And it's a Wrap

In many parts of the world it is already 2014, meanwhile here 2013 is still wrapping up.  While that happens it's hard to bypass reflecting on what's been this year for us.  In my case it's been full of ups and downs, hopes and disappointments, falls and rises luckily with probably more of the latter one.  But we all know that completion and accomplishment are never awarded.  It's all part of that flurry road that opens up into success and realization.  2013 brought me the beginning of Tyche, my jewelry line.  Something that a few years ago was only a foggy wish.  From a "what if" went to a "why not"? and I couldn't be happier and more hopeful.  May 2014 unwrap in front of us full of opportunities and excitement!  Happy New Year dear readers and friends.

xoxo  J

photo my me

Our trip to Cartagena in pictures

If you are like me, and travel for architecture, food, culture and fresh air then Cartagena de Indias is undoubtedly a place you should go.  The main attractions of this city is enclosed within a fortified wall built around the 1530's to protect the city from pirates who seem to be more than interested in the gold existing in ancients tombs as well as in Cartagenas's strategical trading location.  We were expecting a devastating heat while we were there however the weather was perfectly comfortable.  Sunny everyday but also breezy and very little humidity in particular during the late afternoons when the sun is setting.  Between admiring the colonial architecture and trying out the ceviche we had a very memorable Christmas and I highly recommend it.

The Churches throughout Cartagena are stunning and also a chance to get to cool off while safeguarding yourself from the sun.
Calle Cochera de Hobo is one of the most beautiful streets in the City.
The typical straw hats being sold on practically every street. 

My hubby always doing silly things.

There are horse carriages you can stop and hop on everywhere in the city. 
Plaza de San Pedro Claver

Restaurante Donjuan was my favorite for lunch.  Not only for the beautiful ambiance and decor but also for the good food. 
Restaurante Vera at Tcherassi Hotel + Spa, owned by the most well known Colombian designer, Silvia Tcherassi, was the best for dinner.  (picture above is from Bon Appetit)
We stayed at Sofitel Legend Santa Clara.  Located in an old monastery, the setting and decor couldn't have been better.  The service is excellent as well. 
They offer a full buffet breakfast and/or a la cart.  Colombian soft note coffee is so far my favorite coffee and when French pressed it is even better.
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas is outside the walled City, it's as hot as hell and you basically get to walk outside on the structure where the sun seems to bounce all over the place.  I don't really recommend a visit here, unless you are really-really into it!. 
This is Mateo.  A permanent resident Toucan of Sofitel Santa Clara.  Everyone who goes there expect to see him and get acquainted with him quickly!
We decided to hop on a speedboat and spend one day and night at the beach.  Our first choice for Hotel didn't have any availability but everything works out for the best.  We got to spend a wonderful time in San Pedro de Majagua bathing under the sun, sipping mojitos and munching fish and lobster.  We couldn't ask for more.

The Hotel has suites with outdoor spaces with hammocks where we went late afternoons tired of doing nothing.

Now, when are we going back again?

All pictures taken by me with the exception of the Vera Restaurant.

Feliz Navidad

A small postcard from Cartagena de Indias To wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Here is hopimg for a great time among family and friends.
Photo taken by me.

Friday eye candy: Christmas in Europe II and party dresses

Amid the hustle and bustle of preparation for Christmas dinner.  The heat inside the kitchen, the decoration of the table, the last minute rushing trip to the Super Market, thank God there is also the music, the wine, the conversations and the people you love around you to make up for the stress that every festive anticipation brings.  One can also get lazy or exhausted and forget planning what to wear.  For that reason I've rounded up a very affordable and cool selection of party dresses for you to beam that night because you deserve it.  xoxo J


Christmas in Europe 2014 part 1

There is no way that one Christmas will pass by without our traditional Christmas in Europe post.  For the third year in a row this has become a tradition which is in the end what Christmas is all about; Tradition among unity, hope, happiness and joy.  I hope you are enjoying your preparations and excitement this season brings.


When traveling; dress accordingly: What to pack to Cartagena

My first choice of clothing when traveling to a city like Cartagena de Indias, Colombia's largest tropical port, would be to embellish myself in only Dries Van Noten and Stella McCartney's sophisticated prints.  When that may happen, I don't know!  Until then, I am happy with shopping at Top Shop this summer.  I paid a visit yesterday to do some shopping for our trip to the wall surrounded city next week and I loved the beautiful prints on their understated British styled pieces.  I was even happier when I saw their price tags.  Here are my picks to pack when going to a city where heat is the norm.  Enjoy!

 Necklace, hat, Missoni scarf, Tory Burch sunglasses, black top, shorts, Hermes ottomane, skirt, stripped top, caftan.  Last but not least it's a good idea to pack a few hair pins. 
When it comes to skin products, in a city like Cartagena where average temperature year round is 32 C and humidity is the daily bread then I don't really want to be using too many of them.  But  anyone over 30 must likely will need some coverage. After my layers of serum, I swear on Skinceuticals physical fusion UV defense SPF 50.  It's almost as light as water with a cafĂ©-con-leche tone that gives just the right coverage.  For the body I can't replace my Shiseido Ultimate sun protection lotion SPF 50+  The fact that this product, while actualizing its formula, has been in the market for years, speaks millions to how good it is.  I also love Jack Black Performance Remedy SPF 45.  Beautiful eyelashes can get you far in life, They're real by Benefit are the best I've found.  One application can give you a natural look, apply some more and you have thick and separated lashes.  Perfection!  Then only and because eyebrows don't sweat and there's little that needs to be done when you have a pair of respectable eyebrows, I opt for Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for brows and eyes.  I only use the powder and forget about the rest in the package.   I can't live without blush and to cover that department no one does it better for me than Nars.  It’s shade Torrid goes a long way.  Sugar lip treatment SPF 15 in color passion is my only option lately. 


 Stella McCartney
Dries Van Noten
top three images via Cartagena Looks pinterest.
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