Saturday, February 20, 2010

Haute Chocolate Indulgence

What happens when your chocolate dreams become reality? You find yourself at the Four Seasons Hotel in Atlanta indulging in an array of sweet treats satisfying your guilty pleasure. Trays of truffles, flourless chocolate lolly pops and almond joy treats are dancing on your plate as you move down the line at this all-you-can-eat buffet with 15 ever changing selections for just $20 per person. That’s right; the Celebrity Chocolate Buffet is back! Every Friday (through March 26th) Executive Chef Robert Gerstenecker invites a local celebrity to join him in the kitchen to share their favorite chocolate dessert along with other decadent creations on the Chocolate Buffet! Atlanta radio personality Frank Ski kicked off the annual event Friday, February 19th.


The 2010 line-up of chocolate celebrities also includes: John McFall, the Artistic Director for The Atlanta Ballet Company; Xernona Clayton, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, which annually recognizes achievement among African Americans and contributes to charitable and educational causes; David York, executive director of Fulton County Animal Services and owner of Barking Hound Village, a grooming, boarding and training facility for dogs; Mychael Knight, Atlanta-based fashion and fragrance designer and fan-favorite who became a finalist on Season 3 of Bravo’s Project Runway; and more. 

The Celebrity Chocolate Buffet is available 9pm to Midnight every Friday evening beginning February 19 through March 26, 2010
Valet Parking Included
404.253.3840
75 Fourteenth Street
Atlanta, GA 30309

Will you indulge at the Four Seasons Hotel's chocolate buffet?


                


Photos Courtesy of Cliff Robinson

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Make a Tranquil Splash With Aqua Therapy

If you’re looking for the ultimate way to relax try aqua therapy. I love the Aqua Therapy Massage at the Stillwater Spa, tuck inside the exclusive Park Hyatt in Toronto. If you’re looking for a tranquil escape look no further than this urban oasis… where still waters really do run deep, in a place where soothing waterfalls and streams offer an amazing journey to wellness. On a recent trip, I decided to try the massage in my search for total relaxation.

My therapist led me to a beautiful candlelit room designed around a pool. The session begins once you release control to the therapist. For the next 45 minutes, my therapist used pressure point techniques to stretch and move my body through the water in ways that just aren’t possible on land. It was relaxing, refreshing and rejuvenating. I felt the tightness of my muscles loosen with all tension simply floating away. It’s a beautiful way to start your day.

Will you try aqua therapy to relax?

Spa Hopping In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What happens when your search for sizzling spa treatments takes you to the best new spas in Latin America? You just might find yourself in sexy Rio de Janeiro also known as Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) where the beautiful people let it all hang out. After spending time taking in the city’s most famous sights beneath the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain and on the cable car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain… it was time for a little pampering. In a city where rhythmic music and life blend together in perfect harmony, I was ready to surrender to total relaxation.

My first stop, the exclusive Copacabana Palace Spa, along the iconic Copacabana beach. The spa is an elegant and sophisticated new addition to this legendary hotel. It’s housed on three floors offering seven treatment rooms, a fitness center, sauna, relaxation area and a steam bath. The spa is a mix of Hollywood glamour and traditional charm offering some of the most amazing treatments in all of Rio. As my therapist began blending the soulful sounds of Brazilian music with synchronized hand movements during a full body exfoliation in my spa suite, I quickly drifted into a stress-free zone. Soon after, I sank into a bath of fragrant oils extracted from the native Bre Branco tree, while enjoying a fabulous hydrating facial. Before the two-hour session ended I was led to the massage table where the softness of the Bossa Nova music drifted through the air as my tightly balled muscles began to loosen under the healing hands of my therapist.
My day ended with a spa lunch of tofu burgers, dried fruit and a mushroom tartlet developed by Francesco Carli, the internationally renowned Chef of the Cipriani Restaurant in Italy.

