Travel: Playa Grande Beach Club

With a quick weekend getaway on the horizon, I have travel on my mind. The anticipation had me thinking about my most recent trip. It had been way too long since I had traveled with girlfriends, so this past spring a handful of friends and I did a mid-winter getaway for a long weekend. I always worry that 2-3 days away is more bother than it’s worth, but let me tell you – I am now convinced that even 48 hours in the sunshine can do wonders for a Northeast living soul. We took a direct flight to the Dominican Republic and spent the most exceptional three nights at the Playa Grande Beach Club. Playa Grande was decorated by designer Celery Kemble, who is also an investor in the resort. Each and every building is stunning and thoughtfully decorated, while also feeling authentic to the Dominican Republic vibe. We had a beautiful bungalow to ourselves, and it was located a stones throw away from the gorgeous mile long beach where the resort is located. The food was sourced locally, and the cocktails were fabulous. The resort offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main building, and private yoga or workout classes can be scheduled. The best part of the trip was watching the sunset from lounge chairs while sipping fresh made margaritas and catching up. It was the perfect balance of things to do and pure relaxation. The menu is limited but each time we asked the staff to serve us something tasty, they came up with the most delicious treats. And just in case you forget your sunglasses or espadrilles, the resort has a lovely little gift shop.

I love that the resort invests in and collaborates with the local community. You get the sense that the resort is run by locals with a strong sense of pride in what they do, and the guests experience. You can learn more about their philanthropic work here. And I apologize in advance for overdoing it on the photo front. It was just too pretty not to capture every detail. I particularly loved the copper basins by the door to our bungalow – such a thoughtful touch that kept us from tracking sand into our home. And the tile and woodwork throughout the whole resort were spectacular. If you are looking for a direct flight that’s less than 4 hours away – landing you in paradise, Playa Grande should be your next trip.

Fabulous Brand: La Double J

For the last two years I have been obsessed with all things La Double J. The label was created by American-born, current expat JJ Martin. Martin is a journalist by trade with a keen eye for bold patterns and styles that flatter. She was always drawn to vintage fashion, and after creating a website that… read more

Great Non-Profit: NEXT for Autism

Today it’s my honor to introduce you to Christine Lai, an awesome woman who also happens to be the parent of a child with autism. Christine is open, honest, and incredibly brave, never shying away from the challenging work of advocating for her son and others facing autism. Many of us have been touched by… read more

Time Well Spent: Cooking Class with Courtnay Arpano

When it comes to purposeful time with friends, I am a big fan of long walks. It’s the perfect way to get exercise while also catching up. I’m also a big fan of a large glass of red wine on a cool fall night. But sometimes it’s nice to do something that isn’t just cocktails… read more

Best Books: Memoirs of a Goldfish

This book, Memoirs of a Goldfish, by Devin Scillian, was our favorite read of the summer. Parts of this cheeky tale remind me of The Day the Crayons Quit which I blogged about here. In this story Goldfish lives a relatively mundane life, swimming circles around his simple fish bowl. Things take a turn for… read more

Little Wings Event: School Supplies for Hurricane Victims

For the last 8 years Little Wings Foundation has done a family volunteer event during the holiday season, but from time to time we do an event out of season when we think people need our help most. We’ve all seen the devastating images from Texas and Louisiana because of Hurricane Harvey. It’s hard to… read more

Rad Art: Cj Hendry

At first glance the works of Australian artist Cj Hendry look like thick blobs of oil paint photographed on a blank canvas. Get ready to have your mind blown – this entire series of hyperrealism drawings, titled Complimentary Colors, was actually created with nothing more than colored pencils. I can’t even. The highlights and shadowing… read more

Great Read: Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance, was on my nightstand for months before I got to it. After a handful of people insisted it was a “must read”, I finally took it off the shelf last week. This book offers up a fascinating look at what it means to be truly poor and living in America…. read more

Being Prepared: The Hostess Pantry

I was reading an old issue of House Beautiful, and stumbled upon this article written by “entertainologist” Lulu Powers. She offered up a fabulous list of things to always keep on hand so that you can whip up delicious treats any time a friend pops by. The white truffle and sea salt potato chips sounded… read more

Nantucket By The Sea

If I had my way I’d be spending a week in August staying in this absolutely beautiful Nantucket wharf cottage. The interiors of this “boat house”, built in 1900, were done by Gary McBournie, known to many as a man who specializes in coastal casual design. The family that owns this house has a larger home in town… read more