Apr 242015

Sale PSA: A pretty laser cut embroidered dress for summer from Saylor in both black and cream, now 30% off, the original classic Hunter rainboots in an array of colors, currently 30% off for a limited time, the classic Burberry quilted jacket in cream and red options, also 30% off for a limited time, and for those looking for a light parka option for spring, I like this soft anorak from Ali Ro, now under $200 with code FRNFAM. 

1. Lately I’ve been feeling increasingly like a human moving tent. Maybe that’s why I’ve been buying more lipsticks…an easy way to feel prettier without the possibility of ripping a seam in a dressing room. As much as I like beauty products however, I don’t really follow all the new releases, and as a result some really cool ones come and go before I ever have a chance to check them out.

Last week as I was walking through Nordstrom however, I happened to see some of these Isabel & Ruben Toledo for MAC lipsticks and fell in love. I have always adored Isabel Toledo and have just one item of her design (a dress) which I’ll keep and treasure for life. By the way – the color I bought was Victoriana, a nice medium cool toned matte red. Continue reading »

Apr 222015

Sale PSA: Nordstrom is price matching a bunch of items to Saks, which makes me happy as honestly I prefer buying from Nordstrom.

There’s great finds all over the sale section, but my picks include sunglasses – if you’ve ever wanted the classic Prada Baroque style or the Dior “So Real” in a large array of colors, both are 30% off. The Pradas are close to $200! Then there are some great Vince shoes for summer, including the very useful leather “Preston” slip on sneakers, as well as their classic black “Bogart” flat – both 30% off, so starting at around $150-$200. And for those looking for a small crossbody bag that’s easier on the wallet, I found these options from Rebecca Minkoff (I like the black on black) and Marc by Marc Jacobs, both around $250 or well less.

Elsewhere not related to the price match, I wanted to call out classic nude Jimmy Choo pumps with a trim detail, now 50% off, as well as the always popular Bobeau fleece cardigan I’ve been recommending for years, now in certain colors at 55% off. Enjoy!

Hermes Soie Cool Detail

Today I wanted to share with you a review on one of my favorite new bags for summer – the Hermes Soie Cool. This is one of those items that was always a bit on my radar, but which I had never really given much thought about. That is, until I found myself sandwiched between two packs of very eager groups of shoppers during one of my last visits to my favorite Hermes boutique while in Paris. Usually I can stand crowds quite well and have a decent tolerance to being jostled (I have extensive experience waiting in line at many an Asian restaurant) but I found myself really tired and ended up retreating into a comfortable corner to cower and wait for our favorite salesperson. Actually, I didn’t know it at the time – but I was already pregnant! So maybe that is why I was so tired.

Anyway, I was sitting down and staring aimlessly into the abyss, when my eyes happened to settle onto this bag in one of the display cases. And really…as soon as I saw it – I fell in love! If any of you have read The Godfather, I was basically struck by the thunderbolt. I just kept staring and staring at the bag…and when my salesperson came, I said I had to see it immediately.

Hermes Soie Cool

I think this bag is just so cool. The braided straps, the easy bucket shape, the way you can wear it on your shoulder or as a backpack, everything. Plus, I really just fell in love with this particular combination – both the barenia leather (other versions may have clemence or fjord), and the print and color of the scarf. I have always admired the “Brazil” print that Hermes does, and this was my first item with the design.

The silk used in the bag also appears to the be thicker version used in the “Silk In” wallets and the like. Our salesperson recommend it over another bag which I’ve always admired – the Silky City – because she said it would be stiffer and keep some shape. Continue reading »

Apr 202015

I’m working on a bag review post hopefully to go up by tomorrow, but I noticed there’s some great sales going on right now that’ll soon be ending. First up, Ann Taylor, which is having 50% off everything on their site + free shipping for all orders, with code CYBER50.

Now, Ann Taylor frequently has codes, but rarely something that gives 50% off everything – both sale and non sale. Its also one of those brands that usually has an annoying free shipping minimum (around $200 I think), so I always end up half heartedly picking out a few items I’m lukewarm about and having to return them. So having no minimum free shipping in combination with this deal, is great.

Here are my picks:

Ann Taylor Sale Picks 2

1. Floral lace tee, $30 after discount. Pretty and delicate, you can wear it casually or to work under a jacket. Versatile and also comes in navy.

2.  Windowpane stripe scarf, $23 after discount. Super soft modal and cotton mix combination. I like that there’s a slight ombre effect – I think this is an item that looks better in person (and check out the website for more photos on the color graduation effect).

Ann Taylor Sale Picks

3. Floral embroidered shirtdress, $70 after discount. I think this shade of pink looks great on a ton of skin tones and I’m always personally drawn to it. I love shirtdresses in general and the embroidery adds a nice detail. If I get it, I’ll probably end up shortening it just a tiny bit to make it a bit more playful.

4. Striped lace tee, $27 after discount. This is so pretty and I love that there’s a mix of that nautical and feminine feel. Sheer but I’d also wear it to the office still. There’s also a great black/white version. Continue reading »

Apr 162015

Sale PSA: A rack stitch, classic v-neck sweater from Vince, now 60% off in navy and burgundy, lovely scalloped gray suede pumps with a work friendly heel from Oscar de la Renta, now under $350, and a beautiful, delicate cashmere lace trip wrap from Nordstrom (I’m sorely tempted by almost all the colors!) – now $85. 

For our last stop in Kyoto (and this Japan trip), we decided to stay at a ryokan – a traditional Japanese inn. We would have loved to return back to our old favorite Shiraume, but it was closed for renovations. So instead we decided to stay in another one on our list – Hiiragiya.

Hiiragiya is a six generation ryokan established in 1818, and is probably one of the two establishments mentioned most frequently in relation to Kyoto (the other being Tawaraya). Both are famous for being old and having high profile guests – our host kindly let us know that we were right next door to – but sadly not in – the Elizabeth Taylor room.

Hiiragiya was located very close to Kyoto downtown, which was a nice change of pace from Shiraume, which was in the Gion district. Our taxi driver pulled up to a very unassuming building, right across the street from Tawaraya, and we were greeted at the entrance.

Hiiragiya Entrance

Inside, the decor was what we’d come to expect from a traditional ryokan – carefully selected pieces, spotlessly clean room. If you’ve never stayed in a ryokan before and are used to more traditional luxury hotels, you might find the decor sparse at first. After some time though, you’ll find the environment perfect for relaxation.

HIiragiya Common Areas

And…our room! There was a large open space where by day we dined, and by night we slept. Room attendants came in each evening and put away the dining set, and set up our sleeping mats.

We booked Hiiragiya maybe a month out or so, which in high season would be unthinkable (reserve as close to a year in advance if you want your choice of rooms). At the time of our booking, we still had a few rooms left to choose from,but they were quickly filling up due to Chinese New Year. I was worried that the room we chose would be too small as it was one of the ryokan’s smaller ones, but it was fine for the two of us. For a family, I would have selected something a little larger. Continue reading »

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