Monthly Archives

August 2015


Order a Doctor Housecall like “Über”

I am so exited to share this app with you guys… The app that delivers doctors to your doorstep.

“Heal” is the smart phone app that delivers a doctors to your door within 30 minutes, similar to the on-demand car service Über.

But instead of only a car, a doctor shows up at your doors step. Basically, a traditional doctor that does house calls. After downloading the app and adding credit card info to your profile, you are easily set up and ready to go. Simply request a doctor, and a family doctor or pediatrician will arrive shortly. You can check his ETA on the app the same way you would do it on the Über app.

The service is available for a flat fee of $99 per house call. The doctors are available from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. I know… I are probably thinking how genius is this?heal app blog post ddd

Heal started in Los Angeles in February and expanded to San Fransciso and it’s planing a roll out it in a total of 15 major cities across America this year.

The roster of doctors affiliated with HEAL are associated with respected hospital such as University of California in Los Angels, Columbia, and others.

For an additional $19 the doctors will pick up the prescription for you and will just file the paperwork with your insurance.

Heal is one of the few new applications and services responding to the growing patient dissatisfaction with access and wait times at doctors’ offices.

For more information about the app, visit 

How brilliant is this new service? Doctor House Calls for $99, with just the click of a button.

I think it’s a game changer of the health industry.

What are your favorite apps?


The Difference between China and Porcelain


So what is the difference between China and Porcelain? Not much! In fact, these different terms are used to describe the same product: “porcelain” is more popular in Europe while “china” is more commonly used in America.

So what is china?

China is typically crafted from a combination of clay, kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. Unlike stoneware, china becomes very white and translucent when fired. Due to its delicate beauty, china is at the top of the list of ceramic products.

When describing dinnerware, the words porcelain and china are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between bone china and porcelain china.

Villeroy & Boch Old Luxembourg


Bone China

is made using translucent white ceramic clay and is known for a more delicate and refined look. In England, the percentage of bone ash must be at least 50% for a piece to be considered bone china.

Bone china is usually thinner with smoother glaze than porcelain china. Bone ash gives the body  a unique milky white color and adds a translucent quality to the body of the dinnerware.

To quickly test to see if your plate is porcelain or bone china, hold the plate up to the light or sunlight. You should be able to see the shadow of your hand behind the plate if it is true bone china.

Hermes MosaiqueMy Favorite China Brands

Popular brands known for high-quality china include Villeroy & Boch, Rosental, Hutschenreuther, Rosental meets Versace.

China patterns have even made their way to the runway. Valentio, Roberto Cavalli and Naeem Khan’s Pre-fall Collection include gowns reminiscent of blue-and-white porcelain patterns of classic china.

China for All Occassions

BONE CHINA: is the strongest, most sophisticated of all china materials. Slightly translucent, milky white tone. A blend of bone ashes and porcelain. Use this for fancy dinner parties, important guests, and holidays.

PORCELAIN: High firing temperatures give this opulent favorite durability and a glowing, non-porous surface. Sometimes decorated or hand painted with gold or silver accents. Porcelain is perfect to elevate everyday uses, dinner parties, and luncheons.

IRONSTONE: This is a highly durable alternative to porcelain. While sharing many of the characteristics of porcelain, ironstone is more casual and reasonable and in some cases a better alternative for everyday dining, breakfast, and lunch.

How to Care for Your China

While Porcelain and Bone China are generally safe to use in the dishwasher, consult the manufacturer before running them through. Gentle hand-washing and drying is often recommended.

Be careful near the microwave! Metallic details including gold or silver rims are never microwave safe and will cause a mini lighting scenario in your kitchen. Heat up and prepare food on a different platter than you serve them to be safe.

Pictured: Valentino Dress, Hermes Mosaic Collection Presentation plate, Rosental mets Versace The Butterfly Garden.

Versace jardin


What is your favorite China Collection? Comment below!

Featured FOOD

Flower Friday: 10 Edible Flowers

In the spirit of Flower Friday, we are talking about Flowers. You can use blooms to decorate food and dessert. Not only are many edible, they are a beautiful way to add a little touch of color to your food. Adding flowers to your food is a beautiful way to add flavor and some color and even spice.

The use of flowers as a culinary experience dates back to thousands of years to the Romans and Chinese. They used flower petals in salads, teas and as an exotic garnish for desserts.

But before you go out in your garden and harvest a bunch of flowers for lunch or dinner, it is important to remember that some flowers are poisonous. Organic or not, all flowers should be shaken and washed in gold water prior to use, as the may have bugs and insects on them and pollen that may cause an allergic reaction.

