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Tag Archives: travel

Paris Fashion Week Wrap Up

A picture’s worth a thousand words and no more so than pictures of Paris. Fashion Week in Paris is like nowhere else in the world. The city is fashion and fashion is the city. It all works seamlessly together. So, whether you’re there to visit the museums, or to plow through the showrooms, it all seems like walking through poetry. Here are some highlights from my trip earlier this month.

All images Caroline Diani except image 10. Credit Maja Wyh

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New York Fashion Week Wrap Up

Travel Essentials

This is the time of year where I am bouncing around between NYC, Paris and LA scouring the showrooms and runways looking for the best of the best to bring into DIANI for fall 2014. It has it’s glamorous moments, but if any of you have been to NYC in February (brrr!), you’ll know that it can be close to impossible to 1. wear warm enough clothes and still feel chic and, 2. get anywhere on time when there’s snow on the ground. With up to seven appointments a day, it can sometimes feel like I’m on one of those Amazing Race-esque reality shows. However, over Valentine’s weekend, the hubby came out so we could see a play (No Man’s Land with Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart – AMAZING!) and also play in Central Park and visit friends in Upstate NY. It was the perfect time to fully embrace the snow and have fun! Here is a synopsis of essentials I travel with, a sneak peek at some designer highlights and the beautiful NYC in all it’s snowy glory.

The aftermath of a buying trip looks a lot like this….stay tuned for a Paris wrap up! For live time updates, follow me on Instagram @dianiliving xo

 

 

 

 

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Morocco Part 1 – Marrakech

Morocco

My husband and I recently took our honeymoon in Morocco and I don’t think either one of us were quite prepared for how much we would fall in love with the country. We spent just under two weeks there and, thanks to my amazing friend, Claire Eastwood and her expertise in luxury bespoke travel. In collaboration with The Smart Flyer, she set us up with a local guide who took us to several towns and areas we had wanted to visit. First on our agenda was Marrakech. The 14th century streets and alleyways of the Medina are packed with spices, sights, & sounds that took us into another world.

Morocco

When you first enter the side streets with all the Souks (stalls), you are overwhelmed with the smells, the people, the hustle-bustle and the fact that you are in the middle of something that has been happening this very way for thousands of years. It brings tears to your eyes. It’s a cultural delight.

Morocco

Morocco

The spice Souks are AMAZING! Saffron, cumin, corriander and so much more. There are also a plethora of essential oils amber, musk, rose, argan and herbal remedies and cosmetics made from kohl, cochineal powder and henna.

Morocco

Morocco     Morocco

Badi Palace.

Morocco

The Jardin Marjorelle, where Yves St. Laurent once lived and where his ashes are now spread.

Morocco      Morocco

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco

Morocco      Morocco

We stayed at the stunning La Sultana Riad in the Kasbah.

Morocco

Tile

Morocco

Morocco      Morocco

The breathtaking Madrassa Ben Youssef (an ancient religious school)

Morocco      Morocco

Details in our Riad La Sultana.

Morocco

The dyers Souks where wools and silks are dyed with all natural, from the earth colorings from indigo, saffron, mint, poppy and rose.

Morocco      Morocco

Morocco      Morocco

Nightime in the Place Jemaa el Fna is not to be missed! Food stalls, snake charmers, musicians and plenty of ways to spend a few more dhirams. So culturally amazing, it has been designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

 

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Moroccan Finds

Moroccan Finds

One of the many joys of traveling is discovering what is indigenous to a place and how they use their natural resources. Morocco has a wealth of this and, they have, over the centuries, crafted a huge market for herbs, spices, lotions and potions, woven rugs, dyed silks and wools, baskets, leather goods, silver and gold and so much else that it blows your mind! We fell in love with it all and especially the people who take pride in what they produce. Clockwise from top left – Moroccan Mint Tea. Glass and silver decanters for Rose Water (traditionally used to freshen the hands of house guests before they enter your home). The food is ridiculously good in Morocco and they use so many wonderful spices. We missed the vegetable tagines, couscous and other dishes so much that we hunted down a good cookbook to learn some of the dishes we grew to love. Tagine cooking is essentially from the Berber regions of North Africa and the name comes from the clay dishware used to make the dishes. Book available here. Glass and silver mint tea glasses. Saffron – very prolific in Morocco and reasonably priced. Dried roses – Moroccans use roses to scent themselves and their homes. We couldn’t believe how fragrant it was, so had to bring some to our home. Black Soap – used in the Hamams. Hamams are steam baths and used weekly as part of the religious cleansing ritual. We were lucky enough to have two Hamams while we were there and left each one swearing that we need to pamper ourselves more often. The treatment involves laying in a gorgeous steam room (picture the most beautiful tile and stone work you can imagine) being cleansed with the black soap, drenched in buckets of warm water followed by an exfoliation. You are then moisturized with Argan Oil. Since it was our honeymoon, we followed our treatments with massages. Heaven on earth! I’m now spoiled for life.

Moroccan Finds

Since remodeling our bathroom, we’ve been on the hunt for the perfect light fixture for above the sink. One of the Souks (market stall) in the Medina in Marrakech came through for us! Hand forged and made by one of the locals who we got to meet. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Moroccan Finds

A Kilim Berber rug bought in the Medina in Marrakech and now proudly living in our dining room. Hand dyed with natural dyes and hand made – perfectly imperfect.

