Friday, February 27, 2009

Shotgun Wedding in Iran

I can't wait to get my hands on this book: Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni.

Azadeh, an American journalist, was working as a foreign correspondent in Tehran in 2005 when she fell in love with a local guy and ended up pregnant. This is a sticky situation in Iran, where Islamic authorities serve up some pretty harsh punishment for evidence of premarital sex. So, Azadeh was forced to arrange a rushed muslim wedding (she's of Iranian descent) while trying to find ways to disguise her bump until the marrige was legit.

From her new home in London, where she lives now with her husband and son, Azadeh wrote Honeymoon in Tehran to chronicle the ordeal. Wanna read it with me? You can pick up a copy at Amazon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Night at the Opera

Yvonne Naef as Fricka in "Die Walkure" [photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera]

You don't have to be in New York City to attend an opera at the Met. Nearly 850 local movie theaters around the globe are showing the performances live in HD. Next up: Puccini's Madama Butterfly on March 7th. Check for a venue near you, buy tickets and watch the Live In HD trailer here.

Catch a Wave

[Vincent Boiteau/]

When you're out taking on the world, the last thing you wanna' do is waste time styling your hair. Besides, those tousled "I don't have a care in the world" waves are sooooo sexy. But every time I tried to accomplish the look, I ended up looking like a frizzy mess. After years of searching (seriously), I finally found THE perfect product(s) for wash-and-go gorgeous hair: Tools by Calista Energy Activating Spray and Energy Forming Gel.

Two minutes to mega hottie.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Easy Being Green

Turtle Island, Fiji [Image courtesy Turtle Island Resort]

Going green has never looked better. Islands magazine has just honored the Turtle Island Resort in Fiji
with the "Blue List" award for Green Resorts. The remote island hideaway -- they host just 14 couples at a time -- is one of 24 locations around the world to receive the distinction.

[Image Courtesy Turtle Island Resort]

Since buying the island and building the resort back in 1972, owner Richard Evanson has planted more than 500,000 native trees and championed multiple projects to restore the landscape to it's original beauty (it had been ravaged by wild goats when he bought it) and support the local economy and ecosystem. Each bure, for example, was built by local craftsmen using natural materials grown right on the island.

[Image Courtesy Turtle Island Resort]

Now that's green LIVING.

Friday, February 20, 2009

This Just In...

Prague, Czech Republic [Christopher Woo/Flickr]

On May 14th, the Rocco Forte Collection plans to open their 12th Prague. The Augustine will have 101 guest rooms housed in a seven building complex, most of which are historical monuments, including the 13th century St. Thomas Monastery -- a few practicing monks will keep living in a separate part of the building...

London-based designer Olga Polizzi of RDD used local materials and traditional craft methods to create a beautiful modern interior that blends with the monastery setting...picture perfect!

Devil May Care


Rio's Mayor is vowing a "shock of order" campaign to try to quell a rash of violence in the sinful city during this year's Carnival. The mayor's rant comes after more than 40 young travelers visiting Rio for the festival were robbed by men who ambushed their hostle with guns and grenades. At least 23 other revelers have reported robberies in other areas around the city. Mayor Eduardo Paes says he plans to punish even the smallest offenses in an effort to make Rio safer. But, most Brazilians say there's no way that kind of zero tolerance policy will work in Rio, a city where all things are tolerated -- especially during carnival.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Take Me Away...

This sweet sun dress by Zimmermann is the perfect little frock to run away in this spring and it's on SALE right now over at Gilt. Also up for grabs, this sexy Rosa Cha bikini...

