Monday, 30 November 2009

MAX – An intimate Italian to celebrate your engagement

Back in 2001 before I moved to Europe, a friend took me to a cozy little Italian restaurant in the East Village that was absolutely charming with scrumptious homemade dishes. I never knew the name so I wasn’t able to return to the restaurant until a serendipitous moment last night.

Wandering around downtown New York yesterday evening, my husband, Michal, and I had the pleasure of happening upon Max, a warm, candlelit, rustic Italian restaurant in Tribeca, New York City. The environment was so inviting and the menu had loads of classic Italian pasta and meat dishes that we adore - we just had to walk in.

With a great, affordable menu and a wonderful wine list with servers who really know their wines, this restaurant seemed to be a transplant straight from the cobblestoned streets of the Trastevere district in Rome.

After taking a bite of my Lasagna Fatta in Casa (homemade lasagna) with delicious béchamel sauce, I knew that I had been there before. It wasn’t déjà vu, it was the simple fact that Max was the Italian resto that I had adored so many years before. Not only do they have a restaurant in Tribeca, but there is one in the East Village as well.

Max is a wonderful, warm Italian restaurant that would be great for an engagement party if you are looking to have a sit down dinner to celebrate your upcoming nuptials with your nearest and dearest. The restaurants are rather small so they would be perfect for an engagement party of about 20 or more people.

So if you and your groom love great homemade Italian food, exposed brick walls, candlelight and amazing wines, definitely take a look at Max for your upcoming engagement party. Max is the perfect spot for long suppers filled with romance and good conversation.

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

A must for your bridal kit: SUPERGEL

This is one super duper gel for all of your bridal cleaning needs whether you get a grass stain on your shoe or a drop of red wine on your dress.*

It won't fade colors but definitely try it out on something before using it on your big day!

It can be used diluted at a ratio of 1 to 10 for delicate needs. Just rub a small amount into the stain and rinse with cold water.

To buy Supergel, go to:

* Please note - Girls, don't drink red wine on your wedding day. Better to be safe than sorry!!!

Giving back after your wedding: PLANT A TREE

Are you looking for a fun activity to do with your wedding guests the day after your wedding?

Maybe you are thinking low key, fun BBQ with music followed by a group activity. If you tend to be green or just want to do something good for the environment and continue your group bonding, why not give all of your guests a tree sapling that you can all plant together at the nearest nature conservancy?

It’s a great way to give back to nature and celebrate with your nearest and dearest in a fun, hands-on way.

To order saplings for you and your wedding guests, go to the Green World Project website. They have a ton of saplings to choose from. Some are specific to weddings but there are a lot of other great options as well.

Check out their website:

To find out where to plant your saplings, contact your local nature conservancy or protected forest land.

Happy planting!


Monday, 23 November 2009

HATTINI – a great gift or accessory for the uber-chic bride and bridal party

My friend Maddy just passed on one of her fashion secrets to me. Her friend Marga is the creator of Hattini, a company devoted to designing headpieces (similar to fascinators) for “well-furnished heads.” Marga custom makes each individual hat so there is love and attention in each unique piece.

I have just had a look at the designs and they are pretty spectacular and would make great gifts for your fashionable bridesmaids. Plus, they are pretty wedding-budget friendly.

Whether you like the blue butterfly, a flower made of netting, or an exotic white orchid, there are styles to suite all different tastes. If you are going for a vintage inspired wedding, why not pair a satin cocktail dress for your bridesmaids with one of these outstanding headpieces?

Or if you are going for a short dress yourself or a beach wedding, there are definitely a few choices that are bridal worthy and could be a cute alternative to a traditional veil…but then I would recommend giving the headpieces as a gift to your bridesmaids so that your style stands out.

For more information on Hattini and to see all of the designs go to:

You can buy Hattini headpieces online at Etsy:

You can also go to the following shops to check out the headpieces in person:


The Hat Shop
120 Thomspon Street #A
New York, NY 10012-3722
(212) 219-1445

Kit 228
228 Elizabeth Street (between Houston St. & Prince St.)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-8110


Les Lucioles
Unit 112, Building No 1
No 10 Shajing Road (near Jiulong Road and Jiulong Hotel)
Shanghai 200080

The perfect setting for a beautiful beach wedding: EL DORADO ROYALE, RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO

I just returned from a trip to Mexico (my lovely hubby surprised me for my 30th birthday) and just had to tell all of you about the hotel I stayed in because it would be the perfect place for a beautiful, fun and relaxing beach wedding.

