Friday, October 06, 2006


Let the vacation begin! I'll be away in Cabo San Lucas all next week, but expect regular posts to start up again when I return. Hope you all have a wonderful week! Ole!


china pearl

I love the gorgeous cherry-red, robins egg blue and goldleaf accents on these porcelain pieces from Sieger's Emperor's Garden collection. The simple, modern floral designs are so elegant that I'd love to just display them on their own. Add it to my "if I win the lottery" list.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

travel bug

Only two more days until I'm officially on vacation -- Cabo, here I come! And as they say, the journey is half the adventure. So since I can't seem to think about anything else but getting the heck out of dodge and plunking myself down on a warm, sandy beach, here are some of my favorite accessories to make the travel experience as fun as possible.

Like most people, I too own a big black suitcase. I always curse my conservative luggage choice when that baggage conveyor belt starts moving and all those black bags tumble down the chute--shocker, every one of them looks the same. (Why, oh, why didn't I tie a colorful ribbon around the handle or paste a duct tape X-marks-the-spot on the front?) That's why I'm a fan of anything that makes a suitcase stand apart in a sea of black, like these eye-catching Tepper Jackson luggage tags from Plum Party. They're so colorful and are made of a textured PVC plastic so they won't tear while in transit. I especially love the "Arrivederci" and "Par Avion" designs. They're $13 each.

Tickets never seem to fit neatly into any of my ordinary wallets, so I keep all my important travel documents in this Mary Jane oilcloth document holder from Flight 001. Not only is it large enough for stashing tickets, but it also has pockets to hold passports, IDs and credit cards. It's $25, and comes in a bunch of fun patterns and colors, including floral, toile and lace.

Blech, do you hate using the airplane-supplied pillows and blankets as much as I do? (Cooties, galore!) But since I'm the always-freezing girl, I need to wrap myself in something warm to get me through a flight. Enter PB's 1st Class Travel Package set, which includes a plush blanket, eyemask and disposable pillowcase. The set comes in four bright colors, and is $18. Small price to pay for germ-free travel, methinks.

Before the new TSA rules went into effect, I was all about cramming as much as possible into my carry-on bag. (I couldn't face a week without my straightening iron if my luggage was lost!) And Murval's cute and roomy straw bag with leather handles and gingham lining is the perfect place to stash your getaway musthaves. It comes in orange, green and pink, and is super affordable! (Seriously.) The small is $25, and large is $39, at Purdy Girl, 212-787-1964.

I admit it, I'm not the most entertaining person to travel with because I'm a sleeper. Yup, from the minute I buckle myself in to almost the moment we land, I'm passed out. (Road trips in the car aren't any better, sadly.) But if I am awake, I need something to keep me occupied before my next wave of slumber hits me. So on my last trip to Italy, I happily spent my precious awake-time buried in Where to Wear travel shopping guides, which are filled with insiders' tips on finding the best stores and beauty spots around the world. They're great for finding retail inspiration (or decadent window shopping!).

A friend of mine swears by this little gadget, but I'm still on the fence. The Plane Clean Air Filter is said to remove 99.5% of all allergens, bacteria and viruses from your cabin's air stream, keeping you from breathing contaminated air particles. You simply mount the unit to your overhead air nozzle and point the purified air stream onto your face. Here's how it's supposed to work:

In this day and age of airline travel, I don't think I'm prepared to be the girl attaching an odd-looking device to the air filter of a plane, but it's a nice idea for $20 and sounds perfect for those uber-germ phobes out there (or those sitting next to a passenger with a bad case of the sniffles.).

Happy travels!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

prints charming

After a decade of decorating in muted colors and textures (as my friend says, "Everyone's house is brown!"), the big trend in home design today is pattern, and tons of it! It's all about layering -- pattern piled upon pattern. And it was never more evident than a party last night to celebrate the release of designer Tricia Guild's new book Pattern, which is filled with photos of beautifully decorated rooms done up with classic and modern moshes of toiles, botanicals, Chinoiserie, Provencal, geometric, retro and more, and helpful design ideas for recreating the look in your home. Even the cover is flocked in black velvet! (How pattern-progressive of her!)

