nomad traveller iphone case: perfect for the girl on the go

I love my iPhone 4. I used to be a loyal Blackberry user but once I made the switch, I knew I’d never go back. I love all the amazing apps, especially the photography apps. My favourites are PictureShow and Instagram. Both allow you to add filters to your pictures, taking them from good to great! I especially love using them on my travel photos to give them a bit of a boost.

Speaking of travel, my iPhone is my constant companion when I’m on the go – it ensures I can stay in touch with friends and family, provides endless amounts of entertainment and then there’s those great photography apps. So protecting it from all the potential perils of travel is essential. I’ve tried a few different cases and have settled on a new favourite.


The Nomad Traveller Case from Cygnett is perfect for a travel junkie like me. Not only does it protect my phone but I just love the design. It reminds me of a departure board at an airport. (I’ve been to six of the 11 destinations listed – so it also reminds me of places yet to visit!) And at just $18.99, you can’t beat the price. I also love how slim it is. It snaps easily into place and doesn’t add too much bulk to the iPhone’s sleek design.

Prior to discovering this case, I was using the Kate Spade New York Agenda case.

I love the whimsical design but the case adds a lot of bulk and weight to the iPhone. It’s also twice the price of the Nomad case, at $39.95.

Now that I’ve tried the Nomad case, it wins hands down for its original design and slim fit. It’s the perfect case for the girl (or guy!) on the go!

What iPhone case do you use?

neil george hair products at viceroy miami

Ask my fiance and he’ll tell you that he often hears murmurs of discontent coming from me after I’ve washed my hair at a new hotel. The problem? The conditioner. So many hotels offer guests awful, harsh hair and body products and it never fails to frustrate me. I’d happily pack my own shampoo, conditioner and body lotion were it not for airline restrictions on liquids. But I can’t. And so, I’ve often moaned about the terrible hair conditioner at hotels. And if you’re in Europe, the problem isn’t even bad conditioner. It’s no conditioner. Why don’t so many European hotels have conditioner for guests?

I recently stayed at the Viceroy Miami and found the best shampoo and conditioner combo I’ve ever used at any hotel.


These Neil George hair products (from LA celebrity hair salon Neil George) were amazing. Not only do they smell good enough to eat, they left my hair silky, shiny and without a tangle to be found. It was so nice not to have to tug my hairbrush through a mass of knots and break my hair in the process. Even better, the room had full-size bottles of all the products. This was great for me because those little hotel-sized bottles of conditioner are nowhere near enough product for my long hair. But don’t think you can stuff these freebies in your bag when you leave – the shampoo and conditioner will cost you $45 each.

Thanks, Viceroy for the great hair products!

shopping in singapore

Some cities immediately leap to mind when you think of fab shopping: New York, London, LA, Paris, Milan … But now that I’ve been to Singapore, I will be adding it to my list.

THE place to shop in Singapore is Orchard Road. This pretty, tree-lined street is perfectly manicured (as is most of Singapore) and both sides of the street are flanked with pedestrian malls a-go-go. A true shopper’s paradise. Orchard Road was given a $40 million revamp two years ago. I don’t know what it looked like pre-makeover, but now it’s just beautiful. The revamp included the addition of new street lamps, planter boxes, urban green rooms and flower totem poles.

Stepping off the MRT (Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit), I came face to face with a towering Louis Vuitton storefront, beside it, an equally imposing Chanel storefront. High-end designer boutiques are everywhere but you know – they’re too rich for my taste. Correction: Not my taste, my wallet.

But that doesn’t mean a girl like me can’t get her shopping on. There are so many stores, there’s something for everyone. My fave find: These boots that convert into shoes from Charles & Keith. This shop has an amazing collection of  trendy shoes, boots and bags for the cash-conscious fashionista.

Cool, right? I love finding things I can’t find at home. Everyone always wants to know where these are from.

trendy beach totes

I have no travel plans at the moment and when that happens, I resort to daydreaming about where I’d like to go, what I’d like to be doing and what I’d take with me. Right now, I could sure use a beach. It’s hot, hot, hot where I live right now so I’m not in need of heat to escape cool temperatures. But I sure could use the rest and relaxation that goes hand in hand with a beach vacation. So I found myself checking out beach totes for my imaginary getaway. Here’s what I narrowed my selection down to.

1 Tory Beach Tote
Available at: toryburch.com
Price: $325

2 Chambray Tote
Available at: gap.com
Price: $34.50

3 Large Madaket Tote
Available at: jcrew.com
Price: $68

4 Diane von Furstenberg Rhea Woven Jelly Tote
Available at: bergdorfgoodman.com
Price: $425

delayed in zurich

So, I’m delayed in Zurich Airport and I’ve got plenty of time to kill. I’m hanging out in the lounge and all around me are stranded passengers, sleeping in uncomfortable positions on the chairs and leather couches. I’m thinking about joining them but knowing me, I’ll fall into such a deep sleep I’ll miss my flight. So instead, I’m sitting here blogging (whining?) and plane-spotting, watching flights land and take off. Mostly, there are Swiss planes, but I’ve also seen Air Canada, British Airways, El Al, Thai Airways and Lufthansa.

