Winter Antiquing

Finding beautiful, ready to use antiques can be a challenge, with so many places filled with worn-down clutter that resembles grandma’s basement. However, antique hunters often forget about an entire other sector of antiquing: the online marketplace. Most people don’t know how to utilize the internet to source items. Especially if you’re in a remote area or a
suburb without many thrift/antique store options around you, finding antiques online that will ship directly to your door can be a super helpful resource.

One of my favorite sources is Invaluable.com, an awesome go-to for antique items & vintage treasures. They’re an online platform that hosts auctions in collaboration with independent auction houses around the world. They have a fantastic section of antique jewelry, so if that’s your specialty then you should definitely check them out!

Craigslist is always a great option for local finds. You can filter by category, so searching for “antiques” or “collectibles” in particular is easy. Also, there’s a specific section for estate and garage sales which are usually chock full of awesome finds!

Freecycle is an often over-looked but amazing source for rare finds. It’s a non-profit company dedicated to people giving away their items for re-use. Oftentimes, a family might move into a new home and not have enough space for everything. They could use Freecycle to get rid of their vintage armoire, for example, and you could pick it up from them at no charge!

Sourcing vintage pieces locally & visiting flea markets is always a great option too, depending on your area. Check out Invaluable.com ‘s article here about some of the best winter antique shows going on this season all around the country! This article inspired me to put together a little list of fabulous winter antique spots that I’ve come across this season in New York City…
I recently got the chance to visit the Winter Antiques Show here in NYC, held in January at the Park Avenue Armory. With its 63rd year running, this show is known as one of the most prestigious antique showcases in America. I had the chance to attend The Young Collector’s Night, an exciting, exclusive, high-energy evening focused towards the young & hip designers, collectors, and artists emerging on the scene.  The evening featured a private walk-through viewing of the 70 venders in the show, along with a chance to mingle with some of New York City’s chic-est interior designers and artisans.This antique show was very swanky, and tickets are pricey, but well worth it for the die-hard antique hunters & collectors.

Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market: One of my favorite summertime weekend activities has now moved indoors for those ice cold New York winter weekends! The perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon, bundled up with an apple cider, this market features over 75 vintage & antique dealers selling a curated mix of fashion, nick knacks, jewelry, furniture, home decor, and art (we found some amazing vintage maps here that are now framed in a gallery wall in our living room!). Located right off the Bedford Avenue L train in Williamsburg, this relaxed Brooklyn market brings together a great mix of funky and chic, hip and vintage. The “Smorgasborg” sector of this market also brings 25 drool worthy new age food vendors to the scene. A must see in New York for the vintage antique hunters and foodies alike!!

Artists & Fleas: another one of my favorite NYC markets, featuring a selection of local vendors and artisans in a pop-up market setting, selling a range of completely one-of-a kind items. (From their website…)“a weekend market to bring together the creative and the curious, Artists & Fleas has become a vital destination for the community of artists, designers, vintage collectors and makers eager to set up shop and connect with their audience
locally and beyond. Home to more than 100 individual sellers every weekend, Artists & Fleas has cultivated an international reputation amongst buyers, trend-spotters and
creative entrepreneurs as a place to showcase and discover what’s new and exciting in fashion, vintage, art, design and more.” The Williamsburg & Chelsea Market locations
are sure to please and are always my go-to for picking up funky, one of a kind gifts.

Roland Auctioneers: I was first exposed to this hidden treasure when I began working at a home decor shop in Brooklyn that specializes in buying antiques and refurbishing them for the young, hip Williamsburg crowd. This auction house holds a Saturday auction once a month, with in-house previews available the Thursday and Friday beforehand. The best part…you can participate in the bidding right from the comfort of your laptop on Saturday morning! We would simply go every Friday to view the auction pieces in person, decide what we liked, and bid for them from home on Saturday morning. Roland has so many hidden treasures, from to-die-for furniture pieces to eclectic artwork and bohemian treasures, all at very affordable prices. Some of my favorite personal steals from Roland include a lush olive green upholstered velvet French Provincial chair, and a set of beautiful Botanical plant prints.

Chelsea Flea Market: I have not had the chance to visit this market yet but I am dying to check it out! The Chelsea Flea Market evokes the original Annex Antiques Fair & Flea Market, which dates back to 40 years ago. There is a vibrant mix of 135 veteran vendors alongside new dealers selling a plethora of “antiques, collectibles, ephemera, decorative arts, vintage clothing, jewelry, and other types of antiques (items more than 100 years old), vintage items (including Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern items), and other desirable items from the past.” Located right in the center of the city near the Flatiron Building & Madison Square Park, this market is at the top of my list for spring antiquing!

