A Gem in the Hill Country: Our Staycation at Camp Lucy

A Gem in the Hill Country: Our Staycation at Camp Lucy

A lesson in staying in the moment.

A few weeks ago, we were at dinner with friends, and the conversation turned to must-see places and experiences in Austin. My friends regaled me of an outstanding restaurant outside of town called Tillie‘s. I open the website to find the most gorgeous architecture and tile work at a restaurant of an event space called Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs, Texas. Beauty was all around so I thought that it would be a great place to shoot our spring fashion story.

I talked Scott into taking the 20-minute drive out of town for a Staycation at Camp Lucy. We headed to the little town of Dripping Springs. I was so excited, but Scott had slight trepidation as we got further away from Austin and into the “wild” of the Hill Country.

Twists and turns down narrow roads we go! It’s not far from Austin, but you feel like you’re in another country entirely. Driving past a river and crossing over narrow bridges it feels like we have gone for miles. Where are we?! We stop to speak with a gentleman by the side of the road. I immediately knew there was more to him then meets the eye. “0h just go up the road until you see the green tile roof” and on we go. We’re on the right track.

As we pull up, our eyes get bigger and bigger, we enter the most beautiful setting made entirely from repurposed buildings from Asia. The tile work is magnificent, and the people are lovely. Camp Lucy is a wedding destination that houses five different venues. There’s a swimming pool, private dining areas, and landscaping that goes on and on. Everything is beautifully planned out, from the church to the steeple. But there is so much more to this Hill country ranch than that.

Camp Lucy is the kind of place where you can escape the pace of the city and relax in a calming environment. We call this a “staycation destination” and the middle of the week is a perfect time to escape!

On the property is Tillie’s restaurant, a true fine dining experience in the heart of the Texas Hill Counrty. It is worth the 20-minute drive from Austin for dinner alone (or breakfast, lunch, AND brunch). With a seasonally (if not daily) changing menu, Chef Brandon Martin combines flavors and textures in a way that is so satisfying for your palette. Think Southern Comfort meets Asian flavor.

You’ll find this theme throughout the rest of Camp Lucy as well. All of the structures on the property have been imported from Vietnam, rebuilt and revamped on-sight. The most impressive structure on the site is the gorgeous 19th Century chapel, built from intricately carved ironwood.

Scott and I had the privilege of staying in the luxury suite which had a fireplace, a stone zero horizon bathtub and honestly the most comfortable bed we have slept in in ages. All of the rooms at Camp Lucy are individual little cabins (it feels like you’re at summer camp!) and are thoughtfully and elegantly decorated, you’ll feel right at home.

Ideally located near wineries, breweries, and a host of Hill Country activities, the beautifully crafted Camp Lucy guest rooms in Dripping Springs also offer a unique escape from the ordinary.

The whole experience was terrific for us, but as always, it is the people that make a place memorable.

Between the management and staff, nothing is left to chance right down to Smore’s in one of the outdoor fireplaces. Whether you are in the large suite or one of the cabins overlooking the ravine ( which reminded me of a trip to Africa), there is not a wrong spot in the house.

Reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. Remember what life is all about. Connections: To People, Places, and Nature.

SPONSORED Chico’s No Stain No-Iron Shirt Powered by Stain ShieldTM technology

SPONSORED Chico’s No Stain No-Iron Shirt Powered by Stain ShieldTM technology

I have to confess; I am having a bit of a moment with Chicos right now. My daughter and wardrobe stylist gave me a tip last year that Chico’s was “actually pretty cool” and had been shopping there for years for her clients. As you know, I love a good challenge mixing my highs and my lows or in this case: my Chico’s and my Valentino’s 😉 Here I am last week doing JUST that!

 

We are thrilled that Chico’s reached out and asked me to participate in their “No Stain No-Iron Shirt” challenge featuring their new technology of stain-resistant fabrics: Stain ShieldTM.

 

You had us at no ironing needed! This blouse is just as flattering as it is wrinkle-free. A total bonus that the cotton fabric is enhanced with Stain Shield™ technology that repels oil-based and water-based stains (think ketchup, mayo, soda, WINE—you can say goodbye to those mishaps.) “Though it may not repel every single stain you encounter, it’s a fabulous feeling to have protection from some of those everyday oopsies.”

 

I decided to take my new blouse out on a test drive for lunch with a friend at the Oasis on Lake Travis. Here I am, wearing all of my favorite friends: Burberry, Hermes, Valentino and my newest friend Chico’s.

