December 31, 2010

On the eve of a new year...

Inspiration to end the year...

On the way out the door of another year with a little last minute inspiration in my back pocket...a home, look and song whose last line sums it all up..."and just in time, in the right place steadily emerging with grace "
Home of Tony Espuch owner of Spanish furniture/design store Azul Tierra

                             Blue Foundation- Eyes on Fire

Accidental Brilliance at the moment favorites...

At the moment favorites...the reminder to take the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase, the beauty in knowing that although it may appear we are alone there is a whole universe that will conspire along with us to achieve what we desire, the idea that life is full of choices, in simple things like the color of a dress or more importantly in the choices we make each day to be a better person than we were the day before and the belief that if we close our eyes and make a wish,  it can come true.

Use Your Voice...

Inspired by this arm filled with lots of goodness, I went looking for what looked like braided fabric bracelets and found a beautiful way to end the year. Although not exactly the same bracelets, I found something better...hand-crafted bracelets made by women in Rwanda working for a fair-trade company called Same Sky, a company with the mission  of empowering and inspiring women worldwide. During the Rwandan genocide in 1994 sadly, 70% of the female population were infected with AIDS and left impoverished. With the intention of helping these women rebuild their lives Same Sky pays these women ten times the average wage in sub-Saharan Africa and provides them transport to and from work and a daily meal in exchange for crafting these bracelets. Same Sky has proudly given these beautiful women hope for the future.

Bracelets and more information about Same Sky available here 

December 30, 2010 2010 comes to a close and there have been plenty of great trends and looks for the year, somehow year after year there are just those pieces that when I see them on someone I always say...Love what she is wearing...for the reliability of a good old pair of overalls, the free spirited appeal of a head band, a little gray sweatshirt doesn't matter if it is made of cotton or cashmere and a fitted denim shirt.

December 29, 2010

Accidental Brilliance Picks...Best Albums of 2010

1. The Black Keys- Brothers... because these guys can throw it down.
2. Mumford & Sons- Sigh No More...because these guys do folk and a banjo right.
3. The National- High Violet...because of the new wave 80's reminiscing goin' on.
4. Jimi Hendrix-Valley of Neptune..because Jimi can do no wrong even from beyond.

Postcard from Paradise...

...just as the ink dried on the back of the postcard, with palm trees reflected in her eyes she licked the stamp...Greetings from Paradise, you should be here xoxo.

Accidental Brilliance Wednesday Wisdom...

December 28, 2010

Tunes for a Tuesday...Ryan Bingham

...doesn't matter how many times I hear this song his voice just gets me every
single time. Ryan Bingham wrote and performed it for the soundtrack of
Crazy Heart. Great song for a great movie." Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try "...



...Superfly x 4 = a modern day Annie Hall, an SS100 Alpine Grand Sport, one room with Mick and John in it and a snowy road in a Land Rover.

December 27, 2010

Mama don't take my Kodachrome away...

Paul Simon sang..." mama don't take my Kodachrome away, it gives us those nice bright colors, makes you think all the worlds a sunny day "...but at the end of this month Kodachrome will officially be obsolete. Manufactured by Kodak from 1935 to 2009 it was the first successfully mass-marketed color film favored by professional photographers for it's color accuracy. Due to the increase of digital camera use and the decline in demand for the film, Kodak announced they would no longer produce the film. Many Kodak and independent labs processed the film over the years however only one lab, Dwayne's Photo in Kansas remained after the news. Sadly, the lab has just about one week of the developing chemicals left. The final roll was tracked by National Geographic and one of my favorite photographers Steven McCurry, featured a number of times here on Accidental Brilliance for his breathtaking inspired work. And although they have taken our Kodachrome away we always have the many pictures shot over the films 74 year run to look back on.

Photographs by Steven McCurry

Destinations. The Perivolas, Greece

...sublime. In 1969 a husband and wife bought a piece of cliff with cave dwellings and stables in Santorini. Originally designed as a family home now a luxurious hotel hideaway, they had the vision of creating an idyllic retreat. With the help of local craftsmen they restored the 300 year old caves that were once the homes of local fishermen and farmers. Transformed today into 20 individual suites intended to be a complete escape void of all the trappings of modern life and technology...this is a place to switch off, a place to dream.

check out more of this paradise here

Accidental Brilliance Superfood & Supplement Series...Cleansing

With the most indulgent part of the holiday season just about over,  now is the time to get yourself ready to ring in the new year in tip top shape. There is always lots of talk about cleansing and detoxing and in moderation it can be a good thing, but you need to be sure to do it it in a healthy way. Nothing overly extreme for two reasons, first because it is difficult to stick to it and second because it is not good for your body to go to extremes. There are small steps you can take, foods you can incorporate and others to eliminate to start 2011 off on the right foot. There are so many books out on the subject, Clean by Alejandro Junger is a favorite of mine...easy to follow guidance and great recipes with real food as opposed to some of the liquid cleanses out there top the list of why it has become a favorite. I guarantee after you follow his program or any program you find that suits your needs you will feel better for it. Every once in awhile just like the mind, your body needs a break and like the title of his book you need to Clean house a little.

