UNVEILING OF THE OSCAR DE LA RENTA POSTAGE STAMPS

Snail mail just got a bit more elegant thank’s to the new Forever postage stamps unveiled by the Unites States Postal Service at a “First Day of Issue” ceremony a couple of days ago at New York’s Grand Central Terminal. The new stamps commemorate legendary fashion designer Oscar De La Renta who passed away in 2014. It was most appropriate to schedule the unveiling during New York’s Fashion Week.

“Our family and our company are profoundly honored that the U.S. Postal Service has chosen to memorialize Oscar de la Renta’s life and work with this series of beautiful stamps,” said Alex Bolen, CEO of Oscar de la Renta. “Oscar was proud to be an American and this would have made him tremendously happy. To commemorate his personal version of the ‘American Dream’ with these stamps is a great honor for which we thank the U.S. Postal Service.”

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Shown below from left to right: The event was attended by Oscar de la Renta CEO Alexander Bolen, Michael Bloomberg, Vogue Editor Anna Wintour, Hillary Clinton, U.S. Postal Service Vice President Janice Walker and journalist Anderson Cooper.
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The inspiration for the stamps was taken from some of Oscar’s most famous dresses, including these below. The fuchsia silk faille dress and with metallic embroidery is from Fall 2013. The emerald green taffeta and black Battenberg lace gown is from Spring 2012. I was fortunate to see many of his gowns at an exhibit last year in San Francisco. I talked about it in this post. oscar-de-la-renta-stamp-inspiration-for-stamps

The stamp collection features a total of 11 stamps that include a portrait of the designer along with 10 Oscar de la Renta dress and gown details. Exquisite, aren’t they?

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oscar-de-la-renta-stamps-via-reviving-charm-3If you prefer envelopes, USPS offers these envelopes with a digitally printed stamp and postmark sold in a set of 11. oscar-de-la-renta-stamp-envelopes

As far as I am concerned, handwritten letters and notes will never go out of fashion (pun intended). And with the stormy weather here today in Southern California, I think this just might be a great day to stay indoors and write some letters.

line-art-original-1I just placed my order for the new stamps and you can order your own through USPS. For a limited time, you can also get free stamps with any purchase of $250 or more at Oscar De La Renta. Use promo code: STAMP

Images via USPS, Oscar De La Renta, NBC News, Vogue, American Philatelic Society, McClatchyDC

HAPPY FRIDAY

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I love, love, love my job but I’ve had a challenging last couple of days due to major deadlines and coordinating efforts. I keep telling myself to “keep smiling” and stay positive. It’s interesting how a smile on your face can change your whole attitude. Which reminds me….I want to book a teeth whitening appointment with my dentist so I can continue to be proud of showing off my beautiful pearly whites! Thanks Mom for braces as a teenager!

By the way, this isn’t a picture of me but I do love how contagious this girl’s smile is. No matter what’s going on in your life right now, remember to keep a happy face. After all, there is always something to smile about! Happy Weekend 🙂

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DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: JOHN DE BASTIANI

With all the color floating around the internet and social media sites on Valentine’s Day, I think I’ve had my fair share of red and pink for the moment. To combat my overdose of color, I thought today would be great for posting a beautiful space featuring a combination of soothing neutrals. I’ve had these images of the beautifully designed Beverly Hills pied-a-terre by interior designer John De Bastiani saved for a while and couldn’t image a better day to share them with you. I’ve said it before…that the lack of color doesn’t need to equate to boring design. Apparently, it’s a sentiment that I share with John as he has been quoted as saying that “Beige is classic. It’s sophisticated, it’s soothing. It isn’t trendy, and neither am I. People might call it the safe choice, but I say, What’s wrong with being safe?” You can read the rest of the interview here.

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Interior Designer John De Bastiani

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Images via House Beautiful.

BUON SAN VALENTINO

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Buon San Valentino! Can you tell I have been working on my Italian?!! 

Happy Valentines Day…What does the day hold for you? Valentine’s Day has never been a big deal for me. In fact, Mr. B and I usually never go out on Valentines Day. However, for a split moment, I thought about making a dinner reservation at a local restaurant. When I realized that it was going to cost us at least $200 for a meal (not including alcohol) at a local restaurant I said, “forget it”. I’m far from frugal and will pay for great food but that same meal for two would normalIy cost about half that amount and on any other day we won’t have to deal with the crowds. We typically celebrate with a nice romantic dinner for two at home. This year is no exception. I won’t be cooking…that’s Mr. B’s job. But this year he’s getting the night off since we arranged to pick up some fabulous take out. We’re keeping it simple and I really couldn’t be happier.

