monique péan

Caroline Issa models for Monique Péan

When I came across Monique Péan’s designs a few years ago, I was appalled. Appalled at myself, mostly, because I hadn’t designed those gorgeous pieces. Finally, just this week, I purchased my first Péan piece from M’oda O’perandi — a pretty ring crafted from fossilized wooly mammoth ivory, diamonds and 18k carat gold.

Her aesthetic is incredibly appealing, a combination of boldness with refinement. The materials — fossilized walrus ivory, sliced diamonds, and buffalo horn —  are beautiful, unexpected and used to perfection. But the brilliance of her work is extended by her commitment to sustainable and fair-trade gems, conflict-free diamonds and her work with artisans around the world.

There’s nothing ostentatious about her work, but each piece is utterly distinctive and memorable.




  1. Diamond + wooly mammoth scrimshaw diamond earrings
  2. Wooly mammoth with diamond pavé in 18k recycled gold cuff
  3. Diamond slice + pavé earrings
  4. Opal ring with diamond pavé


i don’t like chardonnay but I love chablis

Poor, maligned Chardonnay. I live in California — Northern California —so I’ve had my fill of the big, oaky, viscous Chardonnays we seem to excel in producing here. My mother loves these kinds of wines, which she insists on drinking with ice cubes, but I don’t enjoy what’s the vinous equivalent of sucking oak chips. (Yes, a woman who puts ice in her over-oaked, overly-expensive Chardonnay is related to me. Trust me, I find it equally hard to believe.)

The Chablis region of Burgundy, however, does some really lovely things to Chardonnay. They tend to be prettier and more elegant wines than California Chardonnays…sort of comparable to the differences between Pamela Anderson and Marion Cotillard.  Lots of mineral but you can still find the fruit. And the acid, acid being key to elegance in both people and wines.


Chablis’ wines are perfect for summer picnics, lazy afternoons spent on beaches eating oysters, or with other fresh tasting seafood.  And, unlike the rest of Burgundy, the wines are relatively affordable, and, some even say Chablis is best high-end deal in French wine going. Today, as a matter of fact, I’m going to Kermit Lynch (40% off Burgundy!!) and buying a case, even though it’s October, even though it’s nippy out. Because unlike many other white wines, Chablis can spend a little time laying around, thinking about itself. And be all the better for it.

Here are a few from one of my favorite shops for French and German wines and assuming you can ship wine to your state, they are very nice place to buy wine from. And here are some their favorite selections from Chablis.

  1. 2010 Chablis Montee de Tonnerre by Billaud-Simon
  2. 2008 Chablis Vaudesir by William Fevre
  3. 2006 Chablis Valmur by Raveneau

And finally, a lovely way to quaff the Chablis you just brought home….Chardonnay glasses from Reidel. Pretty, elegant, and not too fussy. Just like your drink.




my new favorite poster

the equestrienne

I came to horses more or less as an adult. Two things conspired to get me in the saddle. The first was a familial purchase of a small ranch in Colorado that could house a large number of quarter horses. The second was an unexpected four-year stop in Kentucky…Lexington to be precise. Thoroughbred horse ground zero. Different styles of riding, to be sure, but both left me with a strong love of the smell of hay and the joy of trying to be with a horse. There is a certain restraint and mindfulness required to get an animal as large and sensitive as a horse to have a conversation with you. It’s humbling and exhilirating…and while I don’t do it nearly enough anymore, I still appreciate the skill required to work with a horse.

I also developed a strong attachment to equestrian style. It makes perfect functional sense in the context of trying to coax a thoroughbred over a fence, but it also, frankly, just looks great.

Some of my favorite images that I’ve uncovered via Pinterest:

19th century equestrienne


so elegant


audrey on horseback


true riding



And some lovely equestrian-inspired things to add to the closet:


the most beautiful cognac boot


so chic, and at Matches, London.

saddle bag by


My friend Brian Clamp, proprietor at Clamp Art has a new show up illustrating the beauty of the equine form. It’s most certainly worth checking out if you happen to be in New York City!

Jill Greenberg, Horses, Romero 1177

maia’s getting hitched! (and an ice cream recipe)

Hi-ho! I’m hanging out over at Design Conundrum today since TOMORROW Maia ties the knot with Travis! Check out my Lavender Honey ice cream recipe….and wish the happy couple joy while you’re there!



recipe over at

me and m’o

For the last few months, I’ve been lucky enough to be guest pinning for the super-lovely folks over at M’oda O’perandi.  It’s a pretty wonderful opportunity to pick up some investment pieces several months before the rush.

My boards over at Pinterest