Petunia Picks: The Tanzanite Edit

Tanzanite has always been one of my favorite stones to wear--especially when I am in the Caribbean. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful of the December birthstones. I also love that Tanzanite represents spiritual growth. Here are some of the jewelry pieces I am currently coveting, all designed around this lovely hue of purple.

Style At Sea: November Candids

 I just returned home from another beautiful cruise aboard my beloved Enchantment of the Seas. Here are a few photos from our adventures on board. 

First night at sea. I always love wearing something nautical-inspired! 

Relaxing in The Solarium with a Pinot Grigio (and my favorite Warby Parker sunnies!)


The Royal Petunia: Kensington Cuteness

I just adore these newly-released photos of Princess Charlotte (taken by her mother, The Duchess of Cambridge, at their home in Norfolk earlier this month.) #royalcuteness

Wishing you a lovely week!


Seas The Day

 Today I'm headed back on my favorite ship, Royal Caribbean's Enchantment of the Seas (for more on my past adventures, visit here, here + here.) In honor of the ocean, I have collected some of my new favorite quotes about this vast and majestic paradise.

Enjoy + "sea" you soon!

"...she loved the sea. She loved the sharp salty smell of the air, and the vastness of the horizons bounded only by a vault of azure sky above. It made her feel small, but free as well."

"The heart of man is very much like the sea. It has its storms, it has its tides--and in its depths it has its pearls too."

"I think I love the ocean because it's calm, beautiful, infinite--but also angry, harsh and magnificent; and that intrigues me."

"When you have swam in the sea a lake will no longer do; everyone else was always a pond but the ocean was always you."


Warby Parker: Shades of Winter




Just in time for the cooler season, Warby Parker has rolled out their Winter 2015 Collection of optical and sunglasses. From round-lensed sunglasses and wider, rectangular optical silhouettes to new hues, including Blueberry Buckle, Grapefruit Soda, Glacier Grey, Squall Blue Fade, and Tree Swallow Fade, there’s a little iciness with hits of invigorating warmth in this collection of optical and sun glasses.

Five new shapes crafted from premium acetate—Chilton, Chelsea, Baker, Wilder, and Eaton—complement returning knockouts (in new colors) from the Japanese titanium Luminary Collection—for a 20-styles-deep selection of frames.

With so many options included in this collection, these glasses are ideal for Warby Parker's Home Try-On program. And, as always, for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.


Days To Cherish: The Anthropologie Edit

I love the unique textures and prints of Anthropologie. Their designs, especially in winter, exude a sense of comfort and warmth. Here are some of my current favorites.


Happy Birthday, Lilly Pulitzer

November 10th marks the birthday of one of my favorite fashion icons, Lilly Pulitzer. Above are some of the styles I am currently coveting. I just love wearing bright colors and prints here in Florida--especially during this time of year. It's a very special kind of festive!

Make sure to shop Lilly Pulitzer this weekend. Today and tomorrow it's everyone's birthday with presents for all at checkout! Score key rings, candles and even a carry-on suitcase!

Happy Saturday, lovelies! xx


Petunia Picks: The Citrine + Topaz Edit

boots || gown || watch
ring || dress || bracelets
coat || earrings || maxi dress

November has two incredibly beautiful birthstones. The warm color of Citrine is said to represent a gift from the sun, and it's believed to be a healing gemstone. Topaz can be found in a variety of shades, but I personally love its beautiful blue color (also found in my new favorite Tory Burch Sequined Alpaca Jacket--a must for the holiday season.)


Ashley's Holiday 2015 Gift Guide

Happy November! With the holiday season quickly approaching, it's fun to start thinking of brands that will be sure to satisfy.

We all know of my intense love for Tory Burch, which is why her new collection should be your go-to for the ultimate statement piece. You will always RSVP Yes (and guarantee to turn heads!) in Tory. I love her jewelry + accessories, quintessentially elegant stocking stuffers!

...and the best addition to your Tory Burch wardrobe? A pair of Warby Parker sunglasses! Right now, Warby Parker not only has their chic fall collection, but they have three amazing limited editions: WP x Maiyet Bird, Uncrate + Thea. The sunglasses above are the ultimate in glamour! 

For your little learner, I highly recommend a subscription to Little Passports (read more about this unique company here.) Little Passports is your child's window to the world. They also have fun activities that educate all about our 50 states, as well as science kits, picture books and plush toys (who can resist Toby the canine globetrotter?!)

