlike any other city. 


Destinations: A Picturesque 18th-Century Farmhouse in Provence...

Today I'm inspired by the stunning natural beauty of Provence. 

When it comes to planning a vacation there's the push-pull decision of whether you're looking for a thrilling destination or a serene escape from the norm. I tend to think that even in bucolic settings the soul itself experiences scintillating new cultural discoveries and the senses are put on overload experiencing the new visual input, sounds and smells. In short, even a relaxing vacation invigorates body, mind and soul. 

That's where La Bastide de Marie comes in to play. Situated on 60 acres of rolling vineyard and gardens, this 18th-century Provençal farmhouse allows your mind to enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Lunch under the sun surrounded by olive and lemon trees. Rooms that are charmingly named - not numbered. Billowing linens lining open windows are blown about by breezes carrying a heady mix of anise, lavender and sage. This, dear friends, is exactly what I crave at the moment. Stunning serenity in a setting so fantastic my eyes can barely believe it exists. 

I'm already packing my imaginary bags and leaving my modern life behind. If ever there was an Anthropologie moment to be had, this is surely it, right? It is the idyllic setting for their special blend of French boho insouciance, and we can't deny ourselves a trip to Provence without delicate linen dresses and pretty artisan accessories.  

Here's what I plan to take (on my imaginary trip) to this fanciful old French estate at the base of the Vaucluse Mountains...


My "look" as you can see is one of relaxed chic. Pops of shimmer and pomegranate here and there, but overall an understated neutral look to the days. The idea is to let the gorgeous natural setting and your innate personal beauty (which will surely radiate under the veil of sunshine & aromatic breezes) be the star of the show.

If, like me, there's no jet on the tarmac to take you off to Provence this month, perhaps infuse a bit of this relaxed attitude into your daily life this month. Let your light shine. Let your beauty come through. Let life be the joy filled experience it should be. 

Au revoir! 


Destinations: Roman Holiday


A few years ago we rented a flat in Rome near the Spanish Steps. We were just a few cobblestoned feet from Chanel, Dior, Prada, Max Mara and the like on the Via Condita. Shopping was of course a splendid (and I did my fair share) but in Rome you are there to immerse yourself in the culture. We drank in all of the art we could. We gasped at the perfection of ancient architecture. We listened to string quartets in spectacular chapels on chilly nights. We took more photos than I can count. We lost ourselves on meandering streets and fully embraced the Roman experience.

Our days were varied, that's certain, but there was one constant: coffee. There are cafes to be found everywhere you look, but where's the fun in being one of a dozen tourists waiting in line? That wasn't our approach to Rome. We were focused on exploration and the discovery of hidden treasures. The purpose of renting the flat was to live like locals for a few weeks. We bought meat from the butchers. We purchased frruits and veggies from the stands. We cooked in our little kitchen in our second story flat overlooking the street.

Between museums and touring the city we'd discover family-owned hideaways offering up aromatic cups of rich espresso. At night we'd admire the Fontana di Trevi while enjoying world-class gelato. Our goal was simple: sink in and enjoy Rome. We visited hidden boutiques locals seemed surprised we'd entered. We grabbed lunch at fantastic restaurants with not an English-speaking person in sight. This was our quest. And through it all we sipped some of the finest espresso we've ever enjoyed.

Each morning we would take a long walk and end at a different cafe. The charming dark haired baristas would wink as they passed you a morning cappuccino with a heart on top. When we found one we loved, we made it a point to come back again. 

The next part of the story begins with a cautionary note. When making declarations about "the best espresso in Rome," you must come prepared to back up your claim. For many years, a caffeine-fueled competition has been raging between two now famous Roman cafes. There are those who stake their reputation on the belief that espresso from revered Sant’ Eustachio is in fact il meglio. Contender Tazza d'Oro near the Pantheon has earned an equally dedicated a cult following, some going so far to assert that the water itself contains sugar - lending the espresso its hallmark sweetness.

Throughout our stay, we repeatedly put the two cafes to the test. In the end, we determined that it is impossible to call a winner due to their significant differences. 

Sant' Eustachio wins hands down for ambiance and romance. It is an experience worth having. You order at the high-gloss bar from handsomely dressed staff, have a seat and enjoy yourself. This is the kind of cafe where you linger and enjoy the morning at a leisurely pace. You pay a handsome bill for the priviledge to do so, but you leave satisfied in knowing that you created lasting memories with a special someone with solicitous waitstaff buzzing around. 

Tazza d'Oro on the other hand, had energy only a city cafe can offer. Always filled with eager patrons awaiting their turn at the bar, this cafe was less about sitting and more about competing to get your spot in line. Black leather clad women carrying helmets for their Vespas rushed in to get their cup of caffeinated perfection. While I'm inclined to say this spot had better coffee, you had little time to savor it. It was all about the hustle and bustle of Romans speeding about on their way to someplace seemingly far more important. There was no "La Dolce Vita" vibe here. It was get in, get your amazing cup of perfect espresso and get on with your fabulous day.

Like the great city of Rome itself, we found joy and beauty in the variety. There were so many great characteristics of each cafe, each drink and their requisite charming baristas that to consider one to be the victor would be robbing ourselves of great memories of both. 

Fast forward to today and we still dislike drinking coffee from paper cups. Blame it on the weeks long experience of drinking it as God intended it: seconds after the shot was pulled into a crisp white ceramic cup. And although I'm not too proud to sip my cappuccinos in the afternoon too (a major faux pas abroad), I consider my coffee palate to be refined.

So what's a coffee-lover to do? I have a two pronged approach. Starbucks will indulge me with a doppio macchiatto affogato style (or at least a close approximation). At home, however, I turn to Nespresso. Until my next trip to Roma... sip slowly and savor the moments, friends! 

{image via 1 2 3 4}

Destinations: Lucerne, Switzerland...

Ever wake up wanting to hop on a private jet and escape? While my old habits usually lead me to the mild and colorful Mediterranean, today I'm craving Switzerland. I long for walks along the Reuss in Lucerne. 

Sipping hot cocoa in crowded cafes. Gazing at the neighboring mountains as I feed the swans. Paying homage to the Lion Monument. Admiring the unique "onion domes" atop the multitude of cathedrals. I think Lucerne, Switzerland would be an ideal place to slip away for a few days to stop and reflect on things.

Tell me, do you have a favorite place to escape? It is the chaise in your sunroom or perhaps a room at the Chase? Do you have a spot you go to escape the hustle and bustle of busy life? And more specifically, have you been to Lucerne?

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