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Archive for August, 2012

Conch Style: Spotlight on Besame Mucho

Posted on: August 24th, 2012 by Leah No Comments

Stepping out of the ordinary, into an exotic place is a gift within itself.  Besame Mucho is that kind of an experience; the type of boutique that you’d expect to find on a quaint street in Paris.  Nestled on Petronia street in the local neighborhood of Bahama Village in Key West, this carefully curated boutique offers treasures from around the globe.  From hand-stitched Moroccan slippers to designer chocolates, this store is filled with hand-made, luxurious items with a little something for everyone.

Established in 1999, Bésame Mucho, meaning “Kiss me a lot”, was founded by locals Meredith Bollong and her partner Michael MinKhin.  Inspired from their extensive travels, this boutique is filled with all the things they love.  Having grown up in Key West in the 70’s, Meredith remembers when Key West was smaller and strewn with exotic local shops that could have been from the West Indies.  Her goal was to provide that same feeling with her store.   “I’ve always been sensitive to my surroundings which is why we aim to fill our store with hand-made and old treasures that have stood the test of time,”  stated Meredith Bollong.

Top finds from Besame Mucho:

1. Have you ever tried a milk chocolate bar baked with fine nibbles of hickory smoked bacon?  This combination is exquisitely done by this Chicago company and is a must try!  Vosges Haut Chocolat Mo’s Milk Bar – available for $9.95.

Vosges Haut Chocolat Mo’s Milk Bar

Besame Mucho’s entire line of chocolates!

2. Hand-stitched Italian leather slippers from Morocco. These posh slippers come in a variety of metallic hues and look-like something you could love and live-in… forever.  $168

Hand-stitched Italian Leather Slippers from Morocco

3.  Besame Mucho is the only store south of Miami carrying Kiehl’s skin care products.  In addition to Kiehl’s, they also carry old-world brands such as Dr. Hauschka Skin Care from Germany and Italian made Santa Maria Novella.  From perfumes to lotions to candles, you will find a variety of apothecary items to fit your needs.  (prices vary)

Besame Mucho’s entire Apothecary line can also be found online at besamemucho.net

4.  Straw beach bag wrapped in gold fabric available for $48. So beautifully done, you could carry this bag not only to the beach and on the boat but it could also be used it as a large purse for when your normal purse is just not enough!

The carry-all bag for the beach or just shopping in Key West.

5. Simple and delicate, hand-made jewelry from artisans around the world.  Each piece is made from the finest items including sterling silver and 18K gold, you will find a variety of unique pieces here.  (prices vary)

Beautiful hand-made jewelry and accessories.

Shop Besame Mucho at 315 Petronia Street in Key West Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or anytime at www.besamemucho.net.

 

This article was also featured in the Florida Keys Reporter and Keynoter as a part of my “Conch Style” column that runs bi-monthly in the Friday and Saturday edition.  If you have story ideas on style in the Florida Keys, please send me an email at Leah@leahsfabulousfinds.com. 

Conch Style: How to Shop Consignment

Posted on: August 10th, 2012 by Leah No Comments

Florida is home to some of the best consignment stores in the country.  Not only are they great for selling your gently used items, they’re also great for finding unique vintage and brand name items for a fraction of the cost.  Think of them as a hand-selected version of a thrift store or garage sale without all the junk.  Only the best of the best gets sold there.  That said, people often say that shopping at consignment stores can be intimidating.  They don’t like digging and they’re overwhelmed before they even get started.  Here are some recommendations on shopping at consignment stores.

Start your visit by asking the owner or sales associate if they have anything new in.  This usually will prompt them to show you a few of their favorite things around the store which usually translates to be a really great find!

Next, start shopping in the jewelry or accessories area, as they’re typically displayed in an easy to browse way that will let you look through them without all the “digging”.  Look for great bangles and long pendants to pair with dresses and sandals for a beachy chic look.  Also look for vintage clutches for evenings out and unique sunglasses.  After all, a Florida Keys girl can never have too many sunglasses.

Dresses are another easy area to browse as they’re usually hung by size and style and can be easily sifted through without much work.  Fashion repeats itself, so many of the styles that would be considered vintage are back in again.  Always try it on as many vintage pieces aren’t marked or accurately sized.  At the very least, your dressing room experience could turn into a fun flashback to an 80’s prom.

Look for designer names as consignment stores usually carry a great selection of high-end labels most of us would never normally be able to afford.

Make sure to always double check your items before you buy as many may be vintage and you want to be sure you’re okay with the condition it is in.  Nothing is worse than getting home only to realize that its missing a button and you don’t have the time to repair it.  That said, most consignment stores will only accept items in the best condition.

Here are a few amazing pieces found at MS.cellaneous consignment boutique in Islamorada, FL.

1. Vintage gold mesh necklace with large medallion ($30) – Pair this necklace with a long maxi dress and gold bangles and earrings.

Necklace available at Ms.Cellaneous Consignment Boutique in Islamorada, FL.

2. Chain Body Jewelry ($60) – This piece would look amazing over a black dress!

Chain Body Jewelry available at Ms.Cellaneous Consignment Boutique in Islamorada, FL.

3. Black Vintage 80’s dress size 8 ($20) – The style of this dress is so in again.  Wear it with cute heels to a more formal function as its long, hitting just beneath the knees.  Consider cutting out the shoulder pads although leaving them in could be kind of fabulous as well.

Black vintage dress available at Ms.Cellaneous Consignment Boutique in Islamorada, FL.

4. Escada Knit Suit – $46 Vintage suits look great when separated for a more modern look.  Worn more like a sweater, this knit jacket would be a preppy addition to a chic structured shift dress for cooler evenings.

Escada Knit Suit available at Ms.Cellaneous Consignment Boutique in Islamorada, FL.

5. Pastel green vintage handbag and matching gloves – $28 This bag is so effortlessly ladylike, you could wear this with jeans and look amazing.  And the gloves have never been worn, still displaying their original tags.

Vintage bag and matching gloves available at Ms.Cellaneous Consignment Boutique in Islamorada, FL.

MS.cellaneous is located in Islamorada on the Oceanside at MM 82, open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information, go to Islamoradaconsignment.com or call 305.517.9990.

And if all this advice is still a bit overwhelming, go with a friend who’s good at shopping.  They can help you sift through the store to find those amazing pieces you won’t be able to live without.

 

This article was also featured in the Florida Keys Reporter and Keynoter as a part of my “Conch Style” column that runs bi-monthly in the Friday and Saturday edition.  If you have story ideas on style in the Florida Keys, please send me an email at Leah@leahsfabulousfinds.com. 

What I’m Wearing: Color Blocking Pinks & Blues

Posted on: August 3rd, 2012 by Leah No Comments

Color-blocking is one of my favorite trends this season.  Pair pieces from opposites sides of the color wheel to create this look.   Finding a color-blocked dress is an easy way to wear the trend.   I really like pairing these pieces with accessories in a similar tone but yet a shade off. I’m wearing a color-blocked navy and fuschia dress by Cynthia Rowley from TJ Maxx for $39.99, blue Nine West clutch, blue and gold J Crew necklace from ebay for $14.50, gold Juicy Couture watch and vintage gold bangles.

Photo Courtesy of Sedura Photography – Sedura.com.

 

Photo Courtesy of Sedura Photography – Sedura.com.

 

Photo Courtesy of Sedura Photography – Sedura.com.

 

Tell me how you’re color-blocking this season?  What are your favorite looks?

Images courtesy of Sedura Imagery – Specializing in children and family photography. Go to Sedura.com or follow on facebook at Facebook.com/SEDURA for more information.