Category Archives: Shortcuts To Fabulous

Shortcut to Fabulous Holiday Decorating Tips

Holiday-Decorating_Image

I feel like every year I am running behind on the holiday rush. No matter how hard I try to order my holiday cards in September (which seems wrong by the way) and do my Christmas shopping throughout the year, I still a race against that Christmas clock. This year I went on a family vacay after Thanksgiving and came home to a city full of decor and a home that is decidedly unfestive. I am super busy with my work getting clients ready for the holiday rush and preparing for the huge Art Basel Sample sale I am co-producing, so this year I needed to find some Shortcuts to Fabulous festive feel with in under an hour. Here are my tips for holiday decorating in a hurry on a budget:

  • Stick with a theme and simple color palette. I have had the same decor theme for years. Creme, Gold and Silver. It is clean, classic, timeless and can utilize many year round decor items. This makes shopping for holiday decor easier and gives you a little flexibility to be sloppy because monotone color themes are more forgiving.
  • Get a pre-lit artificial tree. We bought one a few years ago and it literally changed my life. I promise you wont miss stringing lights. If you are one of those people who has to have a “real tree” why not have your large tree artificial and get a small real tree…imagine how much easier clean up will be! This year, I strung large ribbon around the tree, added gold, silver and cream balls and tucked sparkly sprigs I found at a floral shop in the branches and called it a day. The tree looks great and it was done in under 45 minutes.
  • Get Festive with your Soaps. This year I am putting my bathrooms in the holiday spirit with nothing more than holiday themed fancy liquid soaps I got at Marshalls for $4.99. They are really elegant soaps and that is just enough to let the world know I am not a grinch.
  • Choose Simple Swaps. Find simple pieces in your decor that you can easily swap out for a holiday themed items. Switch your everyday candles to holiday candles that match your holiday decor color scheme, wall decor for holiday themed decor or better yet holiday photos. I frame all of our photograph holiday cards from the last five years and replace the painting over our electrical box with that collage during the holidays. You can find something to swap in every room in the house. In the kitchen find a nice ceramic holiday themed cookie jar and lay on the counter….voila…your kitchen is decorated.
  • Find simple sparkly little trees that require no decorating. I am super in love with the Confetti System Twist Open trees above from West Elm on sale for $13.99 and $19.99. They abstract spin on the classic evergreen, these glittering Confetti System Twist-Open Trees are not only decorative, they also have something to hide—untwist their tops to open, fill with candy, jewelry or other treats, then re-seal with a twist. Buy a few of these, group them on your buffet table with some candles and voila…instant Christmas.
  • Tie a bow around it. I have some wide rim wire ribbon in my holiday themed colors and I tie robin in a nice bow shape around everyday decor items I already have display to add a festive feel.
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Shortcut to Fabulous Sparkles for your Jewelry Box

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I love small indie designers and I found the adorable gold bracelet show below from Miami design team Nugaard a few weeks ago along with the splurge cuff below it (the photo doesn’t even begin to do it justice). I was able to see their entire collection and they have really amazing, quality pieces that are sure to remain treasures in your jewelry box. Check them out here.

Tube Bangle $59

Nugaard Cuff $249

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Shortcut to Fabulous Anna Karenina Inspired Fashion

Anna Karenina Inspired Velvet Blazer

This weekend I got a sneak peek viewing of the latest adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. The movie was interesting, but I am not a fan of films without a super sappy happy ending. However, this is a must see movie…why you ask? THE CLOTHES. Kiera Knightly’s cloths and jewels were  nothing short of amazing. If the costume designer from this film does not win an Oscar, she will be robbed. After the film, I felt compelled to find my own Anna Karenina inspired fashions and discovered Banana Republic has a whole collection inspired by the movie. Check it out here. Here are my fave Anna Kareninaesque looks at affordable prices:

Anna Karenina Inspired Earrings $90 at Saks.com

Anna Karenina Inspired Headband $23 on Bebe.com

Anna Karenina Inspired Faux Fur Boot Topper $20.30 on Bebe.com

Anna Karenina Inspired Burgundy Velvet Blazer $56 at Lulus.com

 

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Miami Monday…Shortcut to Fabulous Charity Event at Henri Bendel’s

Miami Magic Henri Bendel Evite

This is the place to be this Wednesday night…and yes kiddies I know it has been forevs since I posted. I took a blogging break…four years of blogging on S2F had mama tired, but I am back.

