Monday, June 30, 2008

Diana Camera

I love taking pictures on vacation, and even though I have a Hasselblah, I sometimes prefer to experiment with cheap novelty cameras. I've heard for years of the elusive Lomo Diana camera, but have never been able to acquire one. The Diana was a plastic camera manufactured by Lomo for about a $1.00 in the 60's, but due to poor sales, very few were made. It became a favorite among artists who discovered its cheap camera body leaks in light in the most artful of ways, producing dreamy photographs. Previously hard-to-find and expensive, Lomo has re-issued the original camera with some new features. Hopefully, these do not include fixing the light leak. Available at:

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just Married Luggage Tags

Smythson of Bond Street makes the most gorgeous leather goods, but they are unfortunately a bit out of my price range. Miraculously, I have discovered something on their website that I can afford: the most adorable luggage tags for the newly betrothed. Now, on your travels, you will indeed have something to declare: your "just married" status.
$37.00 for 10 luggage tags.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kee's Chocolates - New York

My friend Maya and I share many culinary tastes, and whenever I visit her in New York, we travel the city looking for chocolate and exotic cheeses in particular. I can always trust her judgment in introducing me to some new restaurant or delight. One we discovered on a recent trip is Kee's Chocolates. Kee's small storefront is located in Soho on Thompson street, and although some of her flavor combinations sound savory, they are in fact delightfully smooth and deliciously sweet. Our favorite was the creme brulee, who's name did not disappoint in both taste and custardy texture. We made several return trips for that one in particular, but also enjoyed the sea salt, mousse, and thai chile. If you have your heart set on a particular flavor, make sure you call first, because flavors change daily and quantities are limited. We made one trek for the coveted creme brulee, only to find it was not available and we were very sad chocoholics that day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Smith & Chic Retreats

I tend to have tastes that far exceed my budget, so when I'm traveling, I'm always looking for chic affordable boutique hotels, or online deals. An option that has worked really well for me is joining a travel club. Two that I am a member of are Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Chic Retreats. For a small fee, you become a member, and receive perks and discounts at hotels all around the world. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith,, and Chic Retreats,, are based in London and have mostly European properties, but are starting to add hotels in major U.S. cities. When you book through Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you get deals, such as free cocktails on arrival, discounts at hotel restaurants, and free spa treatments. Chic Retreats offers a 10% discount on the majority of their properties. Both companies are very selective as to the hotels they endorse, and chic retreats in particular has exceptional properties.

Vacation Swimsuit Shopping

Top row: Carmen Marc Valvo $136, Diane Von Furstenburg $154, Carmen Marc Valvo $158, Lily Pulitzer $110.60
Bottom Row: Shoshanna $108.50, Anika Brazil $167.00, Le Truc $285, Anika Brazil $167.00

Shopping for a swimsuit is always a nightmare situation, and being of the fair persuasion, I opt for the suit with the most coverage. Finding a one-piece that's not matronly, but sexy and sophisticated without showing all the goods can be difficult. Thankfully, there seem to be more options out there this season. So far, the Anika with the sash is my favorite, and it's on sale at Saks!