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Settle into Summer: Patio Spaces

  • posted June 14th, 2014
  • Home

Relaxing and hanging out on your patio this summer just got better. Spruce up your outdoor set-up with these ideas we spotted on BHG:


Credit: BHG

–       Water: Create a serene and peaceful atmosphere by incorporating water into your patio set-up. Consider adding a water fountain or a make a patio-size water garden – we recommend using a small recirculating pump so you can enjoy the relaxing sound of trickling water.

–       Plants: Plants can help you create shade and also give your patio summer-long color and interest. Try adding shade-creating plants around your patio such as hostas and caladiums. Additionally, incorporating flowers that have fragrance can help create a relaxing feel to your patio. Tall, arching stalks of flowering tobacco, hyssop and moonflowers will fill your backyard with a calming, pleasant aroma.

–       Patio Carpet: Pull your patio look together with a weather resistant outdoor rug. They come in a variety of colors and styles so you can find one that fits your personal tastes. For green individuals, there are plenty of eco-friendly rug options made from recycled materials.


Credit: BHG

–       Lighting: In the warm summer nights ahead, you’ll likely be spending time on your patio after the sun goes down. Give it personality at night with lighting – whether your illuminating a dark space or adding ambiance to your favorite seating area, outdoor lighting gives your patio a touch of nighttime pizzazz. Environmentalists, consider using solar powered lighting or low-voltage, energy-efficient bulbs.

–       Charming Accents: Accessories are a perfect way to add some personality to your backyard space. Try adding charming accents such as a wagon filled with potted plants, garden statues, planter boxes or bird feeders. Give your yard a musical touch with wind chimes that provide a pleasant sound while adding a bit of style to your yard. Also consider investing in a fire pit, perfect for gathering around with friends and family to toast marshmallows or keep warm.

–       Privacy: Create privacy and shade with a pergola. You can soften its look by adding climbing plants such as clematis, chocolate vine, wisteria and ivy. Once they grow, the vines will provide a cozy and shady summer haven.

Graduation Gift Guide

Graduation season has arrived and many young adults will soon be starting their journey into the real world. Check out the guide below to find the perfect graduation gift:

Credit: eaglecreek

Ease their transition into the professional world with these gadget gift ideas:

  • Pebble Steel SmartWatch: The Pebble Steel smartwatch is waterproof, works with iPhones and Android and runs tons of apps to help new graduates stay on top of their new responsibilities. Plus the watch has a stainless steel, retro design that will give their style a mature edge.
  • Jawbone Up24: For grads that are planning to get in shape after graduation, a Jawbone Up24 is a gift they will most definitely appreciate. Not only is the fitness tracking bracelet comfortable to wear, but the Up24 also communicates wirelessly with smartphones and uses an engaging mobile app to report activity and sleep performance.
  • Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget: Adult life means its time to ditch that terrible college diet and start cooking real meals. The Hamilton beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker is the perfect gadget to help out beginner chefs. The slow cooker offers all of the basics, plus a spoon rest on the top handle and a thermometer probe that allows you to check the temperature of your food.


Credit: SheKnows

Many grads have plans to travel the world before settling down into a job. Make sure they are prepared for whatever adventures lay ahead with these travel gear gift ideas:

  • Systems Go Duffel Pack: Your graduate’s luggage has likely been through many rough Thanksgiving breaks and could probably use an upgrade. The Systems Go Duffel Pack 60L is a great replacement that is ideal for backpacking across Europe – or wherever your traveler is planning to go. The backpack conveniently doubles as a front-panel load travel pack and duffel.
  • Travel Journal: Encourage graduates to document the adventure of their lives with a travel journal. Keeping a journal will not only help them remember the good times but will help them keep track of their day-to-day adventures, emotions, successes and challenges.
  • FujiFilm FinePix Camera: Help them keep their travel memories alive with the Fujifilm FInePix S1 Camera. The camera provides the look and feel of a dSLR without the expense or weight, making it ideal for traveling. In addition, the camera has a dust and weather resistant body that will help it withstand whatever rough conditions travelers encounter.

Limited Edition Aerin Beach Cream

  • posted June 22nd, 2013
  • Beauty

If you haven’t checked out and been inspired by Aerin Lauder’s newest baby, Aerin that go. Now. I’ll wait. Are we good. Now forget about the gorgeous housewares and let’s talk about the Limited Edition Aerin Beach Cream for hair and body.

