{ Breakfast at Tiffany's }

Last Wednesday, we were honored to be invited to the Tiffany & Co Blogger Breakfast  at their Beverly Hills boutique to celebrate the 175 years of the Tiffany's engagement ring setting. Since wedding season is in full gear, and their anniversary is just around the corner, Tiffany & Co group director Michael Howard celebrated the brilliance of the famous six prong platinum setting over a real-life Breakfast at Tiffany's moment.  From chocolate croissants and delicious mouth watering scones amidst a beautiful wedding cake, our eyes caught the light of 30 different engagement rings sparkling on the table in the oh-so-famous "forget-me-not" blue boxes. Adorned with Tiffany's fine china, we enjoyed eggs Benedict and mimosas and discussed the brilliance of this historic symbol of love. Having the opportunity to try on those stunning rings, was truly every girl's dream!  

Few can say they have led the jewelery industry for 175 years, but Tiffany & Co is still the premier jeweler setting the standard for today's diamonds after being founded in September, 1837. The famous Tiffany setting was created in 1886 by Charles Lewis Tiffany which features six platinum prongs lifting the diamond off the band; and has been featured in classic movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Marylin Monroe where she sings the famous song, "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." Tiffany & Co is truly an arbiter of taste, style and luxury, and it's reign is on a steep incline.  That little blue box will always make a woman's heart skip a few beats!  
{ The breathtaking rings we tried on ... and didn't really want to take off :)} 


in my travel bag ...

Because of my line of work, I am constantly traveling.  Fun, but also exhausting. My career has taken me to amazing places overseas such as Japan, Paris, London, South Africa & Australia; as well as smaller domestic trips to Las Vegas, Dallas, Seattle & New York.  I had to become a smart traveler, or my journeys would be wasted by useless worries of "poor-packing abilities." As a result, I have become somewhat of a savvy packer, especially with my toiletries bag. Nine times out of ten, I will try to bring this bag ON a flight with me so I am comfortable while in flight, and when I land, I've got the refreshing essentials in hand, since often I have to hit the ground running. Here are some of my favorite travel essentials:
  1. Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths: I love these because they remove every trace of makeup and don't dry out my skin. I take these babies with me on the plane so I can feel refreshed in flight. 
  2. Kiehls Lip Balm #1 in Coconut: Love this lip balm and the scent is divine!
  3. Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream: I think I may have a love affair with Kiehl’s products (and no they don’t pay me to say that but I wish they did!). This formula is moisturizing but not too heavy. I am able to use it for day/night and anytime in between. Traveling makes my skin really dry, and who likes tight, dry skin? This has become my savior.
  4. Goody Ouchless Ponytail Holders: Constantly using these when I wash my face or when I sleep. But somehow, they always disappear, so I just bring the whole pack.
  5. Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Eye Cream: It's imperative to take care of your eyes and not let the delicate skin around it get dry.  Ladies, be pro-active and think of taking natural  preventative measures now, at your current age!  This creme is fab, and a little goes a long way. I just dab and gently pat a bit of the product under the eye, under the browbone and on my crows feet. You’re never too old or young to start a great skin care regimen.
  6. Benefit’s Boo Boo Zap: The most annoying thing is to get a visit from an unexpected visitor {enter: blemish} when you’re traveling. I dab a little of this solution on before I go to bed and in the morning and I swear it’s gone within 24 hours! It’s not overly drying but does the job.
  7. Brown Sugar Lip Scrub by Sara Happ: Obsessed! Nothing is worse than having dry chapped lips when traveling. When lip balm isn’t doing the trick, this will. Smells like candy too!
  8. Tan Towels: These are a travel safe & fool proof way to tan when you are in a pinch. I am naturally pretty pale and these give me a nice, natural, non-streaky glow.
  9. Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo: When I am gone on a short trip and just bringing a carry on, I like to take this with me to add some volume to my roots and freshen my hair. Make sure you brush it out once you spray
  10. Nicole by OPI Polish & nail file: I always take a clear polish and light nude color just in case my nails chip. This polish is a chic Kardashian Kolor called “Paparazzi Don’t Preach.”
  11. Victoria’s Secret Rockin Body Cream: Love the light shimmer this cream gives me. I put it on my legs, arms and décolleté for some instant glam.
  12. Jo Malone Fragrance: I truly Love any and all of their scents. I’ll take this with me in my purse when I’m traveling or going out at night
  13. Q-tips: for a quick makeup fix
  14. Earplugs: essential for sleeping on a plane
  15. Missoni x Brics travel bag: This bag fits everything I need and more! Love the little organized separators inside the bag too.
What are some of your travel essentials?