I hope your day is filled with lots of happiness, sexy smiles, love and, of course, kisses. This can be a tough day for those without a significant other so how about thinking of a way to make it extra special for them today. After all, showing a bit of kindness never goes out of style. 

By the way, isn’t this the most charming picture? I sure hope they took the advice I gave in this post!  XOXO.

WORLD FAMOUS NUCCIO’S NURSERIES

In Friday’s post, I mentioned wanting to buy a few new varieties of camellias for our garden this past weekend. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t rain because Mr. B and I planned on paying a visit to Nuccio’s Nurseries located in Altadena, California. We headed out to Nuccio’s yesterday. It was gloomy and wet but we had no rain during our visit. Mother Nature was on our side. We were off to a great start! nuccios-nursery-sign-altadena-california-via-reviving-charm

Since 1935 the Nuccio family has grown their nursery business into a one that has become somewhat of a horticultural niche specializing in camellias and azaleas known across the globe. We traveled over an hour to Nuccio’s and while we were there we encountered another couple from Montecito, California who happened to be repeat customers. That’s easily over a two-hour drive away…on a good day. And while speaking with one of the owner’s he mentioned something about an out of state customer. Even domestic goddess Martha Stewart has paid a visit.

As you walk up to the main entrance of the nursery you are greeted by a sign asking you not to start picking out flowers without the help of a salesperson. I was happy to see this because I came armed with specific questions and the help of a professional is something I already knew I would need. nuccios-nursery-altadena-california-via-reviving-charm

When we walked in, Mr. B and I made a beeline for a display table filled with a wide array of camellia cuttings. We oohed and ahhed over the beautiful flowers; most of which we had never seen before. We were greeted by one of the owners, Jim Nuccio, who was very friendly and so very helpful. We mentioned a few qualities and characteristics that we were looking for in a camellia. Base on our needs, Jim was able to immediately narrow down a few varieties for us that were located on the cutting table. The cutting table is genius as it makes the selection process so much easier with so many varieties in one central location. Jim also brought out a huge photo album full of pictures for additional options. The book is not tabbed nor does it have page numbers but Jim went straight to the pages that would be most helpful for us and highlighted a few additional plant options. He definitely knows his stuff! I was originally concerned that the process might be a bit daunting but Jim made it easy-peasy.  Thanks, Jim! 

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Here is the cutting table showing off the dazzling array of colorful blooms. Each flower is labeled by name. Below are some of the famous Nuccio’s Jewel variety.camellia-varieties-nuccios-altadena-via-reviving-charm-1

We decided to purchase a couple of the Ferris Wheel camellias because of their beautiful show-stopping color and pattern. ferris-wheel-camellia-by-reviving-charm-1a

camellia-varieties-nuccios-nursery-altadena-via-reviving-charmCamellias are slow growing and they tend to grow upward. There is one area in our garden that we were hoping for a smaller variety. With the assistance of Jim, we selected Bonanza that has a smaller flower and grows bushier rather than upright. We debated about purchasing it in white but we selected it in red as shown below. nuccios-nurseries-altadena-california-via-reviving-charmnuccios-nurseries-altadena-california-via-reviving-charm-1a

After we made our purchase, we wandered through the nursery and took a ton of pictures. Everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to look at. nuccios-nurseries-altadena-california-via-reviving-charm-1

I love that I was able to capture a few bees in my pictures. I have read that the bee population is declining so adding flowers to the garden is a great way to do our small part in helping them. Actually, it is something we mutually benefit from. nuccios-nurseries-altadena-california-via-reviving-charm-2

Nuccio’s Nurseries also has a cutting table for many of the azalea’s they offer up for sale.
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I particularly liked the Green Glow for its unusual color and Baker’s Lavender for its feminine frilly petals. bakers-lavendar-azalea-via-reviving-charm

We didn’t come to Nuccio’s expecting to buy azaleas. However, when we saw Duc de Rohan we fell in love with its unusual salmon/pink color and decided to purchase it also.
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We ended up purchasing a total of six plants so if anyone needs me this morning you can find me in the garden planting our new lovelies. camellias-and-azaleas-reviving-charm

If you are unable to visit Nuccio’s they will ship to you. However, if you are in Southern California I strongly urge you to visit Nuccio’s Nurseries for yourself. It’s tucked off a tiny road that we actually missed but once inside you will be rewarded with a beautiful selection and wonderful service. nuccios-nurseries-contact-information-via-reviving-charm

Important note: Nuccio’s only accepts cash or check. If you find yourself short on cash they will allow you to mail in a check. Yes, you read that right! This is truly a family operated business and it is refreshing to know that they operate the good ‘ol fashion way.

To learn more about Nuccio’s check out this video segment by Martha Stewart and visit Nuccio’s website.

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