Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and that means that yearly dread of finding the right gift for the woman responsible for bringing you into this world starts to build. Fear not, we’ve created a Mother’s Day Gift Guide that should help you find a gift that’s equal parts thoughtful and stylish. Here are some of our picks:
We love Tata Harper’s skincare line for being organic and non-toxic, and the lush products are the perfect gifts to spoil your mom. Their “Perfectly Pampered Mother’s Day Spa Kit,” $98, will provide your Mom with every product she needs to have pamper herself at home. The kit comes with a whole regime’s worth of products and instructions on what order to use them in. It comes with a cleanser, toner, body oil, contouring eye cream and plenty more. The products and the packaging are gorgeous and it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Keeping with the wellness theme, we love this Issa Toothbrush from Foreo. Priced at $199, this electronic toothbrush not only is sleek and more fashionable than typical electronic toothbrushes, meaning you won’t want to hide it in a cabinet after using it, but it is made with silicon bristles. The bristles are tough on plaque but gentle on your gums. Added bonus: it comes in an array of pretty colors sure to please your Mom.
I’m a firm believer you can never go wrong with a beautiful candle. Diptyque candles are as beautiful as they get and they smell delicious. My personal favorite scent is Figuer, but there are plenty to choose from and come in different sizes to meet each price point.
Being a Mother is a stressful job, and our favorite stress reducer is a good bottle of wine. Cut to St. Supery Estate Vineyards in Napa, California. This gorgeous vineyard, which was recently acquired by Chanel, turns out some delicious wines and blends. Their wine club is an absolute pleasure and makes for a gift that your Mom will look forward to every delivery. The club has a diverse range of wines, from Cab Franc to Sauvignon Blanc to Moscato and everything in between. I became a fan of the vineyard years ago and it’s so nice to have a piece of Napa at home in New York.

Summer Edit: Pitusa Cover Ups

As we head into the summer months, we’re already itching to plan out our summer wardrobes. So, over the next few months we are introducing a new series called our Summer Edit, where we will introduce the products we’re living for this summer, from clothing to bathing suits and accessories.

We’re kicking the series off with cover ups from Pitusa. These fun and colorful cover ups are made in Peru and have a cool girl chic vibe to them with fun touches like pom poms. We can’t wait to sport ours on upcoming travels to Greece, Mexico and Miami!
My favorite look is their Pom Pom Sevillana Caftan which has a deep V neckline and hot pink pom poms down the sides. It’s $154.
The back of this Pom Pom dress is a total show stopper. It’s fun and flirty and goes for $138.

Their Gypsy dress hits on one of this summer’s biggest trends: an off the shoulder top. Also loving Pitusa’s signature pom poms around the arm band.

The looks work well over a bikini but can also work as dresses in their own right. we’re looking forward to wearing ours poolside this summer. We guarantee this is one of those brands that every girl you come across will stop you and ask who makes it.

City Guide: Where to Eat in Miami

We recently got back from a quick getaway to Miami, and even after visiting the city on several occasions, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of amazing restaurants and cocktail spots on offer. Whenever I visit, I tend to spend the days sipping rose by the pool, so we’re limiting this post to great restaurants for dinner. Here are some of our favorite spots:
Cecconi’s: I stray from my rule of not leaving the pool and my glass of rose for one thing and one thing only: that’s brunch at Soho Beach House’s Cecconi’s. Brunch here is epic, and you’re not going to want to get into a bathing suit after it. This amazing buffet has every food imaginable that you’d want to pick on and the presentation is just beautiful. There’s a selection of eggs, brisket, ceviche, a seafood station, pastries, cheeses, pastas, mac and cheese and desserts. Brunch also includes one drink. There’s an a la carte menu as well, but trust us on this – get the buffet.

Prime 112: This steak restaurant is an institution in Miami, as are Prime’s other restaurants (Italian, Fish, etc). The menu is massive, with everything from delicious tuna tartare and oysters to chicken and waffles (seriously, I saw so many people eating it last time I was there). There’s so much to choose from, and everything is delicious, but you’d be remiss not to order a steak, at least to split and try. We also loved their seafood and great cocktails. The restaurant attracts a very hip crowd, so it’s perfect to make a late reservation around 10/10:30 and go out after. Prime has some of the best people watching in all of Miami.
Nobu: A Japanese hotspot in all chic cities, Miami’s Nobu doesn’t fail to please. The menu here has all of its favorite mainstays, such as its black miso cod and rock shrimp. The décor at Nobu, which is located in the Eden Roc hotel, is really sexy and the perfect place to start the night. Don’t forget to start with the Yellowtail with jalapeno.

