Archive - September 2012

Where to shop in New York during Fashion Week
A Night Less Ordinary : The Pineapple
The Bikini Files Part 4: How to get rid of Cellulite
Purple 10: Holidays for history buffs
Amazing Days Out: Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park
Punta Cana Travel Guide

Where to shop in New York during Fashion Week

It’s that time of year again: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. Whether you’re completely indifferent to this fact, or you’re already half way through the shows, clutching onto a bag filled with trustee Fashion Week survival items (green tea pills, water bottles, berry mix and the like), the likelihood is that, whoever you are, NYFW will leave you lusting for the newest designer creations.

For many of us, these are unfortunately well beyond our budgets. But there is a silver lining, and that is that many of these so-called ‘new’ creations aren’t that different from similar styles from seasons gone by. And where does one find these? Within New York’s excellent selection of consignment shops, of course.  Call it a form of urban archeology, or upscale recycling, but many of the designer items I own today were found in New York’s finest thrift and consignment stores.  I wanted to share some of my tips for where to shop in New York during fashion week.

After spending a few months working in the Big Apple as Editorial Assistant at a fashion magazine, I too became part of the crowd of those fashion-industry insiders, faced with the career requirements of always looking fabulous despite their relatively small salary. Luckily, with a little patience and this helpful list of New York’s best consignment stores, you, too, can unearth gems for a song. And for those of you who won’t have a chance to jet off to New York this Fashion Week, there’s no need to limit yourself to brick and mortar either; eBay is a wonderful resource and even has a site devoted to haute couture.

Second Chance Designer Resale

(212) 744-6041, 1109 Lexington Ave, New York, NY, 10021

This is your stop for bag shopping. Expect to find racks of designer bags at pocket-friendly prices, including huge selections from Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Prada, Chanel, Sonia Rykiel, Mulberry and more.

Beacon’s Closet – Williamsburg

(718) 486-0816, 88 N 11th St, Brooklyn, NY, 11211

Here you can find almost anything. Whether its vintage, consignment, new designer, handmade or even costume outfits, you will never leave empty handed.

Buffalo Exchange – Williamsburg

(718) 384-6901, 504 Driggs Ave,, Brooklyn, NY, 11211

Buffalo Exchange is the ultimate hidden gem treasure cove. And the best part? It’s seriously cheap. On one visit, I purchased a Comme Des Garcons playsuit for just $60.

Eye Candy

(212) 343-4275, 329 Lafayette St, New York, NY, 10012

Specialising mainly in accessories, this boutique is fashionably cluttered with everything from old school designer heels to a Queen’s ransom of interesting, hard to find vintage jewels.

Ina – SoHo

(212) 941-4757, 101 Thompson St, New York, NY, 10012

INA is the best high-end fashion consignment shop in NYC, but naturally also the most expensive. Here you’ll find high-end lables such as Lanvin, Hermes and Chanel and highly covetable bags by the boatload.

Screaming Mimi

(212) 677-6464, 382 Lafayette St, New York, NY, 10003

Cyndi Lauper used to work here and often film costume designers find outfits at this east village vintage stop.

A Night Less Ordinary : The Pineapple

In this weekly series, we scour the world in search of the most weird and wonderful hotels. From cave hotels to converted prisons, capsule pods to underwater guestrooms, you can expect only the unexpected. This week, The Pineapple.

What’s the gimmick? In the Scottish village of Airth is built an enormous architectural prank; The Pineapple is an elaborate summerhouse of two storeys, built for the 4th Earl of Dunmore. The Lord had spent some time serving as Governor of Virginia, where sailors would put a pineapple on the gatepost to announce their return home. Upon returning to Scotland after the term, Dunmore, who was fond of a joke, built a huge stone pineapple on top of his one storey pavilion to announce he was home.

You should read : Top weird ways to travel on holiday

Why stay? Though classical and orthodox at ground level, The Pineapple grows slowly into something a little fruitier on top. A little like something Spongebob Squarepants might be seen dwelling within, the mansion’s conventional architraves put out shoots and end as prickly leaves of stone towards the top of the building It is an eccentric work of aristocratic whim and undoubted genius, built of the very finest stone masonry.

The Wow Factor: Despite its peculiar exterior, everything in The Pineapple is tastefully furnished with antiques. There is a pile of wood stacked at the ready for the open fire in the lounge and historical prints showing hunting scenes adorning the walls. The Pineapple itself functions as a spectacular summer house, well kitted out with a set of garden furniture so guests can spend a balmy summer evening drinking tea and enjoying the views of the immense walled garden. This, in the Scottish tradition, was built some distance from the house, to take advantage of a south-facing slope.