Tricia, a London style-setter and founder of Designers Guild, is known for her vivid textiles, papers and paints. And as she told me while we both waited patiently for another glass of Prosecco, "Many people find pattern frightening because it takes a certain amount of courage to trust your instincts. What will the visual outcome will be? Will it clash, will it look too busy?" So, where should a pattern-phobic person like me start? (I didn't mention that I am a proud owner of a very beige couch.) "I say don't be afraid to mix it up. Pick things that you simply like, and combine those several patterns by using one common thread as your guide, like perhaps linking everything by color. I call it eclectic layering and it almost always works."


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

throw down

Move over, cashmere! Just one touch of West Elm's bamboo cotton throw and you'll probably be petting it the rest of the day. The cuddly throws are super soft and feel like a silky cloud against the skin. They're available in ivory, jadeite (pale blue), cinnibar and espresso, and are $49 each.

Up until a few months ago, I'd never heard of soft fabrics made from bamboo. I'd only seen bamboo used for rigid, hard items like furniture. But it turns out that fabric woven with bamboo yarn is actually a great, comfy alternative to cotton and wool -- it's actually light, almost translucent, and softer than cotton. And it's showing up on everything from throws and bedsheets to workout clothes and baby duds. It has a natural sheen that feels like silk or cashmere, and is naturally absorbent and antibacterial. Bamboo is also the most sustainable of the natural fibers. It is fast-growing -- the type used for making fabric, commonly known as Moso, can be harvested many times over and it will grow again and again. And because of it's natural antibacterial properties, it needs no pesticides.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

the pink (ribbon!) square

Pink is the new charity! As you can probably tell from the name of this blog, I'm a sucker for anything pink. And it never hurts if my shopping good-deed benefits a good cause. (Well, besides me, of course.) So in honor of October Breast Cancer Awareness month, here are a few pink ribbon goodies that benefit women's charities.

I love the cute floral and bug designs on Eleni's Benevolent Bouquet ($58.50). Half of the proceeds will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

I have a regular ol' silver Pioneer inno and I love it. (Seriously, can't live without it.) But check out XM Radio's new girlie pink Pioneer Inno ($350). It gives you access to hundreds of cool satellite radio stations and allows you to record music and download mp3s. Genius. Thirty dollars per radio sold will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Karen Neuberger pink lounge socks ($15) feel buttery soft. I could just pet them all day long. Proceeds benefit the BCRF.

White House | Black Market's Hope umbrella ($44) is quite stylish and "just" pink enough to carry any time of the year. All net proceeds will be donated to the Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am obsessed with anything (anything!) with my name or initials on it. So you know that I'm a fan of Red Envelope's Think Pink monogrammed soaps ($30). All proceeds go to the Entertainment Industry Foundation's Women's Cancer Research Fund

I'm a steamer girl myself (who has the patience to iron these days!) but after trying Rowenta's pink iron ($80) at an event a few months ago, I may be willing to move over to the dark, er, sharp creased side. All profits will be donated to BCRF

Doing mundane DIY jobs around the apartment would be so much tolerable if I was using Tomboy Tools' Hammer Out breast cancer hammer ($15). Six dollars from each sold will go to the Komen Foundation.

Yes, I may end up killing every plant that I've ever owned, but I think Smith & Hawken's Haws pink watering can ($50) is great even for those of us with black thumbs and good intentions. Ten percent of the retail price will go to the Komen Foundation.

Panera's Pink Ribbon bagel ($1) looks more like a pretzel than a bagel, but I'm sure it's delish. A portion of sales will go to the Komen Foundation and Y-ME Organization.

I love the old-timey look of Typhoon's Vintage Pink small canisters ($40/3). Ten percent of profits go to a variety of breast cancer charities.

I never thought much about the aesthetic value of a vacuum until Dyson came along and now, for some reason, looks matter. Although it's still quite a financial investment for a vacuum, I think pink DC07 ($399) is a grand improvement over the school-bus yellow of the regular model. Forty dollars from the sale of each unit will be donated to the BCRF.

The Laundress' pink scented squares ($28/3) smell like lavender and are perfect for slipping in a drawer or suitcase. Twenty percent of profits will go to the Y-Me Foundation.

If you don't have room for a pink stand mixer, KitchenAid's Cook for the Cure hand mixer ($80) is the next best thing. Seven dollars from every mixer purchased will go to the Komen Foundation.