Monday, June 26, 2017

The Newport Flower Show 2017 - FÊTE DES FLEURS: Paintings and Parterres

The Newport Flower Shower was held this weekend at Rosecliffe and it was another spectacular year. It was a hot afternoon in Newport Saturday once the rain cleared out and the clouds broke. This years French theme was modeled after the Grand Trianon of Versailles and we saw some spectacular flower displays. Fashion icon Iris Apfel hosted Friday afternoon tea and discussed style and life. Jeff Leatham was also a guest speaker at Rosecliffe on Friday. He is the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and floral designer to the celebrities and millionaires in the world (Chelsea Clinton, Eva Longoria, Tina Turner, Madonna, Oprah). I have a few pictures of his floral designs that he did at the show below.

Popular designs this year are big ornamental garden heads ,fairy gardens, succulent gardens, along with Moulin Rouge inspired table settings. I tried to capture some of the most impressive designs but my photos do not do them justice. The smell of lilies and roses alone is distracting enough and the exhibits are overwhelming. You could really spend the day there enjoying the different areas.

Jeff Leatham design
Jeff Leatham design

Hotel Silver

Hotel Silver

Silver Chowder Spoons from Hotel Silver in Darien,CT

Fairy house

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ecco Bella - All Natural & Organic Makeup

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Summer colors and scents! I have been checking out a few of Ecco Bella's latest eyeshadows, eyeliner, and Eau De Parfum spray. I am a fan of their eyeshadows, but this is the first time I'm trying one of their eyeliners and parfums.

Ecco Bella offers natural and organic skincare, hair, body, and makeup products. Ecco Bella is a name that means "Behold Beautiful!". They are a great company, with great products, and they support many wonderful organizations like Friends of Animals, Primarily Primates, American Forests (protecting and restoring forests) as well as being Members of the American Sustainable Business Council. Products are gluten-free and almost everything is Vegan (excluding a few lipsticks, glosses, & lip liners).

Organic Bourbon Vanilla ($34.95 1 FL.ON) - this scent is exotic and hypnotic! Madagascan vanilla, rose and jasmine essential oils will settle nicely into your skin. I find myself going back to my wrists to catch another whiff - very enticing. I am not a fan of alcohol smell, but this bourbon is different.

Natural Eyeshadow Refill ($14.95 ea) - Flower Wax enriched formulas to prevent moisture from migrating from the skin. I picked a few Summer neutrals - Fawn and Camel. The eyeshadows go on smoothly and stay put, I'm a fan. I like the colors as they are, or they would be a great base on your palette. Flower wax is suppose to help the eyeshadow go on easier and last longer.

Soft Eyeliner Pencil ($17.95 ea) - rich in palm and palm kernel glycerides to help draw smooth, flawless lines. They are made from vegetable waxes, no synthetic petroleum oils. Naturally preserved. It goes on precise and it's a clean line, plus they have some great dark shades to pick from. It could last a little longer, it tends to fade out by the end of the day.

They have lots of other scents, colors, and options on their website if your looking for your signature color or smell.

Thanks for the Summer treats Ecco Bella!

To find out more about Ecco Bella products or to order online, please go to:

Ecco Bellow is also sold at The Common Bond Market in Shelton,CT and Healthy Foods Plus in Milford,CT.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mermaid Pillow Co.

Take a break from the fidget spinner and get your sequins pillow out! Right now these reversible sequins pillows are really popular. You can draw on them with your finger to create pictures or words. The mermaid pillow is recommended for ages 4 and up. I love it myself and find it fun and relaxing. The sequins are hand-sewn and these are high quality pillows that will add a splash of color and fun to any room.

These pillows are also great for helping with children with autism-related and other sensory-related issues. They pillows are described by customers as "calming" or "relaxing". The company also donates $5 to Autism Speaks for every Accept, Understand, and Love Pillow that is purchased.

The pillows come individually wrapped and they have tons of options to pick from. Mermaid Pillow carries adult decorative pillows along with adorable kids pillows decorated with dinosaurs, dragons, bunnies, fairies and more. Prices range from $19.99 to around $43 depending on which ones you pick (free shipping). These are a little more expensive than the one's from Walmart, but they are way better quality and you will feel the difference right away. These would also make a great gift.

Mermaid Pillow Co. is a family-owned business outside of Omaha, Nebraska. There were kind enough to send me over a few pillows to check out for myself and my kids. They are wonderful quality pillows and my kids were totally excited to get their hands on them. We were actually at the mall the other day and my daughter was playing with a reversible sequin shirt she did not want to leave, so I was looking forward to giving them the pillows as a surprise!

To find out more about Mermaid Pillow Co. and check out all the styles they offer, please go to:

Thanks Mermaid Pillow Co.!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Cutex Summer Nails

Pick out some fun colors for the Summer from Cutex. This year Cutex launched a new line of holistic products that include tools, treatment, color, polish removers and an assortment of hand and foot creams.

Cutex was kind enough to send me some of their new Care+Color nail polish line. It includes 21 vibrant nail colors that are formulated to condition and protect nails. Each color features a vitamin enriched strengthener and built-in protective base coat. The formula contains Hexanol, which is suppose to strengthen and condition nails.

Plus sides: I like the colors, it applies smoothly, nice applicator, and I was able to get the coverage I like in about 3 coats.
Bad side: At this point in my life (with young children), I need quick dry. It took more time that I had for these to dry (almost two hours before it was hard enough not to dent). Once they dried, you are good, but it's getting there that's half the battle.

I tried the Bashful Kiss color with reminds me of a soft cotton candy pink. It's a great Summer color to add a pop of color.

The polishes go for about $5.59 a piece and you can find them on on

Beware of the Blaze and Flower Pout
Pop The Prosecco and Bashful Kiss

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cartier For Dad - L'Envol de Cartier

Father's Day is less than two weeks away. Keep your man smelling dapper all summer long and gift him this Father's Day with this Cartier scent. L'Envol de Cartier was launched Summer 2016 and it's a masculine scent inspired by ambrosia/mead, the honeyed wine known as nectar to the gods. Perfumer Mathilde Laurent created this scent of Caribbean Guaiac wood that is enhanced with notes of honey and musk to create a mesmerizing concoction. It hits you in layers, not all at once and then it settles's a pretty heavy Eau de Parfum but it's very distinct.

The capsule shaped bottle goes for $132 for 3.3 oz and it's available at Nordstrom ( and Bloomingdales ( This is a refillable bottle.

This is Cartier's first men's cologne in over eight years.  It will look great sitting on any dresser because of the glass cloche bottle with Cartier's signature guilloché motif (fancy word for geometric metal design). The bottle looks like a pot of glass honey resting in glass.

Thank you to Cartier for sending this over for us to share. To find out more about L'Envol de Cartier, please go to:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mother's Day Roundup

If you are looking to treat yourself, your mom, or another special mom in your life, here are some great ideas. I would like to thank the brands for sending me out these samples to be featured. There are a few new launches, and some classics. Happy Mother's Day!!

Dr. Hauschka

Dr. Hauschka Revitalizing Day Cream ($39.95)
Help pale dry skin become enlivened with this light moisturizer. Extracts of anthyllis. witch hazel and calendula combine with nurturing oils to balance oil production and replenish the skin. The brand gets wonderful reviews online and it comes highly recommended.

Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light ($42.95)
Rose Day Cream's protective lightweight formulation is ideal for dry or sensitive skin.

Dr. Hauschka has been a natural skin care expert since 1967, and they offer a complete line of holistic skin care that supports balanced skin health to achieve lasting, radiant beauty.

These can be purchased at:
Some CVS &Whole Foods locations in Connecticut also carry this brand.

Ellis Brooklyn

Myth Excellent Body Milk ($55 for 8oz.)
Certified organic, made in NYC. The airy beauty of jasmine petals and tiger orchid meets the sexy, undeniable warmth of liquid musks and white cedarwood.

Rives Eau de Parfum ($100 for 50ml)
1920's French Riviera - The stuff of lazy days on the shore....need to say more? It's a true unisex scent, neroli, petitgrain and lavender form the backbone of this fragrance, which lingers with an elegant base of cashmere woods and white suede for an incredibly clean, almost soapy finish.

Ellis Brooklyn was created by Bee Shapiro, a chic Williamsburg mom who happens to be a style columnist for The New York Times. The eco and sustainability-minded fragrance and bodycare line features sophisticated, multilayered scents created by the perfumer behind Byredo. Phthalates-free, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and utterly luxurious.

Ellis Brooklyn is available at Sephora,, and Credo. They also have a website here:

Pür Cosmetics

Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick ($18 each) and Chrome Glaze ($18 each)
The Velvet Matte Liquid Lipsticks provides lavish lip color in an innovative mousse texture and coasts lips with a smooth flawless finish.

The Chrome Glaze is a high-shine lip gloss that offers vivid colors that won't fade out quickly.

Pür Cosmetics provides high-performance makeup and skincare products that empower women around the world to live an active, authentic, and healthy life.

To find out more about Pür Cosmetics, or to order, please go to:
Ulta and Kohl's also carry the brand in Connecticut.

Reverie Farms 

Natural Soap made with organic oils ($6 a bar)
Reverie Farms is a farm in Texas that sells organic soaps and products including foaming hand soaps, bar soap, sugar scrub, and homemade laundry detergent. Tempting soap scents like Walk in the Forest Soap, Peppermint Soap, Cleansing Lemon Twist Soap, and Citrus Fusion to name a few.

They sent me some delicious smelling soaps that are kind to the skin - any mom would be happy to get these and it's a great way to support a small local town farm..made in the USA! Even better it's natural, organic, biodegradable, & vegan friendly.

To find out more about Reverie farm and what products they offer, please go to:

Histoires de Parfums 

Sephora now carries this European line called Histoires de Parfums created by Geráld Ghislain. The perfumes are strong and they each have a story to tell. These perfumes perpetuate the French perfumery know-how, which feature are luxury, nobility, and creativity. 4oz bottles go for $185, 2oz bottles go for $105, and 0.5oz travel sizes go for $35. They also have a sample set for $20 if you don't know where to start like me. He seems to name his perfumes after years, and then the scent tells the rest of the story.

To find out more about the company, please visit:
To order from Sephora, please go to:

Gumbo Love by Lucy Buffett ($30 US Hardcover)

I am so excited to have this book and I am looking forward to checking out some of the yummy recipes like: Summer Seafood Gumbo, Coastal Crab and Corn Bisque, Easy-Breezy Island Shrimp Curry, and Bronzed Yellowtail Snapper with Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce. The booked just launched on May 9th, Lucy combines over 100 new recipes with old favorites. She lives by her mother's philosophy: "Life is short-eat dessert first." Gumbo Love is a labor of love and includes recipes from all over the Gulf Coast.

Lucy "LuLu" Buffett started with a bayside gumbo and burger joint that doubled as a bait shop. Now she is a successful restaurateur, owner of two LuLu's locations (one in Alabama and one in Florida), and brother to famous Margaritaville crooner Jimmy Buffett.

You can order the book now on Amazon here:

ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Heroes Collection ($146)

In Support of Women For Women International, this anti-aging set includes Elemis' best seller Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm and Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment packaged in a sophisticated case.

Elemis is the number 1British anti-aging skincare brand. They offer a curated range of products, so you can enjoy a spa experience from the comfort of your very own home. Blending together the power of nature with the knowledge of science, each formula is complete with a unique scent, supported by aromatics.

Some Nordstrom locations carry this brand, and it's also available at the Elemis Spa at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.

To order directly or find out more about the brand, please go to:

Cartier La Panthére ($110 50ml)

"The Traditional Mom" would like Cartier La Panthére which is a floral fragrance with feline notes, illuminated with gardenia, a lively flower peppered with chypre and velvety nuances and comprised of an accord in three parts chypre, floral, and musk.

Cartier La Panthére is available at Neiman Marcus: