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Featured FOOD Lifestyle

The Perfect Simple Summer Salad

With the summer heat beating down, it can be hard not to give in to those cravings for a sweet icy treat like fresh-made ice cream. The good news is, with a sweet summer salad like this, you can satisfy your cravings without the added calories!

Sweet, Refreshing, and Healthy

One of my go-to recipes that is absolutely perfect for the hot weather and a healthy lifestyle is this perfect and super easy-to-make summer salad. The strawberries and dried cranberries make it taste sweet without adding too much sugar, while the cool butter lettuce and homemade balsamic vinaigrette offer a chill that feels fabulous after a day of swimming or sunbathing. Add some grilled chicken for a little protein, and you’ve got the perfect summer lunch!

Ingredients (Salad):

  • 3 cups butter lettuce
  • 1 ½ cups grilled chicken, sliced
  • 2 ½ cups fresh sliced strawberries
  • ¼ cup fresh goat cheese
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • Homemade balsamic vinaigrette (to taste)

Ingredients (Vinaigrette):

  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 pinch Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme)

The Perfect Salad to Share!

If you’re bringing this salad to share with friends, I recommend slicing the strawberries and goat cheese ahead of time and packing them in separate Tupperware containers along with the dried cranberries and chicken. Leave the vinaigrette on the side until the last moment, in a salad dressing shaker if you have one.

When you arrive at your event, simply pile on the strawberries, goat cheese, chicken, and cranberries before mixing, adding the vinaigrette, and mixing again. Waiting to prep until just before you dig in ensures that none of the ingredients get too soggy and the salad stays perfectly fresh for you and your companions.

Keeping Cool in the Hot Summer Months 

There are so many possible variations for this salad, so I’d love to hear what you come up with! What are your favorite salads to serve (and eat!) during the hotter months? Share in the comments below. And stay cool!

ENTERTAINING Lifestyle

Chic Mother’s Day Gifts for the Leading Ladies in Your Life

Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the leading ladies in your life—whether it’s your mom, mother-in-law, significant other, best friend, or even the mom to your adorable pets! Honestly, I find myself taking any excuse to make the people in my life feel loved and pampered—meaning that May 14th offers the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family, friends, and other loved ones.

To help make those special mothers in your life feel especially valued, try one or more of the gift ideas below. Or take the day to celebrate yourself—after all, who wouldn’t love these amazing presents?!

The Fabulous Homemaker

Let’s get real—most “stay at home” moms tend to have more jobs than the rest of us, from taking care of the kids to cooking, cleaning, or even telecommuting. Whatever reason keeps her at home, chances are she could use something beautiful to make her feel appreciated.

Now’s the time to lay the groundwork—if you don’t yet know her favorite flowers, start asking some subtle questions to figure it out. Then find a fabulous local florist and place your order far in advance (just to be safe). Make the bouquet as fabulous as she is by asking them to deliver it in the gorgeous Lionel Richie Home Collection Manhattan Vase (most high-quality flower shops are happy to accommodate!). Add a set of LOVE plates, also from the LRH collection, and set a gorgeous table for a decadent brunch celebrating your favorite lady!

The Life of the Party

Many mamas also enjoy the night out, even if they do spend most of their days cooped up at home or stuck in an office. For the lady who loves to work hard and play harder, there’s nothing better than some gorgeous glassware, such as these hand-blown crystal Champagne Flutes from Tiffany and Co.

Pair this exquisite china with some Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Sparkling Wine and a pitcher of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and this mom can enjoy her own “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” whenever she desires. After all, what’s better to recover from a night of partying than a light mimosa (or two) to take the edge off?

The Hostess Supreme

Whether planning showers, hosting dinner parties, or leading her ladies’ book club, the hostess supreme is always in need of some good stationery. So, why not gift her some extraordinary stationery that’s equally as beautiful as she is? I absolutely love this Engraved Koi Fish Heavyweight Card with Painted Edge stationery set from Crane. This set of cards is both sturdy and lovely, the perfect combination for a lady in charge.

Make writing all of those invitations by hand a little easier for her by adding an elegant Ivory Fountain Pen from Waterman Paris. The smooth flow will make it gentler on her hand, ensuring she can write all of those thank you letters effortlessly, while the stunning design will add even more beauty to her life.