This season, I am obsessing over natural elements paired alongside a plethora of mixed patterns and textiles, all adorned with an overload of botanicals and plants. This
natural bohemian oasis vibe includes geometric motifs, pops of bright colours balanced with the use of metallics, and mixing up textures & fabrics throughout a space.
See the below vintage pieces I’ve scouted out that embody my current seasonal lush boho vibe!:

Slide View: 1: Moroccan Tile Wall Art

Now that fall is in full swing, we're all looking for new ideas to make our surroundings feel cozier. Make way for colorful patterned rugs! Well-made area rugs are an easy and interchangeable way:

Slide View: 1: Ridged Terracotta Pot

Sleepy Beauties: The Headboards in These 9 Stylish Rooms are Everything ~ETS #bohemian: Image of Moroccan Ceiling Light Fixture

Image of Bohemian Rattan Peacock Accent Chair

Slide View: 1: Overdyed Tilda Rug

Image of Botanical Print - Monkeyflower, 1833

Design Junkie . London (@design.junkie) • Instagram photos and videos:

Image of Bohemian Woven Wicker ScreenImage of "Bioluminescent I" Acrylic Painting

Image of Vintage Mirror

Slide View: 1: Ombre Brushstrokes Rug

Pair of Leather Tufted Antique Armchairs Upholstered in Black Dining Chairs

Image of Anglo-Indian Rosewood Elaborately Carved Tables - Pair

Image of Boho Chic Al Mansour Pendant Light

Julia Contacessi - Saint Helena                                                                                                                                                                                 Más:
Love the size of room and window, plants are awesome along with that killer headboard!:

Advertisements

sueños tropicales / tropical dreams

This past weekend I hosted a tropical moving away party for one of my best friends I.  After countless hours of browsing on Pinterest, I came up with a plethora of tropical party ideas, ranging from decor to finger foods to bar setups. I wanted the overall ambiance to embody a tropical glam feel. Below I have highlighted some of the DIYs & party treats that were a part of our upscale luau…any of these sassy, creative & chic ideas can be utilized for outdoor gatherings & parties all season long. Check out my photos below to gain some inspo for your next shindig:

IMG_1592a sassy tropical invitation was a must…check out paperlesspost.com for free online customized party cards IMG_1175IMG_1155I spray painted pineapples metallic gold & white to use as decor (alongside candles & tropical oversized greenery) to amp up the glam feelProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_1552 (2)and of course no tropical party is complete without a beautiful bird of paradise flower arrangement…IMG_1571 (1).JPGIMG_1570.JPG
I utilized bright pops of color in throw pillows & my porch decor to tie together with the theme…Processed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetIMG_1576 (1).JPGIMG_1550 (1).JPGIMG_1578 (2).JPG
BAR & DRINKS //

I served a tropical rendition of my favorite island sip, the Painkiller (coconut milk & passion fruit juice). I found the cutest rock candy sticks to use as sassy swizzle sticks alongside my tropical concoction! Fun coral cups & aqua napkins tied my bar cart all together (note: it was breezy outside so I used a brown coconut as a weight to hold my napkins down..eeek the cuteness is killing me!)  I also served a tub filled with coconut waters on ice for my guests to stay hydrated the tropical way. 

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetIMG_1573.JPGIMG_1559.JPGlast but not least, the icing on the cake for my alcoholic “beverage”selection–the cutest damn jello shots EVER. I’m completely obsessed with these (thank you Pinterest). I simply halved a lime, & carved out the inner pulp so the perfect cup-shaped lime shell remained. I then mixed watermelon jell-O with passion fruit rum & poured the mixture into the hollowed out lime shells. I let the Jell-O set for 4 hours–& out came the cutest little baby watermelon shots!! I added a sprinkle of sesame seeds (you can’t taste them at all) on top to give the effect of watermelon seeds. IMG_1424I also surprised my guests with tropical goody bags-filled with a small can of pineapple juice, a baby shot of Malibu coconut rum & a baby shot of regular rum. The perfect party favor filled with island flavors. & don’t forget the Hawaiian paper umbrellas!! 