Aerin Beach Cream is a multipurpose lotion that is full of soft, subtle luxury. It’s like a day at the beach with its shimmering, rich and conditioning formula that protects your hair and body from dry conditions like the sun, beach and wind. Amazing! A bronzed glow awaits you with deep conditioning properties that go deep to give you radiant skin and gorgeous hair. Using a simple but elegant floral fragrance Aerin Beach Cream is relaxing and luxurious.

Aerin Limited Edition Beach Cream is the perfect compliment to the Summer Collection of pretty, soft pink compacts and glosses that make up the summer set. You can purchase them all at Neiman Marcus and

-Victoria Mason

The Summer Travel Needs: Beauty Edition

  • posted June 16th, 2013
  • Beauty
Summer Travel Essentials

It’s time to hit the road!  Summer travel has begun and that means packing.  No one likes to be bogged down with loads of products when traveling.  Packing up only the bare minimum is key and saves room in the suitcase for an extra bathing suit or pair of sandals.  Here’s a list of the basic necessities that also travel well.

1. Face wash is the first thing to pack.  You want to be able to wash off all that sand, sunscreen, and sweat after a long hard day of play at the beach or pool.  If you can’t find your preferred brand in a travel-size bottle then pick up an empty travel bottle to fill with the cleanser.  That way you won’t risk breaking out or other skin complications during a trip.

2. Sunscreen is important every day but even more during summertime.  It’s important to pack enough for you and everyone else on your trip and get an SPF 30 or more.  Anything under that and you aren’t protected enough.

3. Mascara is one of the best ways to look put together and polished on the fly. Packing a tube of waterproof mascara is the next step.  Now there are no worries while you spend hours frolicking in the surf or lounging on a floatie in the pool. Your mascara stays put and you look stunning all at the same time.

4. Tinted Moisturizer (preferably with SPF) saves you precious packing space by being two products in one. It works as a day time moisturizer and helps to even out your skin tone creating a smooth finish for your face.

5. Lip and cheek stain all-in-one type products are another way to cut down on a bulky toiletry bag.  Swipe a stick on your lips and your cheeks and you are good to go.  No need to pack the powder blush and a lipstick.

-Victoria Mason

PretendTAN is Real & Available

  • posted June 14th, 2013
  • Beauty


Who doesn’t like that healthy glow radiating from their skin, especially during the skin-baring summer months?  I know I do, but the possible skin cancer and aging that comes with years spent in the sun achieving that tan isn’t worth it.  PretendTAN, long a Hollywood secret, is now available in the US and Canada.  Perfect timing too!

PretendTAN, favored by celebs like Anne Heche and Mia Kirshner, is totally safe and offers a paraben free, UV free, oil free, odor free, orange free and streak free tan every time.  It is a flawless glow that looks great.  Having spent over 10 years honing the perfect sun-free tanning formula DK Luxury Beauty has made salon sunless spray tanning an art. The line includes products like a PreTAN Exfoliator and PreTAN Shower gel to get your skin prepped for the sunless tanning mist.  There is a mini mousse version that works great for travel and post-gym application. A regular-size mousse is also available.  The Mist is the main product and can be used with the PretendTAN Mitt.  Follow up with a sheer and luxurious Shimmer Oil to look positively glowing.

PretendTAN can be seen on ShopNBC in the US and is now available in drugstores all over the US and Canada.  Go ahead, get your glow on this summer!

-Victoria Mason

Shed Some Layers with Fake Bake Body Polish

As the temperatures keep rising we are shedding our layers and showing off more skin.  It’s time to re-energize and revitalize wintry, dry skin and give it a good scrub, get it ready for summer and sunless tanners.  We all need a scrub and Fake Bake’s Passion Fruit Body Scrub is a gentle but effective exfoliate that leaves amazing, silky smooth skin. Perfect for getting poolside and beach ready.   ­

Fake Bake’s Passion Fruit Body Scrub Body has the highest concentrations of rare botanicals and Aloe Vera extracts.  The micro particles inside are gentle and naturally exfoliate skin using natural Luffa, which polishes without lacerating or damaging skin’s delicate surface.   A Passion Fruit scent will having you thinking tropical thoughts and leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the new warm weather season that lies ahead.

Fake Bake’s Body Polish is available online here and retails for $13.95.

-Victoria Mason

Slashers Take Distressed Cut-Off Shorts To a Whole New Level!

