I’m very excited to have some fabulous guest bloggers this week sharing summer essentials for their favorite travel destinations. Next up is Erika of  Radiant Republic and she has some preppy picks for a jaunt to Nantucket. Welcome Erika!

Hello, friends! I’m so honored to be a guest at DomestiKatedLife today.  After reading her witty, colorful blog for what seems like forever, Kate and I finally met in person at Blogfest in NYC.  Just as I’d expected from her writing, Kate is an absolute doll.  I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know such a sweet gal during our three days in the Apple and I’m thrilled to be her guest today… and to meet all of you!

Like Kate, I’m a New England girl through and through.  And all New England girls love summer weekends on Nantucket!  But what to tote onto the ferry for a weekend on-island?  Here are a few of my must-haves (and must-dos) for the island… and I hope to hear some of yours, too!

  1. Reserve a darling cottage near town.  My favorite cottage on the island is within walking distance of my favorite restaurants… which makes walks home in the wee hours less daunting.
  2. No car?  No problem.  A beach cruiser is the safer option for navigating home after an evening at Cisco Brewers, anyway.  I usually snap mine up from Young’s Bike Shop. And don’t forget to add a basket for your shopping finds!
  3. This Lily Pulitzer Marisa dress  is perfect for a breezy night out on the island.
  4. The Jojo Loves You “Bling Bangle” is an easy accessory to wear from day to night.  Stacked or solo, this bracelet is too precious for words.
  5. Whether having dinner at the Boarding House or sipping vino at Straight Wharf, the Kate Spade Hula sandal  is the perfect flat for navigating the cobblestone streets of ACK.
  6. While in town, you have to stop by Blue Beetle for the sweetest gifts and monogrammed goods.  And if you’re up and at ‘em in the earlier hours, you must scoot into Black Eyed Susan’s for breakfast.  Have the Pennsylvania Dutch Cakes… YUM!  You’ll thank me for this later.
  7. Craving a Nantucket basket of your own?  You have to peek at Up My Sleeve’s Etsy shop,   which specializes in customizable, monogrammed baskets.  Gorgeous!

What are some of your favorite summer getaways?  I would love to hear!  Thank you again, Kate, for having me today on DomestiKated Life!

xo, Erika

(Photo credits: Republic Bike, Brass Lantern Inn, Boston.com, Kate Spade, Jojo Loves You, Up My Sleeve Etsy Shop)

I’m very excited to have some fabulous guest bloggers this week sharing summer essentials for their favorite travel destinations. First up is Sara Kate of Sara Kate Studios and she’s taking us on  chic adventure through Florence, Italy. Welcome Sara Kate!

After spending a semester in Florence I fell in love with the city, and I simply cannot think of a better place I’d love to visit this summer. While living there I had the Duomo outside my window, gelato mere steps away, and a museum within minutes — how can I resist? I selected a few essentials that I have been craving lately to help get you in the mood with me. Inspired by the vibrance of the city, as well as its rich worn history, these pieces are perfect for gallivanting around the city day or night.

While in Florence be sure to…

Spend time at the Uffitzi which houses the Medici’s immense collection of art.

Hike to the top of the Duomo- if the hike doesn’t take your breath away the view of the city will.

See PIazza de Pitti and its beautiful Boboli gardens — it is like the Versailles of Florence, and was one of my favorite places.

Go out for apertivo at night. The Italian’s version of happy hour includes lots of appetizers with your drink of choice. I strongly suggest Colle Bereto which is located in Piazza Strozzi.

See Florence from San Miniato. If you are there for an evening Vesper you can hear the monks do Gregorian chants.

Finally, be sure to eat gelato in as many different flavors as possible (almost all of them are incredible) as well as drinking Chianti with every dinner.

Ciao! Sara Kate

1.Tiburon Blouse. 2.Kodak Brownie Camera. 3.Linda Farrow Luxe Sunglasses. 4.Ben-Amun Earrings. 5.1897 Central Italy Travel Book. 6.Compass Points Shorts. 7.Field Notes. 8.Flea Bag. 9.Sprinkler Rush Sandals. 10.Seersucker Patent Jenny Ann Wristlet. 11.Fleeting Peony Hat. 12.Globetrotter Suitcase. 13.Mattise Asher Wedges

Happy Father’s Day to the best Dad in the world; thanks for always being there to give me a boost!

I’m in a Craigslist conundrum. The cabinet I use to store my cocktail ingredients is overflowing, which can be a good problem to have — but my multi-month search for a more permanent home to the beverage station has turned up dry.