My flight is delayed due to lingering ash clouds so I’m trying not to complain too profusely. I fully understand the need to take precautions and a three-hour delay isn’t so bad, anyway. So, I’m amusing myself at this great international airport. So, what to do?

I’m going to grab something to eat in the lounge and enjoy the views of Switzerland outside the large, floor-to-ceiling windows that surround the lounge. I can see fields of gold in the distance; it’s rapeseed, used to make canola oil.


After a bite to eat, there’s lots of shopping to keep me busy. I plan to visit one of the many Swatch shops — what better souvenir to take home than a Swiss timepiece? There are tons of other shops to check out: Gucci, Emporio Armani, Davidoff, Hermes, La Prairie and Montblanc to name a few. But the store that will require the most self-control is Sprungli. Not only does everything look divine and decadent but the packaging is simply gorgeous. Check out these macaroons? Think I can resist?

zurich: day three

Our trip to Zurich was jam-packed with things to do. It’s tough to see and do everything a city has to offer in just a few short days but we sure gave it a good ol’ college try. We started out with what turned out to be the highlight of the day: A cooking class at Hiltl (Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland, Tel: 044 227 70 00), Europe’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, founded in 1898.

A brief tour around the restaurant and kitchen (huge, clean and full of enticing aromas), got all of us in the mood to roll up our sleeves and put our culinary talents to the test. We broke into groups of three and got to work. Group One was responsible for the Lentil Terrine (Beluga lentils, horseradish and cranberry apple sauce). Group Two took on the Paprika Geschnetzeltes (sliced quorn, white wine, cream and gherkins) and my group, Group Three was lucky enough to tackle the Warm (Flourless) Chocolate Cake, served with a strawberry and rhubarb compote. And, if I might say so myself, it was absolutely delicious. I’ve been inspired to give vegetarian cuisine a real try. The Hiltl recipes prove that vegetarian food can be tasty, full of flavour and healthy all at the same time.


After cooking and devouring our meal, we were off again. Our tour guide Andrea led the way on a walking tour of Zurich West. This up-and-coming section of Zurich is undergoing a revitalization project that should be complete in about 15 years (making it a bit of a snooze to visit right now) but will make it one of the city’s newest, trendiest areas to visit. Converted industrial spaces are, and will continue to be, transformed into restaurants, cafes, clubs and shops. Zurich is not an enormous city but it’s growing. Currently boasting a population of almost 400,000, the city continues to expand, not only in size but in its offerings to inhabitants. The city has both modern and traditional aspects to it and the vision for Zurich West is that it will be an area that artfully merges the two. We stopped in a few shops, poked around and spoke to the shop owners. I liked the clothes in a small store called Musis, though found the prices a little steep. The gorgeous knit shawls (pictured below) retail for almost $200 — though I did contemplate splurging. They were so gorgeously soft and luxurious to the touch (fine quality, no doubt) and the cool temperatures meant I’d certainly use it. I did, however, refrain.


Next stop: The Freitag factory. You’ll have to check out the website if you’re not familiar with Freitag bags but the general story is this: They rescue old tarps from truckers across Europe, wash ’em, cut ’em up and turn them into trendy messenger-type bags. Started by graphic designer brothers Markus and Daniel Freitag, the company is now enormously successful in Europe (their products are sold in over 300 stores around the globe) and naturally, they’ve got plans to expand their business. It was pretty cool to see inside the factory and get a sense of how the bags are made. The fact that the bags are made out of PVC … well, maybe that’s a topic for another discussion. Still, they’re fashionable and functional and available in a number of different styles.


After the factory tour,  we continued our foot-tour of Zurich West. Travel tip: ALWAYS pack super-comfortable walking shoes. I sacrificed style for comfort on this trip and boy am I glad I did. It was chilly and we did a lot of walking — I was prepared for both.

It was a long day of touring Zurich West on foot and everyone was getting tired. The solution was obvious: A drink and a chance to rest our weary feet at Restaurant Volkshaus (Stauffacherstrasse 60, 8004 Zürich, Switzerland, Tel: 044 242 11 55). I savoured my Bellini and we were off again, this time to visit the Art Show.

This international fair for emerging artists united 80 artists from 20 countries, presenting their paintings, sculptures, photography and art objects. Below are pictured a few of my favourite works, from artist Klaus-Martin Gareis.


Dinner at Les Halles restaurant, a local hangout also in Zurich West, followed by a drink at a sleepy bar across the street called Hard One, topped the night off. When I arrived back at my hotel, I collapsed into bed. Exhausted.

rodeo drive

As I mentioned yesterday, I was just in California (Beverly Hills, to be precise) and I was chilling at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. While I was quite content to amuse myself at the hotel (gym, spa, pool, not to mention my sweet suite), I was also looking forward to taking a stroll down the famed Rodeo Drive to do some window shopping and maybe catch a glimpse of a celebrity or two.

