Monday, August 22, 2016

Home is NYC.

Back. Home.

BUT…a lot has happened since I last posted. Remember how happy I was in my lovely condo? I moved cities (job change for my husband) and we went back, well, home. As I have mentioned for those who have read for years, home could be a myriad of places. But to me, I am now a New Yorker. I have lived in NYC three separate occasions. And because I have lived in 8 different states/countries, it is safe to say, this is home.

My blog is even after my favourite block!

Which leads to the best part of this post…I moved West of Lex. If anyone knows about NYC, you may know this is a dream location (I am, after all, steps from Cartier, Graff and well, across the street from Oscar). I cannot afford all of it, but I now have an apartment that is MY own home, for a long time…

Pics included, more to follow when furniture comes!


This is my dual kitchenette-living with original exposed brick (aka a real New Yorker's heaven)

Spoiled. Not going to lie. Two spa shower heads.

It may look a bit, well, bland, but it fits a King (though I have a Queen) and I have a full California Closet remodel. Wait until I outfit! Home for my Lanvin boxes (and Goodwill finds!).

Slightly dirty windows but I get to stair at Kate Spade's terrace (yes, their flagship and a classic water tower, a NYC must)

New Yorker's eat out anyway, but should I need to—this is here! 


I have moved a lot, a lot I know. I know I am always moving. But I am here for years. Promise.



Saturday, June 4, 2016

I finally found the right pop-up colour....

I finally found the right pop-up colour for my small abode in Philly. And it fits the blog name, as well as my  need for colour (I usually decorate all my rooms/apartments/condos with neutrals ONLY). This time, since I am ill and need a pick-me-up, I went with a teal/robbins egg (in fact I used Tiffany Blue Books, Tiffany Books and such throughout). West Elm currently carries a colour peacock that tied in nicely. It is STILL a work in progress, but here is what I have been doing while not blogging (with help of family):





Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Gallery Wall

Coming from a family with a history in art and my love of museums and galleries (obviously Whitney,  The Metand work by my friend Derek Kaplan Art) though not a sophisticated collector, I am excited that we have a few beautiful walls that will have picture lighting installed. While I have collected a select number of fairly nice works, I want to do a gallery wall, with personal images as well, with images to bring memories alive to our life. I have looked at a number of companies, but after a few bloggers have gone with Framebridge and they seem to be friendly and the outcomes (at least those like Naomi of our beloved LoveTaza).

The colours of the original works of art I own are bright, and some abstract, so finding the right frames though will be tough...any recommendations? Here is the blank canvas at the moment...

Blank canvas, with a few optional walls (pre lighting installation)
I am thrilled that during this time, I have put a bit of energy into finally creating a historical visual. I hope I am successful as some others have been.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review: 700 Nimes Road

Okay, it is not really a book you would read, but it is one you should browse. Or buy (I bought). I was ever a huge Elizabeth Taylor fan, but Catherine Opie gained access to Taylor and her famous home (and jewels) in order to make this gorgeous collection of photographs. Perfect to place on a coffee table, it allows you to indulge in her lifestyle. Other coffee table books I own (like Graff, or Tiffany ones) are merely like a catalogue. This is history, a story...included are some pics I snapped this morning of the book.




Most homes/apartments have books (or should). Mine are not curated. They range from Plum or Lucy Sykes to Victor Hugo. My coffee table books also include a vintage Gray's Anatomy to GRAFF to this very book above...something for everyone (though clearly the Gray's Anatomy is for guests of my husband, not mine).

Even Anna Wintour seems to have a stylish collection in her chic Long Island home. And Zac Posen's use of vibrant colours seems to also dictate his choice of books...


Monday, May 16, 2016

A Smell Can Take You Places...Even the Past...

know perfume, and scent is highly personal. Like jewelry, and style. I have typically stayed with the ame two high-end perfumes for the last decade Tiffany Pure for summer, then Cartier Delices for winter (until Cartier just last year discontinued it).

So this post may only be relevant for me...but for ANYONE who lived in the 1990s-2000s as a teen and shopped Bath and Body Works (like myself), you too may get excited. About a week ago, they announced they were bringing back a few of the classics for a short period...and the first up, happens to be my favourite. Sun Ripened Raspberry. I had my first kiss wearing this smell...

You may recall the vintage bottle, and if you can recall the scent, or the time period you wore it, the better...