 

No fool here. I put my fancies aside before the test and took a fortifying sip of red wine.

 

Here we go with the test, but I wanted to make sure it was a good and honest spill.

 

And to our surprise, my Pinot Noir wiped right off of this blouse with a tap and some water!

 

Presto success I couldn’t believe my eyes. Traveling will be so much easier, and there is nothing like a tailored shirt to take a look up a notch. Just ask Carolina Herrera.

We #lovechicos and am happy to partner with them on this post. 

How to Wear the Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral

How to Wear the Pantone Color of the Year: Living Coral

Each year Pantone, the authority on color and it’s usage throughout branding and marketing, announces what THE color of the year will be. This year, Living Coral will be filling your shopping carts making it a bright and playful year for fashion. Living Coral is bright, eye-catching and bold – everything we plan to be this year as well!

Serena’s Picks 


Start incorporating vibrant Living Coral into your wardrobe today! 

 

How I Mix Pink and Red Like A Pro: Valentine’s Day Edition

How I Mix Pink and Red Like A Pro: Valentine’s Day Edition

When you think monochrome, do you think pink and red?


It seemed like a great time to give this trend a try with Valentines literally around the corner. This Chanel-esque cardigan jacket is from Chicos can you believe!? I cropped to fit my short torso and paired it with neutrals (Valentino and Chanel of course!). I think that pink and red is the ultimate color combo and can be worn from up-town to downtown, workday to night out, chic Chico’s to high fashion there are so many ways that you can mix this color combo into your routine. Be bold or pair the combo with neutral base as I did, the choice is yours.

Stylist Picks 


Incorporate these pink and red pieces to freshen up your look this month. 

A Valentines Treat For Your Sweet: The Easiest Cake You’ll Ever Bake!

A Valentines Treat For Your Sweet: The Easiest Cake You’ll Ever Bake!

Hello LOVERS! Valentines Day is right around the corner. No matter what your relationship with this holiday is, be sure to treat your sweet (or yourself and girlfriends) with this simple quick and easy chocolate cake recipe that will blow your mind! It is perfect to quickly whip up at home or wow your friends by bringing these ingredients to you Gal-entines Day soiree.

Cake 

  • 4 oz. butter 
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate 
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cake flour 

Toppings 

  • rose petal ice cream 
  • whipped cream 
  • health bar 
  • cocoa nib 
  • rainbow spinkles 
  • caramel sauce
  • chocolate sauce 
  • candied rose petals 
  • rasberries
  • blackberries 
  • marshmallows 

directions: 

  • melt butter and chocolate together 
  • whisk eggs and sugar together
  • whisk melted chocolate mixture into egg and sugar mixture
  • whisk in cake flour 

Pour cake mixture into the can, bake 350 degrees for 10 minutes until outside of the cake is set and center is still soft. Please note: baking times may vary. Top cake with your choice of toppings while still hot and enjoy! 

All of the Trends for Spring 2019 That You Need to Know Right Now

All of the Trends for Spring 2019 That You Need to Know Right Now

Spring 2019 fashion is fun, flirty, sporty and chic. From Neons to Neutrals, Strong Silhouettes to Prairie Dresses, Ladylike handbags to waist bags, I am sure that you can take inspiration from these trends to refresh your spring wardrobe. Whether you are pulling from your archives, or shopping ready-to-wear here are trends that you’ll need to look for when you are creating your looks this Spring. Or getting inspired right now! 

 

Leopard Print 

You heard me right! The animal print sensation that came to us last Fall is here and even stronger and more elegant than before.

Dolce Gabbana 

Max Mara 

Neutrally Minded 

I personally don’t think there is a chicer color combination than beige, white, blush and brown. This color palette is sophisticated and elegant and can take you 

Bright Neon

A micro trend that we saw last fall is taking a stronger stand for spring. Neons will move from just being an accessory and a pop to a full blown bold statement. Don’t be afraid to mix your colors and remember that when you are working within the same color hue there are no other rules! 

Versace 

Zimmerman 

Prairie Dress 

My favorite type of “throw on” dress can still be recycled from Summers past. This spring, look for prairie dresses that are long sleeved, floor length and in soft florals and flowy fabrics. This romantic bohemian dress should be as demure as it is confident. 

Accessories Are Extra! Extra! 

There is a theme of extreme when it comes to the sizes of accessories this season. If a giant fringed sunhat is not in your future, might I recommend a teeny tiny ladylike handbag.

