Category Archives: Shopping

Dec 11, 2018

I just got back from an amazing girls trip to Cartagena Colombia celebrating by 50th birthday. I was overwhelmed by it’s details, colors, design, and food. Liz Banfield was along with me and never stopped capturing amazing photos for us, so here is a little rundown for anyone thinking about going visiting.

I was lucky for several great ladies to join me, including my BFF Nicki Clendening of Beetle/Scout Designs, one of my old college roommate, a former neighbor, and my social media manager… We chose to break the trip up into two separate experiences- several days in the walled city of Cartagena, and then a couple of days out in the Rosario Islands. While in the old walled city, we stayed at an Air BnB that was in a fantastic location near the top of the city.  I loved getting to my runs in the morning around the wall affording me a vantage point of the entire city.

We spent much our time in the actual walled city wandering around, exploring and shopping. There is so much vibrancy, and many of the balconies had lush greenery and bouguonvillea spilling over it’s edges.

Charleston has it’s share of color, but these bright hues and the way they were paired together was so photo perfect.

There was so much fresh fruit everywhere… Where our street food carts in the U.S. are mostly hot dogs, or grilled meats, etc. theirs are all freshly cut fruits… Definitely an intricate piece of local flavor.

We did take a half day tour on our last day in the city which took us through some neighborhoods outside of the walled city, including Getsemani. Loved getting to see how some of the areas outside of the “tourist corridor really are, and where the locals live. Our tour guide, Brian Munoz with Cartagena Concierge was fantastic… Another tour company of note is the Cultural Concierge

While in the walled city, it was almost like every building/boutique hotel we popped into or restaurant was a designer’s dream. So many details from painted murals, to intricate tiles, ironwork, lighting details, and landscaping, I could and did spend all of my time getting inspiration from this!

So much shopping… Colombia’s biggest shopping exports are gold and emeralds… However, the woven good, straw made jewelry, and handmade hats were some of our favorite finds.  There are also a ton of shops with lovely linen pieces. Some of our favorites were Casa Chiqui, St. Dom, and 

Of course my favorite thing to do is eat and drink and there was plenty of amazing opportunities for that… Even this little coffee shop, La Manana (bottom photo) right around the corner from our house was a treasure every morning. Their iced lattes and fruit bowl was a perfect breakfast every day.  Some of our other notable spots were Maria, Alma (which was connected to an amazing boutique hotel, Casa San Augustin), Candelaria in Casa La Factoria (this was so delicious, and our server didn’t speak any English, so we just had him bring us his 5 favorite dishes and they were divine! The scenery and design in this spot was amazing- see the photo above with the mural painted on the wall), and one of the best meals I’ve had anywhere was at Carmen.  If you ever go, this is a MUST.  We also discovered a drink that we couldn’t get enough of in the heat.  Frozen coconut creme, lime juice (their limes are more like lemons or key limes) and vodka or rum… Dreamy!

On our fourth day, we left the city by boat and headed out for the Rosario Islands.

After snorkeling in front of one of Pablo Escobar’s 0ld homes and seeing an underwater plane crash, we snorkeled a few reefs.  Then, we made it to our house, Almond Island. Our house was a structure in the middle of the water, all self contained but with water views from every open air angle.

Directly across from us was a small island, Aqua de Azul.  Every morning we watched the locals putter over on their modest fishing boats to greet people that come to swim and dine on the island every day. It’s a small island with a drink shack and a few people catching and preparing fish for lunch. It was amazing- freshly caught and grilled shrimp small lobsters and fried plantains… Such a little treasure.

 

 

12.11.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Fashion, Food and Drink, Gifts, Photographers, Pop Culture, Shopping, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments >>
Dec 11, 2018

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( all photos by Southern Living/Laurey W. Glenn)

This Thanksgiving table scape photo shoot that we did with Southern Living Magazine a few years back is one of my favorites. I host Thanksgiving every year at our family’s cottage at Flat Rock in the NC Mountains so it was even more special this year as my family got to enjoy our photo shoot set up! I pulled some of my favorite shots, but you can see all of the details on Southern Living. The china is from my husband’s family so I went somewhat unexpectedly with the pink and gold color theme from the china’s pattern.

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I had a yummy suede linen made to fit our dining room table with a large cabled piping in the pale pink.  And these “petal pink” taper candles from Creative Candles were the perfect added touch of color to offset not having any flowers in the centerpiece.

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There are fabulous antique markets and thrift stores up in the Hendersonville/Asheville area near where we are in Flat Rock. I found old clear glass candlesticks and painted them gold with craft paint.  The apples are fall harvest NC apples that were so lovely on their own, I hated to paint them, but they sure did turn out beautifully. All SO easy to DIY and inexpensive!

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I love my etched glassware, which doubles as a perfect place card and surcie.  I also believe you can never have enough embroidered napkins! These are from Lettered Olive and Elizabeth Joyce Monograms.

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Because it happens to work well in our space, and makes it easier for me as the hostess finishing up a large dinner, I always set up a self serve bar. I stock it with the cocktails, proper glassware needed, and cocktail napkins or any other tools needed to properly mix and serve.

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Another inexpensive DIY trick that we did here,  is to get affordable cotton cocktail napkins (like these from CB2.com) and iron on monogram letters (available online and at most fabric and craft stores).

12.11.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Entertaining, Etiquette, Food and Drink, Interior Design, Parties, Shopping, The Lettered Olive, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

photo by Corbin Gurkin

Hopefully many of you will be attending a wedding or two this fall… Today we are sharing some of our favorite fall fashion trends and even some links on where to shop. I think definitely one of my favorite looks from guests at some of our recent weddings is the maxi skirt (here, large jacquard florals are so on trend and in a jewel tone palette) and crisp white shirt or fitted turtleneck. This look works for any body type, and age range, but we have seen some of the older ladies wearing this style and it’s screams sophisticated chic.  Here are some of our favorite skirt options.

photo by Corbin Gurkin 

Of course, color is everything, and right now Goldenrod or Yellow Ochre is the hot hot color of the season… Brights and jewel tones are always mainstays but to me this is a perfect guideline for any fall wedding guest.  In fall you can play with all sorts of lengths and textures. For earlier weddings, i.e. cocktail party, you can absolutely get away with shorter dresses. All dresses designed by Dee Hutton.

photo by Perry Vaile

I love both of these options for a black tie or black tie optional affair. Bold oversized florals are having a major moment, and full length black dresses will always be a classic option.  Black works well for fall and winter (with navy as an alternative), since it’s great to avoid in the spring and summer months. We like this black dress here,  and this floral gown.

photo by Liz Banfield

If you are wanting to invest in a gown that you can use several times, we love a classic but unexpected color like lilac. Great for year round events.  Here are a few that would work for year round events…  1.Here 2. Here

 

12.11.18   |   TARA GUÉRARD
Bridal Style, Event Planning, Events, Fashion, Reception, Shopping, Uncategorized, Weddings | Comments >>