To ensure a risk free experience, I suggest purchasing your edible flowers at the grocery store.

square edible flowers collage

What kind of flowers can you eat:

  • Daisy
  • Hibiscus
  • Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Lilac
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Allium
  • Arugula
  • Fuchsia
  • Jasmine

Example of Usage:

  • To flavor butter
  • With pasta
  • In punch or tea
  • Atop salads
  • In soups
  • Flavoring vinegars
  • Decorating Desserts

Whole Foods : Edible Flowers

REMINDER: Individuals consuming the flowers, plants, or derivatives listed here do so entirely at their own risk.

dessert_edible flowers

Featured Travel

The Home of Van Gogh: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, the Home of Tulips and Van Gogh

I would love to introduce you to one of my favorite cities in the world, the home of Van Gogh: Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Sometimes “Holland” is frequently used to refer to the whole country of the Netherlands, all though it’s in theory only an area in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam is one of the greatest cities in Europe, a city of tolerance, diversity and creativity. Similar to Venice it’s one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world.

Canal cruises are probably the most exciting and popular ways to see the city. Or obviously using the traditional form of transportation in Amsterdam, the bicycle. Although I will say it’s pretty dangerous.  There is lots of traffic and thousands of bicycles so it can get very overwhelming.

tulip flowers amsterdam, netherlands

One of the main attractions in Amsterdam is probably the museums. With a selection of over 50 museums, there’s no way to get bored. From the Van Gogh Museum, to the Stedelijk, which is one of the worlds greatest museums, the coffee shops and the Flower Market, there’s so much to explore.

In the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam you will find an extensive collection of more than 800 works including Rembrandt and  Vermeer. Definitely a must see!

At the Van Gogh Museum you will get education on the life of Vincent and why he cut off his ear. The only downside, there are just too many people inside of the building and there is a huge line outside. Try buying tickets in advance online to get in without an extended wait.

Trivia: did you know Amsterdam is the home of Heineken and Amstel Beer?

The Amstel brewery was founded in 1870 in Amsterdam and was named after the Amstel River that runs through the city. Well that’s actually interesting because I don’t even drink beer… 🙂

My tip is  to rent a bike and take a beautiful bike ride through the vondel park. There are beautiful restaurants and local cafes to stop and smell the flowers. vondel park amsterdam

If you’re a little bit more adventurous you can drive (by car) about 20 minutes outside of the city to visit the windmills, learn how to make cheese and buy some high heal shoes I mean wooden clogs of course!

My Vavorit Places are :

Van Gogh Museum
The Vondel Park
 I amsterdam LETTERS

Happy travels! How was your experience in Amsterdam?



Napkin Etiquette

Napkin Etiquette is an actual thing… Yes..!

Let’s talk about some Napkins Basics. Typically in a formal setting, your napkin will be located on the left side of your plate, or sometime in your plate.

There are many informal setting when you will find your napkin folded in your water glass, wine glass, or under your plate or inside of your soup bowl.

Now lets move forward…

Typically, place your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down. If you find yourself at a very formal dinner setting or a black tie event, you will follow the lead of the hostess and place your napkin in your lap when the hostess does.

You will leave your napkin in your lap during the entire meal.

Napkin Rings:
Napkin rings are not used for formal dining, you will find the napkin rings in more casual dining setting, where the napkin ring is a decorative accessory, used to add fun or highlight the theme of the table. I personally love napkin rings just to give the table setting more color.

Do not shake or pop out your napkin out of control. It looks really bad and makes you look bad. If the napkin is napkin etiquette blog post ddda dinner napkin, it should be remain folded in half lengthwise. Now on the other hand if your napkin is a lunch or breakfast size napkin, unfold it completely and place it in your lap.

In a formal setting, the napkins should match the color of the tablecloth, which typically would be off-white, ivory or beige. Fun colors and patterns are used for informal dinners. If you are wearing black attired it will be proposed to you if you would like a black napkin

Leaving the table:

If you leave the table during dinner it’s a faux pas and a sign of bad etiquette.

Do not leave the table during the meal unless absolutely necessary.

Now if you still decide to leave the table (hopefully for a good reason) You should place your napkin on your chair, or leave the napkin face down on the left side of your dinner plate.

In some fine establishments they might have replaced your napkin while you left the table.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell “are we still eating or is it time to leave?” The hostess will signal the end of the meal by placing her napkin on the left side of her dinner plate.

In that event the dinner is officially over and you can place your napkin in the center of your setting. But obviously never place your napkin in your plate.

