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This week’s find: a Classic Clutch!

Amazingly chic! The By Boe bracelets are fodder for another post! Love those as well!
Image via Mikkat Market.

Comes with a long chain so you can wear cross body, or take it off for a dinner date. $42?!?!
Image via Mikkat Market.

“One of a Kind is the New Black”

What woman doesn’t love jewelry?  I’ve always been a fan and have been lucky to have a jewelry design business and a business where I purchased jewelry for a high end boutique, Symmetry.  During my stint purchasing other folks designs, I came across a young designer from LA–Doloris Petunia–while scanning etsy.  For Symmetry, I ordered the “frenemy bracelet”–a friendship bracelet with spikes!–and Swarovski Crystal friendship bracelets.

The "frenemy" cuff. Image by Doloris Petunia

Don't wait for your local retailer to stock these! High tail it over to etsy and buy some for you and your friends! Image © Doloris Petunia.

Of course, after looking through the Doloris Petunia etsy store and Facebook page, I had to order a custom cuff for myself.  I love mine and it always gets compliments.  Courtney makes them made to measure your wrist so the fit is perfect and very comfortable.  I wish I had a wedding to help plan, as her wedding pieces are ethereal!

Example of a DP custom cuff. © Doloris Petunia

I haven’t even mentioned the earrings or the statement necklaces.  Now I even see a clutch on the etsy page!  In a world of conformity and mass production, it is refreshing to break out of the mold and add something special to your life.

Pastel Statement Necklace. Image © Doloris Petunia

Leland Part Deux

My last post on Leland was getting long winded and I hadn’t yet listed all of my favorites.  Being listed in Part 2 does not indicate being second class.  My lists could be reordered randomly, but all would remain on the list.

So, here are more:

1. Sisson’s–After all of your hiking and biking you will need some sustenance.  Round out your picnic basket with some of the best cookies ever made–the Buckeyes are to die for and I’ve pretended more than once that the Breakfast Cookies are actually a well-rounded meal.  The pecans, the “pizza” bread, the mac & cheese, the salad dressings….

2.  Village Cheese Shanty–located in Fishtown.  Best. Sandwiches. Ever.  House made pretzel bread and real chicken breast slices, combined with guac and herbed mayo.  My mouth is watering.  Call in your order, then sashay in like a local to the front of the line to pick it up.  You will thank me later for this tip.

3.  La Bécasse.  Classy, upscale French restaurant in Burdickville.  The chef/owner, Guillaume, may pop out from the kitchen to check on you.  His accent, plus the escargots, will transport you.

4.  Famous locals–Mario Batali and Tim Allen can’t both be wrong. A sighting at the farm market or in the Merc, the Leland grocery, is priceless.

5.  Fried Smelt at the Bluebird.  Plus the perch and white fish.  They have the best, light batter around.

6.  Hunting for blue stones and Petoskeys.  A calm day after a big storm is perfect.  Get out early!  Don’t be afraid to wade in a little bit too.  Precious treasures!

Earrings made with Leland Blue Stones. Make your own for the perfect souvenir of your visit.

7.  Pyramid Point–whether a hike in the summer or sledding in the winter.  Gorgeous area.

What a hill!

It's quite a hike to the top.

8.  More hiking–Whaleback or Houdek Dunes.  Houdek is great for cross country skiing too.

9.  The art fairs–Leland, Suttons Bay, and Glen Arbor all hold art fairs at various times during the summer.  In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve exhibited at Leland and Glen Arbor and will be back at Leland this summer.

Here are links to 2 great articles about the area:

A Bon Appetit article featuring Mario Batali..

An article written for the Denver Post by my friend, Tucker Shaw.  Hey, I recognize that red kayak!

I think you are now ready to plan a trip!

One of about 5000 photos I have of Leland sunsets. Each one more gorgeous than the next.

Decided to post another one to prove my point.

Leland, Michigan AKA God’s Country

Leland and the Leelanau Peninsula are my favorite places on the planet.     I go to remember what is important in life.  I go to connect with the rhythms of nature. Even though the travel may be long and winding, the view of Lake Michigan as you crest the hill filled with fruit trees will take your breath away and melt all your cares.  Well, that and the glass of wine you will have once you stop the car!

Here is a short list of my top Leelanau Peninsula things in no particular order:

1.  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park–GMA viewers are not wrong!  Or on the other end of the county, Leelanau State Park.

Don't be fooled! This is only the first hill!

2.  Leland’s Fishtown

Shop, eat, put up your feet in Fishtown

Charter a boat for a day of fishing or buy some amazing smoked whitefish from Carlsons!

3.  Becky Thatcher stores–Leland and Glen Arbor on the peninsula.  Classic, beautiful jewelry.   I especially love the Leland Blue Stone and Petoskey stone pieces.

4.  Art’s Tavern or The Happy Hour for some of the world’s best bar food!

5.  The Riverside–best brunch I’ve ever had.  Scrumptious.

6.  Martha’s–a gem of a bistro in Sutton’s Bay.

7.  Annie McFarlane’s jewelry studio–and her classes offered at the Old Art Building in Leland.

Annie guiding me in class. You will walk away with an amazing piece of beach stone or beach glass jewelry that is full of memories and meaning.

8.  Circa and Forty-Five North Wineries

9.  Leelanau Cheese Company–inside Black Star Farms (not a bad wine tasting experience either!)  Award Winning and scarce in the summer–there is a reason!  Grab a chunk of this cheese, a bottle of wine and some bread from Stonehouse Bakery.  Perfection!

Award winning cheese!

10.  Farmer’s Markets and CSAs.    Sweeter Song Farm, Bare Knuckle Farm, and Meadowlark Farm are local CSAs bringing the bounty of the earth to the area.  The farmers markets are held in the various towns in the peninsula on the same day each week.

11. Canoe Rides on the Crystal River

12.  Bike Riding–I’m not much of a bike rider myself, but those I know who do it love this area for its beautiful views and challenging and not crowded back roads.

These bikes look serious to me, but I'm no judge...

13.  Leelanau Conservancy–one of the most organized, thoughtfully run non profits I’ve had the pleasure to get to know about.  The good work they are doing will protect the county for the next generation and the next.  Hike any of their protected areas–by yourself or on a guided tour with a docent.  Check the schedule for tours and “workbees” on their web site.

4th of July Parade in Leland. A slice of Americana.

I am leaving out so many other things, and I haven’t even touched on Traverse City and what it has to offer.  I think I will go for Leland/Part 2 another time.  Stay posted!

Early morning at Blackberry Farm

Blackberry Farm is one of the few places in the world I've gone back to more than once. I typically get bored with a place and feel there is much more to see in the world. Blackberry Farm is the kind of place that each visit brings new experiences--with the food, the wine, the activities; each season brings its special memories.

Read more

My Early, Short Career as a Guest Blogger

I wanted to share a couple of links to the web site of Symmetry, a chic woman’s clothing store.  Last year the owner asked if I would do some guest blogging for her.  I wasn’t sure why or how, but I did some writing and enjoyed it.

My tenure with Symmetry was inspirational.  The women love style and it shows.  I want to thank them for letting me be part of their enterprise!

Here is my article about a long weekend trip to LA.

One of the 10 times it rains all year in LA and they get a great rainbow!

Here is my article about an artist, Roger Hayes, who makes the most amazing cuffs and sells them at Melrose Trading Post.

Classic Melrose Trading Post booth

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

One about an amazing Spanish line of clothing, Hoss Intropia.

And last, but not least, a review of the clothing line Vince.

Best Find in Milan

Came across this pop-up store in Milan.  Leghila is the name of the brand and you can find them on line at  The web site currently says that the B***** Bag is coming soon.  Well it was in Milan!

On Leghila's web site.

These bags are made of neoprene and are washable.  The colors are amazing and fun. What a great gym bag, every day bag, camera bag. Why spend thousands on a B**** Bag when you can have this adorable item for a couple of hundred?

See what I mean?

Check it out at:

Paris 2012

I recently traveled to Paris and Milan with my daughter who is a sophomore at USC during her spring break.  How lucky were we both?  Travel is so inspirational for me.

Here is a quick list of my tips for a marvelous stay in Paris:

Le Bristol–where “Midnight in Paris” was filmed.  The movie streams on the hotel’s TVs–so fun to watch while you are staying there.  I had the world’s best Salad Niçoise in the lobby restaurant.    The service is incredibly friendly and helpful.  Plus, it is home to the Michelin 3 Star restaurant, Epicure, and a La Prairie Spa.

Flowers in our room at Le Bristol

Marché Aux Puces Tour with Riad Kneife.  Riad knows the ins and outs of the market and arrange for shipping of your purchases.  Whether you are looking to furnish an entire home or want a special vintage fashion find, Riad is your man.  My favorite moment was probably eating a delicious lunch after our market tour and viewing all of our finds on Riad’s iPad from the photos he took.

Lunch at the Marché Aux Puces

Our favorite store in the market.

Indagare arranged our travel and tour guides.  They were an invaluable resource.  Another shopping guide they arranged, Noemie, was a gem.  I loved the cream puffs she treated us too (from the Paris version of a cupcake store) and going to Merci, a concept store with a philanthropic twist, at  111 Boulevard Beaumarchais. Also, Noemie took us around the Marais to the most amazing, well priced vintage store.   Colette is another not to be missed store on 213 rue Saint-Honoré.  In fact, Rue Saint-Honoré is perhaps my favorite for window shopping.

The cream puff store! I see it in my dreams!

Also in helping me plan our trip, I referred to goop which I often do.  I even copied the recommendations for what to buy in a French pharmacy and did a little shopping at the  Pharmacie across the street.  Another great blog/resource for Paris travel is Chic Shopping Paris.  My daughter often refers to Not Just A Label which we used extensively on this trip.

Louis Vuitton Trunk

L1000970 by melaniwilsondesigns
L1000970, a photo by melaniwilsondesigns on Flickr.

Authentic and full of character. So inspired after seeing the Louis Vuitton exhibit at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs.

Antlers for the Study?

L1000965 by melaniwilsondesigns
L1000965, a photo by melaniwilsondesigns on Flickr.

Choose from many mounted antlers at the Marché Aux Puces, Paris.

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