Joe’s Stone Crab: This Miami institution is visited by celebrities and locals alike. It’s not a glamorous spot, but for the six months it’s open each year during stone crab season, it is packed to the gills. The stone crab is on virtually every table and is delicious. We had the lobster mac and cheese, which was to die for, as well as shrimp cocktail and their famous key lime pie. Worth going to, but not a typical sceney Miami restaurant.
Quality Meats: Like the Manhattan outpost, this is an intimate steakhouse with delicious food and cocktails in a dimly-lit, sexy setting. Great for a big group dinner before heading out for the night. Added bonus: they have a really impressive wine list.

Ola:If you want to try some Latin-inspired food, Miami has some great options. One that was recommended to me by a friend is Ola at the Sanctuary Hotel. This restaurant delivers up some serious flavors. Highlights for us included their empanadas, which were handmade, including the flaky pastry. Honestly, you can make a whole meal out of the empanadas, but our favorites included the short rib empanada and the lobster empanada. The ceviche was awesome as well, as is the duck breast and Cuban pork.

Guide to a British Countryside Getaway in Style

Whether you’re looking for an escape from London or are a New Yorker like myself seeking to fulfill her dream of relaxing in the picturesque English countryside after years of reading Austen and the Brontes, we have come across the most perfect venue to fulfill those needs.

Nestled in the Cotswolds just an hour and a half from London lies The Wild Rabbit, a boutique hotel with a delicious restaurant that provides the most perfect backdrop for a country escape. We’ll get into the specifics below, but what we loved most about The Wild Rabbit is it’s ability to mix luxury and classic British charm to deliver a high-end experience with the utmost attention to detail. My boyfriend and I recently had the pleasure of staying a night here and have compiled our thoughts and suggestions for you.

For our American readers, the UK’s Cotswolds area is a gorgeous, rambling area mixing beautiful homes made of light-colored Cotswold stone, Victorian churches, beautiful British pubs, shopping and the likes of it. It’s long attracted celebrities and London’s uber wealthy much in the way New York’s elite head to the Hamptons. For a city girl, the Cotswolds are like stepping back in time to my novels, but it has all of the modern conveniences, and let’s face it– requirements — of a high-maintenance city girl from Manhattan with high standards.

That brings us to The Wild Rabbit, which is in the Kingham part of the Cotswolds. This hotel and restaurant is situated in a gorgeous building dating back to 1750 made of the signature Cotswold stone. The Wild Rabbit, which attracts a celebrity clientele, has been given the nickname from local press as “the most posh pub in England.”

Let’s start with the wonderful restaurant on the premises which is open for lunch and dinner (a gorgeous continental breakfast is included as part of your room charge)

First off, meals are served in a beautiful, airy dining room with large windows, a beautiful fireplace and a wonderful, rustic feel. You can also have drinks and snacks outside under tan umbrellas or in a great lounge area with oversized rich brown leather chairs with great hardware accents and an eclectic mix of furniture that makes you feel as if you’ve stepped inside Alice in Wonderland’s sophisticated older sister’s den. There are two firepaces on either side of the sitting room and one in the center of the main dining room. Basically, the setting leaves nothing to be desired and the attention to detail is just meticulous.

Now, onto the food. We were fortunate enough to have breakfast, lunch and dinner on the premises. The kitchen has a firm commitment to organic ingredients and fresh, local, in-season items. For breakfast the bowls of berries and fruit were delicious and ripe. Below, are photos of just some of the courses we had over lunch and dinner. The duck was a real standout as was the lamb. I was a big fan of their house rose wine, as well.

English pea soup with goat cheese curd and ham. An absolutely delicious starter.

Tomato salad with watermelon and a tomato jelly.

Lump crab and scallop lasagne appetizer.

Stonebass with English mustard. This dish was a showstopper both visually and to the palette.

Glazed duck breast with apricot and peach with a duck-stuffed pastilla. Amazing.

Raspberry and cream fieulle de mille.