The Garden Lover

For those ladies who can’t get enough of the beauty and tranquility of a gorgeous rose garden, what could be better than an exquisite, long-lasting Parisian-inspired floral arrangement from Venus et Fleur?! Their stunning Eternity roses can stay fresh for an entire year, and the Parisian-style keepsake hatbox they arrive in are perfect to store away beloved mementos for years to come.

 

The Career Woman

Offer the ultimate de-stressing experience to the dedicated career woman in your life with The Estate Collection’s Manhattan luxury candle. With hints of lemon, bergamot, jasmine, and orchid, you’ll be offering her not just a gorgeous decorative item, but a truly uplifting fragrance as well.

Complement her new spa experience with 12 months of Bellocq luxury tea and you may notice that she goes from overworked and exhausted to relaxed and serene!

Celebrate the Leading Ladies in Your Life

Make this May 14th the day you let the ladies in your life know how much you care for them. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Featured Lifestyle

48 Hours in Hong Kong: The Pearl of the Orient

A home away from home, Hong Kong is one of my favorite places to spend a few days. Whenever I get the chance to enjoy a layover here, I take the opportunity! I feel like it would take a lifetime to see all that this beautiful region has to offer.

The next time you’re heading off to Beijing, Tokyo, or anywhere else in the region, try to schedule in a few days in Hong Kong and learn why this destination has become known as the “Pearl of the Orient.”

Stay in the Heart of Hong Kong

Given the short amount of time you have in Hong Kong, I recommend staying in a hotel as close to the city center as possible. Some of my absolute favorites in terms of luxury and service include the Four Seasons and the Mandarin Oriental.

While the Four Seasons boasts a well-earned international reputation, an amazing view of Victoria Harbor, and spa services to die for, the Mandarin Oriental offers a more local brand of sophistication. As Mandarin Oriental’s flagship location, it features a world-class spa and a fabulous view of the downtown skyscrapers.

Whichever hotel I stay in, I love to indulge in a massage to ease the stresses of travel before enjoying a healthy breakfast to start my day off reinvigorated.

Take a Stroll Down Cat Street

Don’t let the name fool you! Iconic Upper Lascar Row, better known as Cat Street, is actually a shopping district that specializes in antiques of all kinds, from the kitsch to the classic. If you happen to be a lover of antiques, you may find something as unique as a Qing vase or Ming furniture. After all, this shopping neighborhood has been in existence for 100 years, and some amazing items have yet to sell!

At the end of the street, simply turn right onto Hollywood Road to discovery the majestic Man Mo Temple, created as a tribute to Man, the god of literature, and Mo, the god of martial arts. While the exterior complex looks as urbanized as the rest of the city, the temple itself features a breathtaking design dating back to the mid-19th century.

Nurture Your Artistic Eye

Stop in at Gagosian to take in some amazing contemporary art, including works by such innovators as Urs Fischer, Howard Hodgkin, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, and Walter De Mari. With galleries all over the world, Gagosian has become a well-known name in the visual arts, but this Hong Kong-based location offers a delicious glimpse into local flavor with many artists inspired by regional events and locales.

Just across the street is the fabulous Hanart TZ Gallery, founded by Hong Kong native Tsong-zung “Johnson” Chang. With an Asia-specific art practice dating back decades, Chang’s eye for the visionary and breathtaking ensures a gallery experience completely unique to Hong Kong. Past exhibitions have included works by Luis Chan, Chimmedorj, Chen Beixin, and Xu Longsen.

Dine in Style

For a visual experience almost as gorgeous as the pieces at Hanart and Gagosian galleries, enjoy a delectable dinner at the exquisite SEVVA. Each of their meals is a work of art in itself, with a beautiful taste experience to match. Plus, after all that walking, you’ll have earned one of their signature caramel crunch cakes!

For breakfast, brunch, or lunch, head to the nearby China Tang for sumptuous Chinese cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. For those of us who just want to sample every item on the menu, I highly recommend an early afternoon meal of dim sum—a series of bite-sized portions offering a whole array of delicacies.

For a dinner gathering with friends, or just some late-night drinks, head to Cipriani Hong Kong, the city’s answer to innovative Italian food and cocktails. Be sure to arrive with an empty stomach to savor every delicious bite of their huge multi-course meals.

Remember for a Lifetime 

Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. It seems like every place I visit in the region boasts a gorgeous mixture of natural beauty, urbanity, and authentic Chinese culture. For example, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden allows visitors willing to venture a bit farther north the opportunity to interact with exotic birds in a classic Chinese garden setting, all within the atmosphere of a busy shopping area.