Don’t Do:

  • Never tuck a napkin to your shirt (that’s probably the worst thing ever) or waistband.
  • And most importantly don’t wipe your mouth with your napkin! You might think that’s the strangest thing ever.
  • Blot your mouth but don’t wipe it.
  • Don’t dip your napkin or your fingers in your water glass! Obviously…!!
  • Ultimately you can do what you want of course, but if you want to make a good impression, you should probably at least follow some of these tips …


Featured Travel

Best Summer Spots in Zürich

Where to find the best summer spots in Zurich, Switzerland

It’s finally summer in the city… and I would love to share with you my favorite summer spots in Zürich. People are outdoors walking in the park, tanning at the lake, or drinking cold beverage and eating gelato at a bistro in the old town of Zürich.

I have listed a couple of my favorite destinations, with distinctive elegance and legendary service. Traditional Hospitality & Inimitable Elegance.

The town offers beautiful outdoor locations from boat rides, hiking & bicycle roads.

Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland with a population of 400.000 people. And is one of the leading cities amongst the world largest financial centers. Many art galleries and museums can be found in the city. The official language of my city is Swiss German which is a local dialect only spoken in Switzerland.

According to a study “Quality of Life Survey”, Zürich ranked first on a list of the top 25 cities in the world to live in. According to several surveys from 2006 to 2008, Zürich was named the city with the best quality of life in the world as well as the wealthiest city in Europe.

1. Baur au Lac  outside terrace in the garden

2. Chez Fritz Lake Side Restaurant

3. Seerose Restaurant

4. Jules Verne Panorama Bar


Inspiration in a Square: Instagram Star @Jodianne_

Hi Jodi, thank you for speaking with us today! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

A: I am from Sydney, Australia. I am a mum, a wife, afraid of heights but love to fly, easily distracted and participate in the occasional yoga class!

How did you get started on Instagram?

A: I started on Instagram after I was made redundant from my job a few years ago. I was really down, felt lost and didn’t have a reason to get out of bed in the mornings. A friend suggested I try the photo a day challenge on Instagram. There was a prompt list every month and each day you took a picture corresponding to the word for that day. After the first month I was hooked and loved that that I was using my brain again to come up with ideas for pictures to post.

Now I post my everyday life such as, flowers, tea, coffee, candles, books and sometimes my travel pictures. I hope that my photos inspire others and bring some joy to their day.

Where does your inspiration come from?

A: I like to think outside the square. I love to see what I can do with things such as: flowers, scissors and teacups just to make them look different.

I’ll see something I have at home such as an old coffee jar or a glass water bottle and think that might look good if I paint it, fill with water and use as a vase. My mind is constantly going and I always look at an object with an open mind and how I can change the use of it.

What does your process look like for creating your artful photos?

A: I have a couple of different boards that I take the majority of my photos on. Usually I lay the boards on the floor and arrange the props I’m using for that photo. My floor is always covered in flowers as they are the main prop I use. On other occasions I may be having a cup of coffee and sit it down on my coffee table next to some flowers and take a candid shot.

Do you have any photo styling tips to share?

Yes! I do. Here are my top photo styling tips:

  • I always photograph in natural light, open the blinds and let the light shine through.
  • I’m a big fan of colour whether its pretty pastels or brights, colour attracts your followers attention immediately.
  • I take the majority of my pictures in a flatlay style I find this style eliminates problems with shadows.
  • Always take about 5 pictures of the same thing as one might be in focus better than the others or the light might be better.
  • Photograph what you love.


What are your favorite flowers and props to work with?

A: I love working with roses (and peonies when they are in season.)

Pink roses are my absolute favourite, pink carries with it the connotation of grace and elegance, as well as sweetness and romance. I also adore teacups, their shapes and colours, they just seem to complete a photo. 

What can you absolutely not live without?

A: Apart from my family I can’t live without traveling. I love packing a suitcase, going to the airport and heading off to the unknown. To me traveling is like breathing, I have to do it!

What does “lust for life” mean to you?

A: “Lust for life” for me means making the most of everyday and every opportunity that comes my way. I want to experience as much in this lifetime as I can, the good and the bad. When I’m old and sitting in my rocking chair I want to look back on my life and have no regrets.

Favorite quote?

A: I actually have two favourite quotes:

“I must have flowers,

always and always.”

–       Claude Monet


‘What you think, you become.

What you feel, you attract.

What you imagine, you create.”

–       Buddha

Thank you so much, Jodi! Give @jodianne_ a follow on Instagram for beautiful inspiration, and follow her Instagram takeover on @theestatecollection today!