The next morning, a driver arrived to whisk me off to the H. Stern Spa tucked inside the Rio Design Barra Shopping Mall. This famous jewelry maker has partnered with French cosmetic company L’Occitane balancing the healing powers of precious stones found in Brazil with traditional rituals promoting wellness. As you enter the boutique you’re surrounded by cases containing sparkling gems inspired by nature. Guests visiting the boutique and Zen-inspired spa can select from a menu of body treatments and facials. I decided to try a signature massage. My therapist placed a bowl of precious stones on the floor designed to arouse feeling and emotion as the sound of water flowing began to relax me. An hour later, I awakened to feel refreshed and renewed just in time to shop for jewels just outside my door.

Are you planning a trip to Brazil?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Escape To Mexico With Your BFF

If the winter blues have got you rethinking just why you’re living in Chicago, New York or Washington, D.C right about now… then grab your best friend and head to beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Baja Mexico! On a recent trip with my good friend Leslie, I escaped the urban grind for sun, sand and surf.

Now, getting to Cabo posed somewhat of a problem since my flight out of Denver, Colorado was cancelled! I spent another night, in the Mile High City, at the historic Brown Palace Hotel sipping on Evian water to stay hydrated and indulging with a massage at the hotel’s signature spa. I finally got to the airport and jetted off to paradise the very next morning.

Since Leslie arrived an entire day before me, I was not surprised to see her sitting by the infinity pool, tanned and relaxed sipping a cocktail. After I dropped my bags off in the living room of our beachfront casita equipped with a private pool, at the exclusive Marquis Los Cabos Beach Resort and Spa, it was time for me to get some rays with my high potent sunscreen already in hand.

Leslie and I spent hours soaking up the sun before heading to a cocktail party on the beach! Great new friends, lots of exotic drinks and a little bit of star gazing made for a memorable evening. We just couldn’t get enough. So we refused to leave!

The next day, we were whisked away for a bit of sailing on the Sea of Cortez, at the southern-most tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. While taking in views of Cabo’s tranquil desert and dramatic landscapes, we surrendered to a total state of relaxation. By noon, the crew had prepared a delicious meal while we all sat on the boat getting lost in conversation. Leslie and a few others decided to snorkel, while I opted for a nap onboard.

By the time we got back to our oceanfront home away from home, it was time for a little pampering. So we decided to pay a visit to the spa for Swedish massages. After disappearing into separate treatment rooms, we both emerged refreshed and renewed.

Later that evening, we slipped into little black and brown dresses and dashed off to the Presidential suite for a VIP reception. After an hour of taking pictures and sampling exquisite finger foods, our hosts led us to the hotel’s restaurant for a six course meal. Dinner was amazing, but the conversation turned to what else—politics!
The next morning, we headed back to our favorite spot by the infinity pool and ordered refreshing drinks to toast to our sinful weekend. By Monday, we were packed and ready to head back home after having breakfast, while overlooking the ocean. Soon our driver was beckoning for an airport departure, but not before we took one last look at the stunning mountain vistas and beautiful blue sea.
Where is your next girlfriend getaway?

Stress-Free Zones at The Airport

If your travel day suddenly hits a snag because of delays or cancelled flights head to a spa for a little shameless pampering. Some of the world’s busiest airports are the best places to relax and let go. Here are three airports that offer a ticket to stress-free zones.

São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (Brazil)

There’s no place on earth like exotic Brazil so when you’re in between flights make a beeline to The Traveller Spa for a soothing massage, reflexology treatment or a Brazilian bikini wax. This little gem is steeped in Asian aesthetics and carries a full range of L’Occitane products. But the great deal here is the price—treatments start under $20. http://www.travellerspa.com.br/

Once you’re feeling refreshed and stress-free head over to H. Stern, Brazil’s most recognized jeweler, for gems to go. Brazil is the gem capital of the world so why not indulge just a bit? You may find some great bargins on your favorite gemstones. http://www.hstern.com.br/site/home/default.asp

Toronto Pearson International Airport (Canada)

When your last minute trip leaves no time for a manicure and pedicure—don’t worry you can head to a nail shop while connecting in Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Make use of your time wisely to get your nails groomed during those two hours before take-off! Have you ever heard of a super quick manicure? Grab your carry-on and walk over to 10 Minute Manicure, a chain of nail salons offering mini spa treatments, at a number of airports around North America. You can also get a massage to ease tense muscles and teeth whitening before boarding your flight. http://www.10minutemanicure.com/

Charles de Gaulle Airport (France)

When in Paris, France head over to the Relaxation Zones at Charles de Gaulle for a little shuteye. This space offers comfortable lounges for weary travelers looking to unwind. Although, the view on most days is uneventful… on clear days you can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Don’t let the stress of travel get you down and leave you exhausted before arriving at your destination. Make a point to seek out great restaurants, boutiques and a spa during your layover. You’ll also find bookstores and Wi-Fi stations to keep you connected on the go! And there’s more… art lovers will be thrilled to see that a number of airports both international and domestic offer mini art galleries and exhibits.