With 48 hours, you have just enough time to revel in the wonders of Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient. Let me know about your adventures!

 

 

 

Featured Lifestyle

Build a Beautiful Life With Niche Tea

My regular readers know that I’m all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And one of the best and easiest ways to promote wellness, increase hydration, and support your holistic health is by drinking tea regularly. I’ve become such a tea aficionado after learning the many benefits of these key ingredients and discovering the absolutely delicious taste of Niche Tea.

With innovative flavors ranging from their rose petal-infused Skin blend to oolong-melded Body mix, Niche Tea makes feeling beautiful, vibrant, and energized a breeze.

A Little About Niche

Officially the Niche Company, Niche Tea began as the brainchild of Amanda Miles Ricketts. While Amanda was always a tea lover, she began noticing herbs’ anti-aging and beauty-enhancing effects after she hit the age of thirty. Hoping to hone in on this age-defying effect, she began self-educating, learning all she could about how to increase the effectiveness of tea’s natural powers.

The result of the tea expertise that Amanda cultivated through years of research was a collection of six original tea blends focused on supplementing nutrition and supporting beauty from the inside out. Amanda learned exactly which herbs supported different beauty and health functions and combined them to make a truly gorgeous and delicious product.

Which Flavor to Choose?

Niche now offers six flavors that specifically address different aspects of wellness and beauty. While drinking tea is incredibly healthy in and of itself, these key blends make it even easier to focus on those aspects of your self-image that you would like to improve, whether it’s losing a few pounds, eliminating bags under your eyes, or flushing out your digestive system.

Their six wellness-enhancing teas include:

Skin: Drawing upon the anti-aging and antioxidant properties of white tea, this delicious blend is sweetened and enhanced with hints of hibiscus, dandelion leaves, red clover, rose petals, and elderberries.

Mind: This blend enables you to energize and revitalize mentally with yerba mate, a natural source of mental stimulation and vigor, popular across many Spanish-speaking countries. This flavor also includes hints of cocoa shells, cinnamon, lemongrass, lime leaves, and gota kola, dynamic elements that both stir the mind and tempt the taste buds.

Cleanse: Perfect for those switching over to tea from coffee, this blend of digestion-supporting peppermint, cleansing pu-erh tea, licorice root, ginger root, fennel seeds, and cardamom will clear out your system, leaving you feeling healthy and refreshed. It’s also a great treat for your body after a hard night of partying!

Body: This flavor is designed around the weight loss properties of oolong, a traditional and popular Chinese tea that helps boost the metabolism. Added in are ginger root and aniseed, which work to combat indigestion, and hints of hibiscus, apple, rosehip, cleavers, juniper berries, and orange peel.

Hair: Known for stimulating hair growth and supporting scalp health, peppermint has long been a favorite of beauty experts. This tea harnesses the power of peppermint while also bringing in elements of green tea, nettle leaves, schizandra berries, apple pieces, sage, and chili to keep your hair as thick, luscious, and strong as it is long.

Sleep: Recognizing the effect that a good night’s sleep has on our overall health, Niche has added this relaxing blend of soporific herbs, including rooibos, lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower, rose petals, and lavender. I highly recommend sipping on this tea in the evening while burning your favorite luxury candle to decompress after a long day.

Make a Statement With Your Tea

It doesn’t hurt that each of these teas comes in a gorgeous cylindrical container that looks absolutely stunning next to any of the other blends—meaning that you can buy all six, line them up on your counter, and enjoy the colorful pop that these accent pieces add to your kitchen.

Best of all? I absolutely love that these teas are all natural and packed in pre-measured triangular sachets with the perfect mixture of tea leaves. I can rest assured that I’m getting the highest quality and most nutrient-rich herbs and spices available!

Try Niche Tea today and add an effective and delicious practice to your beauty ritual.

 

ENTERTAINING Featured Lifestyle

Designing A Festive Easter Table Setting

Spring is in full bloom, and I’m loving the fresh air, the scent of blossoming flowers, and the colorful foliage of this vibrant season. Another thing I love about this time of year is Easter—it’s the perfect opportunity to gather family and friends and celebrate.

