Friday, February 20, 2015

Shoe Preview: 3 Spring Favorites from June by June Ambrose for HSN

Because It's June... 

You follow her #rockmom chronicles on Instagram, and you love her style, but have you shopped stylist and designer, June Ambrose's collection on HSN? Her winter lineup featured animal prints, poufs of faux fur and edgy accents. As part of the "The Fashion Edit," the June by June Ambrose for HSN spring collection will debut on March 25th and features lots of fringe, textures and trendy silhouettes. Prices range from $69 for the flat sandals to $149 for fringed ankle boots. Here are the ones I like most in the lineup:

June Ambrose for HSN tri-color fringe sandal
June by June Ambrose Turner2 Sandal
Tri-colored strips of leather, tassels, metallics and a spike heel create drama. Yet this sandal can still be worn in various ways. Denim cut-offs? Yes. A pencil skirt? Sure. Jeans? Absolutely!

June Ambrose for HSN jeweled flat sandal
June by June Ambrose Summer Comfort Sandal

That whole comfort sandal gone-glam trend... well here's a great translation. Jewels, a metallic footbed and animal print calf hair with pops of coral and pink meet for a look that pulls together off-duty looks.
June Ambrose ankle strap wedge sandal
June Ambrose Edin2 Sandal
Colorblock suede and a floral semi-wedge heel make this a great shoe for afternoon brunch. The wraparound ankle strap makes it a little sexy. 

Do you have a favorite among these styles? Do you think any fit into your spring plans?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Booze Clues: 8 Valentine's Day Cocktails to Love

Bae? Boo? Blue? Booze for All!

Cupid's on the loose, and that little bugger has a sick sense of humor. I tend to opine that he's got two sets of arrows: one to induce the warm & fuzzies and the other to prevent them. No matter which quiver that chubby cherub reached into for your arrow, I've got Valentine's Day elixir for you.

For All the Single Ladies!

Basil Hayden's Cherry Spice

This is for the bada$$ woman who digs whiskey and happily celebrates her very own spicy brand of wit. Maybe you're warmhearted. Perhaps you're hot-headed. Either way, you love you (and so do I). Toast yourself (and the fact that February is National Cherry Month.)

Hasil Haydens Valentine's Cocktail for National Cherry Month


3/4 parts Heering Cherry Liqueur
1 dash Aromatic Bitters
2 parts Milk Stout Beer
Fresh Nutmeg

Combine Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, cherry liquor, and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and shake. Roll in the milk stout beer. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish

Sauza Inner Goddess

If you're a fan of the 50 Shades of Grey book series, you'll love this cocktail created to celebrate today's opening of the first silver screen installment of the trilogy. If you're not into ubiquitous lit, you should still pour a little libation to celebrate the goddess within you (whether she be Lilith, Athena, Venus or...). 

Sauza Tequila and Cruzan Rum 50 Shades of Grey Cocktail

2 parts Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 part Cruzan® Guava Rum
2 parts fresh lemon sour
1 part mango juice
1 barspoon red pepper jelly
1 lime wedge (for garnish)

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled cocktailglass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Bestie Brunch Toasts

The Sparkling Rose

You binge on the Golden Girls and SATC. You've made it through thick and thin. And you both happen to be single today. Give each other roses. Sparkling ones. In a champagne flute. With a kick. 

Milagro Tequila Sparkling Valentine's Day Cocktail


.25 parts Simple Syrup
.5 parts Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 parts Watermelon Juice
2 parts Sparkling Rosé Wine
Garnish: 1 Lemon Twist

Combine all ingredients, except sparkling wine, in a cocktailshaker and add ice. Shake, strain, and pour into a champagne flute. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pink Sunrise

Even at your darkest hour, your bestie has been there to help you see the sun, right? Today's no cause for single women to have gloomy dispositions. Instead, celebrate all types of love, especially BFF love. Sip a few of these bubbly treats and then go find one of those necklace sets with the best/ friend pendant. We're adults now, so get a classy one, why don't ya. 

Lillet Rose sparkling cocktail

1 raw sugar cube
Bittermens Boston Bitters (or grapefruit bitters)
2 parts chilled Lillet Rosé
2 parts chilled champagne
Grapefruit twist

Build like a classic champagne cocktail:  Add sugar cube to the bottom of a coupe glass and soak sugar just through with Boston bitters. Pour Lillet Rose over sugar cube and top with champagne.  Garnish with grapefruit twist.

