Monthly Archives: June 2012

Shortcut to Fabulous Pieces that will transition from Summer to Fall

Get these looks:

Studded Shirt from Zara

Metallic Jacket from Zara

Printed Tote from Zara

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Shortcut to Fabulous Places to Stay, Eat, Shop and Relax in Istanbul

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After my visit to Istanbul, it became one of my favorite cities in the world and I am just dying to go back. Fabulous food, friendly people, a little bit of chaos and interesting shopping with unique items. The sights, smells, sounds, views and tastes of Istanbul will keep me coming back. Whenever, I go on a trip I spend my time finding you the best spots so you can maximize the fabulous moments of your vacation.

 

Stay

Seven Hills Hotel- The location and view from the rooftop deck are what make this hotel special. It is a little pricey compared to my usual no frills hotel choices in Europe, but when you think that it is located across from the Four Seasons Hotel (also a fab option if you want to splurge). Rooms  at the Seven Hills Hotel start at around 185 Euros for a double.

Hotel Uyan- The location of this charming historic hotel built in 1928 can’t be beat. It is located in the heart of Sultanahmet, just 50 metres from world-famous St. Sophia, Basilica Cistern & Blue Mosque  and 100 meters from Topkapi Palace & Marmara Sea. Double Rooms start at 75 Euros. A total steal in this the prime location.

Hotel Perula- This hotel is also located within walking distance of all of the major sites in the Sultanahmet neighborhood. It is tucked off on a side street and has the added bonus of a Turkish bath located right inside the hotel. Rates start at 70 Euros per night. Another great hotel deal in a fab location.

Eat

Darüzziyafe. The courtyard dining in this restaurant is the perfect spot for some tranquil and relaxing al fresco dining. The restaurant is located almost directly across the main entrance of the Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent. You may want to stop in before a trip to the mosque and make a reservation. The meatballs are delish. Sifahane Sokak 6.

 

Rumelihisari Iskele Restaurant. The fish is the highlight at the gorgeous eatery with a spectacular and romantic view. This is the perfect spot for a romantic candlelit dinner for two.Rumeli Hisarı Mh., 34470.

Sultanahmet Köftecisi. This cheap eats location is an Istanbul institution, serving locals and tourists famous for its kofte (meatballs). Divan Yolu 12.

Joke Circus. The young and hip of Istanbul frequent this supper club….or so I was told be the concierge at the W Hotel in Istanbul. Demokrasi Park.

 

 

 

Shop

Constantine Art and Jewelry. I made friends with the shop owner Emrit and after a long conversation I learned exactly why I loved this shop above all others. He strives to have unique items that are good quality that you can’t find anywhere else in Istanbul. His jewelry pieces are exquisite. I got a fab hand painted bracelet made of coconut shell that is one of my most complimented jewelry pieces. This store is down the street from the Four Seasons and Seven Hills Hotel. There are a ton of really nice shops in this area and some have stuff that you can get in the Grand Bazaar for less, but many of the  shops have well curated pieces. Tevkithane SK No: 16/1, 34122 Sultanhmet.

Rings at Constantine

Homespaluxe. I stocked up on gifts for friends,family and of course moi at this fabulous boutique carrying hand-made soaps and hammam supplies. The American shop owner curated the goods in this shop well and everything is locally made. This is the place to go to gear up for your Turkish bath experience. They sell Pestamals (Turkish towels), the kese (silk exfoliating glove that will leave your skin as soft as a baby’s bum) and other really cutely packaged items. Galipdede Cad. No 61 Tûnel- Beyoglu. This shop is tucked away toward the end of the pedestrian and trolley lined Istiklal street. This street if full of modern shops and is a really beautiful stroll. Rick Steves has a self-guided walking tour through this neighborhood in his Istanbul Guidebook.

Haci Bekir. My favorite Turkish Delight Spot…and believe me…I tried them all. It is the oldest company in Turkey, esablished in 1777. I love the packaging and the Apple and Pistachio Turkish delight had me seriously considering an all Turkish Delight diet. There are spots all over the city, but I would visit the one at 129 Istikal Cad in the Beyoglu neighborhood when you are checking out HomeSpaLuxe above.

Tulu- The beautiful antiques, textiles and pillows in this store had me swooning and wishing I had packed a few spacebags! binbirdirek mah. ülςler sk. no. 7/A Sultanahmet 34440

Midnight Express. Küçük Bebek Cd.Fun jackets, dresses and accessories fill this Turkish designer boutique that has now become a chain of boutiques.

