Friday, December 17, 2010

Deal a Day for Friday...

Just in time for those last minute holiday stocking stuffers, we're offering these tie dye skinny scarves for only NINE BUCKS! They are adorable and a steal, so what are you waiting for??? We also have tons of other great gifts ideas, from long freshwater pearl and crystal necklaces (obsessed with them) to cozy pom pom blankets, and the ever popular Matta pom pom scarves are on sale for the first time ever! There's lots to be merry about this holiday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

hola from mexico.. and cerulean hits national newstands!

Did you see Cerulean in this month's InStyle Magazine??? Listed as the best of the web for "Breezy, Beachy Looks". They write, "Whether you're headed to St. Tropez or Sarasota, pack your suitcase with these floppy sunhats, boho tunics, and lightweight scarves." Gosh, we're flattered! Here's another reason to go pick up this month's InStyle- a special 20% discount for InStyle readers on everything at Cerulean!

So given the massive amounts of new Cerulean fans that have found us this week through InStyle, it probably wasn't the best time to leave the country, but if you know me at all... So we’re just back from a fabulous trip to Mexico (which we've been planning for ages and hated to cancel!), full of the expected- tequila, margaritas, homemade corn tortillas, and Mayan senoritas. I have some new obsessions as well; agua fresca being one of them, and the luxurious Haciendas scattered across the Yucatan being another. I promise to share details of everything fabulous as soon as I can. In the meantime, here is a photo or two to whet your whistle.

Chichen Itza

Haceinda San Jose Cholu

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Criss-Crossing The Mediterranean...

A friend and Cerulean customer (who always hosts our fabulous trunk shows in Nashville!) just took a quick jaunt to the Mediterranean and sent us some pictures! She has great taste in restaurants, hotels, and everything stylish, so we are trying to snag her list of must do's on both sides of the Med Sea. Until then, enjoy some of her snapshots! They started in Lisbon and made their way to Marrakech, staying at La Mamounia. So jealous!

Views over Lisbon

The Streets of Lisbon.

The marketplaces of Marrakech (calling to me!). Take a guide or you will be overwhelmed and lost in there forever looking at brass, silver and fabric!

Elaborate doors with inlay and stone leading to the bathrooms at La Mamounia.

Intricate stone, tile and plaster work in the room at La Mamounia.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Deal a Day...

If you are not on our email list, you missed a fabulous week of sales! We launched our first-ever Deal a Day week where one fabulous product was marked down - waaaay down- for one day only. The sale lasted until the end of the day, or until we sold out of the item, whichever came first. We started Monday with our Harem Tea Glasses, an adorable set of six hand painted glasses with gold trim just the right size for a digestif, a glass of wine, or juice in the morning. We sold out theses glasses by 9 AM! The week continued with Mystique sandals, baskets marked down to about $5 each, gorgeous Sari patchwork rugs, and more. Sunday was our best deal, a Matta silk and cotton pom pom scarf marked down to 60% off. These scarves are never marked down even the tiniest bit! But I think a lot of our girls were out on the town and away from their computers on Sunday because they missed the deal and were heart broken! We will offer this item on sale again soon because we feel bad you guys missed it! Stayed tuned for more deals and be sure to join our email list!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moveable Feast...

I am a huge fan of the farm-to-table movement for several reasons. Practically, scientifically, and from a community standpoint, it makes sense. We should be eating what is freshest and what has traveled the least, sat in the fewest warehouses, been on the least number of ships and trucks. We should put our dollars into the hands of our neighbors, who will in turn spend them at our places of business. We should at least know what is grown in our home county at what time of year. 

But on a more superficial level, I just adore the thought of a long table of friends, family, and residents of the community gathered together in a beautiful spot for a fabulous meal.

With that in mind, we are hosting the first of what we hope will be many to come here in Fairhope, Alabama. Moveable Feast is hosting its first dinner Sunday, November 7, at the old Fairhope Dairy on Old Battles Road in Point Clear! We hope anyone within driving distance will get a ticket and come by! 

Visit our new site for all the details and the yummy menu!

ain't it funny how time slips away...

Wow, I can hardly believe that an entire month (or more) just slipped by us! But we've been busy here at Cerulean marking things down- way down- for our massive end of summer sale. And packages are flying out the door filled with great deals! Here are a few of our favorite deals of the moment...

Gorgeous Sliced Agate Necklaces were $106, now $26.50!
Our Classic Pom Pom Blankets and Matta Pom Pom Scarves (above) NEVER go on sale... until now.
Mystique Sandals are now 50% off!

We've also been busy planning a trip for mid-October and are at a bit of a loss of where to go. Somewhere warm perhaps? It's been stinking hot here for months so I just dont know. So far we have narrowed it down to somewhere on this side of the globe- think North, South, and Central America. Somewhere a bit off the beaten path, too. Hiking in Peru? Cave diving in Panama? Exploring the ancient civilizations of the Yucatan? Or perhaps an urban-outing to BA? I'm looking for your tips here, folks. Send me any and all ideas...

In the meantime, I leave you with this gorgeous shot of the sunset over Mobile Bay- you couldn't make up these colors if you tried. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

summer cocktail extraordinaire...

We found it! THE perfect summer cocktail. This watermelon margarita recipe came from a recent Everyday Foods (by none other than Martha, goddess of entertaining) and we served it at a recent soiree with much success.

When picking a cocktail du jour for your next party, you want something that can be made ahead of time in batches. That way you aren't slaving away at the bar, one high ball at a time, when a guest wants another cocktail. This watermelon margarita can be blended early in the day and kept cool in the fridge in a pitcher until serving time. Go on and make a double batch- you'll use it!

We served it with some grilled shrimp,  Mexican style corn rolled in spices and cotija cheese, and a fresh salad with hearts of palm and avocado. I love summertime.

Watermelon Margaritas
In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 3 wide strips of orange peel to a boil over high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves, 3 minutes. Let syrup cool. In a blender, puree 12 ounces of watermelon cubes (about 2 cups) until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids, into a pitcher (you should have about 1 cup juice). Stir in cooled syrup, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes), and 3/4 cup white or silver tequila (we used golden tequila in a pinch). Fill salt rimmed glasses with ice and pour over margarita mixture. Garnish with lime wedge.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

montana & wyoming roundup...

Montana and Wyoming proved spectacular this summer, as we knew it would be. Trade the blistering summer heat for cool days and jaw-dropping panoramas. In the end we hardly tried a single restaurant, but a sandwich eaten creekside in the woods or a burger cooked on the grill after a long day of rock climbing beats any gourmet meal. We visited with old friends and made lots of new ones- the people out there, whether born and raised locals or seasonal residents- seem to have an openness that is refreshing and a genuine interest in meeting new people. Each one made our adventure great.

Now to the nuts and bolts of the trip: 1000 miles of driving through canyons, over mountain tops, and across the continental divide. Rock climbing, horse back riding through the Teton Pass (love you, Oreo), fly fishing, a little shopping of course, some hiking here and there, and lots of good times with friends. Made a drive through Yellowstone, but my suggestion is to avoid the place when schools are out if at all possible! I will be thrilled if I never see another RV again, or a person who prefers to the see nature from behind a glass window. But the views and natural features were breathtaking, especially once you made it to the northern park of the park, up above tree line, where few tourist seem to venture.

Grand Tetons come into view
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
First time flyfisher- Montana

It only skims the surface to recommended a few of the amazing restaurants, shops, or sights, but here are some that come to mind anyway:

Best Scenic Drive: Bear Tooth Pass
Exit Yellowstone through the Northeast entrance of the park and follow the road into Red Lodge Montana. The switchbacks continuously wind up and over the mountains, and each turn reveals another inspiring view. Dont worry, around the next turn will be a view to top the last, and so on. Bring a picnic lunch and plan to enjoy the ride.

On top of the world at the Bear Tooth Pass

Best Burger: Billy's Burgers, Jackson, WY
Being in the great outdoors inspires you to eat healthy, natural meals, but every once in a while, a  greasy burger and onion rings, finished off with the perfect milk shake are in order. Billy's diner counter serves them up perfectly.

Best Candy Shop: Montana Candy Emporium, Red Lodge, MT
This old west store front is chock-full of candy of all sorts. Homemade fudge, saltwater taffy in countless flavors, imported deliciousness, gag gifts and sweet stuff of all kinds. Come hungry and ready to chit chat with the manager- he's a talker. But he did open the store for us after hours, so I'm not complaining.

Best Bagel and Coffee: Pearl Street Bagels, Jackson, WY
Freshly made bagels are hard to come by outside New York City, so make sure to stop here.

Best Margarita: Pica's, Wilson, WY
Pica's, the Tex-Mex joint inside the Old Stagecoach, serves up mean comida and a fabulous Margarita. Enjoy the late afternoon on their deck and meet some locals and some seasonal folks, too.

Best Rodeo: Cody, WY
Every western town places their bets on their own town's rodeo, but i have it on good authority from people who know that Cody is the real deal. While they take place every night (every night!), go on weekends for the biggest show and best crowds. Yeehaw.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

wild west, here we come...

We're heading out for a last minute fourth of July trip to Yellowstone, and I'm so excited to get some sunshine and cool weather in such a beautiful place! Horse back riding, hiking, and hopefully some delicious local food- maybe even a rodeo or two!- are all in store for my holiday weekend. I can't think of a more all-American location to spend such a patriotic and festive holiday! A friend we will be visiting sent some pictures to whet the appetite and we had to share them- gorgeous!

Here is what I'm bringing along... you don't have to sacrifice style to make it in the wild frontier. Understated, rustic accessories will top my favorite jeans and a classic shirt. We'd use belts and one simple piece of jewelry to set off our cowboy boots! Nothing too fussy or over the top. And throw in a warm pom pom scarf for nights out or a cotton throw for those chilly nights watching the stars.

Friday, June 11, 2010

eating your way through spain...

Family members are in Madrid at present for some good food and the last days of the Feria de San Isidro, the best of the best bullfights at the Plaza de Toros on Madrid. Tomorrow’s spectacle features bulls from El Ventorillo, and no doubt plenty of wine will be flowing from leather wine bags shared amongst strangers. Shouts fall down on the bullfighters from the stands, cheers of approval or shouts of dismay at their performance.  It is a spectacle.

The vibrant colors of the bullfighters from the Feria de San Isidro inspired this collection of Cerulean must-haves. Bright fuchsia from the Matadors stockings, the red, orange and yellow of the capes, the gold trim of their elaborate costumes. The leather and fabrics and fanfare is all represented below.

I also asked these family members for their “must-eat” list when in Madrid (some of the travelers make Madrid a regular stop every year, so I trust their opinions on this).  Here are the tops:

Owned by a famous Spanish fishing company called Pescaderias Corunesas, O'pazo is the epitome of farm- erg, boat - to table.  A beautifully modern, minimal restaurant with just a touch of seaside décor to soften the look, the service is impeccable and the food divine. Visit their fishmonger in town if you are staying in a place where you can cook your own meal, or just stop by to see the spectacle of it all. They’ve shared the recipe for their house specialty with us- Rodaballo al Horno- a flat fish that seems a lot like flounder that is pan sautéed, finished in the oven, and topped with a garlic vinaigrette before bringing the entire fish to the table. Recipe follows (with my translation skills at work here, so be forgiving).

Recipe for Rodaballo al horno (serves four)
1- 4.5 lb rodaballa (flounder or turbot) (2kg)
10 ounces olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
6 ounces red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet or saute pan.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
While the oil is heating, lightly dredge  both sides of the fish in flour. Once the oil is very hot, put in the fish white side down (bottom of the fish down) and cook 2-3 minutes until the white skin has browned. Turn the fish over and put the pan in the oven for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a serving platter. Finely chop the garlic and combine with the vinegar in a small mixing bowl or jar. Add the oil and dripping juice leftover in the sauté pan. Mix well and pour over the fish. Serve immediately.

Asador Donastiarra
You juts need to know one thing- go for the meat (asador means grill).

El Sobrino de Botin
Affectionately referred to as just  ‘Botin’, the oldest restaurant in the world (founded 1725) serves up relevant and tasty fare behind the Plaza Mayor. Try the suckling pig- their specialty.

Check out this video of one of their chefs preparing the suckling pig. Squeamish stomachs need not apply. But you get a good sense of the place and a view of the original oven built when the restaurant first opened its doors 285 years ago…

Friday, June 4, 2010

under the saudi sun...

Below are a few photos that a friend sent me from a recent trip to Saudi Arabia. Had to share...

It's not every day that you see random camels cruising down the side of the highway. Notice the herds of them in the background...

A Saudi wall covered in over-flowing bougainvillea and lush palm trees, with a larger turreted wall in the background.

A beautiful, but somewhat fortified, entrance.

Wooden dhows in downtown Dubai- a pit stop on the way to Riyadh.

Riyadh polo- doesn't seem quite the lush spectacular that I expected for a polo match, but when one lives in the dessert, one works with what he's got.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

come sail away...

With Memorial Day fresh in our minds, and the nautical look topping all the style lists for this summer, we’ve pulled together our own fresh and crisp look for you try on for size. Classic navy blue, silver accessories, a gorgeous and airy white summer scarf, and your favorite red bikini make a slightly patriotic but very chic look for your next trip to the beach or pool. If the red white and blue thing isn’t for you, try this cover-up with our striped infinity scarf for a look that’s ready to set sail.

navy cover-up by echo - etched silver earrings - loose weave cotton scarf - silver bead bracelet - navajo sandal - your own red bathing suit

For more ideas like this on how to pull the look together, visit our How to Wear section on our website!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

cerulean interviews... grace bonney

We obsessively follow the online musings of Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney. Her blog/ website extraordinaire covers interiors, style, food, and do-it-yourself projects, and has forums for female entrepreneurs (she speaks our language through and through). Her inspiring site keeps us motivated to try new things. Her use of technology to stay connected while on the go inspired a cerulean travelogue- and so we tracked her down on her iphone between antique fairs, high powered conferences and lowbrow coffee breaks. Here is what she had to say…

cerulean- How did you first begin Design Sponge? What milestones have you reached or are working on reaching with the site?

I began design*sponge in 2004 while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. ;) I've been proud about a lot of things we've done with the site, but launching the Biz Ladies series in 2008 in person was amazing. I was so proud to have been a part of that, and happy to have been surrounded by so many talented female business owners.

cerulean- How would you describe your own personal style in clothing? vs interiors?

Hmm...I'd say preppy, girly, classic. As I get older I find myself leaning more towards old-school classics and things that make getting dressed and looking pulled together easier. In my interiors I'm the same way, but I take more risks (bright colors, crazy patterns) because I don't have to wear them outside.

cerulean- What are your favorite luxuries in life?

Iced coffee or tea breaks during the day, the occasional car service (vs. the subway), and eating at nice restaurants when we can.

cerulean- What is your favorite vacation destination?

Savanah, Georgia and Montmartre in Paris- they're always locked in a dead heat for first place.

cerulean- What is the one thing that you take from apartment to apartment?

My cats and my husband. Furniture wise? Not a lot- I really enjoy using new apartments as an excuse to trade in old furniture (ebay, craigslist, etc) for "new" used furniture.

cerulean- What can we find you reading?

Magazines or websites, I'm sadly not a huge book reader. Though I've gone through a lot of business books lately.

cerulean- What are your favorite indulgences?

All the pieces listed above, combined with chocolate after almost every meal. Life is too short to pass up really good sweets.

cerulean- Who was your favorite interview/ contributor for Design Sponge?

Working on the Design*Sponge book I got to meet and work with designer Genevieve Gorder, who was the reason I fell in love with design. That was a major high point for me.

cerulean- Who are your interiors style icons?

Dorothy Draper, Ruthie Sommers, my mom.

cerulean- If you had to have a completely different career, what you want it to be?

Something involving food or a specialty food shop.

Grace's blog, Design*Sponge. Click the image to be take directly there.

Grace featured in the November 2008 issue of Domino Magazine, where she and the site are listed as a “leader of the pack”.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

stay in the loop while you're out and about....

One might argue that the point of going on vacation is to unplug- literally. Unplug from your computers and modems, your phones and tvs and appliances. To completely get away from the rat race of our daily lives, and this is all true. I completely agree… with one little caveat.

We can only unplug for so long before our jobs and lives demand we return, or else. Most of us cannot go away for months on end and expect our jobs to be there waiting for us when we return. So what if by plugging-IN while on vacation, just a little, we could then stay on vacation twice as long??? If by using the convenience of the very technology we are trying to escape, we can do just enough work to keep our lives and jobs moving along, short vacations can become indefinite hiatuses.

I gave this a lot of thought while on vacation in the Abacos a few years ago. Cerulean was a fledgling little business that needed me, I was sure. How could it go on for 10 days while I was away? I found people I relied on and left it in good hands, and I was home before anything disastrous could happen.

But if I had been on email for a certain period of time every day of that vacation, those 10 days could easily have become a month without major affects to my livelihood. Think about the possibilities! While we go on vacation to escape the overload of technology in our lives, the RIGHT use of technology can send us on a semi-permanent vacation! It’s ironic that bringing work on vacation can in essence extend that vacation, but it’s a thrilling concept, none the less.

As someone who’s REAL life’s ambition is to travel, maybe live somewhere exotic one day, this is a thrilling idea. Without completely cutting off my life, my job or my livelihood, I can hit the road! I can be checking emails in a marketplace in Marrakech, or emailing customers about the fit of a particular shoe from a beach in Bora Bora, or talking on the phone with designers about next season’s collection from Costa Rica. Work goes on and I’m not missing a thing, but Im also able to experience great adventures and other cultures at the same time! All of this is now possible with our phones and the widespread availability of wireless internet, which wasn’t possible just a short number of years ago.

Grace Bonney, founder of style and interiors blog Design*Sponge, recently contributed a guest post on a tech blog about this very thing. We have been obsessed with her inspiring blog for ages and her ideas about using technology to allow you to leave the office, not be chained to it, was right in line with my way of thinking. Check out all the different Apps she uses to stay in the loop while she’s out and about.

