Tag Archives: shopping


Sip on some hot cider and start your holiday shopping, hit a concert while you’re bowling, or sail with spectacular views.


Plenty of shopping for you on this Thursday, plus some lovely strings and a delicious restaurant week pick!

Sperry-Topsider Brings American Classics to Dallas

Preppy is back in a big way this year, and nothing says classic chic more than Sperry-Topsider. Since 1935, this company has been bringing comfortable, colorful footwear that is associated with those who yacht and play tennis at the club. Now, Sperry brings their high-brow value and style to Northpark Center in Dallas, it’s only Texas boutique. These kicks are no longer just the nautical fare the brand is so closely identified with. Metallics, bright colors, creative embellishments…all these fun additions make for a prepster’s fashion obsession. If you want to wear a piece of American history and also have feet that will thank you, then join the cool kids at Sperry-Topsider.

Industrial style meets nature at risk taking clothing store Owen

Owen’s thoughtful compilation of men’s and women’s wear in rich jewel tones, dark neutrals, and complex, highly textured knit, leather, and fur, make it a worthwhile addition the high-end boutiques in the meatpacking district. Phillip Salem, Owen’s enthusiastic, 25-old-owner, handpicks every piece―his lofty goal is to ensure that each pick is both statement-making and timeless.

Tell Your Secrets to the Jeans Whisperer


Former online-only discount denim dealer, Jan Forman, has relocated to a bigger and better space in historic Leesburg due to growing demands! Cigarette jeans, bell bottoms, skinny jeans, and sleek boot cuts are only a few styles out of her wide selection.

While browsing through the impressive collection, don’t forget to ask for the Jeans Whisperer’s advice. Jan will listen to your preferences, fit challenges, and needs carefully to find you the jean of your dreams that looks and fits the best.

Trust her and chat about your shape, she’ll (softly) suggest the best brand and cut for your booty. Visit thejeanswhisperer.com for more information.

Randolph Street Market: Vintage cool, amazing deals and entertainment!


The Randolph Street Market Festival is home to the world-renowned Chicago Antique Market, Indie Designer Market, Modern Vintage Chicago and the Holiday Market. As seen in Travel & Leisure, the NY Times, Lucky Magazine and featured on TV news shows and web casts, the Randolph Street Market Festival is considered “a mecca of cool”, “the best hot spot for antiquing”, “the best Chicago venue for people watching”, and “the Barney’s of Vintage”. Celebrity designer Nate Berkus says, “I love this market…the quality is incredible!” As one of Chicago’s most happening monthly parties, Randolph Street Market has become the summer destination!

This European-style, indoor-outdoor urban antique market in the historic West Loop neighborhood features 200 select purveyors of high quality, amazingly priced “finds”, offering unlimited creative inspiration and hours of fun. Shoppers can find furnishings, vintage clothing, jewelry, collectibles, etc. Visit randolphstreetmarket.com for more information.

Learn Floral Design At Ovando!


Floral design is not just an art, it’s an experience.

Under the instruction of Ovando’s designers, participants will get to take an inside peek into the incredible world of floral design. Each of our single-session classes will discuss varying themes and design principles, as well as some of the modern design philosophies which define Ovando’s signature style.

Ovando is not just classes, it has a beautiful array of flowers and floral arrangements and fragrances for any occasion, for home to corporate events.

Sandra de Ovando has become an influential force in New York’s design milieu. Sandra discovered exotic flowers, plants and fruits that she began incorporating into her designs – there the signature style was born that today defines Ovando’s dynamic compositions and custom installations.

In 2003, Sandra opened Ovando’s West Village luxury boutique. The space was accredited for its distinctive décor and brilliantly crafted window installations, and Sandra’s dramatic compositions, recognized for their love of color and natural sophistication, became the favorite of New York’s elite, including celebrities, high-end restaurants, fashion houses and luxury hotels.

Today, after sizable expansion, including the opening of a 2,500 square foot production studio, a second boutique on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and the launch of a dedicated event production wing, Ovando has blossomed into one of New York’s most sought after design & event production firms. Under Sandra’s direction and impeccable eye, the company has won international acclaim for its work with prestigious clients to the likes of Hermes, The US Open Tennis Association, Donna Karan, Four Seasons, Saks Fifth Avenue, and The MOMA, to name only a few. From stunning floral installations, custom props & moody lighting, and the full-scale construction of breathtaking displays and environments, Ovando is a dazzling celebration of form, function, and flowers. Vist ovandony.com for more information. Visit the Madison Ave Location at 19 East 65th Street New York, NY 10065
or the West Village Location at 337 Bleecker Street New York, NY 10014

Stunning, vintage jewelery joins modern styles at LuLu’s!


Hello, and welcome to the world of LuLu’s, a beautiful and elegant vintage boutique located in Chicago. LuLu’s world is one of sophistication, whimsy and glamor. We specialize in extraordinary jewelry, couture gowns and party dresses, glamorous furs, and an amazing selection of vintage bridal gowns! So let me offer you a glass of champagne while you enter into the beautiful world of being a girl…

LuLu’s is located at 3862 N Lincoln, Chicago, IL 60613. Click here for more information.

The Bar at BaubleBar

CityBuzz shopping insider, Raina Seitel, is revealing a fashion find only a select few fashionistas know about…until now. Baublebar.com, the trendy online jewelry boutique, recently opened up a retail space where the contents of the website come to life. Shoppers try on various baubles…from necklaces to bracelets to earrings all while indulging in complimentary champagne. But this little “gem” of a store isn’t housed in your typical retail space. The boutique is located on the 6th floor of an office building: 230 Fifth Avenue between 26th and 27th Streets. Appointments are mandatory and your inner Elizabeth Taylor is bound to come out!

