Flashback to my trip to Kenya – what an amazing journey :
When we flew back from Croatia we wanted to be close to the CDG airport for Paris and when I was looking for hotels I found CITIZEN M which happens to also have a property in NYC I found out. The check in was guided by help but was essentially done by the guest on a computer. It was a short stay but I highly recommend it – well priced and fun – definitely the coolest place I ever stayed so close to an airport – usually you dread staying in “airport hotels” but this was a true gem to find. You can find them at :
I love Elephants so I loved these guys
We had a little welcome SAMSUNG which you could use to control different gadgets in the room The bed appeared small but was huge The cool part was also the bar area that serves 24 hours – and it is set up like a modern cafeteria
The lounge area was super spacious and so well decorated – super fun from elephants to Buddha to Pineapples French books in large jars
I thought this was a really fun site for the women’s and men’s room and some good ideas for fun in “bathroom decor”
And of course they had the Kennedy’s book out
STYLE 360 backstage – prepping for the show to begin
HIGHLINE FASHION SHOW TEAM – the first ever fashion show on the HIGH LINE open to the public and Caravan Stylist Studio helped produce it
Chatting with NY 1 about the fashion week initiative Checking the music for the HIGH LINE show Over 500+ guests at the High Line Show Finale of High Line show Finale of SMURFETTE show – of course there was a bride The Monopoly show with Monopoly man Boy Meets Girl banker Money Money Money designed by Caravan Stylist Studio – coat is FAUX FUR of course ! I love making clothes !
A past show I put togehter and designed this dress – Dania Ramirez is so lovely and was so wonderful to be part of this show
The first show that Caravan put together – designer was Ivana Helsinki who I had the honor of visiting her exhibition during Paris fashion week Recently I had the opportunity to work with Serena Williams, HSN and her team to help produce the fashion show – it was an incredible experience A look from the Serena Williams show Loved this – it is so wonderful when the models are excited about a show – Manon after the finale Serena Williams after the finale I produced a fashion show for the NFL over a year ago to celebrate the Super Bowl coming to NYC
I also produced Daisy Fuentes fashion show about two years ago One of the first shows I produced and designed for – dress by CARAVAN by Claudine DeSola – feather dress
I worked with one of my favorite artist for this dress – worked with Danny Roberts on this look- I worked off a sketch and had it design – it was very intricate with layers of tule and chiffon they came out beautiful Famous model Kyle Bisutti wearing one of the tulip dresses Another show I produced I designed a dress for one of my favorites – Maria Menouos – she loved the dress and asked to keep it – I was so excited – it was hard to create because we never had the chance to do a fitting but it worked out perfectly
Right now I am going through some research on Buddhism – it is a religion that always fascinated me and seems to be so peaceful and kind and accepting. I really love going to the TIBETAN center in Staten Island – it is such a peaceful place – http://www.tibetanmuseum.org/
Also my parents just found this incredible place that their cousin told them about that is a shrine for SAINTS where you can go and pray and light candles and set intentions. I truly believe in SAINTS – I think there are people that have the ability to give back and heal and may truly have gifted powers. I believe in God and Jesus and Mary and everything I learned in a broad way from Catholic school. I loved going to church and being inspired by a priest when they gave an amazing sermon. I like modern day sermons where they feel motivational and just really in an effort to help thy neighbors. The only issue I have with the church is the fact that they are against gay marriage – and this is a sticking point. I don’t know how we can love thy neighbor but not accept thy neighbor. That is just really terrible that our religion doesn’t allow us to accept people for who they are in a way.
Anyway I enjoyed visiting this shrine with my parents and actually felt closer to God in a long time. We lit a candle for St. Anthony and said a prayer with St. Michael and prayed to St. Gerard for me. We also said special prayers to Mary, God and all the saints. I then made my parents sit and meditate. To practice stillness, quiet thought and reflection.
I thank my parents for taking me to this magical place on Staten Island. You can find this place on the side of the book store :
Alba House Book Store
2187 Victory Boulevard
I can’t wait till next year – I saw a lot of kids out for this and it was such a good idea – to expose children to these incredible artists & all of this light and symmetry and shapes. Such an amazing time – and then we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.