As with any occasion, no celebration would be complete without a fabulous table setting to set the tone for the event. In anticipation of Easter Sunday this coming weekend, I’ve brought together a few of my favorite table elements to provide a little inspiration for those of you planning to entertain this Easter.

In keeping with the spring spirit, I designed a fun and youthful table for the enjoyment of adults and children alike—and I even incorporated some of the pastel color palette that I shared last week!

Much of the symbolism that we associate with Easter focuses on birth, rebirth, and babies. Think of decorated eggs, blooming flowers, fresh grass, and of course the cute little bunnies themselves.

I like to think of the spring as the chance for a clean slate—the opportunity to pick up any discarded New Years’ resolutions and set goals to last for the rest of the year. Something about all of the rain and baby animals just makes it seem as though anything is possible! To set the stage for this mentality of renewal, I started my tablescape with a plain but elegant white tablecloth. This neutral hue also complements the light color palette of the season, making it a perfect fit.

When was the last time you tried dyeing some hard-boiled eggs? I thought, why not give in to the youthfulness of the season by trying out this practice again? As an adult, you can bring a skilled artistic eye to egg painting that renders gorgeous designs. Plus, it’s a lot of fun dyeing the eggs! I like to use a bit less dye or submerge my eggs for less time to color them in pastel shades perfect for a spring-themed table setting.

As another symbol of spring, any budding blossom makes a fabulous statement for an Easter tablescape. Just follow your heart—or nose—to your favorite flower and let your intuition be your guide. You might even choose some especially dark or bright flowers to accent your table, adding a pop of color that provides a gorgeous “wow” factor. Plus, the scent offered by these blooms is absolutely divine!

To finish my table setting, I love bringing in some of my favorite china. I decided to offset the pastels with a chic gold flourish from the gold-embossed London plates from the Lionel Richie Home Collection. This design doesn’t overpower the other color elements but seems to make them shine, if possible, even more brightly. I suggest pairing this china set with some small verdant elements that reflect the life of the season, such as a few deep green leaves and a sprig of flowers.

To complete the occasion, bring in a cocktail that matches the table in both flavor and design. I particularly enjoy pink, so I suggest pairing some peach Bellini with a sweet rosé—serving these in some gorgeous crystal wine glasses allows the color to further complement the tablescape. Spring is the time to take in some of the sweeter liquors, which are especially appreciated when served chilled on a hot day.

Just remember to go with the feel of the season. Think pastel colors (with a few darker accents here and there!), warmth, and rebirth (eggs, baby animals). Take in a few minutes of delicious sunlight and let the renewal and warmth of spring inspire you to design a tablescape that’s just right for the Easter season.

Featured Lifestyle

Spring Color Palette: Pastels

Spring is finally here! If you’re like me, you likely couldn’t wait to break out your warm weather clothes—some fun and flirty spring fashions to celebrate the end of winter. I absolutely love spring colors and I’m far from alone—many luxury designers began introducing their spring 2017 collections as early as fall of last year!

With this pastel palette (featuring Pantone hues), you’ll be ready to slay with hues that celebrate the season, bring out your natural colors, and complement the spring blooms, whether you’re at home or on the go.

Island Paradise

Living in LA, I feel like I wake up in paradise every morning! Yet, even I have fun bringing the wonder and tranquility of the islands into my home as the weather warms up during the spring. For me, island paradise flawlessly captures the color of the Caribbean sky, evoking an idyllic, dreamy feeling.

Popularized this spring by designers such as Escada and Barbara Bui, island paradise is perfect for handbags, flowy dresses of wispy fabrics, and making a home feel both welcoming and tropical. A deeply relaxing color, I love bringing island paradise into my restrooms to create a restful home spa experience. Make this space even more serene by incorporating the tropical grapefruit and passionfruit-scented Beverly Hills luxury candle from the Estate Collection.

 Orchid Smoke

For a fresh and feminine hue, consider the gorgeous orchid smoke, widely featured in Zac Posen and Balenciaga’s 2017 collections. This muted pinkish-purple shade offers a flirty and romantic alternative to lilac or violet, drawing upon the natural marvel of this equally beautiful blossom. Plus, as a darker pastel, this tone can be great for those who may have trouble finding spring shades that work with their coloring.

I usually wear orchid smoke as an accent color, especially for strappy shoes, sweaters, and even eye shadow. To bring the splendor of a floral garden into your home, use this shade in your sitting room or bedroom—orchid smoke is a great color for accent pillows! Then, add the equally breathtaking fragrance of orchids to your experience of the season by burning the lemon, bergamot, and orchid-scented Manhattan luxury candle.