Blake Scotland

We’re obsessed with the Lower East Side and for the last year have taken pleasure in dressing her friends, neighbors, and strangers from New York and cities and countries abroad.
Every line carried in the boutique is hand chosen for its high quality, unique design, and perfect attention to detail. If we wouldn’t wear it we are not going to sell it. Consistently influenced by this neighborhood, each piece reflects its cutting edge sensibility – comfort clothing for the wild child who’s just a little rough around the edges.
The boutique itself maintains an emphasis on making passionate hard work fun. This ethos is reflected through every facet of Blake Scotland: The hot, clever staff, boyfriends smoking on the bench out front, creative excuses to host events – albeit increasingly fashion focused. There’s no I in team. We aren’t shy about pooling our resources. We boast a family of friends who turn ideas and dreams into reality.

Unleash Your Inner Diva at Diva Boutique


With an obsession with shopping and fashion, Diva Boutique’s owner runs this designer consignment business with a passion for six years straight. Situated in historical Alexandria in a 19th century townhouse, Diva is listed by the Washingtonian Magazine as the consignment store with the “best vibe.”

Carrying high-end designer lines such as DVF, Chanel, Prada and other more affordable luxuries such as Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and so much more… This is definitely a treasure cove for those hunting for bargains.

In order to be a true insider, sign up for Diva’s email list to be alerted of the newest top secrets! Visit divaboutiqueva.com for more information.

Stella McCartney (Beatle’s daughter) sets up shop in Bal Harbour

Swanky, open-air and the epitome of high-end in Miami Beach’s north end, the Bal Harbour Shops are now home to a Stella McCartney boutique. Yes, the famous Beatles’ fashion designer daughter has set up shop where Miami’s elite go for their designer duds.

Models showcase McCartney's fashion at her Bal Harbour store opening. Courtesy of Miami.com

Airy and bright, the store is set up in true boutique style, with her unique, bold, colorful fashions hanging neatly off dangling racks. The shoes and handbags have their own displays and toward the back is a quaint, colorful kids’ clothing section.

The beautiful parquet wood floors feature violet and pink hues (the designer’s favorites) while  at the front of the store a coffee table and chairs greet shoppers. Perhaps they might enjoy leafing through the book that features photos of her famous Dad.

The Bal Harbour Shops are located at 9700 Collins Ave. 305-864-2218. Click here to visit the site.

Bond No. 9

Perfumery has always been about head-turning. Now, perfumes have been turned on their head. For the first time in fragrance history, a major, full-blown fragrance collection was launched as an homage to a great city. The name of this fragrance collection is Bond No. 9 (which is also the address of its headquarters boutique at 9 Bond Street, in NoHo). The city it celebrates is none other than — could be no other than — New York.

The Bond No. 9 collection of women’s, men’s, and unisex eaux de parfum — has a dual mission: To restore artistry to perfumery, and to mark every New York neighborhood with a scent of its own. Each fragrance represents a specific downtown, midtown, or uptown locale or a city-wide sensibility. With new introductions in the coming seasons, Bond No. 9 infuses the island of Manhattan with scents.

Find discounts on designer labels at the Allen Outlets

Oh, outlet malls; you’d love to hate them and hate to love them but when it comes down to it all your favorite stores and designer labels are represented and the prices are all discounted, sometimes deeply. The Allen Premium Outlets live up to all that outlet malls promise and more. Charlotte Russe, Juicy Couture, Coach, even Le Creuset calls your name and whispers sweet nothings in your ear about lower prices and the current season’s trends. You can even join their VIP club to receive special coupons and promotions for over 100 outlet stores. They also usually have big sales around national holidays that yield three day weekends.

Make a day out of shopping in the West Village

The upscale shopping in Uptown’s West Village offers a blend of boutiques and national brand stores to the tune of Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. In an afternoon of store-hopping, shoppers can come home with anything from artisan handmade accessories or a pair of cowboy boots to business attire and a bottle of wine. The West Village also has a variety of eateries to refuel after a day of hard shopping, as well as a few watering holes and the Magnolia Theater if an indie film strikes your fancy after all that shopping. A few excellent shops to stop into are Carito Caro, Cowboy Cool, Pitaya, and Club Monaco opens for Fall 2011.

Day trip it to downtown McKinney

McKinney, about 45 miles north of Dallas, has a lovely little “old town” square that makes the perfect day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city on those not-so-busy weekend days. The town center has clothing and antique boutiques, some good restaurants (including a tapas place and a steak house), a few art galleries (like Laura Moore Fine Art) and a watering hole or two. They also have seasonal events year-round, like an Oktoberfest to give Germany a run for their money and an evening of art and music every second Saturday of the month in which most local businesses keep their doors open until 7 pm. Check their calendar for details and current event listings.

Miami Twice: Great shopping for vintage goods

A mainstay of Miami’s shopping scene, especially for those who prefer something different than the mall, Miami Twice is a great place to shop for vintage goods.

Courtesy of Google Images

The store is packed with wares and accessories not easily found, rare gems that can make a wardrobe unique and different. Think great dresses and shoes from the early 1900s to the 1980s. They’ve also got modern designer duds and purses. They’re jewelry, especially brooches and costume pieces, as well as vintage shoes and purses from classic eras are all the rage here.