With my credit card trembling in my purse, willing me to be sensible, I jumped into a car at the Four Seasons. They offer a complimentary car service that’ll take you anywhere within a two-mile radius of the hotel. From the hotel, Rodeo Drive is walkable but, as my friendly (and utterly gorgeous) driver pointed out, you have to be prepared. “It all depends on what kind of shoes you’re wearing,” he said, glancing down at my cute but impractical sandals. He smiled. I blushed. I worried that I was going to get kicked out of Beverly Hills for not being good-looking enough.

Anyway, I digress …

Rodeo Drive was, well, it was disappointing. It was virtually empty, save a few tourists like myself, toting GAP, not Gucci, shopping bags. It was shorter than I’d imagined, so the long stroll I had anticipated came to an abrupt end. Sure, the stores were fun to browse through for a few minutes each but truth be told, it’s not all that exciting when you can’t afford a single thing. I did splurge on a pair of silver sandals from Coach but aside from that, even the adorable key rings that sparkled by the cash register were too pricey for my tastes.

I had my book in my bag, hoping I’d find a nice spot to grab a tea, read and people watch. Nothing. I’ve been shopping in New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong and whether you’re burning the magnetic strip off the back of your credit card or not, the experience of walking through the shopping districts of those cities is exciting. The streets are filled with people and there’s a contagious energy around you. Not so on Rodeo Drive. Quel drag.

scottevest


This isn’t the first time (and I don’t expect it to be the last) that I am bemoaning the difficulties of packing light. Everything about the idea of it appeals to me: It’s easier to haul around a small carry-on suitcase than one (or even two!) larger ones, carry-on only means your precious cargo won’t get lost and you needn’t waste valuable time waiting at the baggage carousel when you’ve just arrived in a fabulous new place you can’t wait to explore. But sometimes it’s hard to pack light when you’ve got so many things to carry around.

Enter Scottevest. The pros of traveling with a Scottevest jacket or vest are plentiful. But first, here’s a bit of information about them and why I like them:

Scottevest products make you feel a bit like James Bond. They’re full of secrets and surprises. The jackets and vests are so much more than mere clothing. They provide a plethora of hidden pockets for valuables like your iPhone or iPod, Blackberry, wallet, sunglasses, bottled water or whatever other essentials you like to tote around. With all the pockets located on the inside, no one can see what you’re carrying, yet everything is easily accessible, leaving your hands free for more important tasks. And there’s no questioning the value of this when you’re traveling, juggling your suitcase and laptop bag and travel documents.

With clear touch fabric pockets, devices like your iPhone, iPod or Blackberry can all be used without removing them from the safe and secure pockets. Simply open up the vest and answer calls or launch your favourite tunes. (There’s even a Personal Area Network for managing wires for phones and MP3 players. Seriously. Cool.) And the built-in weight management system means that the weight in each pocket is balanced evenly for increased comfort.

But I have to admit that what I like most is the flattering fit. The women’s vest is really nicely tailored, offering a snug but sleek look. And with all my valuables tucked safely away, I don’t need to carry a heavy bag on my shoulder, which really makes travel so much more enjoyable.

My vest has become a travel essential but when the weather warms up here in Toronto and I shed my winter coat, I look forward to wearing it around town — it’s casual chic, perfect not just for travel but for every day wear, too.

For more information and to purchase online, visit scottevest.com.

louis vuitton luggage


I am so inspired by beautiful photography. I love how a picture speaks a thousand words, how a photo can evoke a range of emotions, spark dreams and touch your heart. Today, I’m quite captivated by the photo above. Straight from the Louis Vuitton website, this picture set my heart pounding and my mind racing. Where is she going? Who is she meeting? Is it true love or will she break his heart? I was instantly transported to an era decades-past and the sound of a steam train’s whistle is still ringing in my ears. All aboard!

For more information on the Louis Vuitton hat box and valise pictured here, visit louisvuitton.com.

cuffs by paulette rose


I just love finding beautiful new things to feature on my blog and today I discovered an accessory that I’m sure all of you (ladies!) are going to love!

Paulette Rose is a recently launched company that makes cuffs out of the most exquisite fabrics and that feature simply beautiful designs. The pictures really speak for themselves. Aren’t they beautiful? I love how these simple accessories can instantly transform an outfit. A plain white shirt and a pair of jeans is transformed into an elegant evening look with the addition of a pair of these cuffs. A standard black blazer instantly becomes a a signature piece when paired with the plaid silk cuffs pictured above. Simultaneously totally modern, yet subtly heralding an era gone by, there’s something truly timeless and romantic about them.

Months ago I blogged about how tricky it can be to pack smart when you’re traveling. What I also love about these cuffs is that they’re perfect for travel. Small and easy to pack, they’ll certainly provide options when you’re on the go and will take up next to no room at all in your suitcase. Offering style and versatility, they’re the perfect travel accessory.

For more information or to purchase online, visit pauletterose.com.