Clean available at bookstores or order your copy here

Accidental Brilliance Monday Muse...Ms. Giovanna Battaglia

Giovanna Battaglia...Editor Vogue L'uomo

...muse worthy for the effortless way she pulls together a look and comes across perfectly polished and sophisticated and a little bohemian at the same time.

December 26, 2010

Sunday Simple Wisdom of Buddha + A Song from Priscilla Ahn...

"By your own efforts awaken yourself, watch yourself. And live joyfully, you are the master. Be the witness of your thoughts. There are only two mistakes one can make along the road not going all the way, and not starting. "  -Buddha


Dream by Priscilla Ahn...close your eyes and listen to this it is like a lullaby for
grown-ups and makes you remember to never stop is all possible.

beautiful watercolor by Cate Parr...check out the rest of her brilliant captivating work here

December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays...

With presents to still be wrapped, last minute gifts to shop for and last minute preparations for the holiday still to be made, don't forget to dress up a little to get into the spirit ...a little sequin here, a beaded sweater there, a fancy little skirt with a worked in denim shirt or even a few extra accessories are the perfect way to get all the final touches done in style for the perfect holiday celebration.

T'was the day before Christmas...

...and all through the house lots of last minute Christmas inspiration. A recipe for one of my favorite holiday cookies here, some decadent table setting inspiration and a perfectly festive dress.

Accidental Brilliance at the moment favorites...

At the moment favorites...a perfect row of uncut Christmas trees, being reminded that everything is not always as it seems as you look closely at what appears to be a snakeskin print but is actually a mosaic of different faces, everything about this kitchen and a motto to begin the new year with...don't hold back.

Accidental Brilliance Picks...

December 23, 2010

Last minute table magic...

Now that all the presents are wrapped, cookies for Santa are baked and your holiday menu is set, here are a few thoughts on a little last minute table magic inspiration. Nothing simpler and more festive than a few ornaments to dress up the holiday table.

Bond Girls...

...loving these retro inspired James Bond illustrations by Michael Gillette. Although over the years some have debated the way the Bond girls have been perceived, you won't catch me complaining about being a sidekick to Mr. 007.

Meet Me Here and Wear One Of These... spend lazy afternoons St. Barts style for a little post holiday getaway.

December 22, 2010

Eyes...Marion Bolognesi

Sometimes you can look into someones eyes and see all the things they can't seem to find the words to say, see the places they have been and where they hope to go, see their love, feel their pain and without a word make a connection. In her beautiful series "Eyes" Marion Bolognesi captures all those emotions...and as the paint seems to slip down the page like tears, somehow you make a connection to her subjects. Check out the rest of her work here.

Accidental Brilliance Wednesday Wisdom...

December 21, 2010

Accidental Brilliance shops for...The Holiday Host shouldn't show up empty handed so, whether you bring something as extravagant as an Hermes throw blanket or as simple as a delicious bag of chocolate hazelnuts...don't forget a little something for your holiday host.

1.Hermes blanket 2. Votive trio here 3. Jamie Oliver cookbook here 4. Chocolate Hazelnuts here
5. Evergreen Floral Arrangement 6. Note Pad and Bamboo Pen here

Front. Side. Back...

The most perfect white suit a girl could ever ask for. Pulled from the pages of Vogue China.
Front. Side. Back...

Tunes For A Tuesday...The Black Keys

                  The Black Keys. Tighten Up
                  ...definitely on my list of the best albums of 2010

December 20, 2010


How do you like them apples...I mean them chairs. And although not as easy as changing up your throw pillows, isn't switching up the dining chairs a great way to completely change the look of a room and make a big impact without much of an effort...only thing you have to worry about is deciding what look you want to go with.

