IN MY SUITCASE: Slip-on Sneakers

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Celine ponyhair sneakers

Celine ponyhair sneakers

I’m really not a sneaker person.  In fact, I’m the only person I know who gets worse blisters from flats than from heels, and I would never waste suitcase space with a pair of kicks unless a particular hike really requires it (I’ve even done Runyon Canyon in flip flops).  But this season I decided to try out a pair of slip-on sneakers, and I’m shocked by how much I’ve been wearing them.  This hybrid style is the perfect airport shoe, but more than that, it’s the most comfortable footwear for walking around all day long.  From shopping in Miami, to concert-going in Austin and apartment hunting in NYC, these shoes have become an everyday essential.  A friend recently bought them in a fun coral color for her upcoming trip to the French Riveria, and at this point I may have to scoop up another pair myself.  I can already picture wearing them to lunch in Amagansett, sightseeing around Athens and on the plane to-and-from Bermuda this summer.  I’m seriously thrilled by how comfortable they are, and while I’ve only really had a chance to wear them with jeans and pants so far, I can already picture how cute they’ll look with shorts and skirts.  Yep, definitely time for another pair.

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PHOTO DIARY: Santa Barbara

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SB1

I think Santa Barbara is the kind of place that appeals to any type of traveler.  You want to drink wine all day and he wants to golf?  She’s craving a spa day and you want to hike?  You’re planning a shopping spree and he wants adventure?  He’s searching for good meals and you just want to relax by the pool?  You can quite easily do it all in Santa Barbara, and there’s no shortage of amazing scenery and views, no matter which way you look.  We loved the beauty of the Santa Ynez wineries, but the whole area surrounding and including Santa Barbara is truly incredible.  A few favorite spots include Bouchon restaurant for a cozy meal, The Stonehouse restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch for a special night out, Cold Springs Tavern for an afternoon pitstop, Jeannine’s in Montecito for a quintessential California breakfast, and the Funk Zone for a festive day of wine tasting.  Here are a few photos that just scratch the surface when it comes to the beauty of the area.

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SHOPPING GUIDE: Santa Barbara

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home2

Photo from Julianne

On days when a big city feels like too much for me to handle, I fantasize about living in Santa Barbara.  For a small town, it seems to have everything, and there’s very few places that compare in terms of beauty.  In order for my fantasy to ring true, I needed to make sure there was plenty of good local shopping to cure any cravings, and I’m happy to report there’s more than enough to tide me over (at least until my als0-make-believe seasonal trips to LA)!  While tried-and-true Saks Fifth Avenue is located in the heart of downtown when all else fails, there are a number of exceptional boutiques offering a unique shopping experience, for those that want to live like a local.  Here are my favorites:

Dressed: This shop on East Coast Village Road in Montecito has merged from two separate stores (a designer boutique and a contemporary shop) into one large space that has all your luxe basics covered.  I picked up a Belstaff blouse, 3.1 Philip Lim sweatshirt and new California designer Laveer’s blazer (all on sale!), but the boutique was seriously bursting with beloved brands like Clover Canyon, Yigal Azrouel, Equipment, Kenzo and The Row, mixed in with some lesser-known names and cool accessories.

Julianne: I am beyond obsessed with this carefully-curated designer shop, and almost fell out of my chair to learn that their original location is in Port Washington, NY, just a 30-minute drive from where I live.  Stocked with gorgeous evening dresses, killer heels and a number of special pieces from Rick Owens, Balenciaga, Jason Wu and the likes, this store is a must-visit.  Even my husband — who hates when I drag him shopping — loved all the eye candy (and the plush couches) at this little gem.

Jenni Kayne & Jenni Kayne Home: These adjacent boutiques offer a double whammy — home and fashion goodies for the discerning shopper.  Beyond her own line of clothing and still-cool d’Orsay flats (which I happen to love), Kayne also stocks items from brands like Elder Statesman and Tom Binns at the clothing shop, which is airy and easy to shop.  And I was completely charmed by the beachy home store, which carries gorgeous ceramics and tableware, but also easy one-off items that add a little something extra to a bookshelf or room.

Diani: Situated in downtown Santa Barbara but slightly off the beaten path, Diani carries flirty, casual clothes that make up the building blocks of your wardrobe.  Racks are filled with denim, tees, knitwear and sweats, all of which are trendy and cool.  If my luggage was lost, this would be the first place I ran to replenish.  I also thought their pretty selection of lingerie was well worth checking out!

Kitson: Though Kitson is totally kitschy and a bit overstuffed for my taste, I see its value when it comes to easy souvenirs.  Their selection of odds and ends is always up-to-par, and I found a cute “California” table that had a nice array of books, coasters and fun mementos.

 

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TRAVEL MUSING: 2013 Travels

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2013 felt calm and quiet in terms of travel — especially compared to our late 2012 adventure honeymoon in Bali and Borneo.  But this year wasn’t about major exploration or new destinations.  I traveled mostly to places I had been before (Miami, London, Chicago, France, LA) and stuck fairly close to home (The Hamptons and Berkshires, Nashville, and Upstate New York).  I did manage to make it to Copenhagen for a whirlwind weekend of eating, and to parts of the French Riviera I had never experienced, for a beautiful, relaxing vacation.  I also traveled to Marfa for a close friend’s wedding, and saw an amazing part of the country that I may never have otherwise visited.  But for some reason, this felt like more of a nesting year to me.  I’ll be heading to Santa Barbara to end the year with good friends and good wine (and hopefully some sunshine), and then I’m ready to start planning next year’s adventures.  But in the meantime, a look back on some of the best of 2013:

Cote d'Azure

Cote d’Azure

Nashville

Nashville

Chicago

Chicago

The Berkshires

The Berkshires

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Miami

West Texas

West Texas

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

The Hamptons

The Hamptons

London

London

Upstate New York

Upstate New York

 

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