Tag Archives: personal

Scotch in the Snow

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Valentine’s Day always falls in the middle of New York Fashion Week which means for the past 4 years we have been working non-stop and unable to have a proper romantic date.. that is until this year. Kevin surprised me last weekend by clearing my work schedule and whisking me away to Glenmere Mansion, originally built in 1911 as a home for Robert Goelet, for an “early” Valentine’s Day celebration.

We have recently been learning about the world of Scotch. I love the simplicity of a single pour drink if it’s at our studio in New York, or on a weekend getaway, so I don’t have to think about mixers and recipes. I’ll never forget the first time I tried Scotch- it was on our honeymoon on Safari in South Africa. We arose before the sun and had a quick breakfast before hoping in the jeeps- on the breakfast bar, oatmeal with a topping of scotch. What?! I mean.. this blows the “before noon” rule right out of the water. Come to find out, it was a delicious tradition and on those very cold sleepy mornings, just the right thing to warm you up ever so.

Fast forward a few years and we have been slowly learning and enjoying the lessons in scotch. We recently did an amazing flight taste tasting with our friends from The Glenlivet at Highlands, a Scottish experience gastro pub in the West Village. When Kevin was planning this romantic getaway he took inspiration from that evening and bought us a bottle of  The Glenlivet 15 which he knows I’d like because of its sweeter notes of almonds and spice. I love it’s distilled in French oak which makes it creamy and rich which I prefer, as a woman, to the other smokier varieties. The best part about gifting and receiving a beautiful scotch if you’re a man or woman is that you get to share it together, what each person individually smells and tastes and untimely make memories wrapped in the beautiful glow of golden honey.

So here we are, at the historic Glenmere Mansion, a place to cradle us away from the noise of the city and to spend the hours snuggled by the fire with the winter air breaking outside as we sip on scotch to keep us warm. This amazing experience was made possible by our friends at The Glenlivet~

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“Last year I decided to educate myself about Scotch, something I knew very little about. When I went to the wine shop on our street I asked for some recommendations for where to start, and they suggested The Glenlivet 12 as a starter. Jamie and I both really enjoyed it, and knowing her palate I knew the 15 year would be a great next move.”

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Things I’ve learned about The Glenlivet:

The Glenlivet was the original Scotch, supporting an idea we believe in strongly, to be an original.

Why “The” Glenlivet?: The Glenlivet is known for its smooth and elegant whiskies. It was renowned and other distillers copied and took advantage of this fact including copying their name! George Smith’s (the founder) sons and heir went into a lengthy battle to secure the rights to be known as THE GLENLIVET to differentiate it from the copy cats.

All their spirits are created using a natural spring water from the same spring they founded the company with in 1824

This region of Scotch making is known for producing very smooth, easy and soft spirits.

On the rocks or straight up? It’s a personal preference but how they described it to me was that by drinking it room temperature you have a fuller, robust flavor. They likened it to a walk in the forest- the smell of the forest after a freshly fallen snow is more muted as opposed to its natural state, or after a warm rain (adding water).

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Worth its Weight in Gold

a look at the special pieces of gold jewelry I wear and why

I like for the jewelry I wear to mean something, to have a story when people ask me about it. Yesterday was the start of New York Fashion Week which means lots of photographs, lots of beautiful clothing and lots of chatting with fashion friends I’ve missed over the summer. A woman on the street complimented me on my gold jewelry which meant so much because each piece has a memory sewn into its life with me. The most important being Kevin’s wedding band {above} which was my Grandfather’s and we all know how amazing he was. They could not afford to buy wedding rings when they were married today, September 5th, 1950, so for their one year anniversary my grandmother had saved for months to buy this simple gold band.

When I’m shooting or traveling to more rural parts of the world I also prefer to wear a more simplistic set of jewelry than the beautiful vintage ring that usually lives on my finger (and I still get caught starring in awe at it). Instead I wear another simpler ring that is very special to me. Yesterday we learned about John Hardy’s Greener Every Day initiative with their bamboo collection: when you wear bamboo, you plant bamboo. My bamboo ring is inscribed on the inside “This Planted 7 Bamboos” and reminds me not only to take care of the earth around us but also recalls a life changing journey to Bali with John Hardy and Cuyana.

a look at the special pieces of gold jewelry I wear and why

Around my neck is a long gold chain with two charms dangling off it: the moon & stars with the earth. The Moon & Stars was a gift from a woman photographer & creator of very exclusive heirloom pieces I greatly admire after I photographed her daughters at our studio. The earth was an anniversary gift from my husband to remind me of all the places we’ve been and all the dreams I have to look forward to.

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Napa Valley & Beyond

A honeymoon trip through Napa valley Even though our private little cottage at Carneros Inn was the perfect hideaway for newlyweds in love, we did find the “courage” to venture out into the hills of California’s Napa Valley. So what does one do in this stunning American wine region? … drink and eat. A LOT. It was so much fun hopping on bikes and bouncing from one winery to the next, sometimes making a picnic and sometimes trying world-famous restaurants such as Bouchon. My absolute favorite winery was James Cole, where we bought a case of Merlot we gave to family members as Christmas gifts…and saved some for ourselves (for special occasions, like this past Thanksgiving). We played tourists on the Napa Valley Wine Train and spent a day in Santa Rosa, the city one of Kevin’s favorite beer breweriesRussian River, calls home. The details are foggy with the passage of time (or maybe it was the wine) and now only the highlights of my memories remain and these very few snapshots on film of the time in our lives when we were newlywed ~

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Carneros Inn

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I was always enchanted with the quaintness of John F. Kennedy & Jackie’s California retreat on the 2nd leg of their honeymoon after Acapulco. Though we chose to start out on a once-in-a-lifetime Safari, we wanted to really take time to also slow down and take in our new roles as husband & wife with as many sunsets as possible. I found our private retreat in Carneros Inn in California’s Napa Valley, a gorgeous rolling hill estate surrouned by fields of grapevines and tucked away rows of little tin-roofed cottages, a literally home away from home. I pulled these old color film snapshots out of the archives as Kevin and I recently celebrated our 2nd anniversary to remember that place, those sun-filled days of baths outside in our walled garden, nights by the outdoor fireplace drinking wine and mornings with time to read the newspaper. It was magical, it should be magical and I hope it was or will be for you…

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