 Fresh Salmon

I’ll admit, I used to think that I hated salmon. But that was before I learned of its many variations. Fresh salmon, as a slightly more pink salmon hue, just makes this shade feel so much more romantic! There’s something deeply sophisticated, almost Parisian about the color. It reminds me of the soft roses that line the Jardin des Plantes, just a short walk away from a small zoo in the 5th arrondissement.

Brought to the attention of the fashion world this spring by Maison Margiela and Givenchy, fresh salmon can add some femininity to your work wardrobe without making it feel too girly. This color makes for a chic blouse or skirt, perfect for the career woman eager to climb the corporate ladder! I also love this color in my dining room and office, offering a feminine touch that won’t make the guy in your life feel too overwhelmed. Bring an extra hint of French elegance to your space with the fig, cypress, and eucalyptus blend of St. Tropez.

 Double Cream

As with any season, no spring wardrobe would be complete without a muted but attractive neutral, a great accompaniment to any of these other colors. For spring 2017, the color seems to be the delightful and buttery hue of double cream. Think of it as the sprig of edelweiss complementing a fabulously vibrant bouquet.

Making a splash in Prada and Ralph Lauren’s spring 2017 collections, double cream works well with brighter colors—if you’re wearing a dazzling skirt or dress, try accenting it with a double cream belt or top. While this color works anywhere in the home, I absolutely adore double cream linens, such as sheets, table cloths, and towels. Add an additional element of sweetness and freshness to complement your crisp double cream linens with the peach, edelweiss, and bellflower scent of Swiss Alps.

Enjoy the Warmer Weather With Spring’s Hottest Colors

While some of us may want to redecorate our home with each passing season, just by incorporating a few elements with these fresh and verdant colors, you can celebrate change without wearing yourself out. Make the arrival of spring your excuse to add a few fun elements to your home and your wardrobe. It is the season of rebirth, after all!

Note: To make it easy for readers to find the right color, Pantone names were used throughout this article.

 

Featured Lifestyle

Alfred Tea Room

It’s no secret that everyone in LA needs their caffeine fix—the city seems to literally run on coffee and tea. So, when one is trying to decide on a favorite café in this town, the thousands of choices can be a little daunting!

That’s why I was thrilled to discover Alfred Tea Room, which just opened last year and is essentially the café of my dreams—it’s delicious, gorgeous, welcoming, and in the perfect locale! I love that it’s all about tea, coffee’s healthier cousin. Nestled in the heart of Melrose Place, this lovely tea shop—of the same ownership as Alfred Coffee—provides the perfect atmosphere for blogging inspiration and a much-needed break from work.

My Cup of Tea

While a lot of the city has become almost obsessed with coffee, the health benefits of tea make it so much more appealing to me. And, if you never thought you were a tea drinker, check out Alfred’s extensive menu. With everything from boba to loose leaf to blended drinks, Alfred is sure to make some concoction that tickles your taste buds.

If you don’t know where to start, try my absolute favorite: their chai latte (it’s simply to die for)!

Pink Perfection

One of my favorite parts of this café, maybe even more so than their delicious drinks, is the gorgeous pink (some might call it ‘blush’) and black décor. It reminds me of that classic pink Chanel suit with black lapel worn by Jackie Kennedy. The colors just feel so simultaneously glamorous and fashionable.

Plus, there are so many additional sweet elements throughout the café, such as amusing puns (“I love you so matcha”), mirrors, gentle lighting, and—best of all—fresh flowers!

A Shopper’s Retreat

I absolutely love popping in here to rest my feet after a long day. (I can’t do Melrose without at least swinging by Violet Grey and popping in at The Apartment by The Line)—the location simply couldn’t be better! It feels like a secret garden hidden in the middle of the big city, with fresh tea leaves, blooming flowers, and a soothing atmosphere.

Their gift area even offers little pieces of this heaven to take home. I love their cute logo and fun motto (“Tea, yes. You, maybe.”) so much that I find more and more of these adorable mugs adding a splash of color to my kitchen!

West Hollywood’s Hidden Gem

The next time you’re hitting the shops, stop by this hidden gem to take in the delicious blend of tea and fresh flowers. Then check out their fancy pink tea menu, daily specials, and classic items to treat yourself to an unparalleled cup of tea.

 

Featured Lifestyle

Switzerland, City by City: 48 Hours in Zurich

Although I feel like a child of the world in many ways, Switzerland will always have a special place in my heart. After all, there’s no place like my home city of Zurich to learn about Switzerland’s rich cultural history, eat like a queen, and get in some shopping while you’re at it!

While one could literally spend a lifetime exploring all that this beautiful city has to offer, I’ve put together the perfect itinerary for a busy but fun 48 hours in Zurich—filled with all of my favorite spots!

There’s no better place to begin your acquaintance with Zurich than the chic Bahnhofstrasse fashion district (more on that later!)—complete with Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Dior. Treat yourself after your shopping spree at one of these delightful restaurants: Rive Gauche in the heart of the city, George Bar & Grill sailing high above the rooftops, and Hiltl vegetarian restaurant in Sihlstrasse—famous for being the longest-running vegetarian restaurant in the world. Finish off your whirlwind 48 hours with coffee and macarons at the decadent Spruengli.

There’s plenty more to see and explore in this luxurious city—voted one of the wealthiest and happiest places in all of Europe! In between the top spots listed above, take your pick of the entertaining activities below to make the most of your two days in Zurich.

Breakfast on the Limmat River

Take in the local scene and the gorgeous Swiss sunrise at an open-air restaurant along the Limmat River. Then, enjoy a sweet treat from one of the many food carts along this striking and breezy river. The bustling pedestrians and bikers combined with the Limmat’s fresh breezes are the perfect welcome to Zurich!

While I highly recommend one of the Limmat River cruises if you’re in town for more than a couple days, walking the length of this river and along Lake Zurich—which feeds the Limmat—can make for a rich experience and a perfect taste of this city’s wonders.

Build an Unbreakable Love at the Muhlesteg Bridge

There’s no time like late morning to revel in love—your early morning sleepiness has dissipated and the day still feels fresh, new, and full of possibilities. After your river stroll, cross the deeply romantic Muhlesteg Bridge with your beloved, one of several love-lock bridges found across Europe. While this bridge serves the practical purpose of taking you to the Bahnhofstrasse shopping district, it gives you the perfect excuse to celebrate your romance along the way!

Bring a padlock with you to act as a symbol of your love. Together, walk this bridge before offering a sweet kiss to one another and the lock before affixing it to the railing. Then toss away the key (in a waste bin please!) to symbolize your love’s eternal nature.

Shop the Luxurious Bahnhofstrasse Promenade

There’s nothing like a little shopping to bring a smile to my face—especially when traveling! I love opening my suitcase after a trip abroad to discover the lovely pieces that I brought home with me. Each item carries with it the memories of the location I visited!

Bahnhofstrasse, the Swiss German word for “station street,” provides the ultimate shopping experience in Zurich with everything from well-known luxury brands to chic local boutiques.

Plus, did I mention that Bahnhofstrasse is both gorgeous and pedestrian friendly? With numerous benches and parks, the promenade provides a welcoming and awe-inspiring outdoor environment. I recommend starting at the Laderach Chocolatiers on Banhofplatz and following the promenade all the way to Tiffany and Co. on Borsenstrasse—a mere 1 kilometer stroll with a well-deserved lunch detour in Altstadt (Old Town).

Rejuvenate in Altstadt

German for “old town,” Altstadt and its architecture date back to before the middle ages—this small area encompassed the entire city up until the late 1800s. With winding streets, local shops, and street side cafés filled with international delights and local delicacies alike, Altstadt offers a Swiss heritage site replete with national and global significance.

Enjoy classic Swiss cuisine at one of the area’s many restaurants before taking in the historic buildings, graveyards, hills, and fountains. Visit St. Peter’s Church to see the largest clock face in the whole of Europe—installed in 1366—before returning to Bahnhofstrasse to continue your fabulous shopping spree.

Grossmunster Church

Local legend says that the breathtakingly beautiful Grossmunster Church was founded when Charlemagne came upon the graves of Saints Felix and Regula. This Romanesque architectural marvel, erected in 1100 AD, is just a short walk across Munsterbrock Bridge from Bahnhofstrasse.