It’s a fun experience walking into this place and browsing through their merchandise, whether it’s for just looking or actually buying. A stop in Miami is worth a trip here. Hey, they’ve been in business a quarter of a century, they’re definitely doing something right.

Miami Twice is located at 6562 SW 40 St., Miami, FL 305-666-0127 http://www.facebook.com/pages/miami-twice

Louis Vuitton: Exclusively carried by only a few

There’s something about carrying around that handbag with the LV insignia all over it. The matching keychain, wallet, luggage and other accessories make for an even bigger fashion statement.

The Louis Vuitton name still carries that element of panache and so the company likes to keep it that way. Their stores can only be found in the most exclusive of stores around Miami. Aventura Mall in the northern part of Miami, The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Dadeland Mall in the south end of Miami . The latest announcement is that LV will open a free-standing store in the hip Design District so that’s another one to look forward to. No worries either, these are not typical malls because of course LV would only be sold in very high-end shops which these are.

To find these exclusive spots where LV is sold visit www.louisvuitton.com and check the store locator section of the website.

Classic Carolina Herrera threads at Village of Merrick Park

The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables is a classy, upscale, chic and elegant shopping venue (this is no mall) and that’s why classic and iconic fashion designer Carolina Herrera chose the venue for her store.

Evoking the Mediterranean feel that makes the Gables unique, Merrick Park is open-air and features lushly landscaped tropical gardens and fountains throughout and is truly a shopping destination. Having the legendary Herrera choose this as the home for one of her stores is the perfect fit.

The store features both men’s and women’s fashions in what could only be described as the fashion designer’s instantly recognizable clean line and timeless look. Fashionistas who need a jolt of that in their closet will certainly find it here. Her signature CH fragrance for women is also available here.

The Village of Merrick Park is located at 358 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables 305-448-3333 www.villageofmerrickpark.com

ISA Boutique’s latest shop to join Midtown Miami

The merchandise here, hand-picked by owner Isabel Aguiar (hence the name ISA Boutique) is all Miami chic. The store is bright with the usual funky decor that’s so popular in small unique spots like this. A zebra-print rug, strategically placed clothing and accessories that’s aesthetically pleasing and an overall airy atmosphere that gives customers plenty of room to browse.

And browse they will, what with the awesome swimwear that’s pretty much useable year-round, colorful and custom-made jewelry and the kind of light, feminine clothes by local designer RaMona La Rue who is based in the Design District along with other well known fashions. Aguiar makes sure to provide beauty products too with her own line of products — Body by Isa.

ISA Boutique is located at  3400 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 786-558-8027 www.isa-boutique.com

Northpark Center is upscale shopping at its finest

Northpark Center is a staple for Dallas shopping. The store directory alone has its own bragging rights with representation from top designers such as Betsy Johnson, Versace, Gucci and the list goes on. Northpark Center also dons a collection of fine art and installations throughout the building with acquisitions by Nancy A. Nasher. Northpark’s restaurants and eateries are also better-than-your-average food court. The official food court has a Paciugo, a Which Which and a Snappy Salads, and their restaurants include fancy favorites Luna De Noche, Maggiano’s and McKormick and Schmick’s Seafood. As if all that wasn’t enough, Northpark is the future home to Dallas’ first and only H&M opening later this year. Pardon me while I squeal with excitement.

Balance Order Nature: Harmonious home furnishings

Creating a harmonious home interior is the mission of Balance Order Nature and their collection of contemporary home furnishings. Their showroom along historic Coral Way features their clean and soothing lines and accessories.

What’s interesting about the designs here is they’re both contemporary but also with a throwback twist. The lamps especially borrow from the 1950s and 60s and incorporate a current feel to create a completely unique look. Other furnishings include small tufted chairs with modern legs, a modern take on the recliner featuring a flat leather reclining seat and simple, clean-lined simple tables and platform beds. It’s all pure simplicity at its best.

Alchemist Shop: Revolving clothes line in industrial space

Already a mecca for great boutiques that fashionistas flock to, South Beach now gets two more, the Alchemist Shop with two locations on Lincoln Road.

One is a typical stand alone boutique the other is uniquely situated inside a parking garage. Of course, because it’s on South Beach it’s not just any parking garage, this is an industrial monstrosity at the tip of Lincoln Road. Now moviegoers can make a stop at this funky shop and sift through some truly unique fashions.

They’re known to carry high-end items by designers Undercover, Rick Owens and Libertine and of course, items get softer for Spring and as the seasons change so do the fashions in the Alchemist Shop. Jewelry, accessories and even some furniture are available as well.

Both stores share a unique clean, modern look and the view from the garage location is stellar thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. People watching onto Lincoln Road never looked so good.

Expressing Yourself at Expressions


Hidden in the heart of Foggy Bottom, but with two large storefronts inside the Shops at 2000 Penn, Expressions has been dressing women from all walks of life for over two decades. With a wide variety and stock of accessories and clothing, you can find both an elegant Tahari suit for work and a sexy lace top for the night out all in one stop. With a French and an Italian in-house jewelry designer, pieces here are sparkly, classy, and sassy. A boutique that champions both uniqueness and affordability is truly hard to find, but at `Expressions, you can definitely find it all to express your true colors. Visit expressionsdc.net for more information.

A Whole New Way to Soak In The Sun: Santa Monica Place

Looking to spend your day shopping? What about a nice glass of wine with an ocean view? Well, if you think you have to pick one or the other, you clearly haven’t visited Santa Monica Place yet.

