His and Hers Packing Tips


{Her Style} Sunglasses | Top | Scarf | Denim | Sneakers 
{His Style} Sunglasses | Top | Denim | Boat Shoes

With lots of friends and family members currently on spring break, I still have traveling on my mind. Finding a great carry-on bag is a must, and I can’t recommend the Lo & Sons O.G. bag enough. It houses my laptop safely and still has plenty of room for my other travel essentials. My favorite feature, though, has to be the adjustable back panel sleeve that secures the bag over luggage handles. While traveling, my clutch houses all of my receipts and important documents throughout the trip. That way, I am not guessing where anything is and making the travel day a little less stressful.

For the guys: I bought Bill the older version of the weekender above, and he gets quite a bit of use out of it. I love the classic silhouette and two-toned elements. I also love that it has the top handles as well as an adjustable shoulder strap.

Below are a few more packing tips and trips:

+ When packing, pick a color scheme so you can mix and match items throughout the trip.
+ Pack items that can be worn multiple ways. For the ladies, I love a great black maxi dress because you can throw it on with a printed scarf one night and then layer a striped tee and statement necklace over it another night. For the guys, I love a classic t-shirt that you can dress up or down.
+ Save space by storing socks, belts and more in your shoes.
+ Pack a garbage bag to use as your laundry bag throughout the trip.
+ When filling up your suitcase, place the heaviest items, like shoes, by the wheels so they don’t crush other more delicate items.
+ Store lotion and other makeup products in a contacts case to help save space so you don’t need to bring the big containers.
+ Pack small chargers in a glasses case so they don’t end up dispersed throughout your bag.
Spring Break: Day to Night
While I may not have a spring break of my own this year, I have certainly started planning for our honeymoon in September. After a long winter fill​ed with a whole lot of neutrals, I’m ready for bold floral prints, bright hues and metallic accessories.

When packing for a warm weather getaway, I always make sure to pack a large beach bag that I can store a smaller crossbody bag in for the flight as well as other in-flight necessities. After I arrive, I rely on the beach bag during the day and the crossbody bag at night when we’re exploring the city.

Some of my other essentials include a maxi dress to wear with statement necklaces or scarves at night {I always have a little chill thanks to sunburn at night and love wrapping up in a printed scarf}. You also can’t go wrong with an oversized straw hat or panama hat to protect yourself from the sun and tame your hair after a dip in the pool or ocean.

Do you have any fun trips on the horizon?

Now…For Men Only

For Men Only

From Top Left: Room No. 3 / Sugar Paper / Catbird / Veuve Clicquot / Goyard

The men in our lives are our rocks, our best friends, and a shoulder to cry on. They are confidants, travel buddies and the fathers of our children. They make us laugh  (and sometimes cry!) and we love spending quality time with them. While they fill a special need in our lives, our men don’t always shine with their gift giving and planning skills.

To bridge the gap Brass Tacks offers “For Men Only”, an exclusive service just for guys. The possibilities are endless –  planning a romantic getaway, special occasion surprises, lingerie, jewelry and specialty shopping,  gift wrapping and personal delivery. Give your man the confidence of knowing he’s scored the perfect gift while you delight in the fabulous end result!

Is your hubby tasked with organizing the perfect anniversary trip? Brass Tacks will make all the arrangements to ensure a memorable stress-free vacation for both of you! Big birthday coming up? A sparkling custom-made bauble will do the trick!

Drop a hint to your man today and Brass Tacks  will simplify HIS life.

Show and Tell- Napa Edition

Show and Tell- Napa

The hubby and I are just back from an amazing long weekend in Napa. After marrying at The Carneros Inn last May, they gave us a free stay as an anniversary gift so we jumped at the chance to soak up an extra long weekend at our favorite little slice of paradise. While each of our trips to Napa have been different, we always stick to the following guidelines: visit small production wineries (with some exceptions), eat a lot of amazing food (not very hard) and try to relax at the hotel as much as possible (sometimes a challenge with everything else we like to fit in). I’m often asked by clients for tips on what to do and see while visiting Napa Valley. There really is so much to explore,  but without further adieu, here is a very brief overview of just a few personal favorites.


There are so many hidden gems to explore in wine country which means a little upfront research and planning can go a long way. For an amazingly peaceful setting, fabulous modern farmhouse architecture, rich and wonderful wines (and fabulous branding to boot) I adore Larkmead Vineyards. A similar ambiance in a less private setting can be found at the laid back Frog’s Leap (you can find me drinking their Rosé all summer long). For a secluded setting with delicious reds (and if you’re lucky a tasting of their aged Balsamic), make a reservation at The Terraces. Get your fix of bubbly at the beautiful Domaine Carneros and take a tour of a a wonderful vineyard at Gundlach Bundschu for a taste of the Sonoma side of things.


Just like tasty wine, delicious food is not hard to find in Napa Valley. My list of favorite restaurants is long but there are a few we visit on repeat. While I enjoy Redd, their sister restaurant, Redd Wood dishes up fabulous pizzas and pasta in a laid back setting that is perfect after a long day of tasting. Head across the street to Ciccio, a no-reservations local hang that serves some mean rustic italian. I could eat their whole grilled fish ten times over. For fabulous Italian in Napa proper, stop by Oenotri (or Bottega in Yountville)- you won’t be disappointed with either. Once you’re tired of Italian and really craving some pomme frites, Bistro Jeanty is an old favorite. Perfect for a rich lunch particularly during the colder months of the year. When you’re feeling like checking something off the bucket list there’s always French Laundry. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience (tip: come rested (both yourself and your wallet) as you will be there for hours). On the opposite end of the spectrum are my favorite lunch spots- Fremont Diner for casual diner grub, La Luna Tacqueria for authentic Mexican to-go, Addendum for Ad Hoc’s famous fried chicken and Oxbow Public Market for a variety of tasty treats. Lastly, I can’t leave Boon Fly Cafe off the list as their mini-donuts are a Napa staple for us.