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetIMG_1566.JPG

SNACKS & NIBBLES //

I served a pineapple shaped cheese ball-such a hit. I used my normal cheese ball recipe and shaped it into a pineapple. I layered whole pecans around the top of the cheese ball to mimic a pineapple pattern. Lastly, I stuck the leaf part of a fresh pineapple onto the top of the cheese ball for the complete look. So cute & so easy!Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetI also had individual cups of tropical trail mix-macadamia nuts, peanuts, white chocolate chips, cashews & dried banana chips. I served fresh Thai basil rolls with peanut dipping sauce (one of my guilty pleasures. Also served cold so that makes it a perfect party app) Lastly, I served assorted fruit kebabs & chocolate covered banana bites! Processed with VSCO with f2 presetProcessed with VSCO with c1 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 preset

oh the places you’ll go

My new bucket list goal is what I’m calling 30 under 30-to travel to 30 countries by the time I turn 30 years old. I’ve already made it more than halfway, but here are a few of my top must-see travel destinations for the upcoming years.

Untitled presentation (31)                                                                               

Untitled presentation (30).pngAny place where you can order an entire meal for 1 U.S. dollar is high on my radar. Additionally, I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the freshness and quality of food in Vietnam. Pho-ck yeah. Add on beautiful turquoise bays, lush greenery, and rich culture, and you’ve got a country that easily makes it’s way onto my list.

wanderlust1 (1)

                                                                                 

Untitled presentation (33)A few years ago I visited France for the first time.  One thing I missed, however, was the experience of the French countryside, most evident in the southeastern region of Provence–characterized by vast fields of purple lavender, the smell of fresh thyme, and picturesque villas and ruins. Provence is also famed for its world class antiquing, wine tasting, and food. My mom is the ultimate shabby chic vintage lover, so this is a trip high up on my radar for a mother-daughter getaway. My dream trip to Provence would include renting a car and cruising through the stunning French countryside. And lots of wine.

wanderlust6.png

                                                                                  

Untitled presentation (34).pngI honestly don’t know that much about Morocco, but I do know that I’m obsessed with interior design and Moroccan elements speak my language. I’m absolutely head over heels with Moroccan architecture, patterns, colors, materials, and design elements. Ornate patterned tiles in shades of blue and yellow. glass plated silver lanterns, unusual shaped windows and doors. My reasons for visiting Morocco lie in the design field, but I would also love to experience the foods, vibrant villages, and markets that make up a place unlike anywhere I’ve ever traveled.

WANDERLUST4 (1).png

                                                                                

Untitled presentation (35).pngRocky coves, sandy crescents, the infamous blue and white clad hillside villages, and grilled octopus that is practically still swimming–these are some of the reasons why Greece has been on my travel list for years.  I absolutely love the simplistic architecture and design elements that capture Greece, along with knockout food and a relaxed vibe every day of the week. The Small Cyclades are a particularly remote group of 4 islands, away from the larger and more touristy destinations of Greece.         wanderlust9.png

                                                                                  

Untitled presentation (36)The next continent that I plan to take on is South America. I am particularly drawn to Columbia for it’s less-touristy, bright and bold atmosphere.  Cartagena is the “queen of the Carribbean coast”       (-Lonely Planet), a gorgeous fishing town with old-world colonial charm.  From people watching in chic cafes in the old town, to soaking up the history lining the cobble-paved streets, or relaxing on the pristine, high-class beaches of Bocagrande to the South, Cartagena is a vibrant mix of old and new, of fast and slow.  I can’t wait to experience such a rich culture first hand.

wanderlust7.png

                                                                                     

Untitled presentation (37)Quite possibly one of the most magical places on earth, Cinque Terre is a group of 5 fishing villages nestled side by side on one of the most stunning coastal backdrops known to man. Marked by steeply terraced cliffs dotted with mystical shades of color, Cinque Terre is an absolutely stunning getaway. Loads of history, arts, and a rich Italian culture put this magnificent little corner of the world at the top of my wanderlust list.

Untitled presentation (38).png

                                                                          

Untitled presentation (39)My perception of South America as a whole can be captured in this one city: bustling, energetic, seductive, and sexy. Old neighborhoods lined with coffee shops, romantic cafes lit by candles, people doing the Tango all through the night, and stunning architecture are what draw me in. The city itself is said to have a European feel to it, with a fiery Latin American twist.  Additionally, Buenos Aires boasts a heavy artistic scene, creating the ultimate creative playground for adventure seekers like myself.

Untitled presentation (47).png

                                                                      

Untitled presentation (41)An island nestled in Indonesia, Bali is best known for its pristine beaches, a plethora of lush greenery and sprawling rice paddies, juicy fresh fruits & juices, volcanic mountains, and coral reefs. From my experience island-hopping around Thailand, I’m already well aware that the islands sprawling across SE Asia have a magical & surreal element to them. I can only imagine the rich, bustling culture, vibrant markets, and emerald-turquoise waters that make up this tropical paradise.