Of course they are re-inventing the packaging, adding a few ingredients, but if it can make me feel like the 2000s again...I will be thrilled. Like here, courtesy photo of me in my Columbia University Grad School Dorm in 2005 at the tender age of 18 (yep, I was a nerd).




Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Ebb and Flow of Tiffany & Co

Francesca Amfirtheatrof c/o Tiffany
Tiffany & Co hired their lovely Design Director Francesca Amfirtheatrof in 2013, and if you watched the documentary I wrote about, or even look here, you can see, she epitomizes perfection, and reminds us of Audrey. And yet something seems wrong about the direction of Tiffany (this began long before she arrived)...

The Tiffany T Collection she did oversee was a financial and cultural success, but to what degree? Tiffany & Co stocks have always gone a bit up, and down, but over the last decade Tiffany & Co has adjusted to the economy, and in doing so, I feel made some slight errors. First, they lowered standards for their diamonds over the last 5-6 years I believe. Harry Winston (with the exception of fancy colours) sells D-E-F. And VS. ONLY. Tiffany & Co used to sell from a colorless D  to a GIA colour "I" (a questionable colour in my opinion already). But now, now you can find "J" in some solitaire pieces in their stores. And SI1 clarity. It doesn't make them bad diamonds, but it speaks to their clear attempt to reach a broader market. Didn't they already do that by selling lovely, classic silver pieces?

And now they are taking pieces for their  "Out of Retirement" collection, redoing the "Return to Tiffany" collection by stamping their logo all over each piece....like this "Multi-heart Tag Necklace"
Return to Tiffany 2016 Design c/o Tiffany.com

Do you really need to have Tiffany & Co heart tags dangling like this, in silver for $675? They say it is a "classic reinvented" but is it more of an attempt to sell themselves? The dichotomy between the Blue Book pieces, and their true mass pieces are growing. The gap wasn't always this wide.

Grace Coddington, of Vogue fame, has been hired as well as an outside consultant for the first time, to assist in the Fall 2016 campaign (read here).
Grace Coddington of Vogue c/o Tiffany & Co


I can only hope they can sit down and remember, less is sometimes more.

I of course will be watching every move they make, because I adore the store, and my friends that work there, but I do wish the designs were more like the T (where stock went up for a solid period), or Peretti, and not lower quality diamonds, or silver splashed with Tiffany written all over it (such as now, with a steady decline)....


Friday, May 13, 2016

Upcycle Affordable Art You Can Wear...by Actress Alice Evans!

Affordable, Custom Luxury by my dear friend, beautiful and famous actress Alice Evans (married to the Welsh "Hunk" actor Ioan Gruffudd)

As I mention a few times throughout my blog, I am not a blogger who has paid advertising (although I am happy to report I am receiving a few thousand hits a day already, almost like the days in 2009 before I stopped!). This post is purely because I adore Alice, a true friend of mine, and my belief in her unique style, fun approach to fashion. AND SHE UPCYCLES. This is exactly the purpose of my blog, merging higher end fashion, with affordable fashion.

While very sick recently, her and her husband, the very well known (and equally handsome) Ioan Gruffudd, have been there for me. I am sure you know them from their fantastic work in television and film. They are gorgeous too. While I have a lot of "celebrity" friends, these two even offered to take my mum to dinner while I was in the hospital. And visit me. How classy is that?

Alice Evans and her husband Ioan Gruffudd


As I begin to re-blog, I want to introduce her latest project, something I am immensely proud of her for.

Alice is an actress, obviously. But in her spare time she also is an artist (in every sense of the word). As such, her creativity is endless, so she has begun to customize clutches (and often smaller handbags) with little jewels, vintage broaches, and even can make a bag just for you. AND SEE MY CHANEL-LIKE ring? HERS.

My Collection (two black clutches and a set of rings)

Again, she has ALL types of options, my clutches (one is my mums) are black, and I asked for a very chic but bag with "bling". I love it since I wear a lot of black, and as you know, dress fairly simple.

These rings come in black or white, and she I am sure will have more




Please check out her Instagram and Etsy. Again, this is NOT an advertisement. This is a friend, sharing her happiness and excitement of her friend's success and venture ONLY.


LUST versus REALITY

I search Tiffany & Co's website daily, and usually when I was able, would browse my local store. Same goes for J.Crew. And just today I realized I noticed why this lovely Tiffany & Co's stunning out-of-retirement $32,000 bracelet looked so familiar...it looks like Lulu Frost for J.Crew's old collection.

