Oct 202014

Sale PSA: Waterproof flat black leather riding boots from La Canadienne, now 40% off, a DVF black lace pencil skirt with zip detail, now 60% off/under $100 (great price, all sizes available!), a classic cable knit wool sweater from Isabel Marant, now 55% off, and adorable suede heeled loafers from Nine West, now under $70. 

This is the sixth post in my Australia series. For the remainder, please see here.

Earlier in the first part of my review of Emirates Wolgan Valley, I took you through our villa and some of the resort’s facilities, including the gorgeous pool. Today, I’ll take you through a (very condensed, packed) view of some of our favorite activities and dining while there, from morning to evening.

Each day at Wolgan Valley began with us walking to the main lodge for breakfast in the dining room! This is where we ate each morning and evening. It was a huge comfortable space where you could enjoy drinks and canapes by the fire, and then move on to the formal dining room for dinner.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Dining Room

Some of our favorites from breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and when I’m on vacation, I always indulge! Almost all the ingredients were local – my favorites were the mushroom toast and the poached eggs with toasted brioche and smoked trout. I could talk about the smoked trout for quite some time. Smoked and cured fishes/meats are my favorite.

I should mention that most activities and food at Wolgan Valley were all inclusive – meaning they were included in our room rate (standard for all guests). So there was lots of pigging out.

Emirates Wolgan Valley Breakfast

After a big breakfast, we would usually do an activity or walk around the property. One morning, we did a little hike along the river bordering Wolgan with one of the wildlife guides. The water was incredibly clear – we were told that you could drink it straight from the stream, that’s how clean it was. We each took a little taste!

Emirates Wolgan Valley River

Checking out all of the flora with our guide. We learned all about the various trees in the area, the acacia that were just coming into bloom, the sap that natives used to eat for energy. Continue reading »

Oct 172014

Sale PSA: Besides the huge Shopbop F&F sale (which ends today), there’s also the Saks F&F sale, going on, for 25% off. There are so many exclusions this year (Rag & Bone? Really?) but I took some time to search through and there are a few gems worth checking out. Chloe shoes are not excluded, so I’d check out the Suzanna boot and famous-for-their-comfort scalloped ballet flats. There’s also a lovely sweet little black cross-body/convertible clutch from Sophie Hulme, my favorite Helmut Lang Villous sweatshirt (in white too, unlike Shopbop), and a pretty golden Aidan Mattox Art Deco dress, perfect if you’re looking for a New Year’s dress early. 

1. I had some questions about what other bucket bag I was considering after my Mansur Gavriel post, so I thought I would share it here. I have yet to receive a perfect specimen (unfortunately the first one was banged up), but here it is!

The bag is by Saint Laurent and at $1,290, I dare say that it is quite a reasonable price for the brand. Lined in suede, adjustable straps (but not too much), studs on the feet, subtle gold gromments – what’s not to love? The damaged bag I received fit my giant new iPhone, my sunglasses case, keys, a small wallet, and a lipstick.

Bill Blass

2. Remember Bill Blass? I was thinking about what happened to the man and the brand the other day, and in my searching came across this great article via the NY Times: The Long Fall In The House of Blass. Continue reading »

Oct 142014

There are only a few sales each year that I really pay attention to – amongst them are Net-A-Porter’s seasonal sale, the Nordstrom Anniversary, designer markdown for spring/fall, etc. But to me the fall shopping season generally kicks off with Shopbop’s Friends and Family sale, which starts today (Tuesday) through Friday with code FAMILY25.

I always end up picking up something from this sale, and usually will start waiting for it come August time, when items start appearing on my fall list which I know are rarely, if ever, on sale. Shopbop historically had essentially no restrictions on its F&F sales, a rarity these days (has anyone seen Saks’ exclusion list? Whew). Sadly, this year a few restrictions did appear (Ferragamo, Canada Goose among them), but there are still way fewer than at most stores.

Here are my picks for the sale – I selected items that I not only like very much, but which are difficult to come by on sale otherwise. Enjoy, and please share your selections as well!

Shopbop shoes

First up – shoes!

My picks, from left to right:

1. Aquazzura “Sexy Thing” booties, $565/$424 with discount. Gorgeous, and super soft booties in both beige and black that make any outfit look cooler. Super easy to wear in both hot and cold climates. Amazing! And hard to find on sale (they’re excluded at Saks). I just ordered these – couldn’t resist!

2. Birkenstock Gizeh sandals, $90/$68. Because these are classic, and they are also my current favorite Birkenstocks after extensive testing. And rarely can be found in the “standard” colors on sale.

3. Frye “Valerie” shearling lined boots, $428/$321 with discount. So practical and cool/chic for winter. Love that they are lined with shearling – nice and toasty! And I love my Frye boots – they are great quality for a not-too-unreasonable price.

Continue reading »

Oct 132014

Sale PSA: A gray merino wool hooded poncho with just the right amount of swing without being bulky from Joie, now 30% off, a casual flat riding boot in both black and gray from Vince Camuto, now under $170, and the most awesome two piece cashmere lounge set (and you could totally wear the hoodie and pants separately as well), now 25% off. 

I discovered a package from Net-A-Porter on my doorstep earlier last week – a Mansur Gavriel mini bucket bag. I had pre-ordered it months ago, and so long had passed that I had forgotten about the whole thing (and actually had already ordered a different bucket bag…more on that later).

When I was deciding between various Mansur Gavriel bucket bag iterations, I looked up reviews online, but saw very few for this “mini” size, out this year. I hope this review helps some of you who are considering this bag.

Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Review 1

I had read that Mansur Gavriel leather was stiffer, being “natural vegetable tanned leather”, but when I got mine in the mail I was still surprised by how stiff it was. I know that you’re supposed to “break in” the leather, but it stiffness still surprised me. It felt a little bit “forced” to tie up the bag with its drawstring, although the leather gave way nicely and looked fine.

Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Review

A peek at the beautiful red interior, which of course is a hallmark of Mansur Gavriel bags. I love the idea of contrasting interiors, kind of like Hermes except you don’t get to pick the color and the price point is nearly 20X less.

Just a point that the inside actually isn’t lined – it’s just raw leather that’s been treated with some type of paint. The red treatment was done very nicely however, and felt very smooth. I can imagine that if you spilled something inside, you could just wipe it clean easily with a damp cloth.

Mansur Gavriel Mini Bucket Review 3

A quick look at what fits inside. Even though the bag is called a “mini” bucket, I didn’t find it very miniature at all. I’d definitely compare it more to a standard size handbag. You could also easily add a water bottle. Continue reading »

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