Decor, Travel

A Mid-Century Condo in Palm Beach

This weekend I’m writing to you from a 20th floor balcony in sunny Palm Beach. (Brag much?) The brother of one of my good friends was kind enough to loan us his condo for a girls’ weekend. After I finished swooning over all their amazing vintage furniture finds (I’m not kidding. I gasped and then hugged a credenza when we walked in), I quickly snapped a few pics to share with you. Take a look.

(Sorry for the crappy iPhone pictures. It’s all I had. I’m writing this from the WordPress app on my phone and I can’t figure out how to edit them. I think they’re all a little crooked…which I might just blame on the mojitos!)










The wall color is Barely Teal by Benjamin Moore (which btw is the same color as my kitchen ceiling which I’ve sadly never shown you. Sorry!). Every person on the trip was trying to figure out a place to put it their homes. It’s just so pretty and soothing.

Thanks again to our hosts for loaning us their beautiful place!!


Sue at Home

Home, Travel

Travel: Brevard Zoo

Well, it’s October and I’m finally getting around to writing posts with pictures I took in August. Would you say I’m a little bit behind? Yes, I would say so.

Anyway…back in August I took the girls to Florida to spend a week with my parents at their house. When we go there, we like to spend lots of time just swimming in the pool and chilling with Mimi and Papa but I always make sure I squeeze in at least one visit to the Brevard Zoo. Confession: I’m a little zoo obsessed and I can tell you that the Brevard Zoo is one of the best I’ve ever been to.  It’s not huge but there are tons of animals and lots of interactive opportunities.  In our week long trip, we ended up going there four times – twice for the animals and twice for the Treetop Trek obstacle course. (I’ll share some pics of that soon too.) 

But for today, here are just some purty pics of some of the animals at Brevard Zoo.

I took about 50 shots of this beauty. It was like he was posing for me!


One of my favorite things there is the giraffe exhibit. You stand on a pavilion high off the ground and feed crackers to these beautiful, kind, and gentle creatures. It’s totally surreal.  Of course, the day we fed them my camera battery was dead (CURSES!) but I snapped this quick pic of one when I went back. See one of our more successful giraffe feeding visits in this post.


The flamingos are by far the smelliest exhibit but they sure are beautiful. Not sure why we refer to them as pink flamingos because they really are more of a salmon or coral color.


There was some thunder rumbling in the distance so lots of the animals were grouped together like these guys. Even though it’s a picture of a flamingo butt, I think this could be really cool in a large scale print.


These are actually white rhinos but their daily mud baths keep them pretty dirty.


This bald eagle was amazingly large and regal looking.


I hung out with this river otter for about 20 minutes. I had such a blast just watching him swim in and out of his little pool. (I like to think he was watching me too.)


He was so cute I wanted to take him home!


Sometimes nature makes the best colors. Case in point–this hyacinth macaw. He reminded me of the bird from the animated movie Rio.


You’d think an anteater is really ugly (and his snout is certainly not very pretty) but I was surprised by how beautiful his fur was.


Speaking of ugly, I give you…the vulture.


I fed some seeds to a bunch of pretty cocktiels. I love their blush!


The alligator feeding is always a highlight.


And even bigger than the alligators are the crocodiles. This girl’s name is Lily!


Feeding the lorikeets was another highlight. You buy little cups of pureed fruit and they come and land on your arms and peck out of the cup. I had little claw marks all over my forearms but it was totally worth it.



This thing was totally creepy but I loved that it had feathers in such a gorgeous rainbow pattern.

zoo-837But the absolute best part of the zoo was the exhibit with these monkeys…


More of their treetop adventure in a post very soon.


Sue at Home


Farewell to Massachusetts

wboro sign

Since 1979, my parents have lived in the town of Westborough, Massachusetts, a charming suburban town about 45 minutes out of Boston. I lived there until I moved to NYC in 1993 so Westborough will always feel like home to me. But as I told you a couple months ago, they sold their house (more on that here) and they’ll be moving to Clinton, CT (more on that here) as soon as the new house is ready. They moved out earlier this month and our last visit was over July 4th weekend.

westborough map

(Image via Town Maps USA. Check it out – they have graphics for tons of cities and you can order t-shirts to show your hometown support.)

I spent the whole weekend getting really nostalgic and panicky–like I needed to do everything in town before they left.  (Though I never got over to Harry’s or Cheng Du.) But I did stop at my old high school. I always loved the architecture of that building. You can read more about it here.


I had to stop at my elementary school too. (That’s right. It’s called Fales. You got a problem with that?)


Can’t you picture little 7 year old me walking to class?


And of course, I couldn’t say goodbye to Westborough without a visit to the house(s) I grew up. That’s mine on the right (more on that here) and the one in the foreground belonged to my childhood BFF, Jen. Sometimes I think I spent more time at her house than at mine! The day we moved in, I saw her in the driveway so I went right over and introduced myself. We were inseparable for the next 10 years.


I felt like I hadn’t taken advantage of sharing Boston with the kids and though I know we’re not that far away, it just won’t be as convenient to get there as when we camped out at Casa Mimi and Papa. So, I dragged Pablo and the girls into Boston in 95 degree weather to take a Duck Tour. We “pahked the cah” (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) at the Museum of Science and took this picture of the Charles River from the parking garage. Little did we know that Sophia and Lily would be driving our “duck” under that bridge an hour later.


For anyone not in the know, a Duck Tour takes place on this weird thing, sort of a combo of a bus and a boat. The first half of the tour is a guided historical drive around Boston, then the “duck” drives right into the water for a little boat tour. It’s totally touristy but I felt like it was a nice way to see a lot of the city pretty quickly and I would highly recommend it. Bonus: our duck was named Frog Pond Lily. Totally unplanned but totally awesome.


Isn’t Boston beautiful?




Hold onto your seats, we’re going in!


Sing it with me: “I love that dirty water. Boston, you’re my home”.



Despite the sweltering heat, we had a great time touring Boston.

And in other Mimi and Papa house news, here are a few new pictures from the building site. We just can’t wait for it to be DONE!


granite 2

8-12-13 Groveway and GW 001 8-12-13 Groveway and GW 002



Sue at Home

Home, Travel

Travel: Iberostar Grand, Montego Bay

For Memorial Day weekend, Pablo and I got away with some friends (that’s right! no kids!) to the Iberostar Grand all-inclusive adults-only resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

It being an all-inclusive, my expectations were low but the resort was exactly what we needed: sun, sand, lots of frosty beverages, and good times with friends.

Since I was busy enjoying my vacay, I didn’t photograph everything but I did get some nice shots of our trip.

Our ride from the airport featured the first of many Red Stripes.


The view from a balcony off of the lobby.


The pool was huge: it was like several cascading infinity pools pouring into each other.


This was pretty much my view for 4 days.


The swim up pool bar. (The food was just ehh–it’s an all inclusive, what did you expect?–but the drinks were delish. I recommend the Jamaica Smile. It’s like a combination of a pina colada, a banana daquiri, and a strawberry daquiri and there is nothing wrong with that.)


A view of the resort from the pool area.


The water.


Some of our friends scored ocean front rooms over there on the right. And one couple even got  a room over on the side that shared a small semi-private pool with about 5 other rooms. You walked out to your balcony and then straight into the pool.


Pablo and I got a basic pool view room but it was very nicely appointed.


I’ll describe the decor as “decent with touches of kinda weird” but the beds were super comfortable (they even had a menu so you could pick your pillow) and the room was huge and laid out very nicely.


I loved these deep two-person swings on all the balconies. I kinda want my mom to put one on the porch in their new house!


The bathrooms were all marble and glass and they were enormous. This is only half of it. The other side has the same layout but the shower is where the toilet is in this pic. Please note that means that not only are their two sinks but they’re on opposite sides of the bathroom. I mean, isn’t that the perfect master bath layout?


Happy 40th Pablo, Diana, Andrew, Jeff and Joanne! (The rest of us already there!)


So, here’s my 30 second hotel review:

Pros: beautiful resort, not crowded even though it was full, yummy cocktails, all-inclusive so you don’t have to worry about every bottle of water you take from the mini bar, accommodating staff, golf at a surrounding club was included, no kids allowed (including mine!), and close to the airport.

Cons: Food is just “okay” (not bad but not amazing). Restaurants are painfully quiet. (Not only could we hear every word the person at the other end of the table was saying, so could everyone else in the restaurant.)

Overall, it felt very luxurious and upscale. And you gotta love a place that has lots of cushy lounge chairs, plenty of plush towels (take as many as you like) and complimentary sunscreen so you don’t have to bring it yourself!



Sue at Home

P.S. Before you think I’m a terrible mom for wanting to get away without my kids, I’ll have you know that were enjoying a vacay of their own at Mimi and Papa’s house complete with a trip to The American Girl store for lunch and shopping!

Lily at American Girl

Sophia at American Girl 

Decor, Home, Travel

Sunset Tower

A few weeks ago I traveled to LA for a photo shoot for my day job and I had the pleasure of staying at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood. The hotel has loads of Hollywood history dating back to 1929. It used to be a residence for the elite stars of the time including Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Now, it’s a beautiful hotel that serves as host for the Vanity Fair Oscar party — and guests like me.


Let’s take a look at my tiny — but totally beautiful — room.


And a closer look at that killer view. LA-044

I loved all the brass fixtures in the bathroom.


I mean, look at those sconces.


And the table lamps in the room were stunning, too. This tall drink of water is so simple and gorgeous.


And this spindly beauty is thin and gorgeous but no, it wouldn’t fit in my suitcase. Kidding.


 My accommodations on my second night in LA were even more interesting. A good friend of mine from NYC moved to the west coast last year and she invited me to spend a night at the beautiful house she and her family are renting in Calabasas. The guest room in her house (complete with my own bathroom) was bigger than my room at The Sunset Tower. And — get this — it had a massive balcony with a view of the home across the street that just happens to belong to someone famous. In the spirit of privacy, I won’t tell you who it was but I’ll just say that her initials are KK and she has two kids and two sisters with the same initials. I think you can guess who I mean. Wink wink…

photo (1)

More travel posts coming soon!


Sue at Home


Best Aruba Restaurants

As as I told you back in our vacation recap post, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Aruba each year for almost two decades. So, I’m comfortable saying I know a thing or two about great restaurants on the island. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up eating at an overpriced tourist trap. And you don’t want that to happen, do you?  Ya, I didn’t think so. The only thing worse than having a crappy meal is paying a lot of money for it.

So, here I am to give you five fool-proof options that’ll make your vacay delicious. These places all rate high on food and atmosphere.  (Because the weather in Aruba is too nice to eat dinner in an air-conditioned room.) I don’t have any pretty pictures of food for you so click the links to get more info. But I do have pictures of me and my family enjoying each of these places over the years…so feast on that!

1. Flying Fishbone

Saveneta #344, Tel: #297.584.2506

This tables-on-the-beach restaurant is our favorite date place. Make your reservation for an early time so you can see the sunset — and so you can score one of the tables closest to the water. We’ve eaten something different each time but it’s always been delish. You really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Note: Flying Fishbone is in Savaneta which is nowhere near the main strip of hotels and timeshares. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there.


Check out the little stand they give you to hang your shoes on.


2. Madame Janette

Canuncu Abou 27, Tel: #297.587.0184

A great outdoor location decorated with twinkle lights where you can have an Argentine steak or some yummy local seafood. We recommend the Almond Grouper. And when I say “we recommend”, I mean “get it”. (You’re welcome in advance.) If you have kids who will eat fish, we’ve learned that the kid’s grouper is plain and they always want our Almond Grouper so now we just order one adult portion for them to split. (And please don’t think I’m bragging that my kids eat fish at restaurants because 9 times out of 10, it’s chicken nuggets for them. We’re human, people.)

I love this picture of blurry Sophia and Lily dancing to the live music a few years ago.


Don’t forget to snap a picture on the driftwood bench in the lounge area like we do each year.


3. Smokey Joe’s

Juan E. Irausquin Blvd. 87 , Tel: #297.586.2896

Let’s take it down a notch for a second to the amazingly casual, yet still totally delicious, Smoky Joe’s. These fall-off-the-bone ribs are a perfect accompaniment to the Pink Iguana, a fruity drink that I dream about getting back to each year. Don’t be an idiot — just order a full rack of the original recipe ribs and you will be very full and very happy. (And maybe even have leftovers for lunch the next day.)

I love this picture my brother snapped at Smokey Joe’s a few years ago. See that smile on my face? That’s not just because of the antics of my crazy nephew. That’s the Pink Iguana talking.

This picture doesn’t show you much of the restaurant but it’s Lily being beautiful and I took it at Smoky Joe’s so here it is.


4. Marandi

Bucutiweg 50, Oranjestad, Tel: #297.582.0157

This is definitely one of the top ranked restaurants in Aruba – and deservedly so. The food is fresh and delicious. And eating out on a pier looking at sunsets like this doesn’t hurt either. We all loved our food there this year but my mom’s rack of lamb earned the most oohs and ahhs from the crowd.


(Well, would you look at that. I’m wearing the same dress I wore last year to Flying Fishbone above. Guess I need to go shopping.)


Check out that sunset — and my good lookin parents! (Guess which one wears sunscreen.)


5. Chef’s Tables

Bubali 16, Oranjestad, Tel. # 297.587.8140

This has been one of our favorites for years and it never fails to give us a perfect meal. The atmosphere is a little lacking inside so ask for a table in the back courtyard. And make sure you leave room for dessert which is served in little shot glasses so order a few extras and then you can get lots of different “bites”. Isn’t that the best way to eat dessert? Obviously, Lily thinks so.


Of course, there are lots of other great restaurants in Aruba but these are our five must-visit spots. But I need to give honorable mentions to The Dutch Pancake House (take a trip into town for breakfast/brunch), Windows on Aruba (a beautiful round restaurant that overlooks the Divi golf course), Pincho’s (casual, grilled food out on a pier), and L.G. Smith’s Steakhouse (we’ve had great meals here but it’s not-super-kid-friendly and the indoor location is just not want how I want to spend my Arubian nights. Regardless, it’s delish!).

Happy eating!



Sue at Home

Family, Home, Travel

Our Trip to Aruba

There’s no way to say this without it sounding like a humble brag (or even just a flat out brag) so here goes nothing: I’ve been going to Aruba every year for almost 20 years. Yup – that’s fine. Go ahead and hate me.

My parents have a time-share on the island and they are kind enough to open their doors to us. They invited me back when I was in college (I brought a friend) and then into the years when I started dating Pablo (they invited him and he thanked them by proposing to me on the beach) and both of my girls have been there every year since they were born. I know that I am very lucky and believe me when I say I am thankful beyond words to have this beautiful place to share with my family.

For anyone who has never been to Aruba, I always describe it like this: If you’re looking for an ultra-chic St. Barths-type vacation where you’ll be bumping into Beyonce and Jay Z then look somewhere else. But if you want a relaxing place with powdery white sand, clear blue water, and a constant breeze that makes the dry heat really comfortable, then Aruba is perfect. (Plus it’s a desert climate so it rarely rains. I think in almost 20 years of going there, I’ve had maybe two days ruined by rain.) I really can’t say enough good things about Aruba. Just go and you’ll understand.

Here are some pics from our recent trip.


















