luxury · wine

Adventures in Enology: Wine School, Round 2

A few months ago, I mentioned an awesome FREE Wine Tasting class on Coursera. If you missed out on the course previously, I have good news for you: the course reopened this week! I’m re-registering for it, since I only completed about 50% of it during the last session. This time, I’m determined to complete it!

all free download

(photo courtesy of All Free Downloads)

Though the course is free, it requires the purchase of wine, glasses and food for the exercises. I’m so committed to completing the course this time that I’ve already ordered some of the items that will be needed in the upcoming weeks. I hope you all join me in taking this free Wine Tasting course. Of course, if you aren’t interested in learning more about wine, you can always check out the many other free courses available on Coursera.

luxury · style

Affordable Cashmere? Yes Please!

Happy Monday, friends! It’s feeling more and more like winter with each passing day. As much as I hate to let summer go, I realized that I needed to put away my lightweight blouses and bring out my cozy sweaters and scarves. I must admit, I was excited to bring out my cashmere sweaters: I love the colors (deep raspberry and lime green) and feel of my sweaters. Not to mention, using Dryel has kept them looking incredible.

 (This is great for keeping your cashmere in tiptop shape)

I’ve had these sweaters since last year, when I decided it was time to invest in some nicer wardrobe pieces. I found a great place for getting cashmere for less than $50 a sweater (feel free to double check the prices: I was hard pressed to find cashmere sweaters in the $70 range). I purchased my sweaters from Stein Mart, which had lots of different colors and cuts, starting at less than $40 per sweater. If you have an eBates account, you can even get cashback on your purchase, bringing your cost down even more.

(Boatneck and v-neck are just two of the necklines offered in Stein Mart’s cashmere sweaters)

This season has different shades from last year, but there is still a good variety to choose from. If I wasn’t saving my coins, I’d definitely buy a couple more sweaters: the prices are spectacular! You can check out the sweaters here. If you know any other places that have affordable cashmere, let me know in the comments below!

luxury · style

Dreaming of Jewelry

I wanted a light and fun post because I’m still enjoying the remnants of snow from yesterday. Here are some of my favorite Instagram accounts that feature all sorts of glamorous jewelry:

Champagne Gem: All manner of gorgeous jewelry, especially diamonds. Check out this 110-ct. diamond featured on their Instagram page:

Christie’s Jewels: Heirloom quality jewelry offered by Christie’s, the famous auction house. Here’s a link to one of my favorite pieces that was recently featured on their Instagram page:

Frank Everett: SVP of Sotheby’s Luxury Division, connoisseur of all things expensive and swoonworthy. The sapphire bracelet recently shown on Frank’s page is the kind of thing art deco dreams are made of:

Josh Levkoff Jewelry: Custom made jewelry with flawless stones and timeless settings. What more could you want?

art · luxury

Classical Art Sale at Sotheby’s London

Sotheby’s is having an Old Masters Sale on December 7th, and I must admit, I would love to own one of these incredible works. After attending the Drawing Salon at the National Gallery of Art, I discovered a new level of appreciation for classical works. As a result, I am always interested in the Old Masters and all manner of classical art.

I love all art with Black faces, especially classic art. So I was delighted to see this one, even if the Black woman depicted is a servant. I’m amused that the Princess of Zanzibar (an archipelago of Tanzania, an African country) is a European woman. I would think that the princess of any African country or region would be a woman of color, but I digress.

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(Portrait of The Princess of Zanzibar with an African Attendant by Walter Frier)
During the drawing salon that I attended, we studied the significance of the Madonna paintings. So I’m partial to any rendition of the Virgin and Child.
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(Virgin and Child with a Pear by the Workshop of Joos van Cleve)
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(The Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist by Antonio del Ceraiuolo)
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(Madonna and Child by School of Bruges, second half of the 16th Century)
These paintings are expected to fetch between 10,000 and 90,000 GBP (approximately $13,000 and $121,000 USD). It’ll be interesting to see how well these sell in a couple of days!
The sale will be held at Sotheby’s London. Oh how I’d love to be there when this sale occurs!
luxury

Speaking of Gemstones . . .

A few days ago, I posted a link to a course that teaches the basics of gemology. Well, it wasn’t long before I came across a gem that would put all of that recently acquired knowledge to use … Feast your eyes on this beauty:

 

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(photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s will be auctioning this breathtaking pink diamond in Geneva, Switzerland on November 15, 2017. The stone, named The Raj Pink, is expected to fetch over $30 million.

For those that don’t know, fancy colored diamonds of any hue are rare. Fancy colored pink diamonds are even rarer, and to have a fancy pink diamond with this size and clarity makes it among the rarest in the world. I hope whoever decides to purchase it will allow the Smithsonian Institute – or some other prominent museum – to display it for a period of time. I’m sure that the public would love to see this beauty up close.

In case that first photo wasn’t enough for you, here are two more:

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(Photo courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar)

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(Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)

I simply can’t get enough of this stunning stone! I can’t wait to see how high the bidding will go, and who will be the lucky purchaser of The Raj Pink diamond.

luxury

An Eye for Gemstones

Happy Friday, my friends! I’m eagerly looking forward to the weekend, as there are a lot of events going on and I’m ready to enjoy the last, lingering bits of warm weather.

But, if the weather should turn chilly, I have an online course I can check out to pass the time. I recently found a gemology course that I think will be great for increasing my body of knowledge. The woman that created the course, Barbara Smigel, is a college professor that knows her gems inside and out.

moziru(image courtesy of Moziru)

Even as a child, I was enchanted by gemstones. The sparkle, the colors, the amazing cuts … I can’t help but find myself hypnotized when looking at high quality gems. So it only makes sense that I would be drawn to this kind of course. I’m looking forward to going through the materials and learning more about gems!

Other than that, I don’t have much else going on this weekend. I hope you have some fabulous plans in the works! Talk to you all tomorrow!

beauty · luxury

Review: Kimberly New York “Indigo Love” Perfume

Hello friends! I previously reviewed Kimberly New York’s Dimple fragrance (as well as the others available through the perfumier). But in late August, Kimberly New York released a new fragrance, Indigo Love, and I had to try it. It just arrived last week, after a bit of a shipping delay (the product was mailed out of Florida, and it seems that it got caught up in the Hurricane Irma delays). But it’s here now, so it’s time to review!

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The product describes “Indigo Love” this way:

FREE-SPIRITED. EASY. FLORAL.

“Indigo Love” is an easy-going, bright floral. Sweet tangerine adds a bit of zest to mildly floral honeysuckle blossom. Warm cedarwood anchors this whimsical scent in grown-and-sexy sophistication.

Eau de parfum

Notes: 
top – sweet tangerine 
middle – honeysuckle blossom 
base – cedarwood

It starts off bright and citrusy, but there is a sweet mellowness that settles in after the first few whiffs (must be that honeysuckle essence). After that, the cedarwood whispers softly and smells warm; it gives me the feeling of lazy, faintly humid summer days.

Just like “Dimple”, this one has to be reapplied frequently to retain its power. But the fragrance is beautiful and the name – “Indigo Love” – is fitting. This would be just as perfect with a pretty sundress as it would be with a t-shirt and jeans.

My final thoughts? I really like it! I would purchase it again.

Have any of you had the chance to try some of the Kimberly New York fragrances? Let me know in the comments below!