Wednesday, September 30, 2009

JSTD: Follow the food

Have you attended your local "Restaurant Week", or any other city's, for that matter? If not you're missing out. Most major cities, like NYC, DC, Los Angeles, Boston, and Baltimore have these amazing events to showcase the culinary delights of many local restaurants, which tend to have specially-priced menus during this time, I might add. Some cities also regularly host themed food and wine festivals, such as L.A.'s American Food & Wine Festival (thanks Wolfgang Puck!) and the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival. Find a local Restaurant Week. Eat. Enjoy. You're welcome.

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Time to learn some new moves

Today's Annoyance: Wallflowers
Mantra of the Day: To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. - Agnes De Mille

One of the coolest things to learn from any new culture is some new dance moves. I love to dance, and the idea of learning some new moves in some faraway place is just too good to pass up.

Dancing is fun, it's a workout and it's ultra-sexy, so your S.O. benefits, too! Not to mention that it's a great excuse to buy a new dance outfit. Have you seen the amazing bellydancing costumes?

Sign up for a hula lesson on your next trip to Hawaii. Or, take a flamenco lesson in Spain, or learn to bellydance in Turkey. You get my drift. Even if it's just one lesson, you'll meet some new people. If the dance really tickles your fancy, you can sign up for more when you get back home. So far, I've taken hula, salsa and bellydancing lessons. On my list are flamenco, tango, ballroom and Indian dance lessons. I'm leaning heavily toward Indian dance, especially since I have some awesome saris that I really want to show off.

Have you learned any new moves during your travels? Do share.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of Maximum Ink]


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

JSTD: Track your miles

Keeping track of airline mileage can be a pain if you're not loyal to one brand. With my travel schedule (and lack of loyalty), I need help. To rescue us from the tedium of managing miles across multiple loyalty programs are AwardWallet, MileageManager, MilePort and USA Today's MileTracker. Besides tracking miles and award points for multiple airlines, hotels and credit cards, some of these services will track mileage expiration dates, find seats available for purchase with frequent flyer miles, and regularly send you an updated e-mail summary of all your accounts. Cool!

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No limits to luxury

Today's Annoyance: That I didn't think to upgrade these products myself
Mantra of the Day: Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. - Coco Chanel

True divas and jet-setters (is that redundant?) are ALWAYS style-conscious. If it's well-branded, good quality, and of utmost importance, FABULOUS, we want it. Here are a few stylish health and hygiene products that should be on every divas must-have list:
  • Ed Hardy's various Habit hand-sanitizer products -Now, your nifty little hand sanitizer bottle can match your tattoo and/or your Ed Hardy outfit. Your friends will hate you for being so coordinated.
  • OW! first-aid travel kit - Everything should be cute, including your first-aid kit.
  • Toletta premium-brand toilet seat covers - They're bigger and thicker than traditional seat covers, plus they're biodegradable, come in pink or blue, inexpensive, and come in purse-sized travel packs. Perfect.
  • Sickness or, as the company calls them, "chicness" bags - Although they're targeted primarily to pregnant women, who says you can't be chic in-flight with a designer airsickness bag?
It's so true that branding is everything.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of OW! Health]

Monday, September 28, 2009

JSTD: Contain yourself

Thanks to the TSA's imposed security measures, we can only carry a thimble-ful of any liquid onto a plane. Technically, it's 3.4 oz. or less. Lucky for us, Magellans, Pitotubes, and Le Travel Store offer cute, perfectly-sized travel bottles for our carry-on toiletries.

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New giveaway: Fresh Scents Sachets

Who doesn't love Fresh Scents Sachets? Wherever you put them - luggage, gym locker, bathroom, hallway - the area will smell absolutely fantastic. They're eco-friendly, inexpensive and useful just about anywhere.

