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My Must-Haves for Summer

Summer always puts me in a sunny mood. The days are long, the weather is beautiful, and everyone is a little more relaxed and carefree. Here are a few of my essential favorites to help you celebrate summer in style this year!

A beautiful pedicure. Nothing feels and looks as good as a fresh pedicure; it keeps your feet smooth and sandal-ready for summer. Pamper yourself and kick off the summer by showing your toes a little TLC. Choose a color that makes you happy when you look at it.  I am known to choose an orangey-coral shade every year. It is my very favorite and always makes me smile.

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A great read. A great book is always in fashion, but summer is a special time for reading. I never go to the beach or on a weekend getaway without a new book to enjoy. I already have a few lined up for summer. One on my list is Before the Fall by Noah Hawley—a real page turner. Another that I’m looking forward to is The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson, who wrote Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, which I also really enjoyed.

A stylish hat. A hat can complete a look, but hats are also great for protecting your hair and face from the sun. Walking around New York today, I saw so many women wearing hats. It was a hot day, so that may have had something to do with it. I wished I had worn one and will be sure to remember one from now on, especially when it’s bright outside! There are plenty of choices and styles available, so I know you’ll find something great: small brims or larger, floppy brims—whatever suits your look.

Image Credit: www.jcrew.com Click here to buy

Image Credit: www.jcrew.com
Click here to buy

Image Credit: www.goorin.com Click here to buy

Image Credit: www.goorin.com
Click here to buy

Image Credit: www.nordstrom.com Click here to buy

Image Credit: www.nordstrom.com
Click here to buy

A fun, flirty dress. Dresses are so easy and lovely that they are sure to put a spring in your step. Choose a style and color that makes you feel beautiful. White dresses are classic and especially nice in the summer. And be sure to check out my recent article all about summer dresses here.

A beachy glow. Self-tanner formulas are better than ever nowadays. I am a fan of the Jergens family of gradual tanners. I’ve been using their new program that comes with a primer for the shower, the tanner itself, plus an extender that helps my tan last. I like to use a glove to apply so my hands don’t get stained. Everyone keeps asking me if I’ve been to Florida recently, so it must be working!

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Jergens foam mousse also works great for the body. It washes off of my hands easily and creates a smooth, even tan. For my face I love Comodynes self-tanning towelettes. I found them in a Paris pharmacy, but they are also available online. The color is realistic and the individual towelettes couldn’t be easier to use!

A fantastic recipe. A delicious, satisfying recipe that is easy to make and a crowd pleaser is one we should all have on hand. My husband and I have been enjoying beer-can chicken using the 4-3-2-1 rub, both available at bonappetit.com. I have tried a few pans to cook it in, and I am a fan of the Weber infusion pan, which works on the grill or in the oven. Here are the recipes below, along with a link to the pan, so you can enjoy your own roast chicken delights.

Beer-Can Chicken Recipe

4-3-2-1 Spice Rub Recipe

Get your own poultry infusion roaster here.

Remember that Labor Day will be here before you know it. Summer goes by so quickly, so be sure to make every day count. Get outside frequently. Breathe in the fresh air after a thunderstorm. Enjoy time with your friends and family, and don’t forget to catch as many golden sunsets as you can.

What I’ll Be Buying This Fall: Accessories

In my last blog post, I showcased three clothing items that were on my fall fashion must-have list. As I wrote in that post, I love learning about each season’s new trends, then choosing a few new pieces that I can incorporate into my wardrobe—and that goes for accessories, too!

Here, I’d like to spotlight three items I’ve chosen to purchase this season. I think they’ll really help to put the finishing touches on my outfits. And, like the clothes I profiled last week, each item is versatile and will have a life that extends well beyond autumn!

Bounkit Cuff Bracelet

Bounkit cuffI recently purchased this cuff, which is set with mother-of-pearl, keshi pearl, citrine, and aquamarine. I absolutely love wearing it (and I think you can see why!). It looks fabulous with a simple white shirt and can also be used to dress up a more formal ensemble. The gold setting and bold stones will look great against all of autumn’s saturated, earthy colors. Like all Bounkit jewelry, this bracelet is a true investment piece that I can see myself wearing for years to come.