Suzanne Simon. This shop features made-to-order caftans, which will translate to the perfect beach coverup or Tory Burch inspired tunic back home. Faik Paşa Yokuşu no.1
Çukurcuma.

 

 

 Grand Bazaar. Words cannot prepare you for the dizzying experience you will have shopping in the Grand Bazaar. If you are a true shopaholic, leave at least half a day for this labrynth of shopping merriment. There are lots of guidebooks attempting to help you navigate through the maze that is the grand bazaar, but I recommend just spending the day wandering through with your money securely tucked away in your money belt or bra for those of you who are boobalicious. If you are too Type A to go without a plan, then enter at the Nuuosmaniye Gate and print this map. Here are my Grand Bazaar Highlights: 85 Nurosmanyie Cad has Antiques and Jewelry. 71 Verzirhan Cad has pretty handicrafts. Cashmere House (no bargaining here) Takkeciler Sok. La Moda Bags (past the cistrn and diagonal to the Cashmere House). Halicer Fad. Dervis (soaps). Afghan Shop 12 Kapahςarςι. (Run by an Afghani Expat with gorgeous affordable costume jewelry starting at around 40 Lira) Koς Gems & Sterlin Silver 6 Kapalι Çarsi (Fun and Unique Jewelry). Ottantic 46 Kapaliςarsi Perdahςilar (Gorgeous hand embroidered bags).

Relax

I tried three Hammams in Istanbul and there is one that stands out in my mind as the premier experience. That is the Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamι. I wrote about the Hamam experience here. Why I loved this Hamamm over all others? It was completely luxurious and by far the most beautiful. It is the most expensive, but you get what you pay for. It is located near the Hotels recommended above, the Blue Mosque and most other major tourist sites at Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Bab 1 Humayun Cad: No 1 34122 Sultanahmet

 

 

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Shortcut to Fabulous Designer Collaboration

manolo ml collab

Manolo Blahnik is collaborating with Monique Lhuillier. You can learn more about the collaboration on the Lhuillier Facebook page. The photograph here is a sneak peak at one of shoes from the collection….oh la la!

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Shortcut to Fabulous Tips and Tricks for Packing

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Shortcut to Fabulous Fun Way to Waste Five Minutes

rhony

I am a Real Housewives franchise addict. I resisted Atlanta for a while, but the lure of wig pulling and coronation style baptisms was just too much for me to resist. I am now officially a Real Housewives junkie. Right now RHONJ mayhem is in full swing and I discovered this fun quiz on the Bravo website titled “Which New Jersey Housewife Are You?” The quiz made me chuckle and then realize I will never flip a table because apparently I am Caroline…funny cause I am not a huge fan of Caroline…well, I will discuss with my therapist the next time I see her…..

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Shortcut to Fabulous Five Minute Bun~Video!!!!

Screen shot 2012-06-12 at 7.32.59 AM

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Shortcut to Fabulous Touch Boutique Style Challenge Recap

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Recaps of all of the fab events I go to is not my normal M.O. However, I produced the Fashion Style Challenge for Touch Boutique and served as a blogger Guest Judge. I figured the double duty deserved a post. Plus, the boutique is full of Shortcuts to Fabulous on-trend clothes and accessories and they ship all over the country. All you need to do is like their Facebook page and check out their look books. This is really my new spot for fabulous on-trend affordable accessories.

Last Thursday I served as guest Judge at Touch Boutique’s Style Challenge and one lucky lady won a $100 gift card! Fellow judges/bloggers Ria Michelle, Ginger Harris and Juliana from a Fashion Soiree were looking gorgeous and slender decked out in bright colors. The event was an homage to neon and brights with ladies decked out in their best brightly colored frocks. A few Miami bloggers were on-hand for the event, but the real stars of the show were the regular ol’ gals who are anything but regular. The concept behind the event was to showcase the style of the everyday girl and show that you don’t have to be a “fashion” blogger to have style and show it off. The event was a huge success and got tons of press coverage.  I want to thank our sponsors, Stoli, Three Men and  Lil’ Lady and Moonchine….and of course Cyndi V (owner of Touch).

Here are some photos:

Juliana from A Fashion Soiree and Moi

myself, a few other bloggers, Ria Michelle from Riamichelle.com and Ginger Harris from Electric Blogarella gearing up to Judge the entries in the Style Challenge

Yummy cupcakes and cake pops provided by Three Men and Lil Lady

Judging the contest...love Ria's red lips

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