Accidental Brilliance Superfood and Supplement Series...Parsley

When it comes to deciding which superfoods and nutrients to add into your diet don't leave out the little powerhouse parsley. High in iron, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B12, folate, calcium and just about every other nutrient the body needs, this stuff should make it into your roundup every single day. The iron helps with fatigue, the fact that it is a natural diuretic helps with weight loss, it is a natural antioxidant, helps with digestion, has been proven to dissolve cholesterol in the veins, helps balance hormones, is a natural immune system booster and the list of benefits goes on from there. The best part, it is so simple to add it into almost any dish...this stuff is worth it's weight in gold, grab a bunch next time you are at the market for sure.

Accidental Brilliance Monday Muse...Ms. Daria Werbowy

...model Daria Werbowy muse worthy for her laid back rock n roll vibe. And for her perfectly tousled hair and barely there makeup.

December 19, 2010

Sunday Simple Wisdom of Buddha + A Song from Sufjan Stevens

" All know the way but few actually walk it. Happiness does not come from having more but from being attached to little. The only necessities are love and compassion"  -Buddha


December 17, 2010

Love what she is wearing...

...for the simple sexy appeal of a white dress no matter what time of year it is to the combination of a perfect little bag with exaggerated tassels paired with a pile of oversized bangles, for the ease of a white shirt and a wrist full of Hermes leather bracelets and for the perfection of a little leopard.

Accidental Brilliance at the moment favorites...

At the moment favorites...warm fur blankets and candle light, the most perfect hot pink lips, the addition of a few delicate ornaments hung on the back of a chair at a festive holiday table and the honesty that we all love a fairytale ending.

illustration by Danny Roberts available here

December 16, 2010

Thought of animated short by Ryan Woodward

So strange the way life works...sometimes when you are looking for something you end up finding something you didn't even know you were missing. Such was the case in the pursuit of finding a particular song, I stumbled upon this breathtaking animated short. I guess that is part of the beauty in life...when you least expect it and sometimes most need it, life presents you with little bits of inspiration.


Glancing back...

...glancing back one last time, barely able to see him between the raindrops on the window. What was the last thing he said...she couldn't quite remember but, as she closed her eyes she remembered the way he kissed her and for now that was all she needed to take with her.

Accidental Brilliance Picks...

December 15, 2010

Playin' on repeat today...Grace Potter and the Nocturnals


                      Grace Potter cover of Bonnie Raitt's beautiful song Apologies

Accidental Brilliance Gift Guide for...The Gorgeous Globetrotter

...for the little jet setting gorgeous globetrotter who has a well stamped passport and a taste for adventure.

1. travel backgammon here 2. Ippolita bangles here 3. Nikon coolpix camera
4. Espadrilles here 5. Goyard carry-on 6. Luxe travel guides 7. Tunic Love tunic here

Accidental Brilliance Wednesday Wisdom...

December 14, 2010

Tigerlily...take me away

With the dip in temps these days doesn't jetting off to somewhere toasty and tropical sound good right about now? And in the pursuit of the perfect little getaway wardrobe, Australian swimwear line Tigerlily has it all figured out. With just a few easy pieces all you need to add is a good book and some sunblock and you are set for a little siesta in the sun.

Check out the whole line here.

Wake me here please...

...simply stunning is all I can say. Wake me here please, don't you agree ?

December 13, 2010

Last Minute Holiday Decorating Ideas. So Simple...So Festive

Just a couple last minute festive ideas to add a little more holiday cheer around the house...fill the bottom of a vase with bright cranberries and add flowers, put a few strands of lights into a jar or vase, make a few fragrant orange pomander balls or display a bunch of ornaments in every room in unconventional vessels. So festive.

Accidental Brilliance Superfood and Supplement Series...Capsaicin

Who wants to spice up their life a little...with some peppers that is. Just a few hot peppers added to your favorite foods can make a big difference. Peppers contain compounds called capsaicinoids which cause anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and heart healthy effects on the body. In addition, they are high in antioxidants and contain twice the amount of vitamin C found in citrus fruits. They burn fat by increasing metabolic activity and have been proven to help relieve pain and help in preventing and relieving headaches. And who doesn't want to be a little hotter right ?

Accidental Brilliance Monday Muse...Ms. Natalie Portman

...muse worthy for the way she rocks the little dress in a rainbow of colors and styles. Inspiring ideas for a New Year's Eve celebration.

December 12, 2010

Sunday Simple Wisdom of Buddha + A Song from Matt Wertz

" Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. "   - Buddha


December 10, 2010 the season sorta urges us to bundle up and layer, it is nice to throw in a little
ruffle, spot of fur or feminine blouse...a hint of lady-like appeal.