Edinburgh Rose

Be honest, you and your best friend(s) used to drink Wild Irish Rose in college, right? And I bet you've got a few crazy stories as a result, but you'd never tell what they are. You two (and maybe your crew) keep each other's secrets Fort Knox-secure. Well, I'm hoping the days of plastic-bottle booze are gone, but you can sip a different type of rose today and remember the wild times.

Hendricks Gin Sparkling cocktail

1 oz Hendrick’s Gin (Note: Hendrick’s is infused with rose petals, adding another rose-centric layer to this one!)
4-6 fresh raspberries
1 oz lychee juice
½ oz organic raspberry
Rose Cordial

Shake it all with LOVE and double strain into a flute. Top up with champagne. Garnish with a raspberry.

Drunk in Love (or Like)

The Birds and the Bees

You and your honey know don't need a lesson in love, sex and magic, but maybe you'd like a little extra fuel for your engines.

Solerno Liqueur Valentine's Day Cocktail

1/2 part honey flavored vodka
2 parts plain almond milk
1/2 part fresh lemon juice
1/2 part fresh, organic egg whites
1/4 part honey syrup (half honey, half water)
 1 bar spoon rose water
Glass:  coupe or martini
Garnish:  1 edible rose petal

Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and dry shake to emulsify the egg whites.  Add ice and hard shake until frothy and chilled.  Fine strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass and garnish with a single, edible rose peta1 pt Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur 

Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Anejo

You and your amor enjoy the finer things: good cigars, fine wine, high thread counts. Maybe this year, dine in and enjoy each other in supreme comfort. Have some dark chocolate, light that cigar you've saved for a special occasion and savor the rich flavor of a good tequila.

Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Anejo

Scorchin' Winter Warmer

Things are going to heat up tonight, anyway. Get a head start with a toasty beverage.

Crown Royal Regal Apple Warm Cocktail for Valentine's Day

.5oz Stirrings ginger liqueur
3 dashes angostura bitters

Add to mug and top with warm apple cider

Do you have a go-to drink on Valentine's day? What about on a regular day when you're in the mood for love? Sound off in the comments.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Spot-Light: Olma Caviar Boutique & Bar's Vday Menu

Nibble. Sip. Repeat.


Champagne wishes and caviar dreams... I definitely have them. Do you? If so, Valentine's Day is a prime time for indulging, and Olma Caviar Boutique and Bar is the place to do it. Tucked into a cozy corner of The Plaza Food Hall, it's the only restaurant in Manhattan that serves Beluga Caviar. It also features a selection of dozens of red and black caviars with prices ranging from $5 to $3,499. (Yes, I said $5. No, that wasn't a typo.) That basically means you can nosh at this hideaway even if you're not livin' la vida ballin'. 

I recently stopped by Olma to check out the caviar, and was delighted to learn the salmon— which is among the more inexpensive items on the menu— is delicious (think rich salmon flavor, a good level of brine, strong enough to hold up to white wine or champagne but not overpowering). My favorite, though, was the Ostera Karat. Its flavor was intense and briny (if you're unfamiliar with caviar, imagine the intensity of a marinated black olive). Though I had an effervescent glass of Taittinger Champagne with my caviar, I think the Ostera would actually be better with premium vodka. While Olma's regular menu includes both caviar platters and various snacks that feature its addition, the Valentine's Day Special includes caviar platters with glasses of Taittinger. Here's the menu: 

If you're romantically unattached, a little fabulous nosh is the perfect end to a day of pampering (solo or with your BFF) or a fab pregame for a night of partying. For those who are attached, think of it as culinary foreplay. 

Either way, here's a toast to you, my fellow luxe lushes. To the glamorous life (even if we only get to live it for as long as it takes to finish your fish eggs.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sketchual Heeling: Our Fave Shoe Designers' Glass Slipper Sketches For Disney's Cinderella

Fairy Tales Do Come True

We've all seen the "Cinderella is proof that a pair of shoes can change your life" graphics ad nauseam by now.  As cliche as they've become, they continue to circulate because those of us who love shoes believe at least partially in the assertion. The simple sight of an amazing shoe can send our heart into overdrive, and if we catch a glimpse of a gorgeous sketch... le swoon. Disney apparently got the memo that we, indeed, believe in the life-transforming power of shoes. Consequently, to commemorate the upcoming live-action Cinderella movie, the foremost fairy tale purveyor has enlisted nine global luxury shoe designers to reimagine the (in)famous glass slipper. They really are the stuff of shoelover fantasies. Here they are:

Alexandre Birman Sketch of Cinderella Glass Slipper
Alexandre Birman

Salvatore Ferragamo Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Salvatore Ferragamo

Jerome C Rousseau Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Jerome C. Rousseau

Jimmy Choo Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Jimmy Choo

Nicholas Kirkwood Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Nicholas Kirkwood

Stuart Weitzman Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Stuart Weitzman

Rene Caovilla Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
René Caovilla

Paul Andrew Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Paul Andrew
Charlotte Olympia Cinderella Glass Slipper Sketch
Charlotte Olympia

So. which is your favorite?