The rooms were just as pleasing as the dining room. We stayed in the Boar room, one of 12 rooms each assigned the name of an animal. The linens were fresh and pretty. Rooms were stocked with owner Lady Bamford’s luxury toiletries. We had a nespresso coffee maker and a jar full of homebaked sweets like shortbreads to go with our morning tea. The fridge was stocked with rose and prosecco. Anything you could possibly desire had already been thought about ahead of your stay.

We especially loved the little details, like the stack of British classics like Tess of the D’Urbervilles next to our night table and the carved hearts in the furniture. Above our bed was a adorable sign that said “Darling!” The bathroom had towel hooks made of wood that looked like tree branches.

The room had a homey feel and had exposed Cotswold stone throughout it. It let in lots of natural light. My boyfriend was impressed by the high-end fixtures and how they’ve blended modern with rustic. The bed was particularly comfy.

The next morning after a three-mile run through the neighborhood to take in the scenery, we headed down to the dining room for a fresh breakfast that we decided to have outside in the sun. We nibbled on pain au chocolat, Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a full English breakfast.

Overall, I would strongly recommend The Wild Rabbit to friends. It’s a wonderful place for a couple’s weekend or a great culinary experience. If you go, be sure to visit neighboring Daylesford Farm (post here) which is an organic local farm just a mile away with a great restaurant, spa and cooking school.

Six Must-Haves For 30 Year Olds

Turning 30 is a milestone in so many ways. You no longer have the carefree nature of a 20-something finding her way and you start to make serious money, allowing you to upgrade your lifestyle. When I turned 30, I turned my attention to some classic items and goals that I wanted to improve. Everything from my bedding to my travel style. Here is my list of my top must-haves for women in their 30s (but of course, it’s never too early or late to get started!)
Luxurious bedding: I moved into a new apartment around the time I turned 30 and I knew that I wanted to style it perfectly. That meant ditching the jersey cotton sheets I had and investing in Egyptian cotton sheets with high thread counts. I opted for Italian brand Sferra, which is known for their fine bedding, towels and home décor. The sheet set I bought is super soft and plush, but is definitely an investment piece.
A killer pair of heels: Mine are black Louboutins that can easily make the transition from a work meeting to a night out, but any high-end heel will do. Opt for a timeless look and a versatile heel height so that you can get lots of use out of them.
Luggage: Thirties are a decade of traveling the world and crossing far-flung cities off your bucket list. You’ll want to pack accordingly, starting with your luggage. I got an awesome Tumi suitcase from a Gilt sale and couldn’t be happier. Yes, it’s costlier than other brands, but it’s held up really great and has an awesome warranty, and if you’re a smart shopper you can get a great deal.

And while we’re on the theme of travel, an intangible item for your thirties is stamps on your passport. The last few years, we’ve criss-crossed around Europe, lounging on the beaches of St Tropez, drinking brunettes with locals in Italy and visiting fashion exhibits in London. There’s no price to be put on travel, and in your thirties, that means splurging on 5-star hotels and traveling in style. Next up for us: Peru!

An investment purse: My go-to is a quilted Chanel classic flap bag that I’ve eyed since I was 16. Should have bought it then because it would have been a hell of a lot cheaper. Investment bags appreciate in cost over time and they are the absolute best accessory with any outfit. I wear mine pretty much everywhere. We also love these bags.
A skincare regime: By your thirties, chances are you’ve tried tons of moisturizers, eye care products and the like. You’ve also moved on from boozy nights where hopping into bed without washing your face is something you’re trying to repair now. Not to mention years of being less than kind to your skin by wearing tanning oil. My skin is one area that I am super focused on since turning 30 in order to repair and prevent imperfections. I’ve learned that no product is too costly when it comes to your skin. Every person’s skin is different, so finding the right products is not a one-size-fits all sort of solution. I’ve learned that I don’t love skincare sets, rather I prefer to mix and match. My go-tos: I use a gentle face cleanser with my Clarisonic on a daily basis. Next, I move on to moisturizer and I love my Shisheido Moisture Ex in the mornings paired with a mild undereye cream with caffeine in it. At night, I alternate between a retinol-based underye cream which is great for wrinkles and crows feet. I also use Retin-A on my forehead followed by a thicker moisturizer while I sleep. Do these products add up in cost? You bet. But at least to me, it’s worth it.

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