Latest Fashion Find: Carla Sta Cruz Handbags

The Julia Tote in Black/Aqua

The Julia Tote in Black/Aqua

My latest fashion find from Carla Sta Cruz. Perfect for traveling in style.

Originally from Manila, Phillipines, Carla graduated from Parsons and is now a New Yorker but visits Manila every 3 months where she produces her collections.

Inspirations: Savage Beauty at the MET inspired a more cerebral approach to fashion design as art. Inspired by designer brands like Givenchy, Tom Ford, and Alexander McQueen, Carla brings edge to classic good looks.

Price: The Julia tote is $450
Website: www.carlastacruz.com

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A Shopping Treat: Babalu, Miami

Miami Best Shopping

Babalu

It’s a rare treat when you find a retail experience that excites you with seemingly simple items like toothpaste. Anyone who’s had a ball at the original Babalu Miami location on the famed 1111 Lincoln Road, one of the world’s most renowned retail and dining spots designed by Herzog & De Meuron, understands Babalu is no ordinary store.
We like it because it’s a glamorous conceptual twist on the ubiquitous hotel sundries shop, the curated selection begins with classed-up, sassed-up basics at a high design level —think crème de la crème of categories as common as toothpaste and chewing gum. All perfectly finished off with Babalu’s signature deluxe gift wrap program. If Babe Paley and the other society swans got together to open a convenience store, this would be the place.
shopping in miami

Shhh… it’s a best kept shopping secret

It brings out the kid in the candy store as a true point of discovery with a continually evolving brand assortment and merchandising concept. A typical visit may offer Missoni, Comme Des Garcons, Alexandra von Furstenberg and Paul Smith, among other coveted brands, as well as emerging and exclusive designers. Merchandise weaves in organic apothecary products, resort wear, fine and costume jewelry, hair accessories, small leather goods, travel, sunglasses, fragrances, books, house wares, pet items, beach towels and gifts from big-ticket purchases to a little something special for one’s host.
comme des garcon perfume

Just a few unique fragrances on display

Owners Greg Melvin and Paolo Ambu also use their talents to create the signature Perfume Bar featuring the whos-who in the industry: Humiecki & Graef, Carner Barcelona, Montale, Mona di Orio, Mancera, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, which is one of the most sought-after scents by the same nose behind Dior and Gaultier fragrances,Mark Buxton, who created Comme des Garcons’ perfumes, and Amouage, which was custom made for the Sultan of Oman. Scented home lines include Fornasetti Profumi, Costes, Ex Voto Paris and Europe’s oldest candle maker Cire Trudon.
miami

I don’t know what these are (lighters?), but I want them!

John Rawlins, the former creative director for retail design at Bergdorf Goodman who designed the original Babalu, was brought on board to also design the Palm Beach location. And shoppers aren’t the only ones enjoying themselves. Melvin and Ambu have made it their mission to source stylish, fresh, often wild, wares. They couldn’t be happier partaking in a lifelong shopping spree.
Power-packed grab-and-go sophistication, for you, the sassy kid in the candy store.

These Sunglasses Can Pull a Small Aircraft!

Cool Sunglasses

These sunglasses can pull a small aircraft!

Yes, it’s true. We recently came across this interesting line a few weeks ago and had to check it out. After all, durability is of the utmost importance when it comes to travel gear. OVVO Optics designs exceptionally durable frames for any type of excursion a travel warrior may stumble upon.

Why we like them:

  • OVVO is a small and lovely family company
  • They use spacecraft technology to design frames composed of fused surgical steel and titanium, producing virtually indestructible eyewear
  • Stretched flat, OVVO frames can lift 90 lbs or pull a small aircraft
  • OVVO Optics’ screw-free hinge frames can withstand more than 300,000 rotations and reveal no changes in structure or appearance
  • OVVO eyewear is handmade in Europe (Germany and Poland)
  • As many as 65-85 steps are needed to complete an OVVO frame

Quality like this is particularly hard to find in a day and age when people are outsourcing to China and we like the fact that everything is manufactured in Europe through family owned factories.

http://www.ovvooptics.com

Where To Eat, Drink, and Shop in Hong Kong

Marie France Van Damme

Marie France Van Damme

Marie France Van Damme, the woman behind the eponymous line of luxury resort wear, will be opening her first store in Hong Kong.  This Hong Kong-based globe-trotter store will showcase resort wear, ready-to-wear and accessories collections in a sanctuary that draws inspiration from Marie France’s travels and immerses clients in her global aesthetic. Originally from Montreal, Marie France has lived in Hong Kong for over 20 years and to celebrate the opening of her store, she’s also happy to share her knowledge about what to do, see and eat while visiting her dynamic city.

Here are her fine tips!