Love to travel? A hidden gem here in Central Florida is the Melia Orlando, located in the heart of my town of Celebration. Just minutes away from Walt Disney World, this hotel has the most fantastic pool, entertainment and lobby bar. Melia also offers properties around the world--with incredible deals for an exotic escape or weekend of culture in a European capital.

For the sweet lover, a great gift can be found for all ages at Tate's Bake Shop (for more on the history of Tate's, see this post.) They offer gluten-free cookies, delicious brownies and other fun items to celebrate almost any holiday and/or milestone. 

Last but not least, after you've eaten your cookies--and need to fit into that Tory dress for your vacation at a Melia resort!--I recommend all things Fitbit. The Fitbit flex has changed my life for the better--I'm currently averaging 7-10 miles a day--and Fitbit makes it so easy to keep track of steps, calories and even sleep patterns. They come in a variety of colors, and for you stylish gals, the Tory Burch x Fitbit bracelets are phenomenal. I have the gold and get so many compliments.

What are some of your holiday must-haves?


The Traveling Petunia: Little Passports

Today I am proud to blog about one of my new favorite companies, Little Passports. It has always been my fervent hope that children, especially here in the United States, find a sense of pride in learning about the world around them. There is nothing more rewarding, in my opinion, than seeing someone from a young age develop into a passionate global citizen.

Little Passports is an ideal way to instill a love of culture into the hearts and minds of all--a son, daughter, niece, nephew, student, friend. The best part is that Little Passports' primary products are subscriptions--the gift that keeps on giving. Each month, your little one can eagerly anticipate a special box in the mail--a treasure trove of fun. Early Explorers ages 3-6 can examine a new world theme like animals or music. The World Edition for ages 6-10 brings a new country to your doorstep on a monthly basis, and the USA Edition for ages 7-12 will help your eager learner become patriotic with activity-packed journals on all fifty states!

Their amazing products have been praised by the likes of People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Parents and Disney Family Fun. But the most important feedback has come from the children who adore Little Passports.

Personally, as someone who has grown up with the unique opportunity to travel the world, I cannot begin to tell you how important learning about our beautiful planet is. Speaking a new language, tasting a new cuisine, dressing in a national costume, petting an exotic animal or trying a new dance--all of these experiences woven together create for such a well-rounded education. Let Little Passports be your foundation to a lifelong love of appreciating our global family. For in learning about the world, we not only can understand and respect our differences, but most importantly, we delight in and celebrate our similarities.


Petunia Picks: The Opal Edit

Celebrating all that is beautiful about October's birthstone--the opal represents hope, innocence and purity. It also has strong connotations of happiness, faithfulness, loyalty and confidence. I love the design and color reflected in each of these unique pieces.


Sunday Blessings

True Beauty: The Warby Parker Thea Collection

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. 

The ancient Greeks believed that true beauty lies in proportion and balance. Warby Parker's new limited-edition sunglasses reflect that ethos. Created and named in honor of the Titan goddess of sight who gave gold and other metals and gems their luster, the Thea collection includes three impressive frames: The Lovett, Grace and Penrose. Each are hand-wrapped in a continuous line of stainless steel and triple-coated in 24-karat gold. These three timeless frames are available in Jet Black and Red Canyon.

The Grace frame is a modified cat-eye shape with a winged cutaway detail at the temple creating a sinuous silhouette. 


The Penrose's oversized, squared-off frame is effortlessly polished and refined.


Lovett is a square silhouette with an angled brow that creates a timeless appeal.

 Each frame from Warby Parker's Thea Collection arrives in a classy, black leather case.

Which of these beauties is your favorite?


The Joyful Petunia: Year One

How time flies! One year ago today, I officially launched my little blog in hopes of inspiring readers and friends around the world with my passion for style, travel and philanthropy. This continues to be an amazing experience and I look forward to many, many more years of creativity...and milestones to share...with all of you! 

In the words of Snow White, always remember that "you are the one who can fill this world with sunshine."

(...and in honor of this first anniversary, meet Petunia...my lucky charm since 2008!)