{ Wine Wednesday }
bubbly basics

Ah, Champagne.  Who doesn't like that bubbly smoothness?  The term "Champagne" is actually a region in France, and only wines from this region can properly be deemed "Champagne."  All other drinks with similar champagne-y fizz must be called "sparkling wines."  What's so special about France? Well aside from Paris ... it's a culmination of the region's climate, soil and strict regulations that govern the production process of Champagne, that coin this exclusivity. It's accidental invention is also quite interesting.  Sparkling wine is a result of second fermentation, but the trick that birthed the second fermentation was the accidental addition of sugar.  The French have a tall-tale PR gimmick that includes a monk named  Dom Pérignon getting into trouble with wines and coincidentally creating this elite drink. Would be quite the story, but it's not true.  Soon after it's fortuitous birth, the drink was coined as "the devil's wine," since the corks exploded upon opening.  But, Champagne was also regarded as an aristocratic drink.  It was very customary for Champagne to be used in the anointment and rite of passage for French kings. Royalty throughout Europe spread the news of the glamorous drink and its association with high luxury, class and power in the 17th, 18th and 19th century.  The rest is history.

Interestingly enough, Champagne is made from four different grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris. Usually it's the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that are used in most volume.  After all, Chardonnay is a white wine grape; but Pinot Noir is red wine grape.  How puzzling, right? Well, all grapes are white on the inside, so depending on the amount of tint required for certain wines, the skin remains on the grapes or is completely taken off.  Same with Champagne.  To achieve that beautiful blush color in pink Champagne, the skins stay in the liquid for a bit and voila!

So what about all these various brands?  Some of the best Champagnes, only from France, of course, are:  Champagne Krug, Champagne Dom Pérignon by the powerhouse Moët & Chandon, Champagne Perrier-Jouët , Champagne Tattinger, Champagne Veuve Clicquot & Champagne Bolinger.  I still have yet to try these various types.  A Champagne testing should be in order! Ladies?

Cocktails anyone?  Champagne cocktails are probably my absolute favorite. Kir Royales are always a staple, pretty in hand, and so easy to make even for a dinner party. Simply add 3/4 Champagne and 1/4 Chambord, drop raspberry on top and enjoy!  Another absolute favorite to mix with a Brut Champagne is St- Germain and club soda.  For more Champagne cocktails, click here

What are some of your favorites?


Chalkboard Serving Platter

{Cheese platter all complete! Ready for guests}
After searching everywhere for the perfect cheese platter, it seemed I had failed miserably.  Sur La Table, Costco, and even Williams-Sonoma didn't carry the type of serving platter I was looking for - a "label-able" one.  Since cheese is a daily staple on our evening menu, I wanted to properly label the various types.  I even opted for small flag like toothpicks with a space for the type of cheese, but that too, not available.  After a little research online, I found just what I needed: Chalkboard paint.  Who knew, right? I was so ecstatic to have my little paint party and set all my little cheeses in a row, so I got right to it.  I choose a moderately sized porcelain platter since our taste in cheese is on a steady incline, but the link below has various sizes. This DIY project was so quick, easy {and enjoyable}, I can't wait to entertain guests.  

what you'll need:
Porcelain serving platter - Bed Bath & Beyond
Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Chalkboard Paint - Amazon
a soft bristle paint brush - Local crafts store

how to:
1. Make sure your platter is clean and dry.
2. To properly mask the edges, be sure to use painter's tape to keep the white edge even. 
3. Apply the paint with a soft bristle brush. You may need to paint two thin coats to avoid seeing brush strokes.
4. As soon as you are done painting carefully remove the tape if you used it. 
5. Let the paint dry for 24 hours. Then, bake your platter following the instructions printed on the back of the paint bottle. After baking, your serving platter is dishwasher and microwave safe! <--- so cool!
6. Ready for your cheese platter.  Remember, the key to a mouth-watering cheese platter is adding complimenting bits and pieces that are salty and sweet. Red grapes, small apple slivers, a dollop of honey, medjool dates, mixed nuts, and of course basil for garnish {and for snacking}, all call for a fabulous cheese platter where the crowd will definitely be gathered at the start of your dinner party!

{Successful Cheese platter has salty and sweet elements;
apples, grapes, mixed nuts, dried fruit and medjool dates add a scrumptious kick when paired with cheese}