How will you pamper yourself during your next layover?

PillowTalk Greeting Cards Are Haute!

If you’re looking to add a little spice to your love life let Pillowtalk Intimate Greeting Cards do it for you. These provocative cards are designed to flirt, tease, and tantalize by saying something naughty and nice to your sweetheart. The company sent me a few cards from their product line designed to charm with little notes in black with white script or white with pink script. It’s up to you to decide who gets the cards saying you’re so sexy or it’s always been you. The next time that you want to share intimate moments with sophisticated thoughts about your romantic needs try a little pillowtalk for about $3 each… now that’s haute!

To Learn More Visit http://www.pillowtalkgreetingcards.com/

What do you think about the PillowTalk Greeting Cards?

Viva Glam Girls Go Gaga to Fight HIV/AIDS

Today, M•A•C Cosmetics and the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund introduce their new Viva Glam spokeswomen: Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper. The two music trend setters are rarely seen without lipstick or eye catching fashions… and now they’re part of the “From Our Lips” campaign. The cosmetic giant created Viva Glam Gaga and Viva Glam Cyndi lipsticks, in a light blue pink and red coral, each retailing for $14 with 100% of the selling cost donated to the M•A•C AIDS Fund.

“I think it’s absolutely insane that some people have fewer rights than others, and I’m grateful that M•A•C has decided to focus on women while I’m a VIVA GLAM Spokesperson. I have so much to say and so much to share, and I’m going to let my lips and lipstick do the talking!” Cyndi Lauper, M•A•C VIVA GLAM Spokesperson

“I’ve been familiar with the campaign and have been wearing M•A•C since I was ten years old. To be joining the likes of iconic former VIVA GLAM spokespeople is an honor. My new VIVA GLAM lipstick colour is amazing. It’s very me - a bluish pink, great for everyday, a little bit ’80s. I hope that women buy this lipstick, and honor themselves and honor the cause.” Lady Gaga, M•A•C VIVA GLAM Spokesperson

The M•A•C AIDS Fund has become the heart and soul of M•A•C Cosmetics, established in 1994 to support men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally especially in Africa. Reportedly, a pioneer in HIV/AIDS funding, providing financial support to organizations working with underserved regions and populations, the M•A•C AIDS Fund has raised over $150 Million in 67 countries to date. The company raised the money exclusively through the sale of M•A•C’s VIVA GLAM Lipstick and Lipglass, donating 100% of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS. That’s Haute! To learn more visit http://www.macaidsfund.org/

FACTS: Women are more likely to become infected with HIV than men. While the overall rate of new HIV infections has slowed, the number of women contracting HIV is growing in every area of the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, six out of every ten adults living with HIV are women. In the United States, where there are far more resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and care, the number of women living with HIV has tripled since 1985.

Will you buy the new Viva Glam Gaga or Viva Glam Cyndi?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chanel Fantasy Fast Food Containers?


Would you like to see your fast food in designer containers?

Jewelry Case Organizes and Empowers Women

There’s a new portable jewelry travel system that keeps you organized and protects your valuables, while helping others at the same time! If you’re like me… protecting your jewelry and keeping up with it may not be as easy as it seems particularly when you’re going through airport security and jumping in and out of taxi cabs. But thanks to one stay-at-home mom in Georgia, traveling with my baubles and bangles has never been easier.

 
Keli Hazel says she tried everything to stay organized during business trips even resorting to ziplock bags. But that’s so not sexy! Besides we’re already forced to use them for our carryon size toiletries. So she created a travel case with the busy woman in mind. “I visualized a portable jewelry case with accordion expansion that holds individual pads to secure and protect several jewelry ensembles to keep necklaces and pendants from tangling,” exclaims Hazel.