After all these years, I’ve got my favorite Aruba restaurants narrowed down to a select few. I’m working on a post about them so stayed tuned!


Sue at Home

Decor, Home, Travel

Travel: A Visit to The Standard Miami

In mid-December, I travelled to Miami to shoot a fashion story for my day job. Though I was in Miami for about 30 hours only, I was lucky enough to be staying at the Standard Miami, a relaxing and beautiful hotel that is a far cry from the insanity of South Beach. It’s known for it’s spa but with a long shoot day, I only had time to check out the grounds, sleep, and eat. The decor was great so I took a few pictures to share with you.

The check-in desk (Photo from the Standard Miami website. The rest are all mine!)


In the restaurant that’s in the lobby. Love the staghorn fern.


The Readery with Warby Parker eyewear – and magazines and newspapers, of course. If you don’t know about Warby Parker yet, you should. For every pair of glasses they sell, one is distributed to a person in need.


This display is at the entrance to the Bar and Lounge, a beautiful mid-century decorated space.


This was the scene outside of my room. There was a curtain you could close but I still can’t imagine getting into that tub that’s sitting out in the open. Then again, I was travelling for business. Get a few drinks in me and…maybe?


The guest rooms are simple – sort of Scandinavian meets summer camp. I thought the fabric hanging behind the bed was kind of drab but the idea is great.


The sink was really interesting: a Carrera marble bowl sitting in a wooden stand.


The shrub-lined walkway from the lobby to the water.


The entrance to the Lido restaurant.


Lido. Have the skirt steak with a side of their award winning tater tots.


The pool at sunset.



I loved the Blue Bunny machine in a little cabana of it’s own.


Overlooking the bay.standard-miami-090


The firepit.


The swing garden with the firepit in the background.


 While I was searching for other pictures of the hotel online, I found a great hotel resource: I don’t know if everyone and their mother has been using this site already and I’ve just been living under a rock. (I hope not because then you’re all in trouble for not telling me about it.) It’s a photo-driven travel site with real pictures taken by real people. So, instead of a hotel’s picture of the pool that features one gorgeous model in a white bikini, you get to see what it really looks like when it’s filled with dudes with beer bellies. So many dudes with beer bellies that you can’t get a seat. Ha ha!  But you get the idea though.‘s pictures of the Standard Miami were pretty similar to mine (which doesn’t surprise me because, ya know, I actually stayed there) but check out out some of these comparison’s from their site. The photos on the left are each hotel’s pictures, the ones on the right are from’s “Special Investigators”.

oyster photo

Of course, now I’m obsessed with it and I can’t stop checking out all the places I’ve stayed at and everywhere I’ve ever wanted to stay! Hope you’re planning some fun travel soon. If so, tell me where you’re going! We’re counting the days to Aruba…

For other Sue at Home travel features, check out these posts:

A Visit to Hidden Pond

Three Days in Kennebunkport, Maine

Decor Ideas from Tides Beach Club in Maine

Our Wedding: Newport, Rhode Island

Revel in Atlantic City


Sue at Home

Decor, Travel

Revel in Atlantic City

As we reach the end of the year, I’m trying to catch up on “lost posts” – ya know, those things that I took pictures of because I wanted to share them with you and then I never got around to it. So, with that, here are some pics of the Revel resort in Atlantic City that we visited in August. (August! I know. Sorry!)


The wall behind the check-in desk has a digitized camo pattern.


One of the restaurants features a living wall.


The look of the hotel is overwhelming modern. Quite often, it was a little too modern for my taste but still very cool for a hotel.



Even the foosball table in the gameroom is ultra-slick.


Even with all the slickness, there were some great design ideas to be had. Some of the lounges that were at the bottom of the elevator banks had a wall with wood blocks in different tones. I think it was a really interesting treatment and it’s a great way to warm up a modern space. (It reminded me of this room from an old episode of The Antonio Project on HGTV.)



Oh…and hello James Nares print! I love that little beauty hiding in the corner. He’s one of my favorite artists. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, check out this post from Habitually Chic. (The best picture is the last one that shows how he makes his paintings. It’s very Tom-Cruise-in-Mission-Impossible!)


I loved all of the bookshelves with painted backs. There were only a few coffee table books on the lower shelves but mostly there were just toys and objects.


Another totally inspiring idea came from this display that hangs in a multi-story atrium.


I tried to zoom in really close to see how it was done and it looks like you could make your own with fishing wire and stiff gold paper or sheet metal.  Stay tuned for a little DIY action when I figure out where I want to put that in the house.


The outdoor areas of the resort are really interesting. The buildings are so slick and modern but there was lots of greenery. We were loving these huuuuuge rocking chairs.


The architecture in the hotel was beautiful. I loved all the curved glass walls. But you can’t help but look around and say cha-ching cha-ching!


We were in Atlantic City because Pablo had gotten tickets to take me to see Duran Duran for my 40th but unfortunately that didn’t work out very well. BOOOOOOOOO!


But luckily the hotel was beautiful and we had a great time with great friends despite the cancelled concert. For more info about the hotel, check out Revel’s website. There are lots of great deals so sign up for email alerts if you’d like to visit. I had never been to AC before but from what I hear, this hotel is a huge departure from the old AC. I found it to be as beautiful and grand as a Vegas resort.

Now, I just need to find out when Duran Duran is touring again….


Sue at Home

Decor, Food, Travel

A Visit to Hidden Pond

When we recently went to Maine and stayed at Tides Beach Club, we had to make a visit to Hidden Pond, Tides sister hotel located deep in the woods. The resort is a series of free standing bungalows – some one-bedrooms for vacationing couples and some bigger cottages for families. We had read a lot about Earth, Hidden Pond’s farm to table restaurant so we decided to give it a try. The decor was so spectacular that we were smitten with the place before we ever took a bite of the delicious food. Check out this branch that was suspended from the ceiling and wrapped in twinkle lights.

The shelves above the bar were simple but stunning. And I’m guessing those are Tom Dixon pendants (or  something similar).

Two of the walls were lined with slices of logs. (The treatment that the Novogratz’s just gave to Tony Hawk’s fireplace reminded me of the decor at Earth. Check it out here.) We also loved the industrial light fixture of hanging bulbs. But the best was the beautiful chesterfield sofa that sat in front of a roaring fire.

We went back to Hidden Pond to hang out at the adults-only pool the next day. It was located in front of The Tree Spa. We didn’t get a chance to indulge in any treatments but the spa was named to Conde Nast Traveler’s Hot List so I’d guess it’s pretty good.

If you ever wanted to know what it’s like to get a massage in a treehouse, then The Tree Spa is your place.

Near the pool is one of Hidden Pond’s firepits. I was upset that we never visited at night (they bring you a basket of s’mores fixins!) but that would have meant that would have missed the amazing dessert we shared at Earth: Banana and Peanut Butter ice cream with salted caramel.  It was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had!

The outdoor bar by the pool was so cute and it has so many great ideas for modern rustic decor. Check out that woody cocktail table.

These baskets were cut in half and attached to wall the hold citrus.

I loved the huge mason jar water jug and the bark-edged bar.

I love this idea (mason jar + sand + candle) and I’ll totally do this for my beach house. (Too bad I don’t have a beach house.)

This little chalkboard cow offered a healthy treat. And then at 11:30, the bartender wiped it off and replaced those words with “Margarita” and “Bloody Mary”! I had to have a bloody, of course. (Check yesterday’s post of the picture of that beauty.)

We loved the super rustic style of Hidden Pond and I think we need to go back one day for the s’mores!


Sue at Home

Check out my other posts about our trip to Maine.

Three Days in Kennebunkport, Maine

Decor Ideas from Tides Beach Club in Maine

How to Create a Tides Beach Club Room at Home