Go Sew Yourself

26 Jul

We all have a little creativity hidden deep within and while it may come natural for some, others flee into a panicked abyss replaying the horrific moment you were forced to create the cotton ball snowman in the third grade.

Don’t fret, the lovely ladies at Birch Organic Cotton Fabrics in downtown Paso Robles will provide you with the tools you need and get your creativity wheels turning again. From designer fabrics to their own custom line and all the sewing tools in between (thread, zippers and sweet patterns by the likes of Amy Butler) you will surely be set.

For those ready to tackle projects but need a little guidance, sign up for one of the many new sewing classes (you bring the machine, they provide you with the materials and you leave with a finished product…voila!):

  • Pretty Little Cosmetics Bag – August 7th @ 12PM, $45pp
  • Baby Steps Quilt – August 14th and 21st @ 12PM, $105pp

Future classes include baby shower gifts (so appropriate considering something recently made its way into the water system, turning every woman in San Luis Obispo county into fertile myrtle), tote bags, potholders, aprons and a-line skirts.

Get your sew on.

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My Little Gold Book: Sin City

21 Jul

It dawned on me after recently visiting Las Vegas why LUXE City Guides (the ultimate guide for the sophisticated traveler… and a chic addition to any bookshelf) has not developed a Sin City edition; the city is in a perpetual state of evolution that it would likely need to be reprinted on a yearly basis.

I make the voyage to Las Vegas several times a year and continue to be impressed and amazed with the collection of fabulous eateries, shops, watering holes and late night hot spots that spring up.

So rather than compile a little black book I have chosen to compile a little gold book dedicated to chronicling the glamorous and glittering experiences of various locales. Here are a few new Sin City favorites:

Sip: Stop into Laguna Champagne Bar on the casino floor in the Palazzo and delight yourself with a Flower Eclipse. The combination of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Fresh Lemon Juice and Moet & Chandon “Nectar” Champagne is truly divine!

[Possibly one of the sweetest hand-drawn menus I have ever come across]

[Even the plates are adorned with the same whimsical doodling from the menu!]

Relish: Dive into the famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3 located on the strip – this overindulgent dish is concocted with 20 different types of chocolate spun into a whimsy of rich, chocolatey delight. FYI – totally big enough to share and seriously tastes like hot cocoa!

[Instantly fell in love with the hat on the left]

[Vintage sparkly duds – so appropriate for Vegas]

[Yes, please]

Spend: Peruse the fab vintage-filled racks at Annie Creamcheese (what a darling name!?). One could easily spend hours in this place!


Viva La Baubles

15 Jul

Ever since reading a piece about taupe-colored nails in Lucky Magazine several months ago, coupled with online features here and here, I have been on the hunt for the  perfect taupe-y hue. Why taupe? The wow factor is kicked up a notch from the wildly popular nudes and pinks and it does not have the same harshness as the gun-metal greys and matte black (although I will forever be a fan). On top of it all, the taupe hue still offers a neutral backdrop for loads of brightly colored baubles!

OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques is a perfect choice, purchased from Salon and Image Center Beauty Supply in Pismo Beach. The darker hue is very reminiscent of mink… sultry, velvety and incredibly elegant. And it acts as a brilliant milieu to this new and lavish cocktail ring recently purchased from the downtown San Luis Obispo Banana Republic. Perfect for Las Vegas!

Love. Wear. Return.

14 Jul

The greatest thing about Las Vegas is that anything goes…anything. Because of this unwritten but widely understood rule, I constantly have the desire to step out of my hotel room dressed head to toe in pure decadence. And while I try my best to pull out all the stops, my budget remains a looming restraint.

Enter in RentTheRunway.Com – the newest addition to the fashion rental world. What I love about the site is the designer and couture duds I lust after, would save years to afford and then likely only wear once or twice are available for a four day rental at a fraction of the price…and by fraction, I mean practically nothing. For example, this lust-worthy Halston Heritage piece – most known for its appearance on Carrie Bradshaw in SATC2 – is available for rent for a mere $50 (regularly $495)!

Even better, the kind folks at InStyle Magazine have teamed up with RentTheRunway.Com to offer readers 20% off…on top of the already smashing low prices.