This new shopping and dining compound is the newest addition to the Santa Monica area, offering everything under the sun, and more.

Let’s talk retail: Santa Monica Place is quickly becoming known for their amazing shops, that include Kitson, Bloomingdales and high-end boutiques such as Tory Burch.

And just when you made the rounds and worked up an appetite, don’t expect your average mall food court (even though they do have that). You can also head right to the top and visit a number of fabulous restaurants, including Sonoma Wine Garden, a restaurant that has quickly become popular for their cheese plates, pizza and selection of wine.

So drop those bags, grab a glass of wine and put your feet up as you soak in the sun – Sonoma’s patio has a breathtaking view of the water.

Welcome to paradise – we mean Santa Monica.

395 Santa Monica Place
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Baltus: Upscale store’s way to jazz up home

The Miami Design District is home to many upscale specialty home furnishing stores and Baltus, with a corner location in the main artery of the area has the market cornered when it comes to must have items.

The hand crafting of their contemporary high-end furniture and attention to materials, size and shape make the pieces a unique addition for any home. Clean lines and meticulous construction are key here and although a majority of the designs are square and sharp edged, there are a few of them inspired by other eras like the Picasso chair with French style legs, back and seat. Elegant screens are also available for rooms where privacy is needed and the variety of shelves, bookcases and tables are perfect storage units.

Baltus is located at 3925 North Miami Ave., Miami, FL

Julian Chang: Couture with a Miami flair

In a non-descript building along Biscayne Boulevard in Miami’s MiMo District or Upper East Side is the Julian Chang boutique/showroom. A native Peruvian who studied at Miami International University of Art & Design, the designer was a force to be reckoned with while still attending school.

His couture pieces quickly became the favorite of Miami’s elite crowd who turned to Chang for original designs during the height of party season which is pretty much year-round in Miami. He certainly does not pigeonhole himself to one style, cranking out eveningwear, contemporary women’s and ready-to-wear collections. He’s received honors from Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue en Espanol and MIFW.

Julian Chang is located at 6665 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL


No Need to Shop Elsewhere: Noni Boutique

Noni pic

Located in the Larchmont shopping district, Noni Boutique definitely stands out when it comes to high-end women’s fashion and designs. Whether it is that perfect cocktail dress you are looking for or a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, Noni only carries the best and can offer some styling guidance and advice for the girl who can’t seem to make up her mind.

noni pic 2

The racks at Noni are filled with big names such as Vivienne Westwood, Anna Sui and anyone else who is major in the fashion industry. Though Noni is considered to be one of the trendiest stores on the block, it also combines art and fashion to create a one-stop-shop for the fashion and art enthusiast. Many gallery viewings and art openings have occurred in the store so patrons can enjoy art and fashion in one viewing.

Even though some of the items at Noni are on the pricier side, be sure to attend their famous Semi-annual Sidewalk Sale that happens as a part of their “spring cleaning.”

Penelope’s: Shop Like a Star

sessunblackdressLocated at the border of Wicker Park and the Ukranian Village, Penelope’s is a hip boutique that celebs love to peruse when they’re in town. It’s low profile but full of sweet finds for both sexes.

Around since 2002 —  which for this ‘hood and the average life span of a trendy boutique, means it’s practically a dynasty; the brands they love that you’re sure to find here include:

  • Our Legacy
  • Sessún
  • Gitman Vintage
  • Shades of Grey
  • Spiewak

They don’t stock up on enormous amounts of size runs which means little risk of seeing your look mirrored back to you on Michigan Avenue – collections change frequently so shop often!

Love on the Boulevard: Larchmont Boulevard

Though it looks like it belongs on a movie set in a small town where everyone knows your name, Larchmont Boulevard brings a certain charm to upscale boutiques, high-end eateries and popular shops you have come to love.

larchmont pic

When it comes to shopping on Larchmont Boulevard, Noni Boutique is an absolute must when it comes to designer clothing, jewelry and accessories that can’t be found in department stores. Men looking to shop on Larchmont Boulevard should visit Legion Los Angeles, a rock ‘n’ roll type clothing store with popular and European finds for the most fashionable of men.

The restaurants on Larchmont Boulevard have also begun drawing people in, from a visit to Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese for a freshly made sandwich or Panini or a trip to Crumbs Bake Shop for a homemade cupcake concoction.

Along with great shopping and restaurants, the sheer beauty and elegance of the boulevard makes strolling the street just as exciting as a visit into a shop.

DASH Miami: Reality celebs Kardashians’ boutique on South Beach

They’re stars on E the Entertainment Channel with two reality shows, the focus of one being the sisters Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian’s boutique DASH Miami located on South Beach’s gritty and happening Washington Avenue.

It’s a non-descript storefront that’s easily missed with a simple DASH sign but step inside and their style, which is a blend of fun and funky, comes right through. The K sisters love to showcase their favorite fashions in the stores from simple to simply embellished t’s, cool dresses, tanks and plenty of accessories of course. They’ve also got swimwear, a line they recently debuted at Miami Fashion Week.

DASH Miami is located at 815 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL


Ramona La Rue: Floaty, bohemian designs for all

Using the softest silk fabrics and original designs from her mother’s collection as well as her own artistic vision, self-professed Bohemian stylist Arianne La Rue creates comfortable, airy, stylish fashions to suit any style and body type.

There’s nothing constricting about the dresses, tops and pants in this line, everything is flowy and soft and tailor made to be worn loose or gathered, over leggings or flowy pants, the possibilities are endless. And the hand painted designs on the fabric, created by Arianne and also taken from her mother’s original designs, are watercolor inspired.

