Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Luxury Travel Inspired by Chanel

Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld was speaking my language when he designed the Paris-New York Collection in 2007. And thanks to my personal shopper from Neiman Marcus on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, I snagged an overnight bag from the collection. She tracked the bag down in San Francisco during last call and had it shipped to me!

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a few people offer to buy the bag because I didn’t carry it due to its awkward size on commercial aircraft. But somewhere in my mind I always knew there was more to this bag than meets the eye. And I was right!

Just the other day, I learned from a Chanel specialist in Atlanta that my bag was part of a limited edition collection created when Lagerfeld found inspiration in his New York City apartment. As a result he designed a collection focusing on a return to luxury travel. Although, the PNY collection has since sold out... I’m on the hunt for the roller seen here in white. You can best believe that I’ll be in a resale shop, flea market or Paris consignment store in the near future working to complete my collection.

Lagerfeld has been the man behind the success and endurance of the French luxury goods company for more than 25 years. He’s also credited with turning the luxury brand around. But it’s still Coco Chanel who made it timeless and worth the investment. After all, Chanel bags, shoes, jewelry and clothes cost a small fortune, but they hold their value better than many luxury cars!

What's your favorite luxury travel brand?

Haute Escape to The Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for the county… you might want to consider The Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia, That’s right The Ritz has a little secret known only to luxury travelers until now.

It takes about an hour and a half from downtown Atlanta to get to the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation sitting along the tranquil shores of the Oconee River. This AAA Five Diamond-rated resort is amazing especially if you love a great spa and outdoor activities. This 251-room hideaway offers 99 holes of golf, boating, award-winning restaurants, fishing and so much more!

When I heard that Conde Nast Traveler’s annual readers poll recognized The Ritz Carlton Spa, Reynolds Plantation as one America’s top resort spas for 2010 because of their fantastic treatments, I grabbed my overnight Chanel bag and got out of town landing in the heart of a cute little antebellum town!

Once I checked into a lovely rustic-inspired suite complete with a guest bathroom and sweeping lake views, I grabbed an appetizer from the fully stocked club-level lounge and made my way over to the spa. The path to the spa is lined with white columns and beautiful green plants. You might say it’s the path to rejuvenation, restoration and relaxation. Once inside, I found flowing water leading the way to peace and serenity.

With 90 health and wellness treatments available, I selected the bamboo and lemon grass scrub followed by a 50-minute a lavender massage. It also allowed me to experience one of the spa’s unique Vichy rain shower rooms. I loved the scrub that also contained chopped walnuts designed to remove dead skin revealing a healthy glow underneath. The rain shower felt like heaven, warm and inviting… I loved it! Once my treatment ended I spent some time relaxing by the beautiful indoor-pool downstairs before moving on to the infinity pool outside just off the lake.

Lunch at Gaby’s on the lake included a lobster grilled cheese sandwich that I couldn’t wait to try. It was really good. But dinner, at Georgia’s Bistro consisted of a lumpy crab cake and scallops with a chocolate molten lava cake for dessert!

Once my complimentary overnight stay began to end… I started to mentally plan my next escape. I can’t wait to take a nature walk along the seven mile trail or sit around the fire pit roasting s’mores underneath the moon and stars. This place is HAUTE with lots of Southern hospitality and personal attention to your every need!

What do you think about The Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation?

To learn more visit

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Haute Tips for Traveling with your Girlfriends!

So you want to jet off to some place haute with your BFF? It sounds like a great idea after all girls just want to have fun, right? I’ve traveled with girlfriends both nationally and internationally over the years. There’s nothing like sharing fun stuff with your gal pals, but it can also turn sour if you’re not on the same page. It's not always a "Sex in the City" moment.

Here are my Haute Travels tips to making your girlfriend getaway one to remember for all the right reasons:

-Make sure that you’re on the same page when it comes to spending money.

If you want to take a taxi and your friend wants to take the bus because it’s cheaper that’s setting the stage for drama. And think about meals… I went on a trip with a friend once and she preferred to spend her money on shopping instead of dinner at a haute restaurant. So we parted ways when it was time for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

When it comes to hotels, some people prefer to go cheap as opposed to luxurious and posh. There is nothing wrong with spending less money on hotels because you’d rather spend the difference someplace else. The problem starts when you’re traveling together. The posh girl may want to stay at The Ritz Carlton, Park Hyatt or the Four Seasons, while the budetnista wants to save money and set up camp at a three-star hotel.

The way to avoid money problems that can ruin even the best of marriages not to mention friendships, decide up front about hotels, transportation and meals. If you can handle splitting up during your stay because you strongly disagree on these points, then go for it. But if getting away with your friend means you spend time experiencing fun things together—then pick your travel companions wisely or consider flying solo.

-Decide what you want to do before you leave home.

Talk about things that you want to experience on your trip… if you realize that you’re both thinking about two different ways to see New York City, perhaps you should travel with a friend who wants to do what you want to do. There’s nothing like going on a trip and finding that you have no interest in doing things that your friends find exciting. Again, if the point of traveling with your girlfriend is to spend time with each other, don’t forget to focus on things that you both want to do. It makes the trip much more exciting with less conflict. You can always agree to spend a couple of hours away from each other for a little “me time.”

-Know your friends

You can know someone for 10 years, but you’ll never really know them until you travel with them. When you’re in close contact with people for days or even a weekend little things about them can surface that you may find irritating.

Spend some time really getting to know your friends before you travel together. And like all good relationships sometimes you have to compromise and be flexible, don’t sweat the small stuff.

At the end of the day, you want to travel with your friends and have the time of your lives… but sometimes little things come into play that really could have been avoided with a little planning and communication. It may be that your friends don’t make good travel companions for you and that’s ok. Just send them a postcard from your haute spot! After all, you don’t want to turn a friend into a “frenemy.”

Would you travel with friends?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Haute Travels Tips for Traveling Solo

Are you thinking of getting away but everybody is busy or can't commit to travel? Think of it as the perfect time to get a little "me time" into your hectic life by going solo. I have traveled to the Bahamas, Paris, and the Caribbean alone and totally enjoyed every adventure. I have to say it’s one of the single most exciting things that I’ve done. I’ve met some really great people, while learning so much about myself. I remember relaxing on the beach in St. Lucia and got invited to dinner by a group of people from New York City who were sitting nearby. As it turns out, we all had careers in television, at one time or another, so we had plenty to talk about.

While traveling solo in Paris, I took a summer photography class and spent my days learning about my classmates who came from other parts of Europe, the US and Brazil! But my favorite discovery in Paris, my friend Carole, she and I have become great friends. I met her while working on a story about French beauty products. So every time that I travel to Paris without friends or family, I’m never alone because I have friends who live there... all because I took a chance and ventured outside of my comfort zone. Once Carole and I joined a group of her friends who live and work in Paris for cocktails and conversation. They were amazing women with haute careers in fashion photography, TV and public relations. We sat around and talked about whatever was on our minds at this posh French hotel. I loved it because it was Très chic!

Solo travel is the way to go for many who don’t have a travel companion. If you love to travel and the thought of staying home “because you don’t have someone to join you” enters your mind… think again!

Here are my 5 tips for solo travel:

1. Just do it… if there’s some place that you’ve dreamed of seeing, but you’re held back because you can’t get on the same page or schedule as your friends or family—plan your trip anyway!

2. Join a travel group if you feel like you absolutely need company on your trip.

3. Do your research before heading to your dream destination and check the US government website to make sure that it's safe to travel to your haute spot. 

4. Be careful when talking to strangers or exploring your destination alone. I rarely venture out to unknown places alone or at night. And I don't tell strangers that I'm traveling alone!

5. Be sure to leave your contact info in case of emergency with a trusted friend or family member.

Remember to be aware of your environment at all times and select your hotels carefully. It's really no different than traveling to cities like New York or Chicago. Just don't let the thought of traveling alone keep you from discovering the beauty of travel.

Have you ever traveled solo?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Join Haute Travels Blog Chats™

If you love to blog or just thinking about putting your thoughts and ideas or expert advice to paper or computer. Whether you are a seasoned blogger or the girl or guy who just wants to blog because you have something to say—this group is for you!