Love it. Wear it. Return it… Guilt-free.

Viva La Voyage

12 Jul

The joys of packing for a favorite destination is just that…a pure joy. I leave for Las Vegas in a few short days (they just don’t seem to pass quickly enough) & my number one to-do is to pack. But what would typically seem a daunting task is not. I carefully pull, admire and lust over all the incredible Vegas-esque duds I have acquired over the years then figure out how to best fold, hang and stuff them into several lovely luggage pieces. The goal here is to pack efficiently and neatly, then to arrive in style.

My must haves for Sin City summer travel:

1. Several years ago I cam across the most fantastic set of Diane Von Furstenberg luggage from our local TJ Maxx. The elegance of these traveling pieces make it that much more fun when jet setting! I continue to stop in from time to time and peruse the luggage selection and see if I can add to my DVF collection.

2. A scarf is an absolute travel must (use as a blanket, wrap around hair, etc). I am currently obsessing over this Alexander McQueen.

3. These cute Rebecca Minkoff pouches double as transportation for your costume jewelry during the day then transition wonderfully into clutches during the evening!

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And do so from an eco-friendly, gilded vessel such as this SIGG.

5. “Any of you boys seen an aircraft carrier around here?” You cannot go wrong with these classic, eternally and universally fashionable Ray Ban Aviators. Ms. Garcia – I could not agree more!

6. I use my travel time to catch up on my reading – books, magazines, whatever it may be. However I hate using my purse as a carryall for these goods (which tend to be bulky) so this Anya Hindmarch magazine tote should do the trick just fine!

Viva Las Vegas!

The Big Chill

2 Jul

Last week I was gifted “The Summer Book” cookbook written by Susan Branch as a birthday present from my mother (who gifts me cookbooks with every single opportunity). I get it Mom. You really want me to cook. Nevertheless I was thrilled to have it and immediately flipped the book open to see what I could whip up. This chilled cantaloupe soup instantly caught my eye. One; with only four ingredients it seemed simple as heck and two; the subtitle stated “Gorgeous Color” and lately I have been on quite the colorful kick.

Cantaloupe Soup – Serves 4

  • 1 large, ripe cantaloupe
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Cut cantaloupe in half, remove seeds, scoop out flesh and put it into a blender along with all other ingredients. Blend till smooth. Chill well, garnish with borage flowers or mint leaves and serve (in a fabulous bowl).

Now, I do understand that this “soup” may seem like nothing more than a glorified smoothie – according to my husband – however; I’d like to think the mint sprig garnish really helps to separate it from the blended fruit drink world.

Kelly Wearstler, You’re My Hero.

28 Jun

As of late, coffee table books have become my new household obsession. They’re large, glossy, intriguing and make for some awesome decorating elements. More importantly, with the amount of pictures seriously exceeding the amount text you can let your imagination run wild and get lost in the visual element. For months I have been lusting after Kelly Wearstler’s most recent contribution to the wonderful world of books: Hue (following the smashing success of Modern Glamour and Domicilium Decoratus). For less than $50 from the San Luis Obispo downtown Barnes and Noble, I am not sure why in the world I tortured myself for so long. Nevertheless, the coveted pictorial has made its way into my arms and I could not be more thrilled.

What’s to love: Ms. Wearstler has painstakingly dubbed every single color known to man and recorded them in the first two pages of her book…in alphabetical order mind you. Abalone, Flint, Hummingbird, Maraschino, Pollen, Saddle, Zinc… all conveying a personal visual interpretation and evoking the senses.

Look for: The fantastic color combination-themed chapters and decorating elements (many of which have since become available for purchase from here, here and here).

Personal favorite: The first chapter titled Camellia, Wisteria, Vermillion. The decor is everything I want my abode to educe and everything my husband doesn’t.

[Photo courtesy of KWID]

[Photo courtesy of KWID]

[Photo courtesy of KWID]

[Photo courtesy of KWID]

Looking to add a little Kelly into your own home at a fraction of the price (besides acquiring Hue, of course)? Ms. Wearstler’s lovely linen collection is on sale TODAY at Gilt. Don’t delay.