African Florals

 dress: Duro Olowu || clutch: Tory Burch (similar) || sandals: Tory Burch || sunglasses: Ray-Ban
bracelets: Alex + Ani

 Here's a glimpse of the outfit I wore on my 30th birthday. I have been saving this dress for quite some time--in hopes of wearing it for a special occasion. The designer is Duro Olowu. Based in London, Duro Olowu combines the rich history of Africa into his unique patterns. Bright. Geometric. Floral. Feminine. An amazing designer (he's even styled First Lady Michelle Obama!)

Happy Weekend from The Sunshine State!


Petunia Picks: Caftan Chic

Issa || Diane Von Furstenburg || Talitha
MinkPink || Calypso St. Barth || Tory Burch
Badgley Mischka || Giambattista Valli || Oscar de la Renta

There is nothing more beautiful, in my opinion, than the elegant lines and feminine styles of a caftan. Each of these unique designs exudes a touch of class. Whether you're at an exotic party on a rooftop in the Middle East, or enjoying a perfect October evening in Palm Beach--the art of the caftan will always be timeless.


Warby Parker x Maiyet


Looking for a pair of sunglasses that will soar above the rest? Then you'll definitely want to check out Warby Parker's new Bird sunglasses. These elegant, Italian-crafted sunglasses were designed from a Warby Parker x Maiyet collaboration.

If you're unfamiliar with Maiyet, they are pioneering a new luxury by creating a fashion brand that celebrates rare artisanal skills from unexpected places. Maiyet’s uniquely inspired, design driven collection seeks to revive ancient techniques and elevate the next generation of master craftsmen from places such as India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mongolia and Peru.

After debuting on the FW15 runway earlier this spring, the Warby Parker x Maiyet collaboration Bird sunglasses are finally available at Warby Parker You'll find them in three classy, earth-toned colors inspired by nature's neutrals--Jet Black, Striped Oystershell and Burnt Honey.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.



Reflecting on the past, enjoying the present and looking forward to a bright future!

Here's to a new decade and a new journey.


Petunia Picks: The Sapphire Edit

September is the month of the Sapphire (or better known as that beautiful deep blue found in the Duchess of Cambridge's engagement ring.) I also have a special affection for this stone, as my birthday is coming up in two days. Sapphire is such a rich and regal color--the perfect shade of blue for autumn.


The Royal Petunia: Happy Birthday, Queen Rania, and Spotlight on The Jordan River Foundation

Today marks the 45th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. I have been looking forward to writing this post for a very long time, as my experiences within The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and my connection to the amazing family entrusted to represent and protect it, are deeply and uniquely personal.

To many, the thought of Jordan provokes images of camels, deserts, ancient customs and a very different culture, and indeed, many facets of this description are true. But to me, Jordan represents peace, serenity, love and home. Jordan is the jewel of the Middle East--a warm and welcoming country that is firmly rooted in tradition, yet ever-changing, modern and exciting. It is a melting pot of cultures, faiths and ideas. Nowhere on Earth have I experienced such hospitality, or witnessed such devotion to God, King and Country.

 Since the untimely death of His Late Majesty King Hussein in 1999; his son, King Abdullah II along with Queen Rania have continued an enduring legacy of love and commitment to the Jordanian people, region and global community. They have sought to be an example of excellence and both work tirelessly to set "The HKJ" apart as the shining star is it. They are friends, allies and partners in peace.

 For over sixteen years, Queen Rania has been the epitome of style, a powerful voice for women and children and a staunch supporter of education. She is also the "Queen of the Connection," launching her very own YouTube channel, as well as being active on Facebook, Twitter (you can find her under "the mum with the really cool day job") and Instagram. She is very easy to relate to, down-to-earth and approachable. First and foremost, she resonates a beauty that comes from within, and shines ever so bright and lovely.

One of the causes close to my heart is the Jordan River Foundation. Established in 1995 by Her Majesty, JRF is one of the leading foundations in the works of child safety and community empowerment. JRF champions "a Jordan where solutions are homegrown, where the opportunity to prosper is for all and where the well-being of our children shapes our future."

On this special day, I invite you to learn more about not only JRF and Queen Rania, but Jordan as a whole. The Jordan I know and love. A country of compassion, a country of hope and a country of peace.

"Role models can inspire. Campaigns can motivate. But if we want all girls everywhere to rise up, then we must find them, befriend them and support them."
--Her Majesty Queen Rania



Wadi Wonderful: The Jewelry Edit

For the final installment of my tribal chic week, I bring you these inspirational jewelry picks. I love all of the amazingly bold statement pieces--exotic and different, yet deeply rooted to nature. Perfect stand-alone and wearable art.