WANDERLUST5.png                                                                           

Untitled presentation (42).pngPortugal has made it onto my list for it’s diversity: some of the most stunning beaches in Europe, on the Southern coast of Algrave; hiking amidst granite mountain peaks and jagged cliffs; exploring through colorful small villages and rich historical towns; all night drinking and dancing festivals; and a vibrant food scene featuring fresh seafood, crusty breads, olives, cheeses, smoked meats & red wines. Enough said.

Untitled presentation (44).png

                                                                                         

Untitled presentation (45)I had a layover once in the tiny, 4 room airport in Reykjavik, Iceland and ever since then I’ve been intrigued by this country. Maybe a somewhat strange place (the national food is a hot dog..) but also a beautiful country with insane, one of a kind landscapes and natural phenomenons that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

wanderlust2 (1).png 

 

Untitled presentation (4).png

Following my trip to Thailand, I came back not only bloated on noodles and rice, but with refreshed design visions and inspirations, triggered by my everyday surroundings while in SE Asia. I found inspirations in the vibrant life and culture of Thailand, from the silver-etched cups they drink out of, to the eye popping colors present in food markets, orchids, and lush jungle surroundings. The patterns, textures, and natural tropical elements of the country deeply spoke to me, and have molded my personal style in fresh new ways.  I now love incorporating the stylistic elements of such a vibrant country into my interior design aesthetics. Here, I’ve put together my go to list for an instant tropical-bohemian feel.Untitled presentation (27).pngUntitled presentation (26).pngUntitled presentation (28).pngUntitled presentation (25).png

8th wonder of the world

In August 2015, I discovered a completely magical place. A place I have daydreamed about finding for years. A place I have envisioned myself stopping by after a long day of work, as my way of relaxing. No, I’m not talking about a spa, Disney World, or an-all-you-can-drink alcohol buffet. I am talking about the ultimate food lovers dream…a cornucopia of smells, flavors, cultures.  This 8th wonder of the world is better known as BOROUGH MARKET in London. I have been to my share of food havens (coming from a person who used to go wander around the aisles of Whole Foods for fun). I love farmers markets, organic shops and farms. Any place where I can go and aimlessly meander around looking at food, while picking up on new ingredients and flavors and concocting recipes in my head as I go along.

Borough Market is located in the heart of London, underneath London Bridge. It is the only independently run market in all of London. The market dates back to 1756, still in the same location.  I was most astounded at the variety of things going on in this place. The market boasts over a 100 individual stalls, with local artisan meats, cheeses, produce, vegetables, drinks and flowers along with a huge variety of international fare. To top it off there is a food truck lot outside with cuisines galore (goat milk ice cream sundaes, anyone?) There are literally about 17 different vendors here that only sell varieties of cheese. But, let me cut to the good stuff. Here is a sample of what I saw in my 4 hour venture around Borough market:

cheeses raised on local British, French, Italian, Swiss, and Irish farms. Meats imported from Spain, Gelatos handcrafted from the boys in the North of Italy. Locally crafted liquors, Wines from vineyards in France, Whiskeys from Ireland, a beer Shoppe from Germany, an espresso bar from Italy, and teas imported from India and around the UK. A giant selection of the freshest meat and still-swimming seafoods, and an oyster bar. Spice and condiment shops to be paired with freshly baked breads and pastries made by plump French ladies in flour-dusted chef hats. A shop selling fresh pastas (you can watch the guys in the back rolling the pasta sheets out), and a stall specializing in craft sangria flavors. A full on jungle-themed shop, with tropical flowers everywhere. A stall that sells only different varieties of mushrooms from around the world. A craft paella stand. Freshly pressed juices and an organic smoothie bar. An olive oil boutique. A stall specializing in truffles, and truffle-infused oils. There is even a French stall that sells antiques.

Borough Market quickly made its way to the top rankings of my ongoing favorite-places-in-the-world-list.  Just walking around for a couple of hours will entirely expand your knowledge of food and worldly cuisines. The market embodies a hustling, vibrant atmosphere with the buzzing of different languages alongside aromas sent down from the Heavens. This place is a truly gratifying learning experience with lots of free samples. An experience where all 5 senses are awoken and stimulated in new ways. Thank you London, you’ve outdone yourself again.

spring steals

Untitled presentation (2)

Spring is just around the cornerget ahead of the game with my beauty, fashion, and lifestyle picks for a stylish & sassy Spring feel

  1. fringe beach bags (above: yellow fringe beach bag by Regine Chevallier)– I’m beyond obsessed with anything fringe, especially when  in the form of an over-sized bag with bright colors. Perfect way to liven up your spring look.