Bar carts seem to be few and far between, so I’m starting to expand my horizons for an alternative solution. These two pictures have adorable bar areas set up on top of bookshelves and dressers and are serving as my inspiration. Aren’t they chic?

Images via Design*Sponge and Time Out Chicago and Decor8

I recently started using  Houzz, a community and inspiration tool for home design enthusiasts; my first post on the site is a round-up of outdoor furnishings and accessories for stylish entertaining alfresco.

Bright colors and durable fabrics combine to make a whimsical landscape for sharing a summer night outside with friends. A few of my favorite pieces are here like the painted wrought iron chairs from Anthropologie and the colorful patterned outdoor rugs from Terrain. Click over and see all of the items I’ve included in my round-up.

 

Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

 

Earlier this week I took a cupcake decorating class with my friend at Isabelle’s CurlyCakes in Beacon Hill. I learned invaluable skills like how to fill cupcakes with mousse, how to pipe icing, and how to speed eat cupcake scraps left on the counter.

We made Oreo cupcakes (with Oreo bits baked into the cake! and Oreo icing!), red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes, oh and triple chocolate cupcakes that were filled with chocolate mousse, iced with chocolate frosting, drizzled with chocolate ganache, and dipped in cocoa puffs. Hungry yet? You will be after you see how decadent they look:

And if you’re not in sugar shock yet, click over to 101 Things I Love and read my guest post about baking Oreo treats!

PPS: Have you entered the Coral and Pearl earring giveaway? Click here to enter.

When I posted about the ELLE Decor Modern Life Concept House last week I was on a mission to find the adorable prints featured in the kitchen designed by Grant K. Gibson. They turned up in my search on 20×200 by artist Michelle Vaughan and I had to share them because I think they’d be a darling addition to a dining space — I especially admire the binder clip method of hanging. I’m eying one of each for my own kitchen, though given my adoration for salting, the salty print seems most fitting.

PS: Have you entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway for a 1940’s inspired bow skirt? Click here to enter.

Possibly my favorite event of Blogfest was the Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa preview. A preppy girl at heart, I melted walking into the showroom. There were so many patterns and colors  — the tassle-trim wallpaper border around the room with the chevron rug and all of the florals — and yet they played off each other so well. The showroom even featured a giant turtle that had a Lilly-patchwork motif modge-podged onto the shell!

Following the preview of the collection we had a very Lilly-inspired lunch in the showroom, complete with pink lemonade — a nod to Ms. Pulitzers juice-days. Given my penchant for spilling, I was quite nervous to be eating around all those gorgeous fabrics and show furniture! 

I finished the day listening to esteemed designer Barbara Barry present her new collection for Kravet called Indochine. She came off incredibly intelligent and passionate, and I loved hearing about where she draws her creative inspirations from.  I was sad to have to duck out early before the rest of the festivities but am incredibly grateful for such an amazing two days meeting great designers, creatives, and bloggers.

My first stop on day two of Blogfest was at the Kips Bay Showhouse; it was my first time so I was really excited to see some of the amazing designers featured. I’ll be the first to admit that not all of the rooms were my cup of tea, but that’s what’s so interesting about this event — there really is something for everyone, from traditionalists to modernists and everything in between.

I had two favorite rooms, and one of them definitely fell into the “hip” category: the stereo lounge designed by Brad Ford. I’m always looking for ways to hide electronics but this design beautifully embraced the stereo speakers and equipment and made it the focus of the room. The round white speakers almost looked like art on the walls, and I loved how a record player was actually built into the giant wooden coffee table.

Another one of my favorite rooms was on the opposite end of the decorating spectrum, total femininity and opulence, designed by Amanda Nisbet. The pink wall coverings and loud artwork were bold choices with an already ornately trimmed room.

And how about this flooring? It’s all in the details…

Image 1 and 3 via Brad Ford

Stop number two on my whirlwind in New York for Blogfest was at the ELLE Decor Modern Life Concept House where we got a sneak peek of the designs. When I first walked in I was like a moth to the flame zooming towards this luxurious leather chair in a bright olive-green paired with stacks of design books on immaculately styled shelves.

Design was just one element of the spaces, the tables were set and the bureaus were styled — the rooms were all about the details. In the swanky 70s style living room with shag carpets they were setting the mood with the TV on — The Graduate was playing in the background.

And in the kitchen a black and white color palette and simple graphic art set a soothing tone that would certainly let the food stand out (I am on the hunt for those salty prints!). I loved the designer’s practical calling card, a big bowl of matches to grab and toss in your pocket.