Celebrities are known for loving Ra Mona La Rue creations with tops and jumpsuits spotted on singer Katy Perry and actress Hayden Panetierre star of the television show “Heroes.”

Ra Mona La Rue is located at 3400  North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL.

Monroe F

Hermes: Scarve Yourself French

Perhaps the arrival of an Hermes store in Chicago means the Windy City has really made it in the fashion world. The French phenom brand is the brains behind the all-elusive Birkin bag which has a waiting list of up to two years in some cases and of course a whole slew of amazing scarves that will make anyone look instantaneously French.

Its location couldn’t be more than ideal, across the street from a supersized Barney’s and Prada, Hermes brings the level of chic to this carrefour to a level only this line could. Alas visit the store of the line rumored to have Oprah banging down its doors during off hours for an emergency purchase (the Paris location) and scarve yourself fabulous.

Inkanta Design Store: A place for lovers of modern design

For a unique gift, for a friend or for yourself, skip Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma across the street and pop into Inkanta Design Store, where their goal is “to satisfy lovers of modern design so they can enjoy beautiful objects at work, at home and in everyday life.” And that goal has been met. This minimalist, clean, crisp all-white store gets its pop of color from the modern object on display for sale.

A perfect fit for Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road, the store’s inviting interior features a slew of modern silver key chains with all types of colorful ensembles, a wall displaying modern clocks in every style, shape and color, funky wristwatches, and glassware for cocktails ranging from a high ball to a martini to a nice aged scotch, all done in gradient shades of pink, green and blue. The collection includes accessories as well as objects for home and office designed mainly by Europeans hailing from France, Denmark, Italy, England, Holland and Germany with a few American designers thrown into the mix.

Inkanta Design Store is located at 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach


The Maya Hatcha: Colorful accessories and clothes at Grove boutique

Maya jewelry

Celebrating four decades in the same Coconut Grove location, The Maya Hatcha is an institution in the area and it’s thanks to their unique clothing items, jewelry and other accessories.

This is the place to shop for cool, comfortable clothing and shoes, all made from natural materials, there’s lots of cool cotton and gauze in this place. Their “Kurta” an Indian shirt made of 100% cotton or silk is a great seller and comes in a variety of colors and sizes. Their flowing dresses can be dressed up for an evening out but also make a great beach or poolside cover up. Colorful accessories like handbags, hats and their exotic jewelry are the perfect complement to a new outfit.

They’ve also get both delicate and bold printed bedspreads and tapestries to add a touch of Maya to the home.

The Maya Hatcha is located at 3058 Grand Avenue, Coconut Grove, FL

The Maya Hatchacats-cu

Venice Beach: Down By the Boardwalk

venice beach pic

Whether you are looking for snow cones, inexpensive sunglasses or guys flexing at Muscle Beach, just about anything and everything can be found at the Venice Beach boardwalk.

Known for its sidewalk art displays and t-shirt shops, the energy at the boardwalk never lets up. With endless dining options and street cafes such as James Beach or Hash at Hotel Erwin, visitors can choose to dine in or on the go from endless street vendors and walk-in locations.

Along with endless dining options, the Venice Beach boardwalk is known for its shopping, from t-shirt shops to stands filled with sunglasses as well as a plethora of vintage clothing stores.

Not only is the boardwalk known for dining and shopping, but it has become famous for street performers and art displays. Whether it’s a palm reader, henna tattoo artist or someone painting portraits on the spot, all artists alike come to Venice beach to display their talents for all that travel the boardwalk to witness.

Crowds and parking to even access the boardwalk can be a nightmare on the weekends. Many private parking lots will grant you all day access for a fee. As far as visiting hours, most will tell you to visit when it is light out because the boardwalk can take on a different vibe at night.

Limonaia: Handmade Goods for the Home

After founder Jessica Goldfarb discovered her love for traveling and Italian décor, she decided to bring a store to Los Angeles that would allow people to marvel and purchase products that were both unique and from across the globe.

Though the name Limonaia comes from the room where lemon trees are stored during cold seasons, the store is less about her love for these rooms and more about her love for unique gifts and goods for the home.

From decorative magnets to children’s toys, most of the products found at this hideaway are handmade and one-of-a kind. If you are looking to redecorate your home or are just looking for that added touch, a trip to Limonaia is essential for the perfect tablecloth or scented candle.

Though her store could easily be found on the roads of Capri, her store is located in one of L.A.’s best and most affluent shopping areas in Santa Monica. If you are interested in visiting the store for a massive shopping spree, visit her website beforehand to sign up for sales events so you can make the most out of your shopping experience.

Finally, someone who really turned lemons into Limonaia.
Limonaia picLimonaia picLimonaia picLimonaia picLimonaia pic

Third Street Promenade: How to Walk & Shop

With 30 blocks of restaurants, shopping and live entertainment, one trip to Third Street Promenade is all it takes to get you hooked. From fire throwers to live street performances, there is always something new and exciting happening on the streets of Santa Monica.

Minutes away from the Santa Monica Pier as well as the ocean, Third Street Promenade is always happening, from early in the morning to late at night. Though the Promenade is filled with original boutiques and restaurants, it definitely has its fair share of name brand stores and well known restaurants.

Though the restaurants, live entertainment and shopping could drive anyone in, Third Street Promenade seems to gain popularity during the Summer time when shoppers can walk up and down the promenade. At night, the Promenade turns into a row of bars and breweries for those looking to party by the beach.