With astounding twin towers, Grossmunster may be the most recognizable feature in all of Zurich—its ancient peaks tower above the skyline, embodying the timeless grandeur of this historic city. Wander the church grounds to find architectural delights in every nook and cranny before stopping in at one of the local eateries, popular among University of Zurich students, for a quick bite.

The Kunsthaus Zurich Art Gallery

Featuring art by such internationally-acclaimed painters as Monet, Chagall, and Picasso, as well as hundreds of local artists, the Kunsthaus Zurich is the foremost art collection in Switzerland and one of the most renowned in all of Europe. Whether you enjoy ancient or contemporary works, or any art period in between, the Kunsthaus is sure to blow you away.

Conveniently located next to a Zurich tram system stop, this gallery is also extremely accessible. Take in the museum’s grand exterior, designed by famed architects Karl Moser and Robert Curjel, before entering. Then, once you’ve explored every exhibit, simply hop on the tram to return to your hotel after a long day of walking and wonder. You may even choose to dine at the elegant and gourmet Kunsthaus Restaurant!

For Art Lovers 

For those of you who are art lovers like me, be sure to also check out Galerie Peter Kilchmann and the Rietberg Museum—and drop into the Starkart Art Gallery in the evening for some amazing contemporary urban art exhibitions. You could fill an entire day just with art!

Plus, if you just happen to be visiting in the fall, consider coordinating your trip with the Contemporary Art Fair Zurich, a stunning display of contemporary art which typically takes place over a weekend in September or October.

Stay for a Day or a Lifetime

While I recommend taking at least a week to roam all of my gorgeous Zurich, this lovely city can also make for a truly romantic (and very busy!) 48 hours. It offers a wonderful glimpse into the whole of Switzerland with highlights in art, history, and cuisine. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Featured Lifestyle Travel

Hottest Travel Destinations

While I love travelling, sometimes figuring out the best place to go to reignite my passion and satisfy my fashion cravings can be difficult. After all, we literally have the whole world to wade through!

Taking style as my guide, I’ve put together a list of six fashion-forward cities that are travel musts for 2017. These six hot destinations offer some of the most beautiful, artistic, and fashionable places on the globe—I’ve already booked my tickets!

Ibiza, Spain

Those who’ve heard Mike Posner’s hit single, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza” know that things can get wild at this gorgeous tourist attraction and party city. While Ibiza is well deserving of this reputation, there is far more to do in this historic town than simply drink and dance. Popular among beautiful people from the world over, this island city is known for its breezy bohemian fashion in addition to being a world heritage site featuring architecture that dates back as early as the 7th century BC.

Sip at a classic Mai Tai and browse the shops—don’t miss Charo Ruiz, Ibiza’s most famous fashion brand—to discover the perfect boho chic ensemble for a night partying under the stars. Plus, the Ibiza Fashion Festival returns this June 9-11!

Tokyo, Japan

Even if you aren’t the “big city” type, Tokyo’s many districts offer a smaller community feel in the midst of this sprawling metropolis. As one of the largest metropolitan regions in the world, Tokyo’s diverse neighborhoods are a dream for any fashion diva! Take in Harajuku street fashion, enjoy a martini at one of the jazz clubs near Tokyo Tower, visit the upscale shopping district of Odaiba, or have a ball at Shibuya’s entertainment district. Chances are that you’ll find plenty of inspiration and more than one on-trend piece to add to your wardrobe while visiting this magnificent city, famous for its street fashion!

The biggest celebration of Japanese style is Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo, coming up this October and featuring the latest in Tokyo street style and top Japanese designers!

Havana, Cuba

One of the more fabulous effects of the U.S. improved relations with Cuba is that the breathtaking capitol of Havana is now open for all tourists to visit! Stepping onto the streets of Havana feels like stepping back in time, with colorful buildings and vintage 1950s automobiles all around. The perfect environment for rocking a pin-up aesthetic, I love drinking a virgin-mojito and waiting for an impromptu street party to begin!

For a day of romance and sightseeing, check out the architecture and history of Habana Vieja (Old Havana), with one of the area’s many walking tours. Or visit the Museum of Rum for a taste of the island’s most popular libation. Who knows, you just might stumble upon a clothing shop offering some killer vintage finds!

To see and be seen in what is perhaps THE hottest travel destination this year, book your ticket for the 19th Habano Cigar Festival, running Feb. 27-March 3.