Thanks to Fresh Scents, I will be giving away 5 of these; 1 to each of 5 lucky contestants. Here's what you have to do for a chance to win:

For this week's giveaway, you have 3 different ways to enter (max entries = 3):

1. You'll get 1 entry for leaving a comment below naming your favorite Fresh Scents fragrance.

2. 1 entry for sending a tweet about the giveaway on Twitter. Be sure to reference my Twitter account - @avapierce - in your announcement so that you receive an entry.

3. 1 entry for leaving a relevant comment on any of my other blog posts. (Spam and single-word comments don't count. As usual, comments posted before today don't count.)

The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and ends on Friday, October 2, 2009.

Five winners will be selected using and will be announced on my blog and via Twitter on Monday, Octber 5. You must check the site to see if you've won; all the more reason for you to subscribe via e-mail or RSS! ;o) The winner must contact me by e-mail (ava AT avapierce DOT com) within three days of the announcement to claim their prize. If the winner does not claim their prize within that time period, another name will immediately be drawn for the prize.

Got questions about the giveaway? E-mail me: ava AT avapierce DOT com. Good luck!

[IMAGES: Courtesy of Fresh Scents]


Friday, September 25, 2009

JSTD: Bug off!

Avoid getting bit by creepy crawlies with appropriate insect repellent. The most effective repellents on the market are: DEET, Picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). When choosing an insect repellent, consider: what types of insects are found in your destination city, how long the repellent works, its level of skin sensitivity, its odor (or lack thereof), and its level of toxicity. Check with your doctor and/or the National Pesticide Information Center if you are pregnant &/or choosing repellent for your kids.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Fashion Week Overload

Today's Annoyance: That I don't have a squadron of mini-me's to be in more than one place at a time
Mantra of the Day: "As I was saying, fashion means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. - Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief

Oh to be a fixture at Fashion Week, a la Madame Anna Wintour! Part of the problem - aside from a wide-open schedule and buckets filled with cash - is keeping up with so many international Fashion Weeks. How does a jet-setter-in-training do it, you ask? CosmoWorlds, that's how. This fab site features lists of international fashion weeks from 2006 through 2010. You can even search by country; then, you're just one click away from each event's official website.

As you might expect, the most important are the "big four":
NYC has been going strong since the 1940s. Dozens of major metro cities have started their own Fashion Weeks within the past ten years, such as Athens, Cape Town, Dubai and Los Angeles so, we have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the festivities, the food, the fun and the gossip (of course). Now, to decide which ones to attend...

[IMAGES: Courtesy of Counterfeit Chic, Refinery 29]


Thursday, September 24, 2009

JSTD: Go local

Going to charity events or grand openings is a great way to gain access to the local scene when you are a visitor in town for a quick trip. These events are often publicized online (increasingly via social media), and they are usually happy to have another warm body in the room. Who knows; you might meet someone interesting along the way. ;o)

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


More shopping in Singapore

Today's Annoyance: Still not having a G5
Mantra of the Day: I am the fiercest of them all!

One of my favorite designers just gave me another reason to get my cute little booty down to Singapore. Diane von Furstenberg just opened a new shop at the Ion Orchard - #01-08A 2 Orchard Turn, 65 6509 9062, for those of you already in the area.

The classic wrap dress is made of silk blend jersey, so not only does it feel great against your skin and move with your body, it tends not to wrinkle. (I previously wrote a tip about jersey dresses and how great they are for traveling; given the occasion, I think it's worth repeating.) Needless to say, wrap dresses are easy to pack since they roll up nicely. On top of being comfy, they always leave you looking effortlessly stylish and are perfect for dressing up or down. It almost goes without saying that DVF not only invented the wrap dress that we know today, but also still makes the best ones on the market. If you want to go off the beaten path a bit, Issa London makes great wrap dresses that are a little more luxurious and thus expensive, but look fabulous.

I can't forget that Ms. von Furstenberg creates unbelievable gowns and other types of dresses, one of which I recently wore to a ball in Monte Carlo. Now, I am trying to decide if I should wear a DVF dress on the flight to the new DVF store in Singapore. Hmmm...