She gave me one of her Diva Deluxe™ organizers to try out. It’s designed for the stylish and sophisticated girl on the go who loves to be organized! This case comes in black and features alligator-embossed styling with easy accessibility and organizes your jewelry according to your outfits! It comes with four pads with snaps, pockets, two folding flaps, and a velcro closure for protection. The case can easily fit into your carryon or checked luggage. You can also get the cloth versions called Diva Lite™.

 
But there’s more… Hazel donates a portion of every sale to Haven House of Atlanta, a local nonprofit organization that supports and empowers women who've been in an abusive relationship. Now that’s haute!

To learn more about Keli’s Kreations visit http://www.kelikreations.com/

What do you think about Keli’s portable jewelry cases?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blumera Bags Inspired By The Beauty of Travel

Drawn by bright colors and the sensual textures of India, Blumera creator Mehera Blum says her passion and love for travel inspires her designs. “I am inspired by the world around me, and most particularly by nature,” explains Blum.

Haute Travels caught up with Blum in Atlanta during the High Museum of Art’s fundraiser, Catwalk Meets Canvas at Mercedes-Benz in Buckhead last week. I had to ask Blum about her love for travel and her haute travel bags.

“Travel is one of the biggest components for my inspiration to create because it has given me the exposure to see inside humanity at large. Since I was a little girl, I wanted to travel the world, learn new languages, eat exotic food, and hear music native to foreign lands. Traveling in and of itself to me is a creative process. I never want to be a tourist; wherever I go I become a local and it is from this vantage point that I design. I assimilate into the culture and design from whatever the talents and skills of that land are. I seek the natural beauty of the land, the people, and the sights and sounds that I hear and see,” says Blum.
The Blumera line “boasts versatile collections with refined detail and stunning material— assuring quality and long life.” The Blumera travel bags are designed exclusively for the woman who expresses her unique individuality making them the must-have accessory for the girl who dances to her own beat.

“The travel bags are lined in Blumera signature silk that is hand-dyed and screened. With hand-carved hardware, right down to the zipper pulls, no detail is spared. Elegant as well as practical, the travel bag opens completely by a dual zipper-pull. With interior pockets for toiletries, it is the perfect weekender or carry-on,” explains Blum.

And then there’s the travel clutch for the girl who keeps it all together!

“The travel clutch is sophisticated, beautiful, and extremely versatile. A wallet by day and an evening bag by night, the interior pockets fit everything! There are pockets and clips for your keys, phone (including iPhone or Blackberry), lipstick, pen, checkbook, plane ticket, passport, and separate sections for different currencies when traveling to many countries at a time,” adds Blum. “The number one reason the bags are haute—they’re completely made by hand with LOVE.”

To learn more about Blumera visit http://www.blumera.com/

Celebrities who carry Blumera: Paris Hilton, Jessica Alba and Eva Mendes

What do you think about Blumera?

Photo Courtesy: Blumera

I Am Kimber Offers Sparkle That’s Haute!

If you love jewelry and being a girl there’s a new line of baubles, bracelets and beads designed with you in mind. Kimberville Accessories launched its “I Am Kimber,” spring and summer collection last week, at Midtown Atlanta bakery, Chocolate Pink.
"I Am Kimber", features “urber-cute” pieces made from a creative mix of pearls, chains, leather and Swarovski crystals ranging in price from $50 to $200, each containing small remnants reminding its owner of her playful childhood memories of yesterday. “Kimberville gives us permission to let our imaginations soar," explains creator and senior designer, Monica Leaphart, self-proclaimed child of sparkle.

Leaphart says her own quirkly, child-like spirit gave birth to Kimberville and inspires her creations. "I wanted to create pieces that remind us of the days when we were little girls dying for something shiny and sparkly,” says Leaphart. Her girly girl sense of style has taken this twenty something business woman from boutique owner to jewelry and lifestyle designer. Leaphart, a devotee of handbags, shoes and bling says she plans to create more pieces catering to the girlish fantasies of fashionistas the worldover.

For more information visit www.KimbervilleOnline.com
or contact kimbervilleusa@gmail.com for look book and line sheet requests.

What do you think about Kimberville?