You can check out her blog, Design*Sponge, by clicking here, and her tech post by clicking here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I am obsessed with anything Mexican, Latin, or Spanish… and so cinco de mayo is always one of my favorite holidays. We had a little soiree last night with good friends under twinkle lights and papel picado banners (the cut tissue paper garlands) with fresh margaritas and homemade tamales. Summer temperatures have arrived along the Gulf Coast (along with a depressing oil slick, it would seem) and so we stayed cool with our fresh cocktails and a shady spot under the trees until the sun went down. You wouldn’t believe how many limes you have to squeeze to get one good margarita, but its worth it. And tamales are much easier than you would think- once you figure out what kind of peppers to buy and plan on soaking the corn husks way in advance, it’s all pretty easy and cheap! Of course the first round of margaritas went down too easy, and by the end of the evening we were in heated political debates and trying on dresses in the Cerulean stock room late night. Nothing like some post-cocktail shopping! Sadly, most of the photos didn’t turn out since we dined on a dimly lit screened porch- you couldn’t get a feel for the fiesta. Below is what we have… while the image of a few of the guests came out all blurry, I love it that you are getting a frame by frame laugh!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

TOMS shoes deal...

Cerulean is offering our customers a special deal through Toms shoes this Mother’s Day! Save $5 On Any Pair of Toms Shoes! Click here to activate your code and then enter coupon code MOTHERS at checkout. Offer expires 5/16/10

About Toms Shoes
TOMS was born in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie out of a commitment to produce stylish, comfortable, and practical footwear while improving the lives of children around the world.Every pair sold is personally matched with a donated pair to a child in need. TOMS collection is inspired by Alpargatas, the trusted utility shoe of Argentine workers. “I was overwhelmed by the spirit of the South American people, especially those who had so little,” Mycoskie says.“And I was instantly struck with the desire – the responsibility – to do more.”The shoes are composed of high quality, durable materials including lightweight, breathable canvas, resilient soles and soft leather in soles for maximum comfort.TOMS functions under the credo of No Sweatshops and all of the materials and products are produced and manufactured in Argentina under the strictest guidelines, ensuring both fair labor practices and minimal impact on the environment.

About Blake Mycoskie
After years of successful entrepreneurial endeavors, Blake Mycoskie put his life on hold and took a well deserved extended vacation.First stop, South America. Brazil, Uruguay and finally Argentina in January 2006, Mycoskie quickly immersed himself into the Argentine culture; he learned to sail, tango and play competitive polo.He unquestionably felt at home in the foreign land, invigorated and inspired.However, Mycoskie quickly became aware of the difficulties of the impoverished people in Argentina. He was challenged emotionally as he visited villages without fresh water and where few, if any, of the children had shoes. The lack of basic needs contributed to many health issues, infections, and in the most extreme circumstances, even death. “Inspired by a traditional Argentine shoe and challenged by continent’s poverty and heath issues, I created TOMS with a singular mission: To make life more comfortable,” says Mycoskie. TOMS accomplishes this through a unique shoe and Mycoskie’s commitment to match every pair purchased with a pair to a child in need…no complicated formulas, it’s simple…you buy a pair of TOMS and TOMS gives a pair to a child on your behalf.

Friday, March 19, 2010

guest travelogue: courtney barton

“What a long strange trip its been”

My friend Courtney Barton, former co-Hollywould employee and blogger extraordinaire, has just returned to her homeport of Kuala Lumpur from an adventure in India and Nepal. The images she shared with us along the way were mind blowing (I hope she is working on a book!) and I wanted to share some with you guys. It has inspired me to make a similar journey- I just need to borrow her itinerary!

I have to add that she looks fabulous in a turban, and I think this is a trend that needs to resurface. Everyone looks better poolside with a good martini and a turban. I also love the vintage-quality of these first few images.

Below is an excerpt from her fabulous blog, in(side) the loop, about her recent travels. Click here to visit her blog for the full shake down.

“I'm finally back and it will take a while to digest the full intensity of India and Nepal, not to mention the deluge of photos I snapped along the way.

The trip was certainly trying at times with the barrage of touts, hardcore negotiations when purchasing everything from chewing gum to antiques, an overnight ride on the Indian Railways, and [holy] cow feces projected onto my legs not once, but twice—yet I still found myself in constant awe of the unforgettable sights. I interviewed a princess, watched a Hindu cremation ceremony on the Ganges, rode camels into the sand dune sunset, and ate my weight in garlic naan [which, by the way, is as close to Nirvana as I've ever been]. These memories will forever be impressed in my mind and soul.”

I'm dying to get a hold of these slippers. Heaven on earth is a marketplace selling handmade shoes!