I went to visit my parents in good old Staten Island last weekend when Scott was in Massachusetts and we stumbled across this amazing set decorated house for Halloween – the attention to detail is amazing. Every time you look you see something new. I noticed when I googled STATEN ISLAND HALLOWEEN DECORATED HOUSE 2014 – this popped up – and well deserved for this house – http://www.silive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2014/10/halloween_2014_check_out_state.html
Their hashtag #SPOOKYSTATEN
I gave up bacon and all other meat products after visiting the Farm Sanctuary and seeing how we treat animals. I am not saying you have to do the same ( that would be nice if everyone were more conscious about what they ate ) but I am saying we need to treat animals humanely -
I just got an email about how Martha Stewart is standing up for the pigs in NJ – see below. Thanks Martha Stewart for using your celebrity to help animals with no voices !
Martha Stewart, Bill Maher Urge N.J. Gov. Christie to Ban Cruel Crates
NEW YORK CITY – Martha Stewart is the latest celebrity to stand up for New Jersey’s pigs. In a letter (available upon request) delivered yesterday to the office of Governor Chris Christie, Stewart urges the governor to sign a bipartisan state animal welfare bill that will ban keeping mother pigs in crates so small they can’t even turn around.
In her letter, Stewart writes, “All animals need to turn around; they were designed that way. But pigs, especially, are interesting individuals with unique personalities and complex behavior and cognition. It is no more acceptable to cram pigs into tiny crates than it would be to do the same thing to dogs.”
The bill just overwhelmingly passed the Senate and Assembly, and will follow similar bills in nine states, including California, Arizona, Florida, and others. It has the support of the Humane Society of the United States, ASCPA, Farm Sanctuary, and 93 percent of New Jersey voters—including 94 percent of Democrats and 92 percent of Republicans.
Stewart and Maher have both spoken out publically to end farm animal cruelty in the past, and were recruited to help by Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection and rescue organization.
To learn more about Farm Sanctuary, visit farmsanctuary.org.
We purchased hearts that are welcoming hearts from DUBROVNIK – we thought they were sweet A boat trip to LOKRUM which was a great decision – we had another beautiful sunny day in September in Dubrovnik and decided we weren’t going to just walk around we were going to find somewhere to go swimming so we hopped on a ferry that took maybe 15 minutes and took us to a paradise island – LOKRUM – it is across the way from Dubrovnik and was a great decision. If you have a choice and you are in DUBROVNIK definitely visit LOKRUM for the day. There are wild peacocks running around parts of the island because they were brought over from a previous owner of the Island they are beautiful
Here was one of our swimming pools that we visited – so incredible See the ladder you just go right in – and swim in incredible waters After our first swimming “pool” visit we decided to walk around the island – it takes a full day at least to visit all the sites on the island and their is a hike involved. On the island there is a beautiful little cafe in the middle with lots of these peacocks just walking around and really good pizza. Look at the little baby peacocks so sweet ! a sleeping baby peacock so adorable After lunch we went to our second place for swimming which was INCREDIBLE as well – a little bit more people and a little trickier to get into the water you had to really climb a bunch of rocks but it was a super cool experience.
There was this sunbather just standing there and reading while standing up and every once an a while he would check the time and continue to read and sunbathe Scott swimming in the water And then sightings of wild rabbits – I found two !