[IMAGE: Courtesy of brightstarlights]


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

JSTD: Face time

Make sure that you get into a trusted beauty regimen before you start traveling. Being on the road can wreak havoc on your skin. A good way to minimize any damage is to have a routine that does not change just because your location does.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Vitamin C Serum

Today's Annoyance: Not being born Gisele Bundchen
Mantra of the Day: Channeling my inner beauty is only one spa treatment away.

This is my new find. I can't say enough about how good this stuff is. To fill you in on my little secret, this is just what it sounds like - a concentrated form of vitamin C that comes in the form of a serum which is meant for your skin. (Please don't try to eat it!) You apply it once a day, right after you get out of the shower in the morning. The product can get a little pricey since you have to use it every day. When I am on the road, I like to use it twice a day because of nasty airplane air and strange water.

I discovered the stuff when I had a facial in Las Vegas. I thought that I was just signed up for your basic run-of-the-mill spa treatment, but it turned out that it was a vitamin C facial. I have always had trouble with spotty skin and as most women in their mid to upper thirties, I am starting to think about anti-aging products. This not only clears and keeps your skin clear, it also works against the hands of time, maintaining a gorgeous glow a la Gisele or Blake Lively. There are various companies that sell it and just about any brand will do. Check out your options at or

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of]


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

JSTD: Flex your wardrobe muscle

Build up your wardrobe as you travel. It's a great way to accumulate interesting pieces that you are sure not to see others sporting in a town near you.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Opening: La Pomme NYC

Today's Annoyance: Trying to keep up with daily happenings in NYC
Mantra of the Day: Of course, I am one of the beautiful people.

This is a hot new club in New York's Chelsea neighborhood that just opened this month. It has all of the usual temptations of New York nightlife but with the addition of impromptu performances by big names who are feeling the groove and want to show off their skills to fellow partygoers. This sleek space offers the perfect backdrop for the beautiful crowd that it is already attracting. Their website is up and running but manages to keep the mystery alive by not displaying much. I have already been to a charity event there supporting City Harvest so I can say that it is worth checking out.

We'll have to see how this one fares in the highly competitive world of New York City nightclubs.


[IMAGE: Courtesy of La Pomme NYC]

Winners of the Tepper Jackson Binder Zips

Lisa Duffy and sexymamma23 (Corie Rimmer), thanks to's selection of #15 and #40, today's your lucky day!! Each of you will receive a Tepper Jackson Mariposa Binder Zip, just as long as you send me your mailing address (ava AT avapierce DOT com) by Thursday, September 24 @ 11:59 p.m. ET.

To the fantastic folks at Tepper Jackson, major thanks for sponsoring this month's giveaways. Keep up the great work!!

Big thanks to everyone who entered. I'm grateful for your comments and tweets. If you didn't win, Tepper Jackson is currently running a special - If you friend them on Facebook, you can get a promo code for 20% off your purchases through September 28!!

Always be fabulous,


Monday, September 21, 2009

JSTD: Jet set flip flops

Remember when I suggested flip flops as a must-have travel item? I just found out about Flexflops. They're cute, foldable, portable flip flops that come in a matching pouch. Oh-so-perfect for travel, a quick pedicure, or to soothe your sore feet after hours of dancing (or just plain walking) in your stilettos.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


DIY clothing and accessory designs

Today's Annoyance: My limited creativity
Mantra of the Day: My appreciation for artists grows by the day.

Crowdsourcing totally rocks, imho! For those of you who haven't heard of it, in a nutshell it simply means outsourcing or delegating a task to a large audience in order to (inexpensively) generate new ideas and products. This lovely concept is being increasingly applied to clothing and accessory designs. Just think. If you are creatively inclined - unlike me - you can custom-design a whole new wardrobe without spending a fortune:
On some sites, you can also purchase other artists' designs. As if that's not cool enough, you can also win cash if your design gets the most votes.

(sigh) Gosh, I just love being different. Don't you?