If you plan on visiting during a particular time, make sure to check the list of events located on Downtown Santa Monica’s website. You can find dining events, music shows and art exhibits that will occur on the streets of Santa Monica.

Even though it’s Third, it definitely finishes first.
Third Street Pic

Sage Boutique’s Big Finds for a Small Budget

Sitting AreaWith four locations across Atlanta, Sage Boutique is a ‘must shop’ for the fashionista, whether just budding or firmly ensconced!  In a city with many high end shopping choices, Sage fills the bill with both quality and quantity ~ and get this, at prices that are shocking because they’re so affordable.

Most items are under $100 and new arrivals are stocked every Friday.  Look for labels like Alternative, Free People, Miss Oops, IT Jeans, and See Thru Soul, along with unique handbags and accessories. Sage supports the local arts community by selling jewelry made by neighborhood designers.

The friendly employees always suggest cool styles, colors or help you build on a favorite piece you already own.  At Sage, chances are you’ll leave looking like a million bucks, without spending nearly that much. The store is located at The Collection at Forsyth. Visit sageclothing.com for more information.

Luxurious Lester Lampert

Picture 97Lester Lampert, located on Oak Street in the Gold Coast lives amongst neighbors such as Harry Winston, Hermes and Bvlgari to name a few. But yet it’s possible you’ve not heard the name before — if you’re not a jewelry connoisseur or a Chi-town native. Well, Lester Lampert is both.

One visit to his retail space of dreams, which doubled its original size in 2005, is enough to make anyone weak in the knees. The sparkles, the baubles, the diamonds! But it’s Lester’s unique designs that have gotten him where he is today. Chosen as the designer of the Field Museum‘s most noteworthy gems, Loyola University’s stained glass windows and more Chicago icons, one look and you’ll understand why.

Word of the wise: This is not a store to skip. It is a must visit when in the Windy City…if you like gorgeous things that is.

Abbot Kinney for Everything Venice Beach

Abbot Kinney Boulevard makes high end shopping beach chic in Picture 35Venice Beach. The boutiques rule in Venice and big name brands are out, but don’t be fooled, style is less flip-flop mess and more artist casual. Here you can pick up summer dress ups and dress downs, a new favorite flannel at Steven Alan Annex, or dress your man in Stronghold jeans. Jewelry finds are always a little offbeat ranging from diamonds to antique typewriter keys. For home décor fanatics, Abbot Kinney shops like Floral and Plantation are frequent features in top design magazines.

And for those who work up an appetite from carrying around all those bags, Abbot Kinney has plenty of food options to finish off a successful day, but dining  is anything but beachy. Options are fine and plentiful for any craving from Gjelina’s truffle pizza, Wabi-Sabi crazy rolls and Lilly’s French flavors to Hal’s famous cantaloupe martini. If hunger still strikes, LA’s most notable food trucks usually wander Abbot Kinney late night.

Insider’s Tip: This is not to miss! First Friday of each month is where you can shop late, sample every truck in town and party the packed street all night.

Old World Charm at The Latham Hotel

For a comfortable stay in the District, settle into a roomPicture 5 in the The Latham Hotel, nestled conveniently on M Street right in the heart of Georgetown.  With European-like accommodations and a hidden, yet elegant exterior, this boutique hotel is the perfect pick for those looking for a charming stay in the midst of a bustling metropolis.

The Latham’s quaint interior reflects simple refinement, typical of historic Georgetown.  Take advantage of the hotel’s fitness center or window shop along famous M Street before basking alongside the hotel’s exclusive rooftop pool.  Need a little more VIP service?  Order room service from famed chef Michel Richard’s award-winning Citronelle, located adjacent to the hotel (or make a reservation for an unforgettable dinner for two!).  The Latham also boasts green initiatives and pet-friendly accommodations (for a small fee and deposit).

3. Find the Unexpected at Art Star Craft Bazaar May 15-16

Picture 33Quirky and unique is what you’ll find at the Art Star Craft Bazaar, an outdoor retail art/craft show that is juried by Philadelphia’s Art Star Gallery & Boutique. Featuring over 100 local and national artists, shoppers can find a variety of exceptional and high quality handmade goods made from fabric, clay, glass, wood, paper and more. Anything and everything will be found here, including house wares, paper goods, dolls, prints, ceramics, clothing, accessories, paintings/drawings, sculpture and many other unique objects. There will also be music throughout the festival with a line-up of various local bands. For food, there will be plenty of pizza and hot dogs, as well as vegetarian/vegan food from local eateries like A Full Plate Café and the Soy Café. The first 250 guests each day will get a free tote bag filled with various goodies.

Robertson: A Trend to Do and Take Home

Move over Rodeo Drive, whether preparing to be seen or shopping the scene, Robertson is the place. Here, find every look from trendy high fashion to casual daily staples that stand out… as well as plenty of paparazzi catching a glimpse of today’s hottest stars.

It’s easy to kill a day on the few Robertson blocks between Beverly and 3rd Street. Start with lunch at The Ivy or Newsroom Cafe for plenty of shopping fuel, though both Starbucks and LA fave Coffee Bean are readily available if the need for a mid-spree upper arises. The strip is packed with both boutiques and bigger names. Jeans are the thing at Paige, AG, and True Religion, or pop into Kitson and Intermix for LA trendsetter staples.  But remember, for late night in Hollywood, the short skirt reigns. Couture, cosmetics, bed and beach wear, Robertson has something for everyone…well everyone with cash to burn.

