24 Hours in Madrid: A Visual Tour Through the Eyes of an Almost Local

24 Hours in Madrid: A Visual Tour Through the Eyes of an Almost Local

I am fortunate to be able to come to a Madrid several times a year. The hotel we usually stay in is closed for a year-long remodel but we found this little one nearby.


During my extended stays in Madrid, I have made great friends, found wonderful restaurants and shopped beautiful boutiques. There is something about the culture here that brings back the comfort of traditions and manners that make me feel at home.

Home Away From Home: Hotel Palacio del Retiro

Hoping one of these fats will replace a hotel one day…

Street scenes: Madrid graffiti style

Blinded by style. Dior Sunglasses
It looks like the Fanny Pack AKA belt bag is back everywhere

Fashion in the stores

Create your own fashion. No not the shoes. The bespoke dress.

Or you can create your own fashion. ( no not those white shoes of course). The bespoke dress I’m having made with these fabrics. 

Eating well is a tradition and extended meals with friends is expected. Here are two of my favorites.

Horcher a few blocks from our hotel established in 1904 and still going strong. One of my favorites.

El Lago de Sanabria Restaurant in the Salamanca district.  There is great shopping as well as dining in this neighborhood!

Lunch at Restaurante Viridiana   No dinner needed

Churros and chocolate at the hotel or just….

Stay in your room and plan your next day

Leave your hotel for a morning walk  you can easily visit the parks and  Puerta de Alcala  Walking the streets makes all that fine dining worth it

Iconic Puerta de Alcala

Parque del Retiro

Beautiful buildings are everywhere!

Room with a view

Take time for yourself and don’t forget to send postcards. They are quite unexpected nowadays. I hope you have enjoyed this mini tour. I loved sharing it with you! Ciao, June

Why You Should Plank, Every Day

Why You Should Plank, Every Day

The one minute plank will make you stronger in every part of your body.
Don’t worry too much about how you start it or how long you can keep it. Just do it!
If you can’t do a full plank start on your forearms and knees, hold it as long as you can and try to add a bit at a time.
You will be shocked how soon you start getting stronger.

We’ve teamed up with the Cool Editors of the online magazine Kuel Life to give us the 411 on this fitness phenome.

Why You Should Plank, Every Day

We keep hearing about the importance of weight bearing exercises, in particular, as we age. The popularity of bodyweight exercises is rapidly gaining. Why, you might wonder? There is practicality and ease in using what you already own and carry around with you, YOU!

Maintaining a strong and healthy core is essential. These series of muscles are located in your midsection, and are used almost every time you MOVE. Core muscles aid the transfer of force from one limb to another. They provide assistance to the muscles in your legs and arms. In effect, having a solid strong core yields big improvements in your ability to move and keep moving.

Not to take a backseat in importance, your abdominal muscles (part of your core) support your back and spinal column. Taking time to strengthen this set of muscles advances  overall back health. I don’t know about all of you Kuel Women out there, but I personally know several people of a ‘certain age’ that struggle with chronic back pain.

Enter Planks! Planks are one of the most effective exercises out there. First, they don’t take much time. Ever try to plank for ten or twenty minutes? Second, they don’t take much room. All you need is a bit of floor space.

Even if you start at 15 seconds a pop, who cares? If you manage three times over the course of the day; you’ve planked for 45 seconds. Every few days you can add five or ten seconds; ideally getting to a minute. Let me re-iterate…WHO CARES how long this may take. What’s critical here is that you are doing SOMETHING to improve the stability of your body and your overall health.

What should you expect if you start planking everyday.

Improve core definition and performance. 

Planks engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominus, the external oblique muscle, and the glutes. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

  • increased ability to lift heavier weights – this may mean less straining in carrying heavy grocery bags or picking up your grandchild
  • improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
  • a supported back and a strong, shapely butt.

Reduce back pain. 

When done properly, planking requires minimal movement and contracts all the layers of the abdominal fascia – thereby strengthening your core. A stronger core yields a healthier, pain-free back.

Improve your posture.

Good posture allows muscles to work more efficiently.  You can prevent muscle fatigue and strain when your back and spine are in alignment. Issues related to overuse or back pain can be reduced. And, let’s face it you look BETTER and more confident when you stand up straight.

Increase your balance.

Strong abdominal muscles are needed to gracefully stand on one leg for an extended period of time. While it may seem silly; why do you need to stand on one leg? Don’t most of us have two? It’s not the actual act of standing on one leg that is important; that’s just the test of our balance. Balance is important for walking and going up and down the stairs. Activities we ‘take for granted’. Maintaining good balance as we age helps keep us vertical. Falling is a bad idea.

Increase your flexibility.

Flexibility is required to easily perform everyday activities. Activities such as; getting out of bed, lifting grocery bags, and reaching down to pick something up off the floor all require a degree of flexibility. Sadly, most of us lose flexibility as we age. I know personally the days of splits are behind me. Planking expands and stretches your shoulders, shoulder blades, hamstrings, toes and arches of your feet, helping maintain added flexibility.


How do you do it?


  • Get into pushup position on the floor.
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
  • Keep your body straight and rigid. Don’t stick your butt in the air or drop it down toward the floor.
  • Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  • Hold the position for as long as you can.


Are you planking yet? We would love to how your progress is going!


Shop your own closet: 7 Fall Trends I found while cleaning out mine!

Shop your own closet: 7 Fall Trends I found while cleaning out mine!

With the transition of Fall in the air I have switched my closet over from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter last week with the help of our Fall Fashion Guide. I know trends can be touchy but it is my opinion that the trends that float in and out of Fashion every year are here to inspire us to look at what is already available and create new looks through fresh eyes. Here are some of the treasures that I found in my closet that I plan on carrying over to the new season. What will you be wearing?

Print blouse. High rise Marc Jacob wool slacks. Chain belt. Leopard print shoes and bag.

White House Black Market Tuxedo Jacket. Silk Palazzo Pants. Animal Print crop top. Again the white Booties.

Blue velvet yoked cowboy shirt. Fringed  scarf. White Booties.

Silk Cami with ostrich feathers. Zara plaid skirt I lengthened with ostrich feathers. Black sock Booties. Prada bag.

Animal print bell bottom pants purchased at least 18 years ago at Intermix. Black silk blouse. White boots.

Oversized white sweater. Ralph Lauren plaid silk dress. White Booties.

Equestrian print jersey dress. Green sweater. Of the moment neon bag. I have matching high heel sandals too! Now I know why I kept that set 🙀.

It was fun to get creative and it didn’t cost me a dime! What’s in your Closet?

Taking the Topic of Depression & Suicide Out of the Closet

Taking the Topic of Depression & Suicide Out of the Closet

I am a glass-half-full kind of gal, I joke and say “If I need my glass to be fuller, I’ll pour it in a smaller cup!” All that, tongue-in-cheek of course. I never understood depression. I thought you could “snap out of it.”



It was not until my mothers’ death that I felt the sting of it. After the month or so of packing and inventorying and selling mothers home, I came to the house in Montana and locked myself up in my bedroom. I turned down all the shades and stayed in there for three days.
It is only when you have experienced even a touch of it, that you begin to understand that depression is not so simple…

The importance of this topic lies in our ability to give suicide and depression life instead of death. Talking to your friends and family, asking for help and knowing that you are not alone is the first, and hardest, step in becoming mentally stronger during these bouts.



Sufia joined us during our multigenerational photo shoot. As a high school counselor, she is passionate about opening up the conversation to her kids, as well as, her community about the importance of suicide awareness and prevention.

“I’ve witnessed the devastation caused by suicide. The feelings of pain, guilt, confusion, and anger can be overwhelming for the family and friends of the victims of suicide.”  -Sufia


Suicide is a difficult topic to talk about, but just one look at the statistics and you can see why it’s important to address this issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WISQARS Leading Causes of Death Reports, in 2016:

  • Suicide was the tenth leading cause of death overall in the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people.
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54.
  • There were more than twice as many suicides (44,965) in the United States as there were homicides (19,362).



It can be scary to think that someone we know could be thinking about taking their own life, but there are steps you can take to help. I encourage you to learn more about suicide prevention. 

I saw an interview with a young author, Johann Hari who wrote “Lost Connections: Uncovering The Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solution.” Perhaps we don’t always have to mask and medicate our way through depression. In this book, he speaks to scientists and experts about the neuroscience behind depression and non-medical related treatments for getting through it all. I encourage you to check out this best-selling book.

If you don’t think you’re affected by this subject, I encourage you to take a closer look at your loved ones. Be kind to those you encounter. Share a smile with a stranger and a kind word to those who you may feel opposition from. Remember that depression can affect anyone at any given time. Don’t be shy, if you need anyone to listen; our door is always open.

The New Dior Saddle Bag: A Blast From the Past Has Been Updated

The New Dior Saddle Bag: A Blast From the Past Has Been Updated

You may have noticed in July when every single blogger in the blogosphere sported their brand new Dior Saddle Bag. The brand took to Instagram on July 19th, endorsed by celebrities and influencers alike, to welcome the reissue of the crown jewel of Dior’s accessory business back in 2000. 

Since this year’s fashion trend seems to be a blast from the past, the iconic Saddle Bag is a reissue that we are thrilled to see!


The new saddle bags are available in-store and range in price from $2,350 for the mini oblique saddle, up to $8,500 for the medium bag embroidered with beads and fringe. A sampling of the first delivery is below.

Rumor has it the second delivery of new Dior saddle bags will be dropping sometime this month. Although the exact date of the second drop hasn’t been announced yet, our sources say that the below are at least some of the styles we can expect any moment now.


If you’re more of a vintage lover, you can find gently used style on Tradesy, the Real Real or good ‘ol eBay.


In the meantime, check out this gorgeous making-of video, courtesy of Dior. It’s seriously almost as lovely as the bags themselves.