You should read : A Night Less Ordinary : Boot Bed ‘n’ Breakfast


You should read : A Night Less Ordinary : Dog Park Park Inn


The Pineapple and its surroundings are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The Landmark Trust took on the lease in 1973 and restored all the buildings and the walled garden, now open to the public.

Prices start from £76 a night. Click here for details.

The Bikini Files Part 4: How to get rid of Cellulite

If you’re seeing bumps on your behind, don’t worry – you’re in good company; some 90 per cent of women have cellulite. Luckily, with this guide to how to get rid of those dreaded lumps, you’ll be beach ready in no time.

First of all, what is cellulite?

Cellulite is fat cells found underneath the top layer of the skin that have squeezed between bands of connective tissue, or collagen, attaching your muscle to your skin. Cellulite is actually composed of water, toxins and fatty tissue cells that build up under layers of skin and causes pressure on the connective tissues of muscles. This concentration of body elements causes the skin to take on an orange-peel like texture. While the structure of women’s connective tissue is vertical (like mattress springs), men’s collagen is angled, which means that fat cells don’t push through and pucker as much – the reason why virtually no men have cellulite.

What causes cellulite?

Dermatologists believe that bad circulation can intensify the appearance of lumps. “When blood flow slows, collagen separates, allowing fat to come up to the surface of the skin, creating an orange-peel effect,” says Howard Murad, MD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of The Cellulite Solution. However, the main causes of cellulite are unhealthy diets and lack of exercise.

Cellulite builds up mostly in the stomach, hips, buttocks, thighs or on the back part of the legs – areas with deeper skin pockets that tend to retain more fat. This causes poor blood circulation to affected skin tissues, creating a dimpled, uneven surface.

Even though weight gain or obesity are often coupled with cellulite, other known factors include family genetics, hormone imbalances that usually occur during within the life cycle , and in women, high levels of Estrogen have been shown to cause cellulite formations.

How to get rid of cellulite naturally

Cellulite can be eliminated or reduced through regular exercising and a healthy diet. Regular running, aerobics, yoga, swimming or cycling can have a huge impact. Exercise sweats out excess water and toxins, reducing fat deposits in the targeted areas and toning up body muscles, while healthy eating ensures your system is flushing out waste toxins. Your nutritional diet should include dairy products and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are very helpful in removing toxins and providing many beneficial vitamins and minerals. Avoid processed foods, which are rich in saturated fats and sodium such as fried foods, potato chips, cookies and especially pork meats and avoid alcohol at all costs – sorry guys!

Do creams really work?

Cellulite creams are often overrated. They are typically a short term solution if the main cause is not addressed. Many anti-cellulite creams available today contain Aminophylline, which is included in kola nuts, tea and in coffee beans. When Aminophylline is used as a topical cream it will remove excess moisture from the skin and help to minimize cellulite and other skin imperfections. The only drawback is that when water is consumed by the body it will replenish the treated areas and the skin will once again retain moisture.

The better cellulite creams contain L-Carnitine, which is naturally contained in the skin and supports the metabolism. Regular massage applications of L-Carnitine-based creams have been shown to reduce dimples and lumps in a matter of weeks. We recommend Shiseido anti-cellulite cream, available from most department stores and pharmacies.





Purple 10: Holidays for history buffs

Plan your holiday to perfect with our top 10 holidays for history buffs. From the Acropolis of Athens to the Mayan stronghold of Tulum in Mexico, we’ve got 10 of the best history holidays that will make your jaw drop.