[IMAGE: Courtesy of pssstt via Dream Heels]


Friday, September 18, 2009

JSTD: Managing panhandlers

Traveling to developing countries can be joyous and tough at the same time. One of the biggest drawbacks is being accosted by beggars - often swarms of children - nearly everywhere you go. To avoid giving away all of your cash on-hand and looking like a typical "rich Westerner", either don't give away any money or reward the person/child if they perform a service, such as guiding you to some place nearby. Finally, never expose your cash and only give small amounts.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Rocking in-air entertainment

Today's Annoyance: That so few seem to appreciate peace and quiet anymore
Mantra of the Day: Hooray for noise-canceling headphones!

From dozens of audio channels to in-flight tv and on-demand movies on personal video screens; from video games to real-time flight information. The latest hot features to add are USB ports, power sockets, iPod docking stations, Internet access, WiFi and personal mobile phone use (AHHHH!). Is there any kind of entertainment unavailable on airplanes? It's cool and crazy at the same time.

For the past two years, Emirates Airlines (a personal fave) has won the AVION Award for Best Overall in-flight entertainment for its ICE system, which features more than 1,000 (!) channels of entertainment. I have to admit; until I flew on Emirates Airlines last year, all airline entertainment systems were pretty the same. Emirates' system was really impressive.

With Virgin Atlantic's in-flight massages and the usual duty-free shopping available, the only thing missing from the airline's customer experience is loads of advertising. Somehow, I'm guessing that it's well on its way to a mini-screen near you. Enjoy while you can.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of TechInFlight]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

JSTD: Travel laundry

Hotel laundry services can be a bit pricey so if you'd rather wait and wash your clothes back home, pack a stain remover pen in your luggage.

Jet Set Tip of the Day sponsored by:


Oh, to wake up as royalty

Today's Annoyance: Realizing that I'm not actually a royal, yet
Mantra of the Day: I think I can. No, I know I can!

There's an interesting article in the Washington Post about a Ghanaian secretary living in Maryland who recently became a king in her home country. Peggielene Bartels was awakened by a phone call several months ago letting her know that she had been named king of the town of Otuam. Now, she's a secretary by day and a king by night (and on vacations from her secretarial job). That's pretty amazing!

I'm not quite sure that I'd want the responsibility of being king but I can definitely handle being an entrepreneur by day and a jet-setting diva whenever I can squeeze in a trip or 2.

Here's to being regal, whether we have a title or not!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

JSTD: Cheap contacts

If you expect to have Internet access in your destination city, using a voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) service like Skype, Vonage or Versafon is a great (and less expensive) way to keep in touch with loved ones.

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5 Things I Totally Despise

Today's Annoyance: Empty promises
Mantra of the Day: I am learning to be more patient (slowly but surely).

1. People who wait in lines and don't prepare. Seriously, how many times do you have to wait in line at the market, in a store, or at a toll booth before you figure out that you'll need to give the cashier some form of payment? Be ready and move it along.

2. Snooty people. I could care less about your birthright, how much money you have, where you live, or who your friends are. It doesn't give you the right to be mean or disrespectful.

3. Disorder. Even if it's considered "organized chaos", it still frosts my cookies to spend time in spaces with massive piles of clothes, paperwork or other hoarded stuff in someone's home or office. Cover it or get a bulldozer.

4. Most packaging for electronic equipment. Have you ever chipped a nail or broken a pair of scissors trying to open the packaging for a flash key or a Bluetooth headset? I've purchased fine jewelry that required less difficult packaging. Who thought of this? I'm certain that there is a special reason for this type of criminal packaging but, stop it already. By the time I get to the product, I don't want it anymore.

5. People who complain but don't try to help themselves. The energy spent complaining could be used to solve the problem. Need I say more?

Tell me what really ticks you off.

[IMAGE: Courtesy of Getty Images]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

JSTD: Stick it and go

Wardrobe mishaps are inexcusable nowadays, especially with the invention of garment tape. Try Miss Oops Mishap Tape, Hollywood Fashion Tape, or Stick It! Clear Double Stick Tape. Don't leave home without it!

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