Find Your Spot in Bishop Arts District

Picture 18A stone’s throw from downtown Dallas is an eclectic neighborhood that will make you feel as if you have stepped into a new wonderland.  The Bishop Arts District is a town square of sorts that combines art galleries, boutiques, fine dining and casual bistros, as well as special events like wine walks and gathering for cyclists.

Set up with free parking, tree-lined sidewalks and a myriad of windows to shop from, Bishop Arts draws the young, the old, and the fabulously funky.  Enjoy drinks at the quaint bar inside Eno’s Pizza, a famous Frito Pie at Tillman’s Roadhouse, and a hard-to-find soda pop from your childhood at the Soda Gallery.  Unique t-shirts and trendy styles abound at Epiphany, all natural pet foods for your furry friend are sold at the Green Pet, and when your favorite first edition is in need, take it to The Book Doctor; they specialize in repairing books.

With this incredible mix of things to do and see, it’s no wonder that Bishop Arts is one of the fastest growing gems in Dallas.  Take an afternoon or evening to explore and experience, and you just might find that you have a new favorite hang out.

Jonathan Adler Practically Shops for You

Ah! It’s just so delightful when one little boutique makes gift-giving totally effortless. Such is the case at Jonathan Adler where one visit intended to be “quick” could stretch into an easy hour and plenty of bags of goodness (of gifts … and a few for you too of course).

The bright colors pr_int_05practically sing “Come In!” from the windows of the Jonathan Adler boutique on N. Wabash Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Inside it only gets brighter, happier and more inspiring to shop!

Hot items you’ll find – and which you’ll have a hard time parting with unless you buy one for yourself-  include: the ever-famous Muse Votive candles available in two sizes (go on, get the bigger one for yourself), the funky Queen Anne mirror, and of course, the too-cool throw pillows featuring sayings, designs of all sorts, and engraved letters.

If you need something smaller, you’ll find it here, too. The boutique makes shopping easy with incremented suggestions starting at $50 and under as well as suggestions for the host/hostess, Hanukkah and young ones.

Thinking you’re in a pinch for shopping is no longer an excuse – thank you Jonathan.

Rosewood Crescent is a Landmark of Luxury

It’s impossible to miss The Rosewood Crescent Hotel. Its eye-catching French windows and pristine white exterior beckon a peek inside the uptown landmark. Upon entering, the vaulted ceilings, marble floors and fresh flowers confirm what you already suspected: this is a first class hotel that doesn’t compromise on style or service.

For the health nut, the fitness center’s classes,Picture 13 like Pilates and kickboxing, are added perks. For those looking to relax during their stay, the spa offers over 77 treatments ranging from wraps, scrubs, massages and nail care.

When you want to venture out of your room that includes 480-threadcount Egyptian sheets and cuddly terry bathrobes, the Shops and Galleries of The Crescent are the perfect solution. The shops carry bath and beauty products, fine art, linens, home products, and you’ll also find dining that rivals the best restaurants in the city.

It isn’t uncommon to see a beautiful bride celebrating her day at this hotel as it boasts some of the most luxurious weddings and special events in Dallas. From the moment you arrive to the moment you check-out, The Rosewood Crescent lives up to its look and reputation, and instills the desire to return again soon.

Art Deco Meets Italian Design at Marni

MarniIn the heart of the Design District is the splashy Art Deco meets Space Age boutique, Marni. The Italian fashion label has a cult following that love the Marni philosophy: designed pieces that intermingle effortlessly with any of the other collections so fashionistas can hold onto favorite items for more than one season.

The Miami store is designed specifically for the crowd it serves: chic, modern and with Art Deco touches. The signature fashions feature tribal influences as well as geometric patterns, long and flowy skirts, short and loose dresses, and chunky belts. Marni also has an enviable collection of oversized glasses, jewelry, handbags, and sandals to platform heels.

Antique and Innovation at Design District’s Hibiscus Island Home

The Miami Design District’s Hibiscus Island Home is a dream come true for anyone who wants to create a haven of elegance and warmth with a sense of purpose in their home. See, the store has gone green and will only be using recycled wood in the new furniture collection that features more than 90 pieces as well as only soy-based foam in all their custom pieces.

HIH has long been a center for innoPicture 8vation as the store is a unique fusion of all things home: fabrics, furniture, and accessories under one roof. It is also has a blend of antique, vintage, and collectible furniture and accessories mixed into the store’s own Hibiscus Island Home, Island 29, and Treasured Thread collections.

HIH is filled with antique-inspired pieces from the 1920s to the present in a variety of dark and light wood finishes from dining chairs and tables, coffee tables and end tables to desks, cabinets and mirrors. Luxurious fabrics cover the throw pillows and can also be sold by the yard for the crafty.

Yes, There’s Still Fabric on Fabric Row!

Fabric Row in South Philadelphia has broadened over time to so much more than textiles, yet still holds its reputation for the best fabric in the region. The Row is now amarlemsteinsn eclectic mix of shops ranging from third-generation fabric stores to a nightclub that boasts the best DJs in Philadelphia.

As far as fabric goes, Marmelstein’s is one of the oldest (opened in 1919) and most well-known shops in the region. Most of the shops are known for a specialty market, so if you’re looking for something specific like bridal fabrics, trimmings, or upholstery, calling around will be very helpful.

When it’s time for a bite to eat and a break for your feet, stop in at Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. It’s been open since 1923 for a reason, and their gargantuan sandwiches are a great meal for two people.