If you ask me, there are few places in the world more serene and relaxing than the Hilltop pool at The Carneros Inn. Equally splurge worthy is Bardessono in Yountville, Solage in Calistoga or the classic Auberge du Soleil. If looking for something a little more reasonable, there are  many great options centrally located in Yountville like Villagio and the newer modern boutique, North Block.

Wine Country, you never cease to rejuvenate me. Cheers to another year with the wine cellar stocked!

*For further tips or itinerary planning, contact Brass Tacks today*

Show and Tell- Amsterdam Edition

Show and tell- ams

1 Sukha Wall Hanging 2 Dutch House Number 3 Vanilia Blouse 4 Rituals Fragrance Sticks 5 FLINK Pillow 6 de Waldaad Bench 7 By Molle Table Linen

Greetings from the land of tulips, canals and cheese! While I have had the pleasure of stepping foot in Amsterdam once before, ten days here has allowed me to truly soak in all this amazing city has to offer. In typical “girls trip” fashion, my mom and I have been doing nothing but eating, drinking, shopping and walking. And let’s be honest…our suitcases are filling up rather quickly! With multiple stops at fabulous shops, we’re getting to know some people on a first name basis (this is a good thing, trust me)! I could easily decorate my whole house from here (but my husband would have my head) so I’m sharing just a few of my favorite finds while they’re still fresh in my shopping mind.

Step into the dreaminess that is Sukha Amsterdam and you will not be disappointed. Sukha means “joy of life” in Sanskrit and this store is seriously a joy to behold. With charming doodles like this and amazing pillows like that, you could browse for days. The young woman behind that pillow has a beautiful line called FLINK Netherlands. She helps define Dutch Luxury by using the most high-quality wool (knitted in an old Dutch knitting factory) to create the most divine blankets, pillows and scarves. FLINK is not the only line committed to a growing movement that celebrates the beauty of local production. By Molle, uses only natural materials to make all of their products. From the undyed wool of Swedish and Norwegian sheep to the flax for their linen from the Atlantic Coast- By Molle embodies sustainability and true craftsmanship. This gorgeous table cloth is already coming home with me (not surprisingly, it’s striped!). Clothing companies like the Dutch brand Vanilia are also committed to corporate responsibility. With just twelve small collections released a year, their charming stores are beautifully curated with unique pieces you can be pretty sure not many others will own  (like the new favorite oversized blouse I will be living in). If I had more room in my suitcase I’d be adding in some amazing vintage furniture from de Waldaad (like this bench!), a charming custom made house number from Alfons De Letter and yummy scents from Rituals.

I guess another trip is in order come new home decor time!

Bon Voyage


Words to live by! And with that in mind, I’m off to Amsterdam for ten days. Quality time with my Mom, an adorable canal-side apartment, spring tulips, delicious food and plenty of time for shopping. I’ll be sharing my favorite Amsterdam finds next week as well as more travel related fun upon my return. Have a lovely week!

Spring Into travel season

Spring Travel Essentials


Prada Cat Eye Sunglasses 2 Jcrew Passport Case 3 Cuyana Panama Hat 4 Nike Running Shoes 5 Jcrew Printed Silk Snood 6 Josie Maran Argan Oil 7 RMS Beauty Raw Coconut Cream 8 Cuyana Leather Tote 9 Ugg Brigid Metallic Sandals 10 Jcrew Linen Tee

Happy Saint Patty’s Day! With April quickly approaching, Spring is in the air and so is travel. Many are headed off to warmer climates for Spring Break and others, including Brass Tacks, are knee deep in summer travel planning. I also have a lot of personal travel on the horizon which has me pondering  what new items will be coming on the plane with me. While my upcoming trips are all over the map (literally and figuratively) there are many essentials that I bring no matter where I go. Whether it be a long winter weekend in New York, a spring vacation to Amsterdam, a weekend in Wine Country or a fall trip to Greece- I always have many of the same things packed in my bag.  Here are just a few of my go-to’s.

  • A great bag- There is nothing like a great travel bag. Flies well as a carry on, doubles as a daily purse and has enough room to stash your fun finds on the way home.
  • Moisturizing skin treatments– Airplanes really suck the life out of your skin. The best way to combat a tired look post-arrival is to fly with premium moisturizing products. Josie Maran’s Argan Oil has become a staple of mine to combat dry air.  Being a bit of a coconut oil addict (hello oil pulling), I’m also loving the look of RMS Beauty’s coconut cream.
  • Scarves- I never ever go on a trip without a scarf (or five). They are the perfect solution for getting cozy on the plane, days that get chilly or sprucing up an outfit.
  • Comfy shoes- I’m adopting a new policy of always bringing a fun pair of running shoes on every trip. Use them for the gym, a last minute hike or a full day of exploring- you can’t go wrong with something a little more practical and your feet will thank you.
  • A cozy tee- I typically fly in a cozy tee and surely bring a number of them to any destination. Throw a scarf over