Are you looking for a wedding with sun, sea and sand with not so much travel time? If you are based in or around New York then do take a look at the Riviera Maya. It is just a 4-hour direct flight from JFK to Cancun. There are also direct flights from Miami and other cities, so do check to see if there is a direct flight from your city. After you arrive, you are only a 40-minute shuttle ride away from the luxurious El Dorado Royale, an all-inclusive, adults only hotel.

Envision yourself in your flowing white gown walking down an aisle of sand and flower petals to your groom surrounded by your close friends and family. Your nuptials could take place either outside or inside the pretty church, which is just across from the reception site that overlooks the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

With a flower in your hair you can relax, treasure your naturally beautiful surroundings and dance the evening away with your loved ones all around.

The El Dorado has some incredible amenities. From the moment you walk into the resort, you are greeted with a smile, a cool and refreshing towel followed by a glass of chilled champagne. There are seven restaurants, thirteen bars (including a beach bar and numerous swim up pool bars), and a spa where they give delicious, not to be missed, deep tissue massages in huts on the beach (ask for your massage to be on the 2nd floor so you get the amazing view of the sea and don't forget to bring your camera!).

There are activities during the evening in the Gravitas bar followed by a DJ and dancing. I tend to be skeptical of all-inclusives but the activities weren’t too cheesy, just super fun, and the food was good (especially at Jo Jo’s, Kampai and D’Italia). Plus the DJ is open to requests so you can party all night to your favorite tunes!

If you want to keep active in the days leading up to your nuptials, head to the gym or the tennis courts. Or if you want a bit of adventure following your wedding day, rent the jet skis or try paragliding.

The crowds at the El Dorado are wedding-friendly, mostly couples and groups of friends/family in their late 20's, 30's and 40's.

Finally, last but certainly not least, the El Dorado has a very unique feature – the entire hotel is made of up canals so it is almost as if there is one big lazy river going throughout the resort premises. Pick up an inner tube at one of the gift shops and spend your days leading up to and following your wedding day in a tube swimming in the canals with a cocktail in your hand. I promise you that your stress will be relieved and fun will be had all around!

For more information on the El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya, Mexico, go to:

Monday, 9 November 2009

Calling all wedding guests...RENT THE RUNWAY

This post is for all fashion-conscious women and girls who have upcoming weddings to attend but nothing to wear (not really nothing but nothing in our minds that we aren't bored with or is not exciting or fabulous enough for this specific event).

I would like to introduce you to Rent the Runway. It is a new service quite similar to Netflix that allows you to rent clothing straight from the runway and then mail it back after you wear it. It is an ingenious idea making runway fashion accessible to a much larger audience especially during this uniquely trying time where our purse strings are a bit tighter than usual.

The service is in high demand so if you are looking for the perfect runway gown to strut your stuff at your next party or wedding, then get your fingers typing in the following address and get yourself on the wait list!

Check out today's article on Rent the Runway in the New York Times.

Happy shopping!


Monday, 2 November 2009

ASK THE EXPERT: Fresh, flushed cheeks

Hi ladies,

With the cold wind blowing and winter coming, why not add some color to your cheeks for your big day?

For flushed, rosy cheeks try Tarte cheek stain in "Flush," a sheer berry color.

For a sheer, deep plum shade, use "Blushing Bride."

This product from Tarte is a water-based gel cheek stain, which will give you that natural flushed look. Just like you stepped in from the brisk cold. It is oil free, so it won't clog pores and does not contain parabens, sulfates or synthetic fragrances.

Here is a great process in which to apply the stain:

First, prep your skin with Precleanse by Dermalogica, following up with your favorite cleanser and moisturizer. Makeup wears better on clean, prepped skin.

Apply a sheer layer of foundation, and for a natural glowing look use either Armani luminous silk or Face and Body by Makeup Forever. This will even out your skin tone and help the blush stay in tact, since it has a product to adhere to.

Then apply a sheer layer of translucent power, like HD Powder by Makeup Forever, all over your face to set the foundation.

Finally, add Tarte cheek color with your finger and/or a foundation brush, applying until you the desired look.

Until next time,