    2. coconut water beauty products (above: Allafia Coconut Face Toner)This toner is made with coconut water to re-hydrate your skin, along with Papaya to tone and firm. (available online, but I picked mine up at Whole Foods). Also look out for coconut water Hair Spritz by OGX, to hydrate your locks (available at most drug stores). IMG_78343. playful platforms (above: Steve Madden Shannnon) so much easier to walk in than regular wedges! I’m also loving platforms and sandals with an espadrille heel. Wear with jeans and a t-shirt for an effortlessly chic look this Spring.

    4. Gypsy Gold Chokers (above: Gypsy Gold choker necklaces)-Love love love these beautiful chokers from my best friend’s bohemian-inspired jewelry line, Gypsy Gold. I’ve been on a choker streak for a while, and nothing I’ve seen compares to these unique beauties. African pendants, stone, and tusk details alongside colorful crystals and beads make these chokers a must have for an instant update to any outfit. They can easily be paired with a casual look or worn more up-scale alongside a night-out or date outfit.

    5. sexy beach towels (above: Mara Hoffman for Pendleton Towel) sass it up on the beach with a bright geometric pattern towel–also not a bad idea to lay one of these beauties out for a stylish Spring picnic. (below right-similar fun patterns also in a yoga mat).

    6. floppy hats (above by Kimchi Blue)floppy beach-wear hats have been a staple in my bag for a while, but this Spring I’m on the lookout for hats in different colors and patterns than the usual. 

    7. Good Vibe Reads You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. I spotted this New York Times Best Seller amidst a minor anxiety attack in an airport one time. This blunt how to guide is a tale of life changing events and inspiring insights. If you are ever in a funk or feeling down, this is an awesome read.  IMG_7828.PNG8. passport holders (above from Ban D0 at Asos)I love how much classier a passport becomes when it gets tucked inside a chic little wanderlust case. For any of your upcoming travels this season, be sure to cop one of these little gems and fly in style.

    9.  pretty plates (above, Ikat Thistle plate from Anthro)Make your outside spring meals extra beautiful with gorgeous eatery. Spring brunch looks so much better when perfectly plated on a bed of metallic ikat or pretty paisley prints. 

coco cabana

one thing was on my mind all week. Cuban food. Black beans, jerk-mojo spiced pork, Ropa Vieja, rice, fried plantains, croquettas.  I decided to create a probably-less-than-authentic-but-still-bomb version of some Cuban grub. So I got out my new *ombre-turquoise* Le Creuset pot and started a hearty black bean soup.

I have a soft spot for a warm, silky soup in the winter. I also have a soft spot for….toppings. Toppings can make or break a dish in my opinion.  I decided to make my version of a robust Cuban-spiced black bean soup, loaded with some of my favorite toppings: Monterrey Jack cheese, salsa, cilantro, avocado (because I put avocado on everything), and a mango-red onion salsa to amp up the Cuban-ness of this dish. It kind of steered off road, into the direction of a Mexican black bean soup.  If it was up to me, I would have put some jerk shredded pork or succulent mojo grilled shrimp on top of my soup mound to highlight some extra Cuban flavors. And some crispy plantains. Instead, I worked with what was available, and I loaded it right up with my toppings. I paired my soup alongside brown rice and some chicken fajita leftovers that I had.  I don’t ever use recipes (“what kind of food blog is this?”). Personally, I operate best by mixing, matching and playing around with my own ingredients and flavors. One day I will write my pairings down and create a recipe. For now, I will link some creative actual recipes for a mean black bean Cuban soup below.

My soup base consisted of black beans, fresh tomatoes, canned Rotel tomatoes, onions, garlic, shallot, chicken broth, 1/2 of a bell pepper, and lots of cumin, all simmered together and then blended into a thick soup. I chopped up a perfectly juicy mango, a handful of red onion, a few stalks of chopped cilantro and tossed it with lime juice to create a bright salsa for my meal.  In the end, my dish ate more like a burrito-bowl on steroids but it sure did hit the spot. (recipe links below)

Vegetarian Cuban black bean soup

Chicken & kale black bean soup w/ friend plantains

black bean soup with chipotle & chorizo

Pumpkin & coconut milk black bean soup

Sriracha, coconut black bean soup with sweet potatoes

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

mango salsa prep

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIMG_7278Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

AOE (Avocados On Everything)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset