A Travel Giveaway

A major giveaway for a new generation of global travelers experiencing a new grand tour!

For the past two weeks I’ve shared with you our #GrandTourista journey with the St. Regis and all the wonder, beauty, and romance of Florence. I acquired sweet memories I’ll cherish forever and knowledge about a place that opened my eyes and heart… that’s the power of travel! The St. Regis is generously giving away a 5-night stay at a grand debut hotel of your choice and The Grand Tourista Bag designed by Jason Wu for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts —

Follow @StRegisHotels on Instagram to learn more about how you can win!

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The Finest Silk

Silk has been in Italy for nearly one thousand years, but only one silk house has lasted through the ages.

Antico Setificio Fiorentino is the oldest silk-weaving workshop in Florence, in operation since 1786 with roots back to the Medici in the fifteenth century. There’s such amazing history in the shop… they still use the same 18th century looms (designed by da Vinci!), weave traditional patterns in bottegas, and only use hand-dyed silks without any chemical treatments.

The final product is absolutely breathtaking – rich in color, luxurious in sheen, and a wondrous work of art. It’s no wonder at quality this high they can count the Russian tzar and the Royal Palace of Denmark among their prestigious roster of clients.


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Scuola del Cuoio

Hidden in a courtyard behind Santa Croce…

 The Scuola del Cuoio features a long hallway where skilled artistans stand at their stations, making the finest of leather bags, clothing, and home décor items. Often you will see an apprentice seated with a master craftsman, learning by their side.

It is absolutely incredible to walk through and see the attention paid to each piece, meticulously hand-crafted in traditional fashions. It’s no wonder they have become world-renowned for their devotion to quality work.

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The smells of Florence

When you walk into the Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, a beautiful scent wafts in the air, one that hasn’t changed in hundreds of years… Everything made here is an all natural, hand-crafted work of olfactory art, instructed by aged artisanal recipes.

For myself, I chose Tabacco Toscano, a light tobacco-scented perfume with touches of vanilla and amber. It’s the most popular scent among Florentines, and you know… when in Florence, smells as the Florentines do!

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A Day in Florence

With such a beautiful hotel it can only live among a beautiful city. We had one full day to walk this historical city, to see the masterpieces, eat the food, smell the perfumes, and observe the Italian way of life. I fell in love with this place – the light illuminating the golds and greens of the landscape were exactly what I dreamed Tuscany to be. I look forward to our return, and many thanks to the St. Regis Hotels & Resorts for taking me along on a magical Grand Tourista…


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Living with Art

When I walked into Piazza della Signoria in Florence on the #GrandTourista I was overcome by the beauty of the endless amount of emotion circling around me in these statues. What must it be like for Florentines to walk by these breathtaking pieces everyday? I was very surprised whenever I brought up the beauty of the art, the locals were just as proud as I was in awe. Even though they have lived among these works all their lives, they still see the power and passion.. and how can you not?

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…and then we ate

I knew going to Italy was going to mean a couple of things…

Good wine, good food, and especially good pasta, and I was certainly not let down. Our mornings started with breakfast on the private terrace outside our bedroom overlooking Florence’s Arno River… but that was just the beginning. Pour yourself a glass of wine (and one for me too) and let’s tour a taste of Italy!

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The Grand Hotel

What is it like to step into a dream? To walk through doors where the historic Medici family lived and great works of art hung? To stay in a hotel that feels more like a home than your real home? The St. Regis Florence so graciously showed me all of these things as part of their #grandtourista tour. When you walk through the halls, the perfume of Firenze wraps around you and the balcony doors overlooking this magnificent city glide open filling your heart with romance and your soul with visual beauty. For a few lovely nights I lived in a dream, one of true elegance aided by the best personal service I have ever experienced. I’m sure you will believe me when I say my eyes watered with overwhelming beauty and love for the St. Regis, my dream home away from home….

Won’t you look inside with me?

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Packed & Ready to Go.

Hopefully by now you’ve all seen via Instagram that I spent this past weekend in Florence, Italy on behalf of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and their #GrandTourista experience. We travel quite a bit for work (was in Palm Springs this time last week and will be in DC next!) so I have packing down to an art.

St. Regis Hotels and designer Jason Wu collaborated on the perfect travel tote inspired by luxury, style and elegance for the modern day traveler and here is what I never leave home without (from the top down) when traveling:

  • A good magazine. So PDN might be a bit photo-geeky, but it’s one of my favorite industry reads.
  • A soft scarf. This purple & green Chopard scarf was a gift handmade in Italy & perfect for chilly moments.
  • Sunglasses. Just in case you get off the plane and the paparazzi are waiting… jk, but if your eyes look less than perky this will keep the rest of the world from knowing.
  • Eye mask. This is my favorite and yes, I always sleep on flights so I can hit the ground running.
  • Makeup, Jewelry, Amenities. The floral clutch, blue pouch and larger pink pouch are all handmade items from Of a Kind and where I keep my makeup, lipsticks, travel sized perfume, lotions, pills, and travel mirror. This is my favorite NARS all-in-one red lipstick to travel with; I never leave home without this elixir; planes tend to make skin very dry so I have Josie Maron Argan oilKiehl’s Lip Balm #1, and Olivina Fig Hand Cream.
  • Entertainment. iPad with books, movies, and games to pass the time & a super classic Tiffany & Co. iPad case. (Also, FYI, the iPad has become an amazing tool on location shoots to pull up inspiration photos to share with the model on set for what we are trying to achieve!) 
  • A camera. Any camera, because you never know when you need to snap a photo. I just acquired an old Olympus film camera after being inspired by this book given to me by a dear friend. I love it for being small and easy but ready to roll.
  • Writing utensils. I always take a journal and pen for moments when ideas come to me or someone suggests a restaurant I must go to where I’m traveling. My red journal was made in Florence with paper marbling edges, so beautiful.  You can buy it in NY in the seaport at Browne & Co. For a good pen, I *love* my Parker Pen with its beautiful old fashioned tip.
  • Last but not least, the passport. Here is a story to show you how much of a perfectionist I am: I went to three different stores to have my passport photo taken because I was unhappy with the quality of camera or quality of light used. I think of documentation photos as pieces of my history, I want my grandchildren to discover this one day and see me at my best! It has also been very popular among passport control.

What do you put in your travel tote? Am I missing something I shouldn’t be living without?

The Grand Tourista Bag by Jason Wu for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts—for a new generation of global travelers experiencing a new grand tour.