All I want for Christmas is A’maree’s…

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At a recent dinner with friends, one of the guys at the table shared his frustration about figuring out what to buy his wife for Christmas. He wanted to give her something hip and unique, but had no idea where to begin. It’s easy, “Call her best friend and ask,” suggested a guest. I immediately chimed in, “Go to A’maree’s in Newport”! Located in an iconic building that mimics a shell, the boutique is right on the water where yachts of all sizes pass by adding to the luxurious backdrop. But this got me thinking—, how do you make sure your loved ones/significant others/friends know exactly what to gift you? Or more specifically, is there a way to subtly (or not so subtly) convey what you truly want? With that in mind, all I want for Christmas is A’maree’s. That’s right, one of EVERYTHING in the store Santa…and Pronto! 

Newport Beach is home to Haute Couture in a relaxed, no-pressure, no-pretense setting. Just like the power fashion families of Europe and Italy, the family behind A’MAREE’S has built the tiny boutique into a high fashion force unparalleled in America. A West Coast institution since the early 1970’s, Mother Nancy, daughters Apryl, Denise and Dawn approach high fashion buying with one unifying mission…You!

From the moment you enter the front door you feel a hot-flash coming on — and not the hormonal kind people! Balenciaga leades to Dries van Noten which leads to Celine which leads to Ann Demeulemeester which leads to shoes, bags, jewelry and art. Be still my beating heart! The owners search the globe (so you don’t have to) offering sleek modern collections to glamorize your basic looks. With extensive lines of European-with-an-edge clothing, trust me when I say this family is seriously upping the cool factor. Haute Heaven! 

As finishing touches to a style or look, accessories make all the difference. A colorful clutch bag under the arm set the rhythm, sexy flats put instant style into the picture and boots have adopted a more daring stance. When it comes to creating contrasts and harmonies, accessories, as projections of our personality are a must. One-of-a-kind earings, slick designer eyewear, perfectly beaded jackets and colorful shoes and bags represent ones unique point of view. My personal favorite – the scarf. A well tied scarf is both a fashion statement and a meteorological necessity; key to raising trusty basics to hip fashion status. You’ll find it all here under one wavy roof.

There are no two way’s about it: “doing your own thing” is now the watchword in fashion and I’ve always been drawn to a person with a unique sense of style. Being different has become one the greatest shared aspirations of the times as women seem to go for individuality over uniformity any day. This doesn’t make things easy when it comes to that time-honored business of spotting and giving advice on trends. Who should we follow? What’s in style? What should we wear? Color me thrilled, I’d follow Amaree’s to the ends of the earth as they know exactly what’s in style and what to wear. This fantastic home of fashionista mermaid’s will make you want to skip town and hop on the next flight to Paris – or at the very least, New York to show off your new threads.

Right behind my obsession with fashion is art. Laguna Beach artist Jim Olarte’s gorgeous massive macrame hanging scultures are on display here. California native Jim Olarte is an habitué of the seashore whose affinity for his home—its sand, waves, and culture—he translates into distinctive hanging art and classic set design that has helped define Southern California style. Come by and have a look at Jim’s great works. If you don’t find Jim at the beach you’ll find him in a local donut shop…He loves donuts!

No more worries about making that extra effort to “accidentally” leave shopping tabs open on your browser or phone when in the presence of friends and family so they know what to buy you this holiday season. This blog-post eliminates awkward conversations and bad presents!

As their website states, “Come as you are. Have a cookie. Hug the dogs…and leave feeling like a million bucks”. Looks like it’s time to start letting that overworked passport of yours collect a little dust. (You can thank me later).

It’s all about A’maree’s.

*A’maree’s Sale Away is located on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, just a mile away from the PCH store. Designer pieces are marked down – O yea, we dig this!  


With an Italian background, she cites her Mother and grandmother ( Mamie ) as the major influence of her love for food.  Yes, homemade pasta hung from the clothesline in the kitchen and rolling 100 meat balls for a holiday dinner was the norm.  Raised in Pennsylvania. she spent time in Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately settled along the stunning coast of Laguna Beach, Ca. Self taught in everything, she learned to appreciate the amazing flavors, scents and uses for exotic herbs and spices and applies her knowledge to cooking today. Despite enjoying other creative endeavors like painting, photography and clothing design, she realized she would never love another career the way she loves all the stories surrounding food.  And it's capturing those stories that has not only become her greatest passion but a culinary drug worth passing around!  After all, food is a shared experience and no one better to share it with than the entire world. And thus the Food Stalker was born, utilizing all that passion and her fearlessness to capture even the most impossible stories. It's one thing to write about food, but far more exciting to actually capture it and all those stories that make every scent come to life.  And once she sets out, there's no stopping her, because no one follows that scent better than her---and no telling where she'll end up next.  

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