Moroccan Finds

Argan trees grow all over Morocco and produce a nut that has been used for thousands of years in cooking. The nut is beaten by hand to reveal the inner nut which is then ground into an oil. This process is handled by women in co-operatives and it was discovered that their hands never aged and always stayed soft and smooth. Therefore, more recently, Argan Oil is being produced for cosmetic use too and sold all over the world. I have been a fan of Argan Oil for a long time, so couldn’t wait to get my hands on some in it’s native land. Josie Maran has a great Argan Oil here. Use it on your hair, nails or skin. It’s amazing!

Stay tuned for more Morocco posts! I have to share with you some of the places we visited! It is such an incredibly beautiful country and we can’t wait to go back to discover more. Have you been? I’d love to hear from you!

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Flashback Friday – Ireland

There are so many words that come to mind when I think of Ireland: lush, wet, breathtakingly beautiful, disarming, historic, real, edgy, political, troubled. And, whether you’re in Northern Ireland or in the Republic, there is a raw truth that makes you see the humanity on both sides of all the things we’ve read about for years. The people we met personify salt of the earth and, without exception, I felt like what you see is what you get. Oh, and the music and the joy and the laughter. If you ever need a dose of that, the Irish will teach you in spades.

Ireland

29 & 28 Merrion Street Upper, Dublin

Ireland

Aran sweaters are always in style here. Galway Woollens, Westport, Co. Mayo.

 

Ireland

Art in our hotel in Bellina, Co. Mayo.

Ireland

Our version of Downton Abbey and home for the week – Drenagh Georgian Estate, Limavady, Co. Derry.

Ireland

My husband settling in to his farm life on the estate.

Ireland

Essential footwear.

Ireland

One of the secret gardens on the estate.

Ireland

Moss drenched staircases to a grand balcony.

Ireland

Many of the country roads across Ireland are this narrow. Road atop the cliffs of Slieve League, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

Very woolly sheep above the cliffs of Slieve League, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

A typical looking cottage somewhere in Co. Donegal.

Ireland

The center of a roundabout in Bushmills, Co. Antrim. Flying the flags for the Queens’s Jubilee.

Ireland

Pride of Bunn dry docked near Ballymena, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

Lobster traps near Ballymena, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

An afternoon tea at the Merrion Hotel, Dublin (with a spot of whiskey too).

Ireland

Atop Binevenagh, near Limavady, Co. Derry.

Ireland

Our group of friends who joined us on the trip, standing atop Binevenagh, near Limavady, Co. Derry, looking out over the North Atlantic.

Ireland

Potatoes, potatoes, potatoes everywhere.

Ireland

Donegal Tweed Factory, Ardara, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

Tweed Loom near Killybegs, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

Bay near Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim.

Ireland

Fish n Chips, Bushmills, Co. Antrim. The best that I’ve had in a long time!

Ireland

A view from Malin Head, Co. Donegal.

Ireland

Happy cows near Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, Antrim.

Ireland

A newly sheared lamb near Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, Co. Antrim.

Ireland

A view of sunset outside our Georgian Manor.

Ireland

Our uber stylish friends, dressing the part on our pre dinner walk.

Ireland

The clan, toasting to another wonderful day in Ireland.

Ireland

When in Rome, or rather Bushmills in Co. Antrim, have a Bushmills or few!

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Flashback Friday – France

 

From Sud to Nord, Bateaux to Chateaux, I spent a summer a couple of years ago celebrating a friend’s birthday in Saint Tropez and then hired a car and drove myself to Paris, spending nights along the way at places that drew me in. Here is a smattering of memories caught on camera.

 

French Simplicity

A side street in Saint Tropez

Paris Pavement

Pavement graffiti in Paris

A Sea of Sunflowers

Driving up from the South – A common and never tiresome view.

Boules Players

French men always find time to repose. Petanque in the shade with a splash of Ricard.

Steeple

View front my Chateau bedroom window in Rocheguede.

Statue

Statues all over the Chateau.

Chair

A favorite reading chair in my room.

Chateau

A favorite lounging spot with a glass of rose and a book.

Grapes

One of the many wineries you see along your drive to the North.

Wine Barrel

An old wine barrel.

Dijon

The town of Dijon.

Dijon Mutard

The many kinds of salt and pepper to be found in Dijon, not forgetting the mutard!

Carousel

An old carousel in Saint Tropez.

Saint Tropez

The beautiful boats of Saint Tropez.

Saint Tropez Villa

The villa my friend rented in Saint Tropez

Artwork in the Villa

Artwork in the villa

A bientot, France! J’arrive en Octobre!

Don’t forget to enter my GIVEAWAY to win either a luxury facial or luxury skincare product! You do not want to miss this. See Tuesday’s post here for details and how to enter! You have until Sunday and I will announce the winners on Monday!

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A Day off in Ventura

A Day off in Ventura
A Day off in Ventura
A Day off in Ventura

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Notes from a buyer- A day off in Paris

A day off in Paris - Caroline Diani

1. & 2. Breakfast: pain au chocolat at Paul and pads of lilies at Monet’s exhibit at L’Orangerie.

3. Mid Morning snack: Have a smooch with the statue outside (don’t tell your boyfriend).

 

A day off in Paris - Caroline Diani
4. – 6. Lunch: The French don’t lunch, they walk. With all that cheese, how do you think they stay so skinny? So, hoof it to Square du Vert Galant, then over to Notre Dame, and end in awe, staring at the stained glass of La Sainte-Chapelle.

 

7. & 8. Afternoon Snack: Amorino dark chocolate gelato, followed by getting your nose stuck into some Shakespeare (don’t tell Moliere) at the old bookstore near the Pont Neuf.
9. Dinner: Escargots (don’t tell your trainer) and then walk it off up the Eiffel Tower (tell your trainer).
10. And, like I’ll always say, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.

11. Ps: See if you can find some Invader graffiti.

 

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