To order this bracelet or any other Bounkit pieces, you can contact me.

Tory Burch York Buckle Tote

 

Image credit: www.toryburch.com

Image credit: www.toryburch.com

In addition to purchasing this bag myself, I have been recommending it to many of my professional clients, and to all women who love totes. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The York Buckle Tote comes in two sizes, so you can pick the size that’s best for your needs and lifestyle. The larger size can hold a computer, umbrella, files, water bottle, and more. The smaller size will comfortably hold a business file and an iPad, along with your other necessities.
  • This bag is available in multiple colors, all of which are beautiful for autumn: dark plum, navy, black, dark walnut, Kir Royale, and luggage.
  • The bag itself is lightweight and is made of Saffiano leather, which I love. It is textured so it won’t scratch easily and can be cleaned with a little water on a towel.
  • Both sizes have a center zippered section in which you can secure your valuables. That’s in addition to multiple inside pockets, which make for easy organization.
  • The small “T” logo at the top of the bag isn’t overwhelming. (Obviously, the “T” works well for me!)

I own the smaller size of this bag. It works as both a tote and as a purse for me. If you’d like to purchase this bag, you can do so online, in Tory Burch stores, and at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.

Tom Ford Lipstick—Twist of Fate

Image credit: www.tomford.com

Image credit: www.tomford.com

I love the quality of Tom Ford lipsticks. Several years ago when they were first introduced, my husband insisted that I buy Wild Ginger. It has been my “go-to red” ever since, particularly for evening wear. Yes, these lipsticks are a bit of a splurge, but they wear well and last quite a while.

The color I’ve chosen for fall is Twist of Fate—not a typical fall color, but one that I think will be a good complement to a range of autumnal hues (including my favorite, chocolate!). On me, this lipstick is a peachy nude.

As you curate your own fall wardrobe, I hope that my suggestions will be helpful. If you’d like any advice on your image, or if you’d like to share your favorite pieces with me, please get in touch!

What I’ll Be Buying This Fall: Clothing

There are a lot of reasons why we get excited when summer finally transitions into fall: the beautiful leaves, cooler temperatures, kids going back to school, and pumpkin-flavored goodies, to name just a few. And if you’re anything like me, something you get especially excited about is the chance to spice up your look with the season’s new styles.

When updating my wardrobe for a new season, I like to learn about current trends, then carefully pick a few new pieces that I believe I’ll wear a lot and that will blend well with what’s already in my closet.

Here, I’d like to share three pieces from Worth New York’s collection that I’ll be adding to my fall wardrobe:

Optic White Cotton Extra Perfect Shirt

Optic White Cotton Extra Perfect Shirt

Optic White Cotton Extra Perfect Shirt

I can’t say enough good things about this versatile shirt. It really is perfect, and I own it in multiple colors. Here’s what I love about it:

  • The shirt has a placket front, so there are no buttons to cause the shirt to pull and gap open.
  • There are hidden zippers on each side to ensure a snug, flattering fit.
  • The shirt has a curved bottom so you can wear it tucked in or out.
  • The open collar has (and holds) a great shape. I think the collar looks beautiful open, but there’s a button at the top in case you want to wear it closed.
  • The sleeves have turn-back cuffs that look like French cuffs. You can, of course, roll the sleeves up for a more casual look.

Chocolate Chip Ponte Harley Pant

Chocolate Chip Ponte Harley Pant

Chocolate Chip Ponte Harley Pant

These pants are a must-have for right now and for when the weather gets colder.

  • I’m buying the Harley Pant in chocolate chip, which is a trendy color this season and also a favorite of mine. They’re also available in black and navy.
  • These pants are made of ponte knit, so they’re very comfortable to wear. Actually, they feel like leggings, but are substantial enough to function as pants.
  • This is a repeat style that’s tried and true and loved by all who own it.
  • This season, the Harley Pant can be worn with a short bootie, a high heel, or ballet flats. Once the weather gets colder, tuck them into high boots.

Camel Hair Turnlock Coat

Camel Hair Turnlock Coat

Camel Hair Turnlock Coat

I really like this camel hair coat. The fabric is soft and beautiful. I especially enjoy the turnlock closures and the brown faux leather facing behind the closures, which adds visual interest if you choose to wear the coat open. I think this piece will be perfect for crisp autumn days and will remain useful well into winter. It also comes in a rich Bordeaux color.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these three pieces (either in person or in one of my new virtual appointments), please let me know!