Jacquemus

Valentino

How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro

How to Mix Patterns Like a Pro

Sometimes it’s the most unexpected combinations that make lasting impressions. This is one of those lasting fashion moments… 

I’m not going to lie, this was not the easiest of sales to get Sonia into this outfit. However, we both gravitated toward this amazing (and oh so soft and cozy) 80’s inspired faux fur mauve jacket at the same time and then something amazing happened. At that very moment, I had in my hands this amazing (pictured above) graphinc short sleeve sweater and knit houndstooth pants. This strange combination had all of the right elements to turn this outfit into a classic example of how to MIX PRINTS.

When color texture and Hugh come together in an epic and comfortable outfit, this would be that outfit!

 

 

Where to Buy: 

Is a Fraxel skin resurfacing treatment right for you?

Is a Fraxel skin resurfacing treatment right for you?

Is a Fraxel skin resurfacing treatment right for you?
How I finally decided to take the plunge.

I have been wanting to take the sun damage off my neck and chest for a very long time. Have you noticed how we all seem to take great care of the skin on our face but our neck and chest gets neglected?
When I see beautiful skin on a décolletage I am always in awe.

Between the cost, the lack of knowledge and the downtime I kept getting stuck. Finally, everything lined up for me and I took the plunge.

These are the steps I took.

1. I waited for a sale at the Medspa
2. I scheduled it for the fall/winter months so I could stay out of the sun
3. I did my research Well that should be #1 but you know…..

Fraxel is a non-ablative laser that targets aging and sun damage with microscopic laser columns that penetrate deep into your skin. Since the laser treats only a fraction of tissue at a time it leaves the surrounding tissue intact which promotes rapid healing. The skin is resurfaced and new cell growth is stimulated from the inside out.

First, there was numbing which took about 45 minutes or so.

The laser part didn’t take long. We did three passes over my neck and chest. It wasn’t bad at all pain wise and it when by quickly.

After the procedure was over and the numbing cream wore off I draped myself in cold towels. I was very hot. About an hour later I was feeling fine but my skin felt “stiff”. You are sent home with plenty of product to keep the skin pliable. This is one of the few times when I actually am glad to follow rules!

Three days later the surface skin starts to get red and peel and it’s not pretty.

Don’t pick at it!

I was surprised at how little time it took for my skin to look and feel presentable again. About a week for me.

Five days later.

As time has gone by, now about three months, I am shocked at the improvement. Why did I wait so long!!   

My experience was great. Not as difficult as I expected and my results are more than I would have dreamt of!

Thank you to the highly skilled Kirsten Svennungsen -MSB, BA, RN at the
Laser Cosmetic Center in Kalispell Montana for such a good experience.
PS. She is a genius with a needle as well!

Before

After

My Picks From the Forty Five Ten Winter Sale

My Picks From the Forty Five Ten Winter Sale

While in Dallas last week, I was reacquainted with an amazing lifestyle store and women’s boutique Forty Five Ten. Conveniently located across the street from our fabulous hotel (read about the Joule Hotel here), Forty Five Ten is a 4 story boutique that offers fine dining on the terrace, men’s and women’s high fashion, a beautiful beauty counter with all the fixings, and curated pieces for your home. 

If you can’t make it to Dallas for the experience that is Forty Five Ten, then you are in luck because they are online as well and currently having a sale. Below are my picks from their end of season sale that is up to 75% off! Have fun!

Where to Sleep, Shop and Eat in Downtown Dallas

Where to Sleep, Shop and Eat in Downtown Dallas

Stay: The Joule

On a recent trip to Dallas, we stayed at The Joule Hotel in the downtown Arts District.  I can’t express our gratitude to all the people we came in contact with while we were there. From bellmen to housekeeping from restaurant staff to front desk everyone there has customer service as their priority.

The hotel in itself is a work of art. Housed in a Revitalized 1920s neo-gothic style bank building. Works of art are to be found everywhere including Andy Warhol, Richard Phillips, Tony Cragg, and many others.  A bonus in the Lobby, the installation of beautifully detailed motorcycles by Robert Haas.

Shop: Taschen Bookstore 

A Taschen library is housed in the complex. What a treat!  And you can even schedule tea time there.  Stroll around and shop the unique retail boutiques in the lobby as well.

You don’t have to go far for excellent food. It’s right inside the hotel. Try the pork chop at CBD. Awesome! And the bar scene is hopping at The Midnight Rambler downstairs.