Although it’s almost time to hang up our summery hats and retire all our sunny-weather wardrobe staples until next year (say it ain’t so!), one last summer super-fad has managed to squeeze in before we shift our focus to fall goodies. Slashers – or in other words, super-distressed, slashed jean shorts – show off the extremest of denim cut-offs as they’ve faded, evolved, and gotten even more creative during the course of the season. Whether tie-dyed, dip-dyed, high-waisted, studded, daringly short, or just plain slashed to death, slashers are bringing out the DIY diva in all of us. Of course, if you’re not the crafty type (even when the trend begs for purposeful imperfections!), plenty of our favorite brands have you covered with their own fully distressed masterpieces that are ready to be worn without any further artistic effort on your part! Pair with a flirty blouse or cozy sweater for the perfect casually “undone” look, or use them to top off your bikini bottoms during your last beach days of the summer!

From left to right: RUNWAYDREAMZ Kirsten Half White Studded Shorts, Nasty Gal Slasher Flick Cutoff Short, Lacau Waistless High Rise Colored Cutoffs, and Mink Pink Trailer Park Slashed Hipster Shorts.

– Alexandra Gambardella

Peplum Tanks For Instant Feminine Flair!

The whole “fit-and-flared” trend that took summer sundresses by storm is starting to branch out to invade everything from our tops, skirts, and jackets to boot! Peplum has always been a rather tricky shape to pull off – How much flare is too flared? How do I choose a shape that still flatters my own proportions? – but these peplum tanks make mastering the trend a cinch! Add an instant dose of girliness to an otherwise tomboy-chic ensemble by pairing one of these chic tanks with some tailored shorts and a cropped blazer, or rock with your favorite pair of colored or coated jeans. Easy-peasy! Not only does it help cinch in your waist to enhance your figure (and provide extra wiggle room if you’ve gone a little too overboard with all that yummy summer party food!), but the skirted style also adds effortless chicness in a way that’s still comfortable!

From left to right: River Island Floral Peplum Top, Pim + Larkin Eyelet Peplum Top, Pins and Needles V-Back Peplum Tank, and Rebecca Minkoff Monroe Leather Peplum Tank.

– Alexandra Gambardella

Shop The Latest CFDA-Nominated Designers With NET-A-PORTER!

While summer hasn’t technically started, fashionistas that like to stay ahead of the game (and who doesn’t?) have been eyeing plenty of stylish warm-weather fare for quite awhile. And now it’s finally time to either a) start breaking out our findings that we’ve been hoarding in our closets until sunny days became the norm, or b) start splurging on all those sweet summer wardrobe pieces that you’ve been itching to finally get out and buy! And if you belong to the latter group and would appreciate some inspiration to guide your seasonal shopping, look no further than Net-a-Porter, as we help celebrate the best of the best in womenswear – CFDA-nominated designers Marc Jacobs, The Row, and Proenza Schouler! Whether you’re a fan of Marc Jacobs’ knack for mix-and-match separates and pattern play, The Row’s casual-chic vibe for the ultimate summer-cool look, or love the way Proenza Schouler mixes edgy tomboy basics with flouncy girly florals, NET-A-PORTER’s got a little bit of something for everyone to take you through the season! Shop some of our favorite looks, pictured above, in the links below!

Marc Jacobs: Small Daisy printed cotton blouseLarge Daisy printed cotton and linen-blend mini skirt.
The Row: Macktan cropped mid-rise skinny jeans, Sabeen jersey T-shirt
Proenza Schouler: Floral-print silk-georgette skirt, Contrast-knit silk and cashmere-blend top

– Alexandra Gambardella

Summer Sophistication Done Right, Thanks To Max Studio!

While we ladies in San Francisco can hardly complain about extreme weather, my summer vacations visiting family in Connecticut have taught me enough to know that when the weather gets really hot, you rarely want to get out of the pool, let alone get dressed up and wear real clothes. But the truth is, you don’t have to suffer to look sharp when it’s sweltering outside (contrary to popular belief, pain isn’t always beauty), and the newest Spring/Summer lookbook from Max Studio is chock-ful of comfy-chic pieces that manage to ooze sophistication without making you feel miserable! The key is to find stylish summer staples in lightweight, breathable, weather-friendly fabrics like linen and cotton, and of course, exposing skin to stay cool while still keeping it classy! Opt for a pair of goes-with-everything linen shorts, and a drape-y top that looks luxe but feels as comfy as your favorite tee. And of course, don’t underestimate the need for a lightweight summer jacket – this linen blazer-style jacket goes a long way in boosting the sophistication scale without making you break a sweat!

Pictured above: Herringbone Linen Jacket, Pique Shirred Sleeveless Blouse, and Max Studio Shorts in Cream

– Alexandra Gambardella

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