*Fine Print: Courtesy images.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Red Carpet Recap: Shoes from the 57th GRAMMY Awards

The Three to See

Red carpet coverage this year seemed to be extremely limited for this year's GRAMMY awards. A perusal through the images on Getty's website would make one thing that only a handful of boldface names even attended the show. Of those photographed (or published), only a few showed their shoes and even less wore anything to write home about. Nonetheless Kat Graham, Beyonce and Taylor Swift all tickled my shoe fancy. Here are their shoes (sans celebs... because we don't want the photo-related issues we've been hearing about from some other bloggers):


Jeweled Fendi Sandal Worn by Beyonce

Her arrival gown didn't really show her shoes, but when the queen of the Beyhive posed with her awards, she wore a sparkling black fringed mini and dramatic jeweled Fendi sandals. Crocodile, crystals, a caged look and a cutout heel make a winning combination here. No comment on the performance or whether or not she should have won the award instead of Beck. (Available at

Kat Graham

White Sophia Webster Pumps from the GRAMMYS

Kat Graham punctuated a sheer black and white gown with white Sophia Webster 'Coco' pumps. The stacked jeweled beads on the heels make them whimsically glamorous and added a dash of color to the monochromatic look. (Available on Sophia Webster's website)

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift's Giuseppe Zanotti Sandals for the Grammys

The princess of emo pop rocked berry-colored suede wedge sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti with her teal gown. Though Pharell may not have been impressed with her dance moves, I liked the way she played with colors. (Available at

What did you think of the shoes on the red carpet this year? Which pair was your favorite?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Shoe Sleuth: 4 'Round-the-Clock Dress Boots Under $150

Trade Show Survival Shoes

A recent reader request: 

"Dear Shoe Sleuth,
I'll be attending an international trade show in the near future and will be on my feet all day for multiple days. I'l also be meeting clients with whom I've worked remotely for years, and the weather is likely to be cool and rainy. My budget is $150. Please help me find shoes!

A reader who wants to work it and still be able to walk"

Dear  Reader,

It sounds like you need shoes that are comfortable and versatile with an air of sophistication. They should also be fairly versatile because chances are you'll be heading out for dinner, drinks and/ or events after walking the trade show floor. Wet, chilly weather means you don't want to do suede. All of that said, I see how the price point is a challenge, but I've found you some options. Even if none of these are an exact match, they're a good starting point.

Black heel, lace-up shoe by Bettye Muller

Menswear-inspired with a pointed toe and block heel, this lace-up Quincy shoe from Bettye by Bettye Muller works with a suit or pencil skirt and tights. Later, pair this oxford with jeans, a fitted mini or something frilly for just the right amount of edge. (Available at Lori's Shoes)

cushioned dress boot by earthies
This sleek Del Rey bootie by Earthies is all about angles. An asymmetric shaft, slanted heel and stylized seams create clean lines and stylize what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill flat bootie. Featuring the Earthies Wellness Footbed, it has a specially contoured cushion for extra support and comfort. It's also available in black, but the pewter version stands out a little more. (Available at

comfort dress boot by isola

Block-heel booties have been on must-have lists for the last few seasons because of their tendency to be versatile and relatively comfy. This Corbin bootie by Isola is an ideal mashup between fashion, function and comfort with its classic styling, stacked 3-inch heel and latex comfort footbed. Slacks, jeans, skinny pants and sweaterdresses will all play well with this style. (Available at

Tall wedge boot by Nine West

A tall boot with a wedge heel is a great way to go for easy elegance, as well. This Heartset boot by Nine West has gotten pretty good customer reviews for walkability, and it's a style that can be dressed up or down without much effort. It has a 3 inch heel, but if you're accustomed to 4-inch stilettos, this height will be ideal for long days. (Available at

Another option is to add a gel cushion to the inside of your favorite boots. I'd love to know your thoughts on these choices. Other reader, do you have a favorite pair of shoes for long days? Is there another brand we should check out? Let us know in the comments.