Mar 2, 2015

Designer Watch: Naje' Designs

I recently chatted with Nancy Ranalli, Creative Director and head of her brand Naje' Designs about the future of her fabulous jewelry line, the inspiration behind it and her love for uniqueness and individualism. I remember seeing Nancy's designs showcased at Haute: The Accessories Show last fall and fell in love with them instantly. Her ability to experiment with different stones, metals and other natural elements to create beautiful, unique and quality pieces drew me to the brand. Her pieces are strikingly bold yet simplistic enough to create a classic statement. She says, "Fashion trends may evolve and (more often) revolve, but a timeless yet distinctive accessory can be the refining and even defining ingredient of your appearance regardless of the occasion. Building on this belief, my design inspiration derives from very elemental materials that I consider to be both unique and enduring - gemstones, woods, metals, shells, and the like. Each NaJe' Design is truly exceptional in that it is a One-Of-A-Kind creation handcrafted with the utmost care, and reflects a singular vision of my design for a specific set of materials. Beyond the appearance of my creations, it is equally important that my customers enjoy the quality of the materials I select, and my sincere hope is that the superior quality of my work is evident from the moment the piece is received."

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Chicago, Illinois

Q: Did you go to school for Fashion?
A: Yes, at The Ray Vogue School of Fashion Design

Q: What inspired you to be an accessories designer?
A: My never ending search for the latest fashion in “unique” and unusual jewelry

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your designs
A: As I travel I am intrigued by various treasures that I find as I shop local boutiques. Each piece, whether they are stones, elements or a pendent, inspire my creativity for the end design

Q: Describe the woman who embodies the Naje’ Design brand of accessories
A: Women with personal pride that is elegant and sophisticated. She loves to always look her best, be original and make a fashion statement when she is out

Q: What is your favorite piece of accessory?
A: My One Of A Kind, unique necklace collection of course

Q: Any style tips on accessorizing with jewelry?
A: As you choose your wardrobe you must accessorize to complement. Whether it is simple everyday attire or elegant evening wear, your accessories must be tasteful and complement your wardrobe

Q: What is your vision for the Naje’ Designs brand?
A: I am proud of what I design and my vision to reach women of fashion who want to create their own image, be unique, and wear accessories of high quality, that are beautiful and One Of A Kind

Feb 27, 2015

5 Fab Interior Design Magazines

By now you've probably figured out that I have an affinity for interior design. As I've said before, fashion and interior design kinda goes hand-in-hand. To stay current on the latest happenings in the interior design world---I subscribe to a couple favorite publications for inspiration, valuable information and swoon-worthy editorial pictures. These five mags are pretty much my go-to for the aforementioned.
Florida Design | Luxury design inspiration with some of the most stunning residences you can find in the sunshine state. With over 300 pages of editorial content, I'm sure you'd be able to find some inspiration surfing through the hundreds of pages.
Elle Decor | Elle Decor exposes its readers to what top industry designers are doing. I love the diversity of style that Elle bring to its readers. A favorite indeed. 
DWELL | A practical, modern and stylist approach that serves every budget for both interior and exterior design inspiration.
HGTV Magazine | A publication from the popular HGTV Network, this magazine comes loaded with lots of amazing design ideas and functional concepts.
Style at Home | A favorite among Canadian interior design enthusiasts---but you're in luck. It ships state side. Packed with great ideas, color principles and style variety. It's worth every single penny. It's a must have for me.

Feb 25, 2015

Foodie Favorite | Américas . Houston TX

One of the great things about traveling is having the ability to dine at some of the best restaurants and eateries in the world. I had the pleasure to make a stop in Houston, Texas recently and stopped in at a local South American restaurant--Américas. Part of the Cordúa group of restaurants--Américas is nestled in a strip in the upscale and trendy River Oaks neighborhood in Houston. While not having a clue of what to expect upon arrival, once I stepped foot into the warm,cozy and eclectic establishment---I immediately got a reassuring sense that I had made a great choice. I was greeted promptly by a waiter who provided a brief tour of the restaurant, then escorted me over to meet co-owner David. Who then provided me with the back story on how Américas came to fruition. Every intricate design element details a story tracing back to the rich culture of the  Americas. From Christopher Columbus's voyage, the slave trade and European cultural influences---the cuisine is a perfect fusion of Spanish, African and French influence. It doesn't get any better. But let's get to the menu shall well?
The Whiskey Sour, concocted with bourbon, lime juice and egg white (it's actually not that bad) is a signature cocktail that is a favorite amongst frequent patrons. This came as a recommendation by David and it did not disappoint. The ceviche was served on a fabulous pineapple carving and was an instant hit. Lobster Corn Dog: house made lobster sausage,carnival style corn dog batter and lemon chardonnay aioli. Yum! How about the Angel Wings--fried light with brown butter, habanero-papaya sauce and blue cheese. Delish! You definitely have to start off with the plantain chips that are accompanied by three unique sauces. But the highlight of my experience was in the dessert. The Tequila Bread Pudding is oh la la! You simply can't beat a dining experience that perfects great ambiance, exceptional service and outstanding cuisine. After all, these are the key elements that make a dining experience an exceptional one. This my certainly a foodie favorite!

Feb 22, 2015

Fringed Benefits

One trend you'll see lots of in the spring of 2015 is fringe. This western staple will make another comeback from dresses to outerwear, so get ready to unleash your inner boho-chicness. We'll also see a more modern take on 1920s style flapper dresses--- so work your inner Josephine Baker, please why don't you!
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Until next time lovies....Peace, Love & Blessings!

Feb 20, 2015

Photo Shoot Fresh

Hey Lovies ---I recently took part in a promotional photo shoot for an upcoming fabulous event---Bloggers' Ball, an Eye on Fashion event. I opted for a sexy menswear inspired look, with out course---a pop of boldness. I always opt for the classic black and white when I'm shooting for an effortless yet chic look. The color combination is perfect in making an unintended statement. Nothing says sophisticated chic like black and white accented with a bold and fabulous red lippie.The white jean blazer added just the right contrast to my chocolate complexion and red lips. I purchased it around 10 years ago on the clearance rack at my local Ross Dress for Less. It was a total score! It has become my go-to over the years. I wish I knew who the designer is----but the tag was removed. Expect to see it many times over this spring.

Photography by JGomez Fine Art | Makeup by Glam Jackie

Outfit Details: Blazer: Ross (option here) | Shirt: Ralph Lauren (option: here and here) | Pants: Calvin Klein (here) | Pumps: RSVP via (option here) | Lips: Anastasia Beverly Hills American Doll Liquid Lipstick (here)