In my next blog post, I’ll share a few accessories that are on my fall list.

 

 

 

 

What I’m Loving Now: Simple and Stylish Summer Entertaining

In my last blog post I talked about the strategies my husband, Barry, and I use to keep things running smoothly and (relatively) stress-free when we host weekend guests at our home in Southampton. I thought I’d follow up by sharing some of the items that help us do that.

While “things” on their own can’t ensure a fun, memorable visit with friends, they can certainly help set a welcoming scene…and they can perform functions that help you worry a little less! I’ve found that having a few reliable, go-to pieces simplifies and streamlines the process of hosting, allowing you to enjoy your guests’ company instead of worrying about how you’ll set the table or the best way to serve snacks.

Here are several stylish items (including hyperlinks, so that you can purchase them if you wish) that have proved invaluable in my summer entertaining. I’ve received compliments on these pieces from my guests, and I hope you’ll find some of them useful as well!

Serve in style with Joseph Joseph dishes. I purchased Joseph Joseph’s Large Double Dish, Double Dish, and Triple Dish Set last year—and I’m so glad I did, because I use these attractive dishes almost every weekend. I love their fresh lime green and white color, because I use lime green and orange as my summer accent colors.

The two Double Dishes in particular are very clever because their rims have slots in which you can dispose of toothpicks, olive pits, shells from pistachios, etc. This keeps your serving area uncluttered and attractive and makes cleanup a breeze. Since the larger bowl in particular is divided into three serving compartments and includes a space for toothpicks, it’s perfect for serving small “spear-able” items like mushrooms, small shrimp, and cheese cubes. I bought the Triple Dish Set in which to serve guacamole, salsa, hummus, and chips.

Before my guests arrive, I fill up these bowls with hors d’oeuvres and set them on the counter. Having snacks ready helps welcome my guests, and I don’t have to stop and serve anything!

Cut down on cooking mess with elevated spatulas. Each spatula in Joseph Joseph’s Elevated Spatula Set includes a clever tool rest on the handle to keep the head of the spatula off the counter when you set it down. Anytime you’re cooking—but especially when you’re also entertaining guests—anything that can cut down on mess and cleanup is very welcome. And as an added bonus, the spatulas’ bright colors are fun.

Talk while you work with a hands-free headset. I absolutely love my Plantronics Cordless Headset—so much that I have one in my New York office and in our Southampton home. At home, I use it to talk on the phone while I’m cooking. (My cell phone clips right onto my waistband.) This is especially helpful when I’m prepping a meal and giving directions to arriving guests at the same time!

Dispense drinks with ease. Everyone who visits loves my Classic Glass Drink Dispenser from Pottery Barn. I bought the smaller 1.9-gallon dispenser with the white stand. The metal spigot works well and doesn’t leak. Each day I’m entertaining, I’ll fill the container with water, ice, and organic lemons and leave it, along with glasses and napkins, on my counter for my guests’ use. That way, my friends can serve themselves whenever they’re thirsty. Best of all, this drink dispenser is simply gorgeous—a classy and stylish piece of décor, rather than “just” a functional serving piece.

Sip beverages without worrying about breakage. Who says acrylic drinkware can’t look attractive and sophisticated? I love to use Crate & Barrel’s Swirl Acrylic Double Old-Fashioned Glasses and Pop Yellow Drink Glasses when serving meals outdoors, or when simply sipping something refreshing by the pool. And if the situation calls for a toast, I bring out Sur La Table’s Outdoor Champagne Flutes and Hammered-Acrylic Wine Glasses. All of these glasses are sturdy and elegant!

Set a cheerful table. When I’m entertaining in the summer, we eat a lot of meals out on the patio. I set the table with CB2’s Basketweave Placemats in either hot orange or chartreuse, and alternate CB2’s Uno Linen Napkins in orange and chartreuse (they’re huge squares, and the material is high quality that will stand up to many washes). I love the citrusy color combination—it just screams “summertime” to me. Finally, I finish off the place settings with bright white Lunea Melamine plates, dishes, bowls, platters, and/or serving trays—whatever the meals call for.