Restaurant recommendation:

Yin Yang.  Located in the heart of Wanchai, it only accommodates 30 seats. All dishes on the menu are created by Chef and founder Margaret Xu Yuan, an ex-interior designer. They get their produce on a newly acquired organic farm and create their own fruit wines. A true farm- to- table Chinese cuisine.

http://www.yinyang.hk/www.yinyang.hk/Welcome.html

 Where To Get A Drink:

The Intercontinental. If you go at sundown it’s beautiful. It’s actually where I met my husband- whenever my single friends complain about not finding someone – I tell them to go for a drink at the Intercontinental.

 http://www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/

Best Hidden Gem:

The beach. From Sai Kung Street you can take a Sampan (a boat) to nearby deserted beaches. Many people do not realize that 70% of Hong Kong is protected, so there is a lot of green space and deserted beaches.

 http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294217-d2050638-r117017614-Sai_Kung-Hong_Kong.html

Favorite Place To Shop:

Shanghai Street is fantastic for home goods- they sell understated porcelain pieces that are great for dinner parties or decorating the home.  I love to get little trinkets here, many of these pieces when situated correctly can add an understated elegance to any home. IFC is a fantastic mall to go to if you are shopping for clothes. Stanley Market is next to the beach and is in the oldest part of Hong Kong. It is an outdoor flee market, great if you are looking for deals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Street

Best Place For Tea:

Teakha located in Sheung Wan, is a small, hidden spot where you can sit on the terrace.  It has good pastries and treats too.

 http://teakha.com/

Hot Spring & Summer Shades

While Cinco de Mayo (sadly) falls on a Sunday this year, we thought we’d share some hot specs so that at least we could look incredibly chic at each fiesta we plan to attend. Whether barhopping with our besties, doing the samba with our significant other, or hosting happy hour at our place, see the shades below from SOLSTICE Sunglasses which, we think, offer some of the sexiest and sleekest styles to complement every festivity (plus, these beauties from brands like Kate SpadeGucci, and Carrera will mask your Monday hangover after you finish celebrating one of the booziest holidays of the year). Drink responsibly!

Canta y No LLores

Three shots in and feeling brave? These transparent specs from Kate Spade and Carrera shield you from embarrassment after you join the in-house mariachi band to belt Cielito Lindo to your heart’s content.

sunglasses

Amor Prohibido

No need to learn a new language – these shades do all the talking for you.  Whether you’re enjoying outdoor tableside sangria with a cutie from the bar or dancing through the day and night, these bold and vibrant styles from Carrera add spice to your dating life.

Kate Spade sunglasses

¡Ay Caramba!

The perfect party host knows how to accessorize with these festive frames from Kate Spade.  Hang up the piñata in an outfit that coordinates with the surrounding red, white and green décor.

Herrera sunglasses

Como La Flor

Floral patterns are inspired by decorative folklorico designs. Embrace tradition with these styles from Kate Spade and Dior that accentuate your Bohemian side and are perfect through the summer!

Dior sunglasses

Oscar Party Drinks… Skinnygirl Style

The Skinnygirl Starlet

The Skinnygirl Starlet

Ladies and gents… The playoffs of pop culture are upon us!  And the winner is… Skinnygirl Cocktails for transforming your “Girls Night In” viewing party into an A-list show stopping event.

Listen, I don’t care what the trash mags or gossip queens have to say about Bethenny or her brainchild, I think the idea of a low-calorie libation is brilliant. What she does in her marriage is her business, not mine (though when thinking about her divorce I  want to squeal “why, why??” Nancy Kerrigan-style).

So, as a tribute to all things entertaining, unveil a signature Skinnygirl Cocktail at your Oscar party. I reckon the ladies will love it.  Choose from The Showstopper, The Starlet, or The Bombshell to keep the theme going all night.

A party tooklit and recipes are below (thank you to Beam for providing us with this star-studded idea!):

The Skinnygirl® Cocktails Awards Season Party Toolkit has all the glitz and glam you need to entertain like a leading lady. From award badges and recipe cards to printable ballots and bottle labels,  Skinnygirl Cocktails has your party covered – down to a red carpet backdrop so guests can strut their stuff and strike their own pose.

The Showstopper

2 parts Skinnygirl™ Tangerine Vodka

Squirt of fresh lime

Squirt of fresh lemon

Squirt of fresh orange

Splash of Lemon-lime soda

Orange slice to garnish

To prepare: Shake Skinnygirl™ Tangerine Vodka, lime, lemon and orange juices with ice and strain into martini glass. Top off with a splash of lemon-lime soda and garnish with an orange slice.

The Showstopper

The Showstopper

The Starlet

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl™ Cucumber Vodka

2 parts club soda

Splash of no sugar added cranberry juice

Lime wedge or cucumber slice to garnish

To prepare: Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wedge or cucumber slice!

The Bombshell

2 parts Skinnygirl™ Bare Naked Vodka

Splash of dry vermouth

Fresh olives to garnish

To prepare: Shake with ice, pour into a martini glass and garnish with fresh olives

Skinnygirl™ Vodka retails for $21.99

http://skinnygirlcocktails.com/

Aerial7 Earphone Beanies? Yes!

Aerial7's Headphone Beanie!

Aerial7’s Headphone Beanie!

My ears are frizzzeeeezinnnn here in NYC. So, when I heard about AERIAL7, knitted headphone beanies, I said… “Dame! Dame!” (That’s Spanish for “Gimme! Gimme!”) Serving as the perfect winter accessory that are as functional as they are stylish, they’re a versatile, “wear with everything” accessory with built-in headphones to use with your iPod, mp3 player, smartphone or other mobile device. Yes, the Sound Disk Beanie keeps you entertained and digitally connected all day long.

But these aren’t your ordinary headphones. AERIAL7’s sound disk speakers – circular, on-ear headphones – are thin enough to fit inside the beanie’s special compartment and are also adjustable and removable, so they can be worn a ton of different ways based on your winter activity, whether it’s running morning errands in the cold, out on the powdery slopes, or even when you just want to channel your inner DJ/Rapper/Hipster.

The Sound Disk Beanie retails for $60 and comes in four styles and an array of colors so check these puppies out!

www.aerial7.com