One of my favorite jewelry designers is the talented Jordanian Lama Hourani. I have been wearing her jewelry for over a decade and always get compliments on her eclectic designs. Shop her  collection here.


Rock The Casbah

As promised, here are my favorite accessories with a tribal vibe. I love the blending of colors (especially the scarves!) as well as the bold patterns. Great items to add to your wardrobe...whether you're riding a camel through the ancient rose-red city of Petra, or hunting for treasure in a North African souk (and with that being said, why not add some "tribe vibe" to your coffee table with this inspirational book.)


Petunia Picks: Tribal Chic

With autumn arriving soon, I find myself gravitating towards what I call "tribal chic," an eclectic mix of bedouin and native prints, patterns and textures. I have included one of my favorite dresses twice in this grouping, J. McLaughlin's Lola--which is so very flattering (I just wore the middle one this past week!) I think that this style is such a mature and polished look (with a hint of flair!) Warm and inviting colors abound--as rich as the hospitality and heritage it represents.

In keeping with the theme, expect to see my favorite tribal chic picks in jewelry, accessories and shoes within the coming days. Make sure to leave comments and let me know some of your favorites.


Autumn in Paris: The J. Crew Style Edit

If you live in Florida, you understand how delighted I am to be approaching the crisp, cool months of autumn (okay, let's be honest, it's still going to be hot...but a gal can dream, right?) Here are some of my favorites from J. Crew--I'm especially a huge fan of their beautiful coats. Last year I bought both the Wool Melton Swing and a Pea Coat in my signature color, yellow.


Life, Love + Elephants: Spotlight On The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

"The world of life, of spontaneity, the world of dawn and sunset and starlight, the world of soil and sunshine, of meadow and woodland, of hickory and oak and maple and hemlock and pineland forests, of wildlife dwelling around us, of the river and its well-being--all of this [is] the integral community in which we live." 

Today is World Elephant Day, and nothing makes me prouder than my partnership with The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. DSWT is one of the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation programs in the world. They are also champion conservationists in the protection of wildlife and habitats of East Africa. To date, DSWT has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has helped effectively reintegrate these beautiful creatures back into the wild herds of Tsavo. Sadly, Kenya's threatened elephant and rhino populations suffer on a daily basis against the threat of poaching, human population pressures, deforestation and drought--which is why DSWT is so passionate about educating us, the global community, about these subjects dear to their hearts.

I was introduced to DSWT and their beloved foster program through actress Kristin Davis (one of their greatest advocates here in the USA!) and since then, I have become a very proud foster mama to ten. Five girls: Ndara, Mbegu, Kamok, Godoma and my angel Ashaka (who passed away suddenly earlier this year) and five boys: Ndotto, Enkike, Simotua, Olsekki and Rapa (the delightful little fellow in the first photograph.)

Today I invite you to foster through DSWT. Once you pick your elephant, you will get progress reports on a monthly basis as well as a lovely watercolor painting delivered to your inbox. You will also receive an official fostering certificate. 

Love knows no boundaries. Be a part of the healing.

...and for those of you who would like to know more about the history of DSWT, I highly recommend the book Life, Love and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick.



Petunia Picks: Lilly's Garden

Whenever I am in Palm Beach, I love driving by Lilly Pulitzer's home. As featured in one of my favorite coffee table reads, Essentially Lilly: A Colorful Guide To Entertaining, Lilly's backyard is reminiscent of a wild jungle--full of blooms, waterfalls and the cutest animals this side of the Everglades!

The new collection shares this theme, with prints like "Toucan Play, Bamboom, Pack Your Trunk and Lilly's Lagoon." Heritage is such a significant part of this brand, and celebrating Lilly's "wild side" this summer is the perfect tribute to Florida's most beloved fashion designer.

Can't get enough Lilly? Shop here!


Petunia Picks: Smock Style

This summer, I have been going through a smock dress phase. I just love the comfort and feminine styles out there! I have one floral pattern that I purchased well-over a year ago that I could quite honestly wear everyday for the rest of my life! A smock dress (especially in the colors featured above!) is also a great transitional piece from summer to autumn here in Florida. 

What are some of your favorites?


The Royal Petunia: Sandringham Summer

I am in love with this official photo from Princess Charlotte's christening. 

