The Allures of Amsterdam

I’ve just returned from a remarkable few days in Amsterdam where I visited with my Mother and Sister. Much of my Mother’s family history hails from Holland, thus it made our trip all the more special. Below are just some of the highlights, and I must credit my sister, Caroline, for masterfully orchestrating all of our experiences – every meal, adventure and moment was carefully curated from her own prior travel and research.

Every time I am on the airplane en route home from any travels, I make a list of my highlights while they are still fresh and fragrant in my mind… Below are some of the highlights that stand out from the few days in the divine Dutch city:

A building lushly covered in ivy and geraniums…so classic.

A city where there are more bicycles than people….it was particularly fascinating to see parents with their small cherubs in tow, confidently riding throughout the city running their errands – even the smallest of children did not wear helmets! It’s fair to say the bicyclists rule the road.

Hollyhocks & green lacquered doors were in no shortage. Every exterior door was handsomely painted with seductive, glossy paint. Needless to say, I am now coveting Hollyhocks in a whole new way!

Climbing roses and a potted boxwood flirt with the senses of any passerby. 

Tall & lean doors painted in the infamous dark green at the Hortus Botanticus.

Lush, aromatic jasmine decorates this exterior, this time, the doors painted in a Chinese lacquered red. 

The greenhouse at Restaurant De Kas, a chic garden conservatory where all ingredients are grown on-site. A “must visit” in Amsterdam.

A plump squash growing in the greenhouse at De Kas. Restaurant patrons can tour the greenhouse before or after dining, where they can view the ingredients served in the respective courses.

Garden tools at De Kas are primed and ready to harvest vegetables, nasturtiums and herbs for the chef’s dishes.

Edible flowers at the Noodermarkt…presented next to a sea of luscious berries (not pictured) we bought & promptly ate. A great deal of the dishes we enjoyed were beautifully presented with varying kinds of edible flowers…true inspiration for summer cooking!

An exquisite sampling of a collection of antique French and Italian gilded gold mirrors at Anouk Beerents. Upon their monthly acquisition by the shop’s proprietor and team, they are restored and preserved, accordingly.

@cheesebycarol (my sister, Caroline), outside of Kaaskamer Van Amsterdam, where she procured fine Dutch cheeses and accoutrements for her evening cheese platter, truly a work of art!

The Pulitzer Hotel’s divine salon boat, built in 1909, was the perfect vessel for touring the canals. An open bar made the exploration more fanciful!

Until next time! Putting my passport back in its safe home and getting back to work! #CandCConsulting.


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That Perfect Summer Isle



image4An adventure this weekend reconfirmed my notion of summer. Cuttyhunk, in my opinion, is the epitome of an idyllic summertime landscape. Cuttyhunk is the outermost island of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, just 1.5 miles long, who plays host to 52 full-time residents and a bounty of boaters and island hoppers in the warmer months. There are hardly any cars on the island, but plenty of golf carts driven by those carefree inhabitants. Rugged rugosa shrubs scatter the perimeter of the picturesque harbor and beaches, and historic homes dot the lush hills. Any spot on the island offers a special vantage point, whether it may be sand, architecture or a glimpse of the nearby Vineyard Sound. The surrounding waters have been known for shipwrecks and a plethora of striped bass for eager fishermen. Above are a few captures from the excursion.

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Girl Crush 3.0: Mimi Thorisson

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I discovered Mimi Thorisson on Condé Nast Traveler’s Instagram page. It didn’t take much to lure me in; her style and essence is elegantly chaotic, defined by a landscape so pure and bountiful. Mimi’s reality is in fact particles of my own fantasy I dream of living; she has made the bucolic an active ingredient in her own life.

Mimi and her Icelandic photographer husband, Oddur, left Paris to live in the countryside of Médoc, France several years prior. At the time, they were seeking more space for their growing family (now comprised of seven children and 15 dogs). The region of Médoc, wrapped in a blanket of some of the world’s most expensive and prestigious wine villages, is a six-hour drive from Paris, a landscape that will taunt even the most urban dwelling soul. After settling in to their stone farmhouse, Manger began to take greater shape. Manger is Mimi’s labor of love, a blog that has flourished greatly since its inception that chronicles her family’s life, largely centered around the seasonal foods that come from their surroundings. Each photograph, taken by Mimi’s husband, is handsomely furnished as if each one were an invitation to Mimi’s table in France. Manger has quickly snowballed into the success of Mimi’s French TV Show, La Table de Mimi, and her new cookbook, A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse (it debuted last fall).

A writer from Condé Nast Traveler wrote a piece on the french beauty after visiting her home, describing her farmhouse as a ‘Rembrandt still life.’ As evidenced by the photographs above, Mimi’s life is full and vibrant. It is certainly one to envy but perhaps one that proves following your heart can lead to all the satisfaction one could dream of, Rembrandt-esque, indeed.

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Le Postcard

lepostcardStephanie Steinman (above) has created Le Postcard, a site that profiles the travel habits of wordly influencers. See below for a sneak-peak.

lepostcard1Jessica de Ruiter dishes on her farm life in Canada. She feasts on river trout with her family and relies on the property’s well water to keep her skin glowing…more here.

lepostcard2Jeanann Williams heads to Greece for a girls trip with her teal luggage et al…more here.

lepostcard3How fitting…one of my favorite jewelry designers in one of my favorite locales: Aurélie Bidermann plays in Positano…more here.

lepostcard5Sabine Ghanem heads to Harbour Island with her lover and friends. See what she did aside from the reggae and snorkeling….see here.

meredithmelling-550x550Meredith Melling opens up about how she pines for Pringles in hotel mini-bars and how she dreams of a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee… (that makes two of us)!

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