Tiffany & Co's Out of Retirement Collection Bracelet for $32,000

And then, here is the Lulu Frost for J.Crew bracelet (still on eBay, and famously popular):





Of course, they are not 18kt gold, nor Tiffany & Co...and they have no diamonds. But, I feel they add a great statement. Sure. I cannot wait to try on the Tiffany one. But these Lulu Frost for J.Crew one's? mighty nice alternatives...

And here is mine...


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Grace Kelly...Words of Wisdom...

Because I have decided to keep this blog...I figured I would address this...

I am not sure what I would do without this blog. I am not one to check stats often, though I used to average a fair few thousand hits a week in the late 2000s. I am not one with a particular clear message, except I love Tiffany & Co and J.Crew (as well as other classic staples, shopping, a bit of a foodie, and friends). And this post is certainty off topic from that, in a general sense. It isn't about Tiffany per se, or even J.Crew, or my life in California, England (I had a separate blog), or New York specifically. It is about the importance of blogging, for yourself.

I never imagined I would be nearing 31 years old, divorced (and subsequently remarried). I never imagined I wouldn't have my grandparents anymore. My family would be living all over the U.S.. Or worse, that I would become fairly ill. Even some of my friends would come and go (not for any particular reason, just growing apart). But how many of us Millennials take out a journal (even a fancy Smythson one) and write about our day? I know I don't. And I am not one to scrapbook, or save photos well either. Life is busy. But something special happened...

During the late 2000s, I managed to start a blog a few hours a week...and I now have a priceless gift.

I have met friends (true ones like Teddi, Allison, and of course Sydney) through the blogging community as well solid people I trusted, like Heidi, Gigi, Mara (of the now famous MlovesM). And I have pictures, and written thoughts down, forever saved of a time long gone...even when the memories are painful, they are not full of regret.

After careful consideration on various blogging platforms, I have selected to keep my original. Because to start fresh would be denying my past. Hiding my thoughts, feelings, joys, would be lying to you, my readers (all of whom I consider my friends)

If I never blogged, I certainly wouldn't have some of the pictures you will see should you see the older content...and though they are firmly in the past, sometimes, they are good to remember...so without further ado, I have decided to leave the content there. Forever. Because, this, is just me, and my life, as I try my best to cross moon river in style.


Summer Book Review: The Knockoff (now in paperback)

The ONLY beach read you should be seen with this summer: The Knockoff is a juicier version of The Devil Wears Prada meets Silicon Valley. Trust us--you won't be able to put it down." LIZ MATTHEWS, TOWN & COUNTRY


I am lucky, I somewhat know Lucy Sykes (beautiful twin of Plum, you know, the one who wrote Bergdrof Blondes, then the Debutante Divorcee? and if not, she is a contributing editor at Vogue)....

Plum Sykes. Perfection in this photo.
First Edition of Bergdorf Blondes (2004)
See the lovely Plum? In Vogue? Channeling Carrie Bradshaw, and Audrey Hepburn...pre-Kate Middleton (and Plum is British, by the way). 

Well...here are MY COPIES of The Knockoff....scattered throughout. 
Taking my 2nd copy home from B&N.

T.


Lucy wrote a witty, lovely book about technology, fashion, and life in today's changing times. BUT it isn't a "serious" book meaning, it won't take you a month to read. It is a fun book, you are invested in the characters. And most of us, being part of this world to an extent, relate. Lucy, she did a fantastic job, and now that the book is in paperback, it is MUCH more realistic to take to the beach as T&C magazine suggested.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Decorating my new space...with Tiffany Blue Hue in Mind

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.”- Coco Chanel I am in the process of having my space (with help of my family, friends and husband) redo my space (see the post a few days earlier). We have a strict budget, but that doesn't prevent me from having a palette I wish to be true to. I want the inside of my closet a pale shade of this:
I have also spent the day browsing my idols homes and lifestyles to see how they lived. And the common theme? simplicity, with pops of colour. And even the gorgeous Audrey included pops of teal (or Robbins Egg Tiffany Blue) in her home, something I am keen to do.
And modern day celebrities continue this trend...
This was Julia Ormand's Dinning Room (you may remember, she played in the remake of Sabrina!) And while I wish I could own the original brownstone (only 4 blocks from my 65th st apartment in NYC), I cannot. Even their designers included shades of robbin's egg blue/teal and pink hues, nicely and subtle. You can see more here on the blog that discussed it.

Glasses were bound to come...

I am on a massive budget, so when I did learn I needed eyeglasses for reading on a computer, I was heartbroken. First, I am not a fan of glasses on me. Second, they are costly. I purchased Tom Ford frames from a previous season on sale, after browsing some of my favourite celebrities who have been able to wear them with class.
on me
Somehow it looks better on them...I do advise Warby Parker they are fantastic, stylish alternatives. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

From Out of the Blue (a re-cap)

One of my favourite times of the year includes the launch of the Tiffany Blue Book. And if you get one in the post...treasure it. I, for one, collect mine. They used to be to customers who shopped often, but I believe anyone may be able to request them now.
Before the launch of the collection, a lovely gala is held in Manhattan, and celebrities, fashion icons, and socialites dress beautifully, and are given Tiffany jewelry to wear that evening...
This year, the Design Director focused on water, organically. And some of these pieces, there are no words. Whilst I would love to own them all, I am including gala pics, jewelry pics and then more affordable options! For this post, none of these particular pictures are my own...but I will include my Tiffany Blue Book Collection and Library later this week...

Monday, May 9, 2016

It is a fine balance, that of class and tack...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I am wishing to incorporate a bit of that Tiffany hue into my d├ęcor (subtly of course) as we embark on my goal of a chic, healthy, subdued life (while I recover and attempt to get my health in order the next few years, if God is good and able). Today I accompanied my mum to her Southern garden center (packed on a weekday) where we purchased a gardenia plant (for the screened in patio, to bring me smells of Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Billie Holiday and of course, my Baba). I also, and for the wonderful discount of $2, purchased a Bamboo in a Tiffany-type blue glazed pot. I am part-Asian, so I am a believer. Lastly, we played a bit in the paint section, and I was astonished at the increase in the Tiffany-trend hues for accent colours. You? Here are some lovely images of the day!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Crazy About Tiffany's

So perhaps one of my favourite films that has come out in the last few years was the documentary Crazy About Tiffany's. I am aware that it is not high on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, I believe it has a 1 star, and 22%. You can see their take on the film here. However, I am not one to always agree, and this is obviously NOT a film for film critics. This is a film for historians and jewelry lovers (I am in fact, both). My UCLA undergraduate history degree, and Columbia masters in history found a bit of fun in their historical perspective, and the jewelry lover in me was in love. It includes pop culture icons, historians, famous designers, speaking on their experiences, knowledge, and admiration of the store, which centers on the Flagship at 57th and 5th (which happens to be my blog address). It has a website still currently active with a longer preview, and more information: www.crazyabouttiffanys.com
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Friday, May 6, 2016

And Tiffany has changed too!

Since I had stopped blogging and the blogger world exploded into more of a money-making, advertising industry, and less than a hobby for expression (not that I am knocking them)...a lot of my favourite stores have changed....

For example, as mentioned below, Jenna Lyon's has changed the design of J.Crew for better or worse (I, for one, do not wear sequins often, am unable to pull off her runway style, and still prefer staples). There are of course things I still love, but they are fewer and far between. The things I miss most are forever left to eBay (collections from 2007, 2008...like that buttery Jamie bag with caviar leather), or rare collectors of Italian Cashmere that didn't have such a gauge that the knit grew holes quickly. But Tiffany has fared, to me, a bit better.

Friends of mine who work at the 5th Avenue Flagship epitomize the classic nature of the store who weathered the economic downturn of 2007, to which I feel we are still recovering. And have you seen Francesca Amfitheatrof?
*photos are not my own, one is via Tiffany & Co, the other is from the film Crazy about Tiffany, which I will review later, and is available for purchase on most cable as well as Amazon and VUDU Here is mine:

Things I Miss...

Since the prime of Moonriver and Me (at my beloved address), a lot has changed, as I alluded to, in personal life. But even in the style world. And it doesn't take flipping through a 2009 Vogue or InStyle to see...

Because my blog was always centered on my deep love of all-things J.Crew and Tiffany & Co, I will focus on those difference...

This post will be about some J.Crew differences in the last decade that have saddened me.

J.Crew became a bit more high-fashion. Jenna Lyons (beauty and brains) has done wonders, and my friend Mickey? keeping it going as always...but it has become almost "too" high fashion for me. I will include some example for this years collections, but first, things I miss most:


Like that Borge leather J.Crew used to use????? or the less likely to pill Italian Cashmere...I search daily on eBay to find replacements...and J.Crew Aficionada did a beautiful tribute as well... Here is one of the reviews from that vintage classic J.Crew bag that was, for all intensive purposes, divine...