The Blog

September 16, 2022

Hats Off To A Fashion Icon

“I have to be seen to be believed.”– Queen Elizabeth II   As London Fashion Week kicks off, we tip our hats to all things British Royalty including an enduring fashion icon and the bright, bold color she brought into our lives. P.S. Remember when Beatrice stole the show with her iconic Philip Treacy pretzel hat? How could we forget?! Now it’s yours for keeps.   We're celebrating fashion week across the Big 4 (New York, London, Milan, and Paris) all September long so, stay tuned for more special pricing and gifts ahead.Shop London CharmsShop All*Offer ends 9/17/22. While stock lasts. Not valid with other offers.
READ MORE
Life in Sweet: Middle East Edition
October 07, 2020

Life in Sweet: Middle East Edition

Daydreaming lately? Yeah, us, too. If you’ve found yourself drifting off to ancient cities, pristine beaches, landscapes that look like paintings, and hotels that look like sci-fi movies; the Middle East just might be at the forefront of your mind. Join us as we mentally book our one-way tickets to the Cradle of Civilization and remember that life is sweet.   OMG-Worthy Musts in the Middle East   No place serves up one-of-a-kind adventures quite like Asia! Get started with our shortlist.  Travel Memories: My Favorite Moments in Morocco   From the bustling markets to the mouthwatering tagine to the striking, blue-washed city walls, the North African nation of Morocco is one big, beautiful sensory overload you couldn’t forget if you tried!  MORE HERE        EXPLORE
Travel Memories: My Favorite Moments in Morocco
October 06, 2020

Travel Memories: My Favorite Moments in Morocco

Morocco is the definition of sensory overload. The colors of the bustling marketplace are bold and vibrant, the scent of spices and fresh cooked tagine meet you at every turn, and the muezzin's melodious call to prayer echoes through the streets. There's so much to take in across this North African nation; the mental snapshots you take truly last a lifetime. While there are countless ways to experience the Kingdom of Morocco, here are a few unforgettable moments to inspire your next trip.     1. Boat Ride to Tangier There are many ways to arrive in Morocco but the most incredible by far just might be by boat. If making your way from Europe, the Tarifa-Tangier Ferry is as scenic as it gets. Running 12 times a day, the hour-long journey takes you from the Andalusia region of southern Spain called Tarifa into Tangier; the true gateway between Africa and Europe. Time your trip to a sunset for the full effect and top photo ops.      2. Haggling in the Marrakesh Marketplace  The Djemaa El Fna, or main square, in Marrakesh is home to dozens of vendors selling everything from textiles to chess boards, to carpets to electronics, to mountains of spices, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and snails if you're feeling peckish! It's an impressive scene no matter the time of day during the usual 9 AM to 11 PM hours of operation. Be sure to practice your haggling before you hit the streets. You'll need it!        3. Trekking through the Desert  It's almost impossible not to hear the soaring strings of the "Lawrence of Arabia" theme in your head as you make your way through the desert (Fun fact: desert scenes from the movie were filmed both in Morocco and Jordan!) It truly feels like a movie set with scenery that's almost too gorgeous to be real! The Erg Chebbi or Merzouga Desert is located at the edge of the Sahara Desert and known for its massive pink dunes. Morocco's other Saharan Erg, the Erg Chigaga is is a newer destination boasting a vast landscape of lower dunes. If you're not in the mood to travel hours and hours from your stay in Marrakesh, Palm Grove offers another scenic and camel-accompanied experience through thousands of palm, olive, and fruit trees that date back centuries.      4. Getting the Blues The northwestern mountain city of  Chefchaouen is a sight to behold and an IG travel influencer's dream. The old winding streets are blue-washed in a stunning hue that has inspired explanations ranging from a way to ward of mosquitos to an effort to make the city stand out from the mountains to a tradition brought by a Sephardic Jewish community who hoped to paint the city like the sky. The city itself is tricky to get to and there isn't actually much to do they but relax and explore. The Mini Blue City in the old medina of Rabat gives you a taste of the breath-taking color scheme while placing you closer to the magnificent seaside and the nation's capital.        5. Treating my Tastebuds The alliteration doesn't stop there. The top Moroccan treats include tagine and tea. Moroccan mint (or  Maghrebi) tea to be exact. Poured from ornately crafted silver kettles and sipped from gold lief-ed glass tumblers, you can find people sharing this delicious drink all day long. The green tea steeped with tons of spearmint is a symbol of hospitality and culture. Your hunger doesn't stand a chance against the aromatic mountain of tagine (also spelled tajine) served in distinct ceramic cookware by the same name. The dish's exact ingredients vary widely but is comparable to a slow-cooked stew that mixes meat or fish and vegetables as well as fruits, nuts, olives, lemons, and herbs. Yum!     6. Learning a Thing or Two About Architecture Moroccan architecture is a beautiful mix of its past. And it shows!  Madrassa Bou Inania, located in Fes (or Fez) located in Morocco's inland, is a stunning example of Marinid and historic Moroccan architecture. Designed as a school for Islamic teaching back in the 14th century, this historic site has it all. Big brass doors, a marble-paved courtyard, and a brick minaret decorated with Morocco's answer to the fleur-de-lis (called the sebka), and eye catching details everywhere!     The list could go on between exploring ancient ruins in Marrakesh, biking through the Atlas mountains, surfing in Essaouira, relaxing in a hammam. Make Morocco your own and day dream 'till you get there!    EXPLORE  
Fashion Makes Life Sweet
September 25, 2020

Fashion Makes Life Sweet

It’s September and you know that that means. Fashion! And lots of it! Fashion week is that magical time of year when the world’s top designers release their latest collections in the “Big Four” fashion capitals of New York, London, Milan, and Paris.   There are runway shows, and store openings, presentations, and parties. Sounds like torture, right? :) We’re tipping our stylish hats to the amazing cities and trend setters out there keeping fashion fun, innovative, and alive.     EXPLORE
Life is Sweet: Adventures in Asia
September 16, 2020

Life is Sweet: Adventures in Asia

This week it’s all about the continent that has a 200 foot Buddha statue carved into a mountainside, a special feast day dedicated to monkeys, cherry blossom flavored potato chips, hotels staffed by robots, and a sport called sky biking. If you can dream it, Asia’s got it! This inventory of unparalleled wonders that awaits simply reminds us that life is sweet!    Seven Totally Singular Experiences in Asia  No place serves up one-of-a-kind adventures quite like Asia! Get started with our shortlist.  Travel Memories: Best of the Philippines: Boracay   If you love the idea of an island vacation, Boracay is considered one of the best islands in Asia and well, pretty much the world. It's famous for its blue waters and endless stretches of sandy powder white beaches. Thanks to the efforts of locals and the Philippines government, Boracay’s ocean remains crystal clear and clean. With so many things to eat and do (or not do and just relax), you’ll never run out of reasons to love Boracay.  MORE HERE   Behind the Charms Have you ever picked up a charm and thought, “OMG! I love this!” Of course you have. Have you also ever looked at that same charm and wondered, “but what is it exactly?” Happens all the time! There’s a lot of backstory packed in every little charm and we’re here to break it down.     Wanna see more puppet action? Check out this performance straight from the source! WATCH HERE   Holi Hijinks in Hampi, India     Add a fabulous dimension to your trip by planning it around a festival. If your destination is India, mark your calendar for Holi, the ancient Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is nicknamed “the festival of colors” for good reason! MORE HERE     EXPLORE
Best of the Philippines: Boracay
September 09, 2020

Best of the Philippines: Boracay

If you love the idea of an island vacation, Boracay is considered one of the best islands in Asia and well, pretty much the world. It's famous for its blue waters and endless stretches of sandy powder white beaches. Thanks to the efforts of locals and the Philippines government, Boracay’s ocean remains crystal clear and clean. With so many things to eat and do (or not do and just relax), you’ll never run out of reasons to love Boracay.      RELAXING ON WHITE BEACH Beach is a 4 km stretch of soft white sand lapped by turquoise waters and fringed by palm trees. It’s perfect for those who love swimming, snorkeling, and sailing or just getting some much needed R&R thanks to its flat, calm waters. Plus, White Beach is considered the top diving site in the Philippines.       White beach is divided into three stations. If you’ve got cash to burn and want to treat yourself, staying in a fancy and luxury resort, Station 1 is your top choice. Station 2 is bustling to say the least and a convenient area for those who love shopping and partying.   The majority of the water activities are in this area, too! Station 3 is calm and not crowded so if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and affordable prices, this is the place for you. It’s easy enough to walk between these three stations or, if you want to travel in style, you can take one of these colorful Philippines tricycle taxis you’ll find right on the street.  SUNSET PARAW SAILING      Simply taking in a sunset is one of the things you don’t want to miss in Boracay. You can watch the sunset from the beaches, restaurants, or even your hotel room. But the most unforgettable experience in Boracay is watching the stunning sunset on a Paraw Sailing Boat. These are small boats with two sails that look like little kites dancing on the water and a pair of outriggers like large crab-claws, called "katig."     Upon boarding the boat, you will be seated on the outriggers with your bare feet! Sea waves licking your legs, wind blowing across your face, and the yellow-orange sunset coloring the sky. Ahhh, Is there anything more lovely than a relaxing ride on the ocean to watch the sunset go down? Our guess is, no!   TROPICAL FRUITS AND COCONUT WATER   What beach day would be complete without the perfect beach beverage? It doesn’t get more refreshing than sipping out of a coconut. A real coconut! Pair it with a sweet and juicy Mangosteen fruit. These little purple treats are often referred to as the “Queen of Fruit” and can be found throughout Southeast Asia and are known for having lots of antioxidants!     Not everyone knows how to open a mangosteen. Here’s a tip: First, remove the stem end and twist it off. Second, press in on the indentation of the top. Third, gently squeeze from the side to break apart, but don’t push too hard. Finally, you can open it really easily and enjoy the sweet white soft flesh inside!    Wanna try something else special? Get a cup of Philippines Yogurt mixed with papaya, cereal and blueberry jam, and of course, there are a lot more fruity flavors you can choose!   ISLAND HOPPING   The half-day Island hopping trip is the best way to escape the crowds in White Beach. Puka Beach, Crocodile Island, Crystal Cove, Tambisaan Beach, Balinghai Beach and Magic Island are the popular destinations. If you want to explore all the snorkelling hotspots, wander around nature, and enjoy the tranquillity on the beaches, make sure you book a tour in advance! They have the most professional and friendly tour guides, so you won’t miss any must-see spot!   EXPLORE
Holi Hijinks in Hampi, India
September 09, 2020

Holi Hijinks in Hampi, India

Add a fabulous dimension to your trip by planning it around a festival. So it was the last time I traveled to India (a birthday present from my beloved nephew Brian Healy). Our destination was Hampi, the vast ruin on the Deccan plateau that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Brian arranged to visit during Holi, the ancient Hindu festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. But that description fails to portray how much sheer fun it is....     What a blast! Before we set out, we had joked about Holi hijinks in Hampi. To celebrate, merrymakers throw colored powder on each other as they dance in the street. I wore a pair of old white drawstring pants and the white tunic bought for $1.70 at the Charminar market in Hyderabad, no good clothes ruined for me. We mistakenly purchased colored powder in little plastic bags, the clumpy kind instead of the finer powder sold in aluminum foil packets. Still, we had our ammunition.   It was a mob scene of hundreds of powder-throwing revelers, and lots of Westerners hoisting Indian children aloft on their shoulders. Our favorite character was a tall British woman with a scarf covering most of her face, who wasn’t having any of it.  Finally, she could no longer resist the Holi spirit and cracked, joining in the hilarity. A little scamp with pleading eyes implored me to give him some of my powder. I did, and he threw it in my face! LOL: Pranks are part and parcel of Holi.   The crowd was building to unmanageable levels, until the police finally thinned it out by blowing whistles from a balcony, where they also removed a number of fervent photographers. Once the balcony was cleared, the police snapped their own pictures.   Celebrants stopped us several times to pose for selfies. The funniest was a reveler wiping Brian’s face and planting purple powder on his front teeth, which he could not remove for love or money. After the police broke up the crowd, it reconfigured itself, and moved on to the temple where the music and dancing re-commenced in even louder and wilder form. We did a few more re-location stints  – then we took a tuk-tuk back to our lavish digs. In the hotel lobby, Brian posed with his arms akimbo baring his full frontal Holi powder-covered bod, while I posed with the tuk-tuk driver.   What a memory to retrace in more somber moments.   EXPLORE
×