All of these items are affordable, durable, high quality, and functional. They’ve made it easier for me as a hostess to entertain my guests, and they’ve added color and style to my home. If you choose to purchase any of them, I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as Barry and I have!

 

 

Small Resolutions Get Big Results: Three Questions to Ask Yourself in 2014

Can you believe it—2014 is here. If you’re like most Americans, you’re riding the high of freshly made New Year’s resolutions. This, you promise yourself, is the year when you’re finally going to buckle down and make all the big changes you’ve been dreaming about: losing 50 pounds or getting out of debt or finding a new career.

But be honest: Are you really going to do those things? Or are they going to be a fading memory by February or March?  If you’re like most people, your so-called “resolve” will fizzle out before the new habits have a chance to take hold.

Here’s my theory: You may not be making the right resolutions. You may need to address issues that are much closer to home—the “small” issues—before you’re in a good place to tackle the Big Life Changes. After all, those big, sweeping, dramatic changes take a lot of energy, and that energy has to come from somewhere. I believe it’s a natural byproduct of loving and honoring yourself every day. Most of us aren’t doing that…so no wonder we’re running on empty.

Think about it: We get so settled into our routines that we go years—or even decades—without consciously taking a look at our lives to assess what’s working and what’s not. We live our lives by default instead of by design. However, we are constantly growing and changing, and the things that used to fit well into our lives may not be honoring who we are today.

So right now, at the beginning of 2014, I urge you to identify the New Year’s resolutions that you need to make and to prioritize them over any resolutions that you want to make. If you do, I think you’ll be surprised and gratified by how much your life changes over the next 12 months and by how prepared you are in 2015—or earlier!—to tackle other big goals.

While they are by no means exhaustive, here are three questions that will get your thinking on the right track: 

*Am I taking care of myself? Do you feel tired and run down? Are you overextending yourself? Do you pack your days too full and get too little sleep in order to accomplish everything you want to? You may think you’re getting ahead, but, in reality, you’re hurting your quality of life. If you make taking care of yourself more of a priority, you’ll feel better about taking care of other people and have more energy throughout the day to imitate Superman or Superwoman.

Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish; it’s healthy and necessary. Whether you spend a day at the spa or simply take 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of hot tea in the midst of running errands, investing in yourself will make you more resilient and will also reduce your stress and tension.

*Do I spend time with the right people? Think about your friends. Are they supportive or snide? Do you feel energized when you spend time with them, or drained? Are compliments genuine or backhanded? If a friendship isn’t enriching, back away. Choose to spend time with people you genuinely like. Life is too short to spend time with people you don’t enjoy, who try to undercut or out-do you, and with whom you can’t be authentic. You don’t have to be rude to these “frenemies” but remember: You’re in charge of your calendar. You can gracefully say no to one social activity while accepting another, more positive one.

Remember, too, that it’s important to set up clear boundaries. In some cases, others may not realize how bad they’re making you feel. When you make it clear what you’ll no longer tolerate, the light bulb will come on, and, hopefully, they’ll adjust their behavior.

*Does my look still work for me? As you move through life, you’re obliged to deal with problems as they crop up, check off never-ending to-dos, and try to survive each day while minimizing stress. No wonder many people simply don’t have the time, energy, or motivation for a makeover. Appearance may not seem important—but it really is. Even if you don’t realize it on a conscious level, your look does affect your attitude, confidence level, and self-image…and all of that, in turn, affects what you’re able to accomplish.

If you aren’t excited about looking in the mirror (and haven’t been for some time), resolve to update your image in 2014. Women, for some ideas on how to get started, click here for my thoughts on kick-starting your image’s evolution, and here to learn about some common errors that may be sabotaging your style. Men, here is a list of seven things I believe you should have in your closet, and here you can read about accessories that will spice up and polish your look.

Now, at the beginning of a brand new year, is the perfect time to assess your life and make resolutions that will really be meaningful. So ask yourself these three questions and allow them to lead your mind into other areas of life that you may not be living on purpose. If you answer honestly, you’ll be on the road to reaching a good place in 2014.