- by Cat Baker

As you all know, I LOVE to travel but I have to admit, that although I’ve been all over the world, one of the best routes, in my opinion, is down the East coast through the D.M.V. (aka Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia).

Since I’ve become accustomed to the meteoric speeds of New York City, the gorgeous landscape, fresh, clean air and change of pace (i.e., return to normalcy) is what I crave on holidays.

This weekend, while traveling for Easter, I stopped at one of my favorite boutiques in Tappahannock, Va…RIVERSIDE Accents & Gifts. The proprietors, Amy Brizendine and Jennifer Beck, have culminated unique handbags, clothing, accessories, jewelry, stationary and house wares that result in an exclusive specialty shop which showcases modern sensibilities packaged in country store charm.

Touting brands Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer, Spartina 449 and John Wind, as well as a bevy of staple giftware and collections from various design houses from near and far, the duo has definitely carved a niché for an alternative to the local haunts (i.e., Walmart and Peebles.)

Ready to enhance your lifestyle??? If you’re ever on Route 17 and pass through Tappahannock, RIVERSIDE is the perfect place to start…







 - by Cat Baker

While watching television last week, a commercial grabbed my attention…a PICASSO exhibition in Richmond, VA??? Hmmm…Interesting…

Being that I studied and viewed a portion of his work while living in Milan, I was intrigued and decided to indulge in a mid – week getaway…The drive took about 8 hours from NYC. No, it’s not a quick trip to the market, but after my cross country excursion to and from Los Angeles, ALONE, that’s just a walk in the park for me… :)

But, I digress…The PICASSO presentation at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, was an assortment of work from his initial arrival in Paris and documents the transition of his artistic eye throughout his lifetime.

The selection travels through his Blue and Rose periods, delves into the Cubism, African Art and his, arguably most famous, Metamorphosis works. Honestly, it was a pleasure to see the amount displayed in the collection which includes photographs, drawings, prints, sculpture and a litany of subject matter (marriage, family, politics, music, war, etc.)

The spectacle displays a complete story of an artist that evolved and documented that adaptation through a craft of which he emerged as one of the premiere painters and sculptors in art history.




 - by Cat Baker

Have you jumped on the bandwagon yet??? Unfortunately, the purchase of Sunday newspapers have another reason for their possible fade into oblivion…Online “Lifestyle” COUPONS!!!

Yes, we’re aware of all the supermarket coupon sites (, etc.), but these sites are different. The pure premise of offering DEEP discounts from any and every service…

Case in point, one of my friends relayed that she purchased her Christmas tree from the Groupon site. Along with half price, she also gets delivery AND set up services!!! Can you beat that??? I think not…

But, it gets better, the variety of coupons are unlimited!!! From dance classes, facials and fresh produce to museums, sports games and botox. The deals run the full gamut. What a FANTASTIC idea…DON’T MISS OUT!!!




 - by Cat Baker

This summer has been a busy one…Since I had some work in Jamaica (Kingston), my husband and I decided to stay a few extra days for some rest and relaxation. Instead of booking where I usually stay (the HILTON)… I decided to search for a bed & breakfast.

Luckily, I found the CITY VIEW HOTEL. It is a beautiful mini – mansion perched on a mountain overlooking the city of Kingston. I know…I know…when you think of Kingston, you don’t envision the normal Caribbean scenery, but it is beautiful…certainly from the CITY VIEW aspect…

The staff, accommodations and views were UNBELIEVABLE!!! The Jamaican cuisine was exquisite!!! Most importantly, the calm and quiet experience we encountered was just what we needed to rejuvenate.

Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Bent…We’ll be back!!!

Kingston, Jamaica – Bed & Breakfast – CITY VIEW


 - by Cat Baker

My friends and I decided to take a vacation, AKA “GIRL’S WEEK AWAY”, this summer…FINALLY, after talking about it year after year… ; – )

Out of the country? Yes…Well, kind of…St. Thomas, (United States) Virgin Islands…

Our villa? BEAUTIFUL!!! The beaches? GORGEOUS!!! My favorite…SAPPHIRE Beach (images above)

We had a wonderful time…FYI, if you go and would prefer renting a car than hiring a taxi, I would suggest a jeep. When traveling to the various beaches and sights, there are many mountains to climb….LITERALLY.