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Best Little Beach Towns - Boca Grande, FL

For travelers seeking casual retreats for sand and surf, this uncrowded and unpretentious spot in Florida makes an ideal and affordable trip.

The cult-fave town of Boca Grande is a throwback, an Old Florida time warp with such whimsically named streets as Damnificare and no chain stores or ye-olde theme restaurants. This idyllic and Edenic escape on the Gulf of Mexica features a much-photographed lighthouse watching over Gasparilla Island State Park and long, quiet beaches touched by gentle surf. Boca Grande is a wonderland, a place that defies the clichés of Florida beach towns - all the sloppy, party-hearty aspects - while embodying the best of what the state has to offer.

Gasparilla Lighthouse in Boca Grande Florida.jpg

In the free and easy days of summer, the quest for a great American beach town like Boca Grande is a national passion. Beach towns are a mainstay of the hot months, a beacon for countless citizens looking for a reprieve from the daily grind.

Travel + Leisure recommends staying at The Gasparilla Inn, a member of the Historic Hotels of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Gasparilla Inn is the classic resort and comes complete with a golf course. 

Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande Florida.jpgOf note, however, is the the Inn is closed during the hottest months so the best alternative is its sister property, the Innlet, which features a waterside restaurant and a relaxed vibe.
The Innlet Hotel Boca Grande Florida.jpgWhen eating in Boca Grande, Travel + Leisure featured Temptation Restaurant, a funky Florida spot with character - think murals of leaping tarpon and a neon martini sign. The Temptation serves local grouper, pompano, and soft-shell crabs.

Temptation Restaurant in Boca Grande Florida.jpgFor more information on places to stay, where to eat and what to do, visit the Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce website.

Posted by Amanda, in Travel.

The Edgy Little Black Dress - A Fall 2009 Fashion Trend

During Glamour's 2009 Fashion Week, two of the most wearable trends that emerged were the one-shoulder dress and the edgy little black dress (LBD). The times are changing, and the LBD is changing with them. Designers looked toward the future with seriously severe shapes, sleek cutouts and body-hugging silhouettes that brought these black dresses a very next-century feel. The one-shoulder dress is full of drama and asymmetry that make it instantly intriguing and draws attention to the shoulder and the face.

Anne Hathaway recently donned a Sophia Kokosalaki mini-dress that embodied the edgy little black dress and one-shoulder dress all in one.

Anne Hathaway in Sophia Kokosalaki edgy little black dress.jpg

The unexpected cutouts of the Twinkle sculpture dress make a luxe frock subtly sexy.  

Twinkle Edgy Little Black Dress.jpgTwinkle Edgy Little Black Dress (back).jpg

Nanette Lepore's Athena dress is a button-down style transformed into a sexy frock with a side bow, puff cap sleeves and a spread collar.

Nanette Lepore Edgy Little Black Dress.jpg

Sources: In Style, Glamour

Posted by Amanda, in Celebrity Fashion, Dresses.

Antique Roadshow's first $1 million dollar appraisal

Antique Roadshow has television shows in both the U.S. and in England. In the new season, which starts January 2010 on PBS, the first $1 million appraisal will be featured.

A woman brought four pieces of carved Chinese Jade that she inherited to a Roadshow event in Raleigh, North Carolina. The pieces of carved jade and celadon dated from the Chien Lung Dynasty (1736-1795) and included a large bowl crafted for the Emperor. Asian arts appraiser James Callahan said that a mark on the bottom of the bowl indicated it was created for an imperial order. The pieces were given a conservative auction estimate of up to $1.07 million. This is far and away the biggest appraisal in the show's 13-year run, the previous record was a 1937 painting by Clyfford Still which was estimated at around $500,000. The excitement generated by this appraisal will doubtlessly send many people scrambling to the attic to revisit the treasures they've inherited. A word of caution though, an appraisal is no guarantee of a final sale price.

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Posted by Amanda, in General.

Big Brother 11 Reality TV Show Premieres Thursday

Big Brother 11 premieres on CBS this Thursday, July 9, 2009, at 8 pm/ET.  This season is being advertised as "bigger secrets", "better than ever", "crazy new challenges", and "outrageous summer fun" according to the new promotions. This season of Big Brother will pit 12 houseguests against one another, in another seasonal battle to decide who is going to go home with the cash prize.  Julie Chen will host the show again and one of the first surprises will be who is the mystery 13th house guest.  

Big Brother Season 11 Cast.jpgThe show has also announced this season's new "green" house.

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Continue reading "Big Brother 11 Reality TV Show Premieres Thursday" »

Joan Rivers' Connecticut Home for Sale

New Milford is a quaint town in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Located on White Oaks Road is Joan Rivers' 76-acre, 5700 square foot, 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath country estate which is currently on the market for $6.5 million.

Her stone and clapboard country home, which was featured in Architectural Digest in February 2003, has touches that make it uniquely Joan Rivers such as the leopard print rug in one of rooms. Rivers favors an elegant style fussed up with all sorts of expensive antiques. The many tchotchkes are of high quality but there are just too many of them. It's hard to imagine why an oil painting has been stuck above the stove in the kitchen or why blue-and-white ceramics teeter on a heavy beam above a bed in one of the guest rooms. The master bedroom is a girly pink fantasy complete with a canopy bed facing what appears to be an illustration of Joan and Melissa Rivers hanging over the fireplace.

After she bought the property for $1,438,400 in December 2000, Rivers demolished the house down to the foundation and then re-built the current home salvaging only the stone fireplace in the living room and a few stone columns from the original home. The property includes a 400 yard driveway ending in a circular drive, swimming pool and pool house, caretaker's cottage, detached barn and garage and a private pond.

Joan Rivers Connecticut home exterior.jpg
Joan Rivers Connecticut home bedroom.jpgJoan Rivers Connecticut home sitting room.jpg

Sources:, The Real Estalker, the

Continue reading "Joan Rivers' Connecticut Home for Sale" »

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