Makes me wanna hit the beach ASAP. The sale is on till tomorrow night. Don't have a Gilt membership yet? Leave your e-mail and we'll hook you up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eye in the Sky

Bora Bora, Tahiti [Satellite Image Courtesy of Geoeye]

Suffering from a serious case of wander lust but stuck at your desk staring at a computer? Geoeye has the cure: a collection of super high-res satellite images snapped all around the planet. Jet over to Bora Bora (above) or check out ancient sites like Stonehenge and Easter Island. On a more serious note, you can also view images of natural disaster areas (they've got pictures of Myanmar taken before and after last May's cyclone) and get a bird's eye view of newsworthy events like Barack Obama's inauguration. Everything's easily downloadable, too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Conventional Wisdom

San Francisco, CA [ Sully T64 Photography/Flickr]

According to an AP article published in several of today's papers, the recent crack-down on business travel by companies under economic duress may actually be a good thing for people looking to travel on their own time. The logic makes sense. Cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas that are used to bringing in millions of dollars every year from conventions are feeling the sting of a major slowdown. In turn, they're offering some amazing deals to leisure travelers to try to entice them to pick up the slack. A media rep for Priceline says the site's seeing winning bids at half-off retail prices for 4-star hotels in big convention cities across the U.S.

Admittedly, "big convention city" isn't exactly the most tantilizing description for a vacation spot. But, factor in that New York, Miami and New Orleans are all on the list and things start to sound a little better. And, hey, you might just discover an unexpected gem. A recent trip to Orlando (wasn't expecting much, to be completely honest) proved that there's life beyond Disney World in the inland Florida city. The Grande Lakes resort is an oasis worth checking out...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lip Luscious at Thirty Thousand Feet

For me, one of the most uncomfortable things about a long flight -- besides when the guy in front of me decides to spend the whole journey reclined into my lap -- is dried-out sandpaper lips. Airlines deliberately keep humidity levels at or below 4% in flight to prevent corrosion. (By comparison, the relative annual morning humidity in Phoenix, Arizona is 50%.) The parched air up there can suck the moisture out of your lips in as little as three hours. One of my favorite hydrators to keep on hand is Dior Lip Maximizer. It keeps lips moist and plumped, fills in fine lines and tastes a little like mint ice cream. (What can I say? I like ice cream.)

Feeling at home in Turks and Caicos

V-day love hangover got you wanting to play house with your sweetie? The Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos has you covered. This weekend, the posh Caribbean resort opened an entirely new section dubbed "The Estate." It's made up of 22 custom-designed ultra swank residences with all the comforts of home -- times 100. Each "residence" features 11-foot ceilings, a full-service kitchen, living room, media room, dining room and oceanfront terrace. Then there's the exclusive access to a 25-yard infinity pool, 24-hour personal concierge, poolside cabanas, priority access to all resort get the picture.

Oh, and your backyard would be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Get Your Money, Honey

Annoyed because you purchased your airline ticket last week when you thought the prices were great, only to see them go even lower this week? Don't despair. You may be able to get your money back. Yep, you heard -- er, read -- me right. Many airlines will REFUND THE DIFFERENCE (in the form of a voucher) if the fare goes lower than what you paid. Some carriers charge a "change fee" of between $25 and $150 to apply the new price, but there are a few -- Southwest Airlines, for example -- that don't charge a thing. (In fact, Southwest offers cash refunds instead of vouchers in some cases.) Want a quick way to keep track of your fare? Sign up for fare alerts from your airline or use a website like Happy travels!
[Photo by flygraphix/Flickr]

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Go Ahead...You Can Afford It

With a recession in full swing, eating out can put a serious strain on the bank account -- especially if you're eating out in NYC. But who wants to sit in their apartment (or hotel room) and eat sandwiches every night? Enter my favorite new website: These guys provide a listing of great deals for fabulous restaurants all over New York. Bon Appetit! [Photo by Qurrty/Flickr]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh, Mummy!

Saqqara, Egypt [Flickr/]

Egypt's top archaeologist just discovered a completely preserved mummy inside a limestone sarcophagus sealed 2,600 years ago -- and he's not alone (the mummy, that is). The old guy was resting in what Dr. Zahi Hawass calls a "storeroom for mummies" with seven other -- as yet, unopened -- sarcophagi and 22 more preserved bodies from Egypt's last independent Kingdom. You can check out pics here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sweet on Sweden

According to a new report highlighted in Marie Claire, Sweden is the best place in the world to live if you're a woman. (In case you're wondering, the U.S. was ranked #17.) Any country that starts "Sexism Awareness Training" in kindergarten and shows uncut reruns of Sex and The City at 6pm is tops in my book.