Other fun things to do on Fabric Row: dance to beats from ?uestlove of The Roots at Fluid Nightclub, get inked at Philadelphia Eddie’s Tattoo Haven, get a cup o’ Joe at Redhook, and check the threads at Wilbur Vintage.

This little section of South Philly will surely steal a bit of your heart.

Buzzworthy Films at The Angelika

Looking for something entertaining and low-key with a side of wine? Check out the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. Whether you’re trying to impress a date or a client, this place has it all.


One of the most stylish and beloved theaters in Dallas (voted Best Movie Theater by the Dallas Observer), the Angelika combines old world charm with new world hip and features some very under-the-radar Oscar-worthy films. During the spring this place packs a hearty crowd of celebrities and movie critics for the annual USA Film Festival; however, look over your shoulder on any given day and you’d be surprised who might be sitting behind you.

Majestically overlooking the whole of Mockingbird Station, the Angelika is easily accessible by car, cab, or train and provides an abundance of shops, like Movida Boutique, and restaurants, such as a local Dallas favorite Trinity Hall.  But don’t overlook the Angelika Cafe where you can order standard movie fare such as popcorn and a soda, or get into the mood with wine and chocolate.

Atlanta Goes Green at the Piedmont Park Green Market

Picture 6 With the holidays around the corner, it’s the perfect time to show your family & friends that you truly care about their health with organic ingredients for your holiday meal. An alternative to your neighborhood grocery chain and an excuse to go for a walk are great reasons to check out the Piedmont Park Green Market on Saturdays from 9 AM-1 PM.

Packed with flavor and not pre-packaged, the selection is locally grown produce, cheeses, floral arrangements and natural products. In addition, you can meet the farmers or merchant that grew or created the product you’re purchasing, how often do you have that opportunity?

See chef demos, enjoy live music and support local merchants at the Piedmont Park Green Market Saturdays in December.

The Bellevue: The Grande Dame of Broad St.

Nicknamed “The Grande Dame of Broad Street,” this historically-rich building has kept the same charm since her opening in 1904. Famous guests, including every U.S. President since Roosevelt (!), PHIbellevuehave stayed in the hotel segment of the building.

Besides the hotel, the Bellevue holds dozens of luxury shops (Nicole Miller, Tiffany & Co.), a food court with cuisine ranging from sushi to gyros, and a top-notch health club.

XIX (Nineteen) is one of the finest restaurants at the Bellevue and often has jam-packed happy hours after work. The restaurant is on the 19th floor, hence the name, and has some of the best views of Philadelphia.

Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland is in the main lobby as you enter off of Broad Street; the champagne truffles are bursts of decadent goodness. The shop is adorable and their chocolates are packaged beautifully, making great gifts for your return to home or the office.

Atlanta Gets Styled at Bill Hallman’s Boutique

ATLbillhallmanFashion house. Event Venue. TV set. Three titles that rarely come to mind when one thinks of a boutique. However, the Bill Hallman boutique empire has raised the bar for designers worldwide. Much more than a store with clothes, this stylehouse is the mecca for this season’s best denim, outwear, & even your night-out-on-the-town gear.

Various events are hosted at the boutique weekly, including the recent meet & greet with men’s shirts designer Zachary Prell and jewelry designer Telahin. On any given night you may see a magazine, album, or TV show release party held at Bill Hallman.

Recently listed by Creative Loafing as 2009 Designer of the Year, Bill Hallman is doing much more for the Atlanta community than simply selling clothing. He’s encouraging social networking, community involvement through his current design mentoring program, and still providing an enjoyable shopping experience. So if you’re looking for an Atlanta hotspot where you may catch a glimpse of a celebrity all while getting styled for your next event, take a drive over to Bill Hallman’s Boutique. Visit billhallman.com for more information.

3. 31 Amazing Nights of Light in Boston 12/1/09-12/31/09

hub2The Shops at Prudential Center will sparkle and glow every night through the month of December in celebration of the warmth and spirit of the season. Thirty area organizations, with support from the City of Boston and the Center’s media partners, will each take a turn in lighting the top of the Prudential Tower.  The new Tower Lights program is a beautiful visual homage to the most important tidings of the month – the true value of family and friends, the significance of sharing, and the merits of caring.

5. Holiday Window Shopping in Style 12/1/09-12/31/09

It’s always fun to see how stores get into the holiday state of mind, but New York’s retailers take it to a new level. Shopping doesn’t even need to be done to get a full entertaining experience from Fifth Avenue. The likes of Cartier, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, and Barney’s are known for the extravagant holiday windows and displays. Not only are the windows and mannequins all dressed up, some of the retailers decorate the outside buildings and sidewalks. You can’t help but get into the season with a walk along Fifth Avenue in December.

It’s “Fromage” at Pastoral

Ooh la la!  At the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, you’re sure to hear plenty of French speaking voices coming from the France tourism office. Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that the best cheese in the city is found in a petite shop across the intersection at Pastoral. Orvieteo002

What may be the norm in France certainly isn’t here in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our cheese and eat it too. Pastoral focuses on small amounts of high quality cheeses from across the globe and if you want a taste, by all means ask! The fromagers are always happy to dig up bites of heaven for visitors to try. Those who become obsessed with their selection can go on to join the Cheese of the Month Club.

Aside from the cheese, Pastoral has freshly baked breads, plenty of charcuterie, and an antipasti bar. At this point the only thing one needs for a party is the vino- and they’ve got plenty of it.

There’s a reason Pastoral keeps swiping all the awards in Chi-town so stop by and taste why.