A rabbit in a rabbit hole ! We hiked and hiked – it was definitely a hike – it wouldn’t be advised for those who don’t like steps – it was tricky because I wore sandals and it was a rocky hike so I was doing crazy accupressure on my feet in a way so it wasn’t the most comfortable – we also found out that scenes from GAME OF THRONES was filmed on LOKRUM island
In Game of Thrones, Lokrum is turned into Quarth, the ‘Queen of Cities’
I stopped to take photos from the bottom of Scott before climbing up the staircases to the top but before I went up I spotted another rabbit who was HUGE
Scott chilling on the top of the fortress
The view from the top of LOKRUM fortress
Us on top of the fortress We didn’t know what happened here but on the way back we saw a ton of feathers – I love feathers – had a bunch at my wedding for our heart we stood in and the men’s pins and our table display so thought this photographed really beautifully
This hike through the woods was so magical and enchanting and peaceful – after a day of swimming and then being in nature it was a perfect day
One last friendly peacock to meet before we left the island of LOKRUM Back in the OLD CITY – ST. JOSEPH CHURCH A really cool barbershop in OLD CITY – I love the decor of this spot
And there was this huge candy shop called PIRATE BOOTY that had tons of different candy it was so fun
Daytime on a street in Dubrovnik OLD CITY Nighttime – beautifully lit We saw our little buddy that we found when we went to Lady PiPi – we tried to go there again but there was a huge line
More cat friends
Scott and I enjoyed an awesome meal at http://spaghetteria-toni.com/ SPAGHETTERIA TONI – my friend Heather said to go that it looks touristy but to go and to try it and I am so glad I did – I had pasta with 4 mushrooms and it was incredible !
Then we had to go to BAR BUZA – it was a bit tricky to find this place at night and I think it is more for the daytime scene – maybe during the Summer it is a lot more packed but in September there were only a few people there and lots of streets and turns to get there but once up there it was really peaceful to look down and know you are sitting above the sea – I had a delicious wine in a little bottle and we just enjoyed some fun oldies that they were playing
Saturday in DUBROVNIK which was our last day in paradise – we went on a GAME OF THRONES tour that my sister – in – law gave us a wedding gift – she is a genius – it was so fun – it was through VIATOR and our tour guide was extremely knowledgable – there were about 3 others on our tour – so it wasn’t too crowded and what we loved is that she didn’t just talk about GOT but she also spoke a lot about the history of Dubrovnik and the OLD CITY – it was so interesting – it was about a 3 hour tour walking around one side of the OLD CITY and then around and up to the walls – where a future scene would be shot – BUT we missed Game of Thrones filming by a week so that was a bummer
Lovrijenac fortress is the RED KEEP, and the bay was from the scene of the Battle of Blackwater when King Stannis Baratheon attempted to invade King’s Landing.
Read more: http://www.croatiatraveller.com/southern_dalmatia/Dubrovnik/game-of-thrones.html#ixzz3GY0g9ZWq
Found this amazing video to show you some of the scenes filmed in DUBROVNIK
This area was used for one of the scenes where they are having the battle of BLACK WATER BAY A scene from the top that is looking down on where they shot scenes for the BATTLE OF BLACKWATER BAY Our tour guide had a book to show us the actual scenes because they look different and there are always things added in so it was interesting to see how they added a tower into something or added decorations etc
King Joffrey’s name day was filmed in this area.
This is where that scene with Cersei and Littlefinger took place – Littlefinger says “Knowledge is Power” and Cersei makes her guards get Littlefinger and she says Power is Power. Look familiar was used for one of the Royal wedding scenes for King Joffrey’s wedding the base of Mineta Tower, highest point on the formidable walls, doubled for the exterior of the House of Undying.
Found this site with scenes from upcoming parts of GAME OF THRONES – we saw where this was going to be filmed – they used a ton of extras – http://watchersonthewall.com/new-images-dubrovnik-filming-pivotal-scene/ and this http://watchersonthewall.com/closer-look-game-thrones-dubrovnik-filming-emilia-clarke-sighting/
One place I wish I visited which is about 20 minutes from the Old City is Trsteno Aboretum it looks beautiful and they filmed several scenes there
While in Croatia we also went to see a concert in a church that was incredible – it is so important to support the arts and it was such a beautiful moment
Since it was raining we decided to hide out in Moby Dick restaurant – I finally tried the cuttlefish and it was delicious – this is the owner here – it was a lovely place and the owner and everyone was very nice
That night we ate at another excellent restaurant called ROZARIO that was really great and I loved the atmosphere it was in between streets in the Old City and off the path a bit – so not touristy and very quiet and special We went to visit the monastery before leaving the Old City which was beautiful – you didn’t need that long to visit about 15 minutes but it was beautiful to see
We saw this exhibition PHOTODOX.com which was about this friar Ilija Bansic that was living in the Congo for 37 years and tries to help the children there – his story is heartbreaking about the trauma he has dealt with while living there but also so endearing to know someone would give their life to try to help others like he is doing to try to help bring a better life to some
The sun came out again before we left and we heard about this beach club EAST WEST- it was very quiet when we went there because I bet during the summer this place is the place to be – but now in mid September it was empty so we didn’t want to pay for a lounge chair since we knew we would only be there for a little bit so we went to the side where it is public beach area – it is rocky so this is when you can use water shoes but it was beautiful swimming – I highly recommend to hit up this beach area Before we headed out of the Old City to catch our plane we found this amazing band that I loved their vibe and their sound called GADJO MANOUCHE – they call themselves gypsy swing and they were established in Croatia in 2008 – this was my souvenir I brought home – there wasn’t that much that was non touristy to purchase – Scott and I couldn’t find an authentic piece of artwork that didn’t cost over $200 so instead I brought home some music from the locals and I love their album so I am so glad this is my souvenir from Croatia I love the singer’s look and vibe
We had our last meal in LAPAD – these were our lovely chefs – in this area of Dubrovnik – there is great places to swim, chill & relax & EAT – really great restaurants ! It was called EDEN restaurant and had two levels and was a good find The very next day we had our last swim before heading over to the OLD CITY We rented an AIRBNB in the OLD CITY – it was the least expensive route to go and was a great choice. We were in the heart of the OLD CITY. Be warned that if you are carrying a lot of luggage you might want to be careful about this decision because there are a lot of steps in the OLD CITY and depending on where you are it could be tricky. We found a place a street away from STRADUN which is the main street once you get in the gates of the OLD CITY so we had to go down that street and up a street with some stairs. Once inside we had about two flights of stairs – no elevator – We were fine because suprisingly I traveled light this time. I only had one rolling back that was small for me and not that heavy and a CARAVAN canvas bag so it wasn’t too bad but if I was packing how I used too I would have been in big trouble.
So we get into the OLD CITY put our bags down and find DOLCE VITA – we read about it before going since we had to look up the best ice cream shop in DUBROVNIK and Dolce Vita was tasty – they are a bit snarky in their – the service is quick since they are busy but the ice cream is pretty delicious – I liked that they had some interesting flavors like KINDER candy flavor but their straight up chocolate was super delicious. They also had RAFAELO like those yummy coconut balls that are pretty popular there in Croatia – they had them in the supermarkets and in our mini fridge at our HOTEL MORE when we were in LAPAD. You will find lots of musicians throughout the city Name time to walk the CITY WALLS. The city walls surround the city and are huge – it took a good hour and half to walk the whole walkway – there are some stairs but it isn’t too bad – it can be very slippery at times so good to wear shoes with a bit of grip on them. Pigeons in love too
More cats that are so sweet a view from this bar that is famous there called CAFE BUZA where people jump off a cliff into the water The same three photos ? They look similiar but they were taken by three different people walking on the city wall I wanted to see the difference between each photo It was pretty hot so we stopped at this little cafe – inside it was so sweet and they had tables with sewing machines – they are known for their juices and the staff is very nice Ok this couple we met at OTTO told us we had to find LADY PI – PI and I am so glad they told us about this place because it is a hidden gem but amazing. You have to climb up a bunch of stairs from STRADUN but once upstairs it is all covered in ivy and super neat especially to watch the sunset. The other fun thing is there are some stray cats that come in and become your little visiting pet for the night. You might want to get there before 5:30/ 6pm because we got in just in time and then there was a long line outside – the food is delicious. They cook some of the food in a big brick oven in front of you. Service is great, the view is amazing and one of the coolest things are these bird bats called SWIFTS that fly around in huge groupings and make this haunting sound it was really an incredible experience.
MMMM MUSSELS The swifts – bird type bats that make this amazingly haunting soundThen we saw this glass place when we were walking the city walls and Scott mapped it out and we found ABOVE 5 – the food looked delicious but we had dessert which was fantastic – there are only a few tables and you need to climb 5 flights of stairs to get up there but so worth it when you are up on the top this spot is MAGICAL – I totally recommend Above 5 ROOFTOP RESTAURANT it is a must see even if it is just for dessert. We went after dinner so they had a spot for us so we were very lucky. Dessert was yummy !