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Miami Thursday….Shortcut to Fabulous Cause

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Photo Credit: Alex Tamargo @AltaImages

I never post about Miami on any other day but Monday…until now. Annie Vazquez aka The Fashion Poet and one of Miami’s hottest fashion bloggers and Alex Tamargo from Alta Images teamed up to produce Miami’s Fashion for A Cause Tee. 26 Miami Bloggers teamed up with Annie to hit em with our best shot and strike a pose in the fab team to promote the campaign and tell our readers to purchase a shirt for $25 at these local Miami boutiques: Guy and Girl Boutique in SOBE, My Best Friend’s Closet in Coral Gables and Lilac and Lilies in Fort Lauderdale. Ten percent of proceeds from this $25 shirt go toward The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Shirts will also be sold at Wynwood Squat on October 13 from 7-11 p.m. during Art Walk and photos from all 26 bloggers will be displayed to show the power of pink and the Miami blogging community.

Think the shirt is presh and don’t live in Miami? Well you can purchase it online  at Brand One Three and 10% of proceeds will go toward The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation.

 

 

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Shortcut to Fabulous Rome Shopping: The Ultimate Rome Shopping Guide

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Whenever I visit a city, I spend a day or two walking the city trying to discover new and unique shops and things you can’t find anywhere else. 15 years ago it was easy to find new and interesting shops and the farther away from home you were the more you would find, but now in the Internet era with homogenized mega brands like Zara and H & M, finding treasures that are uniquely identifiable with a particular city or locale is hard to do. Well, that is where I come in. I just LOVE to create ultimate shopping guides for the cities I visit and on a recent trip to Rome, I scoured the city and uncovered the best of the best for the absolute perfect day of shopping. The shopping tour I’ve mapped out below can be done on foot in day. It is a LOT of walking, but you will burn a ton of calories and so you can eat as much gelato as you want! Plus, you will really get to see parts of Rome that are not frequented by tourists and get the true flavor of the city. You can also use taxis and other public transport for this tour. Just plug in each address and your starting point on Google Maps to get directions. I started the shopping tour at the Spanish Steps, but again, you can start play around with the route from your hotel by plugging each location into Google maps.

1. Sermoneta Gloves- We start off the tour with this Italian leather glove store that just makes me giddy. There are gloves in a rainbow of colors in about every color you can imagine. Cashmere lined goes start at 65 Euro, but you can get unlined gloves starting at about 35 Euro. When you enter the store walk upstairs and the women behind the counter will look at your hands and tell you what size you are. Then they will pull out gloves in your size and you can try them on until you fall in love with a pair. You tell her you want them, she gives you a ticket and you go back downstairs to pay. Depending on the exchange rate, you can really save a ton of money buying the gloves here. At the time of this post a pair of cashmere lined gloves was 65 Euros in the store (about 81 USD) and $189 online. Piazza di Spagna 61

2. Anteprima- I literally gasped with glee when I saw this store and the bags inside. I started talking to myself like a crazy person and just kept repeating “OMG, these are exquisite, I need one” over and over again. Finally, the sales associate Sebrena Urbinati came over and snapped me out of my trance. I had never seen these bags before and I know why….they only have five flagship stores worldwide in Rome, Milan, two in Hong Kong and one in Tokyo. These bags are amazing and worth the trip to Rome just to see them. They are made out of recycled PCV but shimmer and shine like a precious jewel box. Honestly, this will be a vintage treasure if you buy it. The brand was started in 1993. The brand is Italian but the designer and inventor of the “wirebag” is Japanese and a genius. If these bags aren’t an “It” bag in a few years, I will be shocked. The best part…I am a proud owner. I bought my little baby for 205 Euros. I just couldn’t resist. I am weak, I know, but honestly when you see these bags you will really just gush at how spectacular they are and the fact that they are eco-friendly makes them even more chic. Via Del Babuino, 147

Anteprima

3. Discount Dell Alta Moda. If you are on the hunt for discount designer brands, you can find some here. Honestly, I was not over impressed with the stock or prices, but I was told this is one of THE places to find discount designer goods in Rome. I find the US has really amazing designer discount deals at places like Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Marshalls, but to get the Italian version check out this shop. They had cute stuff just nothing that made me swoon, but it is worth a looksie, so I have included it in the Ultimate Rome Shopping Tour. Via de Gesu Maria, 16A

4. Koster & B. I stumbled on the jewelry mecca filled with unique and affordable vintage inspired pieces and I gave my walled a workout. They have really beautiful pieces that are quality reproductions and original designs inspired by vintage pieces. Their collection of cameo jewelry and Etruscan and Roman jewelry reproductions are gorgeous and they have something for every taste and price point. Rings starting at 15 Euro. Villa della Scrofa, 46.

Koster & B

Koster & B

5. Vestiti Usati Cinzia. This store is on the same street as a string of other vintage shops and cute boutiques that is very near to Campo di Fiori and perfect place to stop for lunch. Vintage shopping in Europe can be a little spotty mainly because Europeans seem to hold onto things a little longer than we do, but the selection of vintage sunglasses and animal skin handbags in this shop was pristine! Via Del Governo Vecchio, 45.

Vestiti Usati Cinzia

6. Mado. This shop is small but full of personality including the owner who hand makes the jewelry bags in which your treasured purchases are lovingly packed. She carries a gorgeous selection of silk kimonos, vintage inspired and actual vintage jewelry pieces. Most of the shop seems to have 60′s and 70′s finds and the vintage necklaces were so amazing I almost fainted. Via del Governo Vecchio 89/a.

Mado

Mado

7. Omero & Cecilia Vestiti Vecchi. This shop carries bric a brac vintage. Nothing smells bad and you can negotiate if you pay cash. 110, Via del Governo Vecchio, 110.

8.Groove. Found the cutest, sassy fashion t-shirts in this small but well stocked shop. Sadly, all the shirts are in English with a few French sayings sprinkled in, but the shirts were different than anything I’ve seen in my travels and I couldn’t resist my own purchase of a tee myself. Via die Giubbonairi, 93.

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Shortcut to Fabulous Way to wear Brooches as pins and then convert them to necklaces!

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I have a pretty decent brooch collection consisting of stuff from my grandmother’s collection and my penchant for pretty vintage consume jewelry. I try to use them as much as possible, but somehow the drawer with brooches often gets neglected. I was so excited when I saw the brooch trend forecasted for Fall and got me to open my brooch drawer and assess my goodies. I realized that a lot of my pieces would look fab as necklaces and so I decided to do some research to find a way to convert brooches into necklaces. Well apparently, I am not the first genius to think of this conversion and there are actually brooch Converters  you can purchase on Amazon  for less than $3 in both gold and silver tone finishes. I feel so stupid for not having discovered this sooner and I just can’t wait to get my converters in the mail and start using my brooches…who am I kidding?! This is just an excuse to further add to the collection because now I can justify the purchase as a brooch and necklace in one! For more tips inclusion a DIY for converting brooches to necklaces, check out this website.

If you are not keen on converting there are so many clever ways to wear brooches, especially this fall. Here are a few of my faves: 1) to add pizzaz to a collared shirt, place a brooch at the top bottom (see photo below). 2) Cluster them on a blazer 3) Use them to clasp a sweater

 

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