Two words...perfectly imperfect. Well done, family Cambridge.


Petunia Picks: Floridian Chic

With summer in full swing, here are some of my favorite styles that represent tropical chic. Palms, flamingos, florals and pops of color with a hint of edge epitomize the ultra-hip of Floridian fashion!


Red, White + Crew

I cannot believe that the 4th of July is right around the corner! One of the best ways to show patriotism is through style. Here are some of my favorite looks from J. Crew--a company I feel embodies the American prep spirit.


Tropical Chic

I just received the summer catalog from Talbots, and I am amazed by all of the bright, tropical patterns. Sophisticated, yet fun. I especially love the Seahorse Tee and the Lemon Cardigan. Truly something for everyone.

Happy Tuesday, lovelies! xo


Lovely June

"And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days."


Art Deco

I am always inspired by beautiful statement pieces when it comes to jewelry. The lovely Art Deco styles of the Downton Abbey and Great Gatsby era are some of my favorites. Classic and timeless.

Happy Tuesday! 


The Royal Petunia: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. A beautiful name for a lovely little girl. 

All babies the world-over deserve the kind of coverage that William and Catherine's newborn daughter is getting--but in my opinion, what makes this occasion so special, is the continuing of the  time-honored traditions that are distinctly British. 

What I love about the birth of a royal baby is that, for intellectuals like myself, it gives us a chance to educate and celebrate a nation rich with regal history. 

So, let's play "What's in a name?" The Royal Edition. Charlotte is the feminine form of "Charles" (hence the current Prince of Wales and William's dad.) Kate's sister, Philippa (or Pippa), also has Charlotte for a middle name. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the Queen Consort to King George III from 1761-1818. Many of you may recognize a tribute to her if you live in North Carolina (the beautiful city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.) Charlotte was a patron of the arts and had 15 children. King George III bought Buckingham House for her, which today is the current location of Buckingham Palace. 

Elizabeth means "consecrated to God." Not only is it Kate and her mother, Carole's, middle name--but it pays great tribute to other notables, including Her Majesty The Queen. There were also Elizabeth I (daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn), and Elizabeth II's mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Queen Consort of King George VI.

Lastly, the name Diana means "divine." This is a touching tribute to William's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. I am particularly happy to see that her legacy will live on in her granddaughter. 

May Princess Charlotte bring hope, joy and love to us all.

(and of course my post would not be complete without a wave from Prince George!)



"I must have flowers forever and always." --Claude Monet

"Among the changing months, May stands confessed the sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed."


Come Sail Away

Today begins a new journey at sea--the one place in this world that I feel most content. 

The photograph above sums up my definition of peace, tranquility and splendor. I was so blessed to capture this Key West sunset with my own camera--a perfect moment of serenity and enchantment under a simple palm tree--with God's sunshine smiling upon all.

In honor of the ocean--and all that is beautiful about it--here are some of my favorite quotes.

Wishing you a lovely week!

"I'm sailing away, set an open course for the virgin sea. I've got to be free. Free to face the life that's ahead of me." 

"It's a marvelous thing, the ocean. For some reason when two people sit looking out at it, they stop caring whether they talk or stay silent. You never get tired of watching it. And no matter how rough the waves get, you are never bothered by the noise the water makes by the commotion of the surface. It never seems too loud, or too wild."

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net forever."

"...because there's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away."

"The rhythm of my heart is beating like a drum, with the words "I love you" rolling off my tongue. Oh, never will I roam, for I know my place is home, where the ocean meets the sky I'll be sailing."


Happy Earth Day

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”— Ansel Adams

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”— Aristotle

“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.”— Karle Wilson Baker

“A multitude of small delights constitutes happiness.”— Charles Baudelaire

“Keep your faith in all beautiful things. In the sun when it is hidden. In the spring when it is gone.”— Roy Rolfe Gilson

“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty."— John Muir


A Kensington Spring

Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I had a wonderful time celebrating my beautiful mom's birthday--we went over to Epcot and enjoyed the brilliant colors and blooms of their International Flower + Garden Festival (along with a great performance in the America Gardens Theatre by Jon Secada!) 

To start out this new week, here are some of my spring picks from one of my favorite brands, Boden. With all of the Royal Baby excitement--I went with a dress theme. Maybe just maybe, Kate will appear in one of these lovely designs.