If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed I recently spent four days in beautiful Charlotte, NC as the guest of The Ballantyne, one of Starwood’s stunning Luxury Collection hotels. Lucky for me, my traveling companions, food blogger Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt and One Kings Lane VP of Merchandising Andrea Stanford, were TONS of fun. We kicked off the trip with antiquing at some local treasure troves and then hit up The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for lunch. I’m still dreaming about the pretzels! That evening back at the hotel we took a “liquid arts class” where we learned to whip up some seriously delicious cocktails. My favorite included a soda made from freshly juiced rhubarb and strawberries mixed with a healthy amount of my favorite poison, gin. We finished off the day with a late night dinner at Customshop that certainly gave my favorite New York spots a run for their money.
The second morning we piled into our awaiting Bently (the Luxury Collection rides in style…) and headed out to Lucky Leaf Gardens to learn about the microgreens we’d be eating at that evening’s dinner. I know so little about farming (and cooking!), but this trip motivated me to try some new recipes. That afternoon the three of us girls took a golf lesson from Dana Rader (she was very patient with my lack of skills…hysterical) followed by a picnic with the resort’s in-house etiquette expert Carl Libonati. Thankfully there was time for a nap before the evening’s insanely scrumptious dinner party. It was my first time having buffalo tartar!
Our third and last full day was pure indulgence. I met Ashely and Andrea in the pastry kitchen for a lesson from Executive Pastry Chef Keli Fayard (chocolate chip scones, almond croissants, and éclairs…you bet I taste-tested!), joined Mr. Libonati for a formal afternoon tea, and then was spoiled with a deep tissue massage in the Ballentyne spa. Instead of hitting the town the last evening, we opted for a girls’ night in and watched a rom-com while devouring a tub of the resort’s homemade gelato. Needless to say, I returned home to crazy New York in a happy, relaxed Southern state of mind. A special thank you to The Luxury Collection‘s amazing team for spoiling me rotten! Can’t wait to visit Charlotte again soon.
The world lost a magical woman today. I discovered Maya Angelou’s autobiographies one hot summer in junior high and curled up for days in front of the fan reading them back to back. During one particularly trying time years later I remember writing out her quote, “Nothing will work unless you do” and taping it above my bed. It was the first thing I saw when I woke up and the last thing I saw before I fell asleep. Her incredible story helped me discover my own self-worth and I will be forever touched by the wisdom of her words. I leave you with some of my favorite Angelou quotations. May history never forget this beautiful, brave, and compassionate woman.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.”
“If you get, give. If you learn, teach.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.”
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.”
“I believe the most important single thing beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”
“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”
“I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”
I’m still longing for a soft Moroccan rug and these photos from fashion designer Jenni Kayne’s Los Angeles home have me hankering for a tepee and Confetti System garland as well. The stylish young mom has thought of so many fun details (the faux taxidermy, the framed butterflies…) that make the nursery come alive. Lucky kiddos…!
Fashion stylist and Chanel brand ambassador Caroline Sieber is, as you may have gathered from the pics above, seriously chic. I clicked “follow” the second I spotted her chinoiserie wallpaper on Instagram and have been drooling over her jet set feed ever since. Must be lovely receiving gargantuan flower arrangements from the LSD and life-size Chanel boxes! Follow Caroline’s adventures here.
Chance’s look books are always beautifully styled and this glimpse of the new Sweden Collection is stunning to say the least. I’m anxious to visit Stockholm (my dad is constantly reminding us of our family’s Swedish roots…) and indulge my love of Scandinavian design. I’d love to have a space that is similarly minimal, but exudes such warmth. Shop Chance’s incredibly chic Sweden Collection here.