About Haute Travels Blog Chats™
Come out and brainstorm with the creator of this HAUTE travel, beauty and lifestyle blog and discover the strategies that she uses to make her blog grow. After less than a year, Haute Travels™ has become a popular blog destination delivering great stories, tips, reviews and travel news for the girls who love luxury travel, great beauty products and discovering haute new spots from boutiques to cute cafes.

Our one hour Haute Chats will include:

●Learn and share secrets on how to build a brand

●Get insider tips on the challenges of getting started

●Learn the art of effective networking to leverage your blog for greater exposure

●Hear from PR pros on how to get on "The List"

●Learn how to create business opportunities with your blog

All while enjoying great food and drinks at a Haute Travels Haute Spot!

Please send your info and I'll update you on the date, time and location of the next Haute Travels Blog Chats™.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Haute Concierge Service

Suite Arrival provides smart, savvy travelers with solutions to their 3 oz liquid problems when dealing with airport security. The service delivers popular travel-sized products directly to your hotel rooms taking the hassle out of travel. Service includes a la carte products from top brands including Oscar Blandi, Billy Jealousy & Pantene, among others.

Suite Arrival offers a variety of packages including his & hers and organic items that include shower, body and hygiene products. You can also get your favorite mini bar snacks and makeup along with first aid or baby products!

“Saving time at home, packing less and not dealing with the ‘hotel surprise’ is what Suite Arrival is all about,” says Michael Lewis, Founder of Suite Arrival. “It's a luxury and people should think of us as their own personal concierge service.”

Suite Arrival delivers to domestic and international hotels and ensures that your favorite products are waiting for you upon your arrival. And get this—all products are TSA approved 3.4 ounces or less.

To learn more visit

Will you try Suite Arrival?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Haute Off The Press! Cheap Eats and Drinks in the ATL!

If you’re in Atlanta on a tight entertainment budget… don’t sweat it, there are some great dinner and cocktail deals for under $20. After dashing from one end of the city to the next I found cool food and drinks that just about anybody can afford. Check out what’s new with restaurants and bars from the Concentrics group.

Lobby Bar at Twelve

Enjoy You Happy Hour with your first Martini for just $1 every Wednesday through Friday between 5 and 7pm.

As of May 6th, Atlantic Station will screen complimentary outdoor movies every Thursday night, To celebrate, Lobby Bar & Bistro will offer all you can eat pizza for $10.00 or all you can eat pizza and complimentary beer and wine for $15.00 from 6-9pm.

Simply visit Lobby Bar & Bistro (movie or not) for all you can eat pizza with a maximum of 6 toppings.

One Midtown Kitchen

Mangia! Mangia! Meatball Thursday schedule at ONE. midtown kitchen

Each week Chef Drew Van Leuvan offers a 3 course feast, served family style, including pasta topped with the weekly meatball feature, salad and dessert for just $14.50 per person. Diners can add a bottle of red or white wine for $19.50 per person!

Do you think these are great deals?

Photo Credits: Our Labor of Love

L'Oreal's Women of Worth

What: L’Oréal Paris the Fifth Annual Women of Worth Award Program (

Why: The program aims to honor volunteerism, women’s empowerment, and dedication to service

Who is a Woman of Worth? A Woman of Worth is an inspiring volunteer, an outstanding achiever and a beautiful person who is dedicated to making a difference in her community. She embodies the heart and spirit of the L’Oréal Paris brand which seeks to support and empower women.

When: Through July 9th, consumers will be invited to nominate a woman whose service and dedication to volunteerism are making a difference.

Prize: To honor the 10 Women of Worth winners, each one will receive $5,000 for their personal charitable cause and a matching donation will be made on their behalf to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, L’Oréal’s charitable partner since 1997. Additionally, one National Honoree – the woman who receives the most votes - will receive an extra $25,000 donation to her charitable organization. The Women of Worth National Honoree will be chosen via a public online vote held this fall at

Will you vote in L'Oreal's Women of Worth campaign?

Haute New Book!

Breathing in The Buddha
By Alan Brigish

If you’ve ever been curious about Buddhist life, Breathing in The Buddha: A Photographic Exploration of Buddhist Life in Indochina is the book for you. Author Alan Brigish explores life in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia by uncovering the beauty of the people who live there. The book tells two stories with images and extensive captions. The first story takes us on a journey through the daily life of people in Indochina, while the second is an exploration of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.