  1. Athens, Greece Almost anywhere you visit in Athens you’ll find precious ruins that date back thousands of years. The iconic Acropolis stands tall baking in the sunshine, while you can relive history at the ancient Greek and Roman markets, visit the colossal ruin of the Temple of Zeus, or take a walk around the Theatre of Dionysus.
  2. Nile Valley, Egypt Actually, if you travel anywhere in Egypt, you’re likely to bump into an ancient and quite frankly, awe inspiring site. Some of our favourites are the ancient Giza Pyramids (how did they do that!?), Cairo’s Museum, where you’ll find the treasures of Tutankhamen and up the Nile River, the Luxor Temple and the Valley of the Kings.
  3. Machu Picchu, Peru People wait a lifetime to visit the majestic ruins of the lost ‘city of the Incas’. Built around 1400, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  4. Rome, Italy Once the most powerful city in history, Rome is still saturated with historical and cultural sites that will remind you of times gone by. The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Pantheon will transport you back in time, while the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain should be on your ‘must-see’ list. No wonder it’s made our top 10 list of holidays for history buffs.
  5. Tulum, Mexico A seat of ancient Mayan civilisation, Tulum actually means ‘wall’ and is one of very few ancient sites that remains right on the sea. Dating back to 564 BC, you’ll find the Castillo, with breathtaking views of the ocean, the Temple of the Descending God and a selection of Cenotes (natural spring water pits that were used as a place of sacrifice.)
  6. Prague, Czech Republic Once the capital of Bohemia, Prague’s ghostly atmosphere and historic streets mean there is a tonne to keep you going once you arrive. From the imposing Castle that overlooks the city to the Charles Bridge, it’s a haven for budding photographers. For occult hunters, most other sites pale in comparison to the Selec Ossuary. The Bone Church was built around the 1500s from the bones of thousands of people. Not for the fainthearted.
  7. Florence, Italy Florence is a city dripping with art history, from the famous Cathedral, featuring a Brunelleschi designed dome, to the world famous Uffizi Gallery, showcasing works by Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raffaello, it’s a historian’s dream destination.
  8. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic The capital is a model for city and town planners across the world. Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492 and Santo Domingo became the site of the very first cathedral, university and hospital in the Americas, all laid out in a familiar grid pattern. It’s a wonderful place to combine sun holiday with historic wonder.
  9. Vienna, Austria Vienna could easily be taken for one of the classical music capitals of the world. Combined with its history of royalty and the strategic positioning, it offers the State Opera House, Imperial Palace and Schonbrunn Palace, gorgeous!
  10. Fez, Morocco The medieval capital of Morocco, Fez is one of the best preserved old cities you’ll find. The ancient Medina is home to excellent examples of ancient Islamic architecture, while the city’s car free policy means you’ll truly feel like you’ve travelled back in time.

Read more… Purple 10 Holidays for art lovers

Amazing Days Out: Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park

‘Museum’ probably isn’t the perfect word for the combination of art and nature you’ll find just off the Cancun coast. Holidays here are of course the stuff dreams are made of and for something really special we love a day at Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park. Sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor has installed hundreds of natural clay statues that will act as a reef to encourage coral and sealife growth.

The Cancun Underwater Museum acts as a restoration project, the statues have been built as artificial reefs to attract marine life and improve the natural reef that’s been damaged over the years. The displays are perfectly placed to attract glass bottomed boats, divers and snorkelers. Now 450 permanent life size sculptures make up one of the most ambitious and attractive underwater art works in the world.

Here are some of our favourites:

Man on Fire: This eerie sculpture was one of the first installed in 2009. It’s been cut with 75 holes, to allow fast growing fire coral to thrive. As the coral grows it will begin to bloom red, hence the name Man on Fire. It’s actually been cast from a local fisherman named Joachim and is meant to reflect the current world environmental situation.

The Banker: The meaning of this one is fairly clear cut. A suited man has his head buried in the sand. What’s that phrase, a picture paints a thousand words? Well this sculpture paints a lot more. It symbolizes the current economic crisis and the accountability of banking institutions. The sculpture itself is made for crustaceans and young fish to grow and breed.

The Silent Evolution: In the shape of an eye and the newest addition, this is an underwater village of hundreds of life size sculptures, all cast from local people. The silent museum takes you up, close and personal to view art in a way you may never have imagine. Like the others they’re made from special PH neutral clay to promote coral growth and life.

For more information visit the Aqua World Cancun website. You can find regular diving trips, including for beginners or certified.

All images courtesy of Aqua World Cancun.

Punta Cana Travel Guide

What do Angelina Jolie, Beyonce and the Clintons have in common? They’ve all been spotted paddling in the jewel coloured waters or strolling on the glorious white, sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic. The rich culture of the small Caribbean country makes it one of the most interesting and varied destinations we can think of.

It shares land with the nation of Haiti, making up the island of Hispaniola. It was first inhabited by the Taínos people, before becoming the first European settlement when Christopher Columbus landed in 1492. Since the 70s it’s become a tourist hotspot, for people who want to discover this historic and vibrant country, while we couldn’t mention a Caribbean destination without a little mention of the weather and beaches, which really are to die for.

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