Hollywood, California, USA

Repopularized with the success of 2016’s La La Land, Hollywood remains as fresh and vibrant as ever. Whether you visit the sets of some of America’s most iconic films, enjoy a scenic hike above the cityscape (Runyon Canyon and Los Leones Trail are two of my frequent haunts), or enjoy a delish meal at one of the city’s posh restaurants (Gwen and Norah are hot right now!), there’s truly something for everyone. I might be a little biased since I call L.A. home these days, but there’s no denying that it’s a trendy city when it comes to the fashion game.

Don’t miss the luxe Rodeo Drive shopping district for VIP treatment from the top luxury brands, and stroll along Melrose Place for access to some of the chicest fashion houses—Marni, Isabel Marant, and Zimmerman among them! While you’re in West Hollywood, be sure to stop by my favorite little coffee shop, Alfred Coffee & Kitchen. After the sun sets, enjoy drinks at one of L.A.’s iconic music venues. Plus, the city’s fashion district is a wonderland of wholesale finds featuring the latest designs at manufacturer prices.

You don’t have to be a movie star to feel like one amidst the glitz and glam of Hollywood!

Melbourne, Australia

Established largely during the 1850s gold rush, Melbourne remains as vibrant as ever with an influential flair for fashion that is quickly catching on the world over. Make sure to check out the the hottest Australian brands this year, from Ellery to Dion Lee and Jac and Jack—shop them and other top Aussie designers at the Bourke Street Mall or High Street Armadale. Visit the majestic Block Arcade in Collins Street to see some of the most beautiful mosaic floors and 19th century architectural details the world has to offer. Fitzroy is also a must-see: an up-and-coming neighborhood known for street art, dive bars, and fabulous music venues.

And, if you want to catch the largest consumer fashion festival in the world, grab tickets for this year’s Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival (VAMFF), which runs March 1-19, before they sell out!

Tangier, Morocco

Known colloquially as the “door to Africa,” Tangier boasts a rich and complex history dating back millennia. Featuring posh beachfront resorts and mountain views, Tangier has all the beauty of the natural world, as well as some of our favorite urban luxuries. After spending a morning basking by the Mediterranean Sea, get in some amazing shopping and discover great deals on everything from custom-made handbags to ceramic tableware—the stunning Moroccan rugs are my favorite!

Before you head home, you just might want to stop off in Marakesh for a visit to some of the top Moroccan designers, including Bakchic and Kaftan Queen!

 

Travel With Style 

While I like to bring fashion with me wherever I go, there’s absolutely nothing better than building up my wardrobe from inspiration received while travelling abroad. By glimpsing all of the wonder that the world has to offer, we learn about new colors, fabrics, and styles that can help boost our fashion to a whole new level.

Take your fashionista spirit with you as you enjoy the delights that these six destinations have to offer!

Featured Lifestyle

Setting the Mood

There’s nothing like some lovely company over a sweet delicacy to cap off the perfect Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart. With the right china, a perfect dessert combination, and a few glasses of chilled champagne, your table can set the mood for a wonderful evening rich in romance. I’m excited to share the perfect love-themed dessert setting to enjoy with your beloved this February 14th—all it takes is a few treats and some luxe table elements!

Start off with some classic flavor combinations—the light sweetness of colorful macarons leads into a luscious chocolate cheesecake, finished off with chocolate-dipped strawberries, the perfect aphrodisiac! Don’t forget to toast to your romance with a few glasses of champagne and some gorgeous flowers that scent the air between you, dressed in an elegant vase.

While the company and the dessert will make the night special, the right décor helps set the perfect intimate ambiance. That’s why I chose to complement these delectable sweets with gorgeous dinner plates from the fabulous Lionel Richie Home Collection—the LOVE theme is the perfect embodiment of the everlasting flame that burns between you and your beloved. If you’re an L.A. local, you’re in luck—Geary’s Beverly Hills just happens to carry this ornate plate set, along with the entire Lionel Richie Home Collection!

This sweet, playful “love” plating conjures up memories of countless moments spent together, evocative of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE statues the world over. Looking at these plates, I’m reminded of stopping to admire Indiana’s iconic statue at 55th and 6th Ave in Midtown Manhattan. If you’re like me and you love to travel, these lovely dishes might even spark a memory from a romantic trip to Tokyo, London, or any number of destinations across the globe.

Indulge in some sweetness this February 14th by re-creating this exquisite dessert setting for your lover—it has all the makings of an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!