Step outside for the best in fashion. Forty-Five Ten and the Neiman Marcus flagship store are right next door. Look around and be surprised but don’t poke the eye!  The hotel staff will tell you stories about how that came about.

 

Shop: Forty Five Ten 

We were reacquainted with an amazing lifestyle store and women’s boutique Forty Five Ten. Conveniently located across the street from our fabulous hotel. Forty Five Ten is a 4 story boutique that offers fine dining on the terrace, men’s and women’s high fashion, a beautiful beauty counter with all the fixings, and curated pieces for your home. 

Bathroom Selfies with mi familia

Lunch at Forty Five Ten was a TEN 

Eat: Circo 

If after a day at the state of the art spa you do feel like leaving the premises, the hotel car will take you anywhere within a five-mile radius. Our choice was dinner at Circo, where the most fabulous Italian food is handcrafted. We were greeted by the manager Casey Bunch and the beautiful Lauren Santagati from the White Rock Hospitality Group. Again, the service was impeccable.  My Bolognese was so fantastic I didn’t even need a sprinkle of Parmesan on it!  There is a first time for everything.

At The Joule Hotel Dallas, we were fortunate enough to stay in two different suites. 

The two-story loft suite is 789 square feet and contains a downstairs living area with a full bath and a soaking tub and a superb bedroom bathroom combination overlooking the living area.

The Deluxe Suite was incredible with great views and a large living area. The incredible deluxe bathroom and beautiful bedroom. Were beautifully appointed with every detail thought out.  They range from 750 to 1,000 square feet. Enough space for girls to have fun! 

View from the top! Of the loft suite that is! 

I  can’t adequately express how wonderful our experience was.  A Boutique Hotel (with everything that symbolizes) does not come close to describing our experience.  In the end, it’s people who make the difference, and we are thankful for the joy, service, and attention the staff show to everyone daily.

Thank Mr. Headington for your vision.  The Joule Hotel Dallas is just that.

A Jewel.

My “Aging Gracefully” Essay on The Fine Line Magazine

My “Aging Gracefully” Essay on The Fine Line Magazine

Aging Gracefully: Owning My Power

The Fine Line Magazine asked women in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s to write short personal essays answering the question, What does aging gracefully mean to you? Each one is a window into the mental and physical lives of women as they grow older. This essay is by 66-year-old blogger Sonia Lovett, who wants to help other women stay in touch with their power as they age. Watch for more submissions all this month and submit your own essay to allison@thefinelinemag.com.

5 Metallic Pieces to Inspire You to Shine This Holiday

5 Metallic Pieces to Inspire You to Shine This Holiday

The countdown has begun! If you’re anything like me, your schedule is jam-packed with Festive Holiday Parties. I’ve found myself at two just last Saturday night! With all of these social obligations, I’m sure that you are running out of fun party looks and costume changes. Allow me to inspire you with 5 of my favorite separates from this season’s shiny metallics, velvets, and lames. Whether you find you’re next look in your closet, your favorite vintage store or here with my hand-picked recommendations, I hope to inspire you to SHINE this holiday! 

Rachel Zoe Metallic Suit

The Power Blazer

GUCCI
Floral-brocade single-breasted jacket

$4,980

$ 1,100.00

MSGM
Metallic jacquard double-breasted tuxedo jacket

$860

$495

The Slinky Blouse

Debbie Metallic Blouse

RAG & BONE

$395.00

Metallic Tuxedo Blouse

RACHEL ROY COLLECTION

$99.00

Ruffle Front Metallic Stripe Blouse

VINCE CAMUTO

$65.40

Tie Neck Metallic Velvet Top

FRAME

$375.00

The Party Skirt

Cina Embellished Miniskirt

ALICE + OLIVIA

Price$595.00

Sequin Pencil Skirt

MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS

$175.00

Tiered Sequin Midi Skirt

ENDLESS ROSE

$95.00

Sequin Embellished A-Line Skirt

ELIZA J

$188.00

The Shiny Dress 

Ted Baker

Maggz Metallic Body-Con Dress

$349.00 

Kkaty Ice Palace Skater Dress
$439.00
Metallic Striped Pleated Dress
$499.00
Metallic Tie-Front Mini Dress
$185.00 

The Statement Earring 

Dynasty Statement Earrings

STELLA + RUBY

$58.00

Amara Stud Earrings

GORJANA

$40.00

Pavé Resin Statement Earrings

J.CREW

$65.00

Retro Gold Stone Studded Clip Earrings

ALEXIS BITTAR

$325.00