Brigish wants the reader to explore Buddhist philosophy in the context of the daily existence of the people in the most densely populated part of the world where Buddhism is still practiced. He visited a one city in each of the four countries of Indochina uncovering something deeper than what met the eye… mystical people and special places in Burma (Myanmar).

The photography is absolutely stunning… the people come to life on the pages of the book and I must admit that’s what drew me to it.

Brigish is a South African-born documentary photographer. He's captured life in faraway places like Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, China and Cuba.

By purchasing a copy of this beautiful gift book, you can help educate children like the young girl on the cover.

100% of the profits from the book are paid to hand-picked educational projects in South East Asia.

To order your copy visit

Will you buy the book and help a child in Asia?

Friday, June 4, 2010

24 Hours of Vancouver Chic

Vancouver is a world-class city with amazing shopping luring celebrities and shopaholics alike to this culturally diverse Mecca. Fashionistas in love with trendy, vintage or classic styles will love shopping in Yaletown, Gastown and fashionable Robson Street among others.

If you love to venture out on your own grab a map. But if you like the idea of guided shopping walks check out ChicWalks’ apps for fans with an Apple iPhone and iPod Touch users. The apps guide you through nine walks with 1,000 stores offering fashion, accessories and home décor boutiques. The apps also allow you to locate great restaurants and bars. But wait, there’s more, ChicWalks has a mobile web version now available for Blackberry, Samsung and; Google Phone Users.

If you only have 24 hours in Vancouver… decide which area appeals to you most to save time or pick two areas near each other and split your day. Will it be trendy Yaletown, South Granville for upscale fashion and art galleries or Gastown with its cute cobblestone streets and unique boutiques? Remember Vancouver is like Chicago or New York, it’s a city of neighborhoods with laidback style each with different taste and offerings.

I ventured out on my own and spent most of my time in Yaletown, a renovated warehouse district. I absolutely love the chic boutiques and the many makeup and beauty bars surrounding this hip area of Vancouver. It’s a girly girl’s paradise.

Here are some of my favorite Haute spots in Vancouver’s Yaletown:

-Lola Boutique

If you’re in the mood for haute emerging designers… this is the little boutique for you.


Halle Berry shops in this haute spot!

-Beauty Mark

Beauty junkies be aware… this place offers hundreds of cute products and fun makeup ideas in a little shop.

-Noir Lash Bar

Lash out while you’re in the V… these lash bars are lots of fun! It’s a like a beauty lounge. You come in and lounge on a chaise while your lashes are applied! It’s haute!

-Blo (Blow Dry Bar)

If you’ve got 30 minutes and $30 CAD get a wash, blow and go just in time to hit the town.

-The Cross

Interior design boutique that’s all white bringing European design to North America!

Are you planning a trip to Vancouver?

Panty By Post is Haute!

If you love French elegance and want to sample a little bit of Paris by going to your mailbox… check out Panty by Post! Co-Founder Natalie Grunberg spends her summers in France, but her partner in the business, Lori Sholzberg grew up in Montreal. The dynamic pair has long admired French women of all shapes and sizes and their confidence in selecting and wearing pretty lingerie.

The Panty by Post is a monthly subscription service delivering luxury unmentionables at your door. The concept took shape when the duo decided to provide women all over the world with beautiful, sexy French lingerie with superior quality and comfort. Plus, an excellent price point ($13-$16 CAD) along with a fast online process made it a dream come true. The company is based out of Vancouver, British Columbia and is already generating a buzz.

Each month members receive a hand-selected or surprise delivery from the signature line like Sexy Singles, Double Dare, Ménage à Trois, Sultry Six and the Commitment Package. Every panty comes in pretty packaging, a note and delivery by post.

Panty by Post has an exclusive wholesale arrangement with Blush, an established, family-owned and operated business based in Montreal, Quebec. Other supplies include Change, a Danish company for the plus-size goddess and JM for the PBP men’s bamboo brief in a box package.

Panty by Post is a great gift for just about everyone! But be careful you don’t won’t the postman or woman to blush.

For more info visit

Will you try Panty by Post?