Fall in Florence

The days are still warm and sunny with just enough cool breeze to make for perfect shopping weather! Chia and I survived our 23 hour trip from Seattle to Florence last week, but she is still jet-lagged…snooze Caught her snoozing during a shopping tour!

There are some good sales on summer sandals here, and lots of beautiful boots and shoes for fall. The really comfortable driving mocs in 30 colors remain a favorite!pink mocs

I convinced one of the little shops into taking some of Fabio’s handbags. There are only a few, but gorgeous! Of course, Fabio promised to deliver them on Monday at 9am, and didn’t show up until Wednesday at 3…..worth the wait though! Pitone Rosso Tote This beautiful large red python and leather tote should sell for 1200 euro, but Fabio has said that he will sell it for a ridiculously low price……..right when I promised myself I had enough bags!

Embrace the Bling!

grazie ringsabbia ring

Many of my shopping clients have expressed great lust for the Florentine gold work with gems. Often the comment is, “I want something for everyday, and the gems might be too much bling for where I live.” Living part time in Seattle, home of grunge, and the unofficial headquarters for sweatpants, I say BAH! Bring on the bling!!! Leading the way, I am wearing my nice jewelry daily with jeans and a white tee shirt here in Seattle- to the grocery store, walking Chia, in ballet class- everywhere!

I am all about natural and organic, and what can be more organic than a gem stone? They are dug up out of the ground! I say, let the natural blues of sapphire, the emerald greens, the garnet reds, etc. be reflected on your very own self. I consider the gems to be a bit of compensation for my wrinkles!


Spending the lazy days of summer here in Seattle, I have had lots of time to think about gems…..Latest idea? Arrange for a group of us jewelry lovers to visit the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show this coming February! Pearls? Tanzanite? Topaz?…….

Florence in August

All I can say about Florence in late July and early August is HOT!!! I am often asked the best time to visit and I think mid-March to mid-June, and September through mid-November. If you want to visit when there are fewer tourists, March, April, October, November are best.

I have just spent some time in Whistler, British Columbia and loved it! Beautiful waterfalls to hike around and great restaurants too. Chia had a wonderful time!chia rocks

The shopping was underwhelming, but the scenery was spectacular.
river through trees

It is a long 5 hour drive from Seattle to Whistler. I recommend driving to Vancouver, B.C. where you can do some fun shopping, spend the night, and then go to Whistler. The Pan Pacific Hotel was fabulous and welcomes pets, too!

These Shoes Are Made for Walking!

Traveling and walking lots this summer! Wearing my new sandals and driving mocs everywhere! San Francisco, Sausalito, Whistler, Anacortes, Seattle and back to Florence August 20th for the fall. black sandals

Chia had fun going to San Francisco! We had to visit Bloomingdale’s, of course, and we took the ferry to Sausalito under sunny skies.bloomingdaleschia sausalito

My new favorite walking shoes are actually driving mocs. Had them already in beige- added navy blue and pink this spring. pink mocs

I am eager to get back to Florence for the fall and see what new boots and bags will be there.These navy blue suede and leather short boots are gorgeous! A client last spring had them made for her. I think I might need these, too….IMG_0014

I am very excited about a new shop being opened in August. I have arranged for them to carry a few of Fabio’s handmade bags! I have picked some out already, and will pick out more when I return. If you have requests, let me know!

Baubles, Blisters and Bags….



Here it is! The watermelon tourmaline I bought at the Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show last winter, made into a pendant by the Florentine goldsmith. It is rose gold, which I love with the pink color in the stone. The design is one that we did together, using a vintage leaf pattern the goldsmith’s father had made years ago. Just a few tiny diamonds and a chain with some carved rondelles. I LOVE it!!!

One thing I certainly do not love is blisters….Having been a ballet dancer for years, blisters are not unknown to me. Dancing en pointe is one thing, but getting blisters while shopping is an entirely different matter. With the warm humid weather here in Florence, my feet take a beating. I have tried every kind of half sock, ped, footies, etc. known to mankind, and have finally found something that doesn’t fall off or bunch up. It is a special little sock, kind of like the “ouch pouch” dancers put in their pointe shoes. This is a thin toe cap sock that fastens around the heel with a stretchy clear elastic. It stays put, and protects the toes from blisters! You can purchase them online at amazon.com SHEEC – SlingBack – Cotton Hidden No-Show Socks. Or my preferred are from Footsmart.com
PedaBella Slingback Liners (item #40381).
IMG_2373 I have not been showing Fabio’s remaining handbags to anyone until I decide which one I want for myself! I think it will be this one. It is large with a full zip top, and a very soft handle that fits on my shoulder. Love the two tones and it will be great for travel! But then this bag calls to me as well: marrone mix media It is a combination of python and leather, which is lovely. It is smaller bag with a cross body strap. Then my eye keeps going to the wine colored bag! Such a fabulous color and unique style-the photo makes it look more red than it is. It would look great with black, gray, white, navy…..Help!IMG_2371

Summer Sizzle!

We completed our 29 May shopping tours last week with a lovely lady who has a terrible time getting shoes to fit her long and narrow foot. Success! Plus,suede colors she car order more pairs of these shoes any time in any color suede, patent leather or plain leather, with or without the bow.shoe

After so many tours, Chia and I took the week off and spent a few days in Rome with our dear friend, Katherine. She has a beautiful apartment near the Vatican, where she volunteers with the sisters in a women’s shelter.apt We did a little shopping of course…

Train travel is so easy here, and the trip from Florence to Rome takes only an hour and a half! I book online ahead for a better price, and good selection of seats. Chia likes to have a seat to herself!chia on train

It is sizzling hot here this week, and Chia is tired. We are taking time off to rest, recharge and prepare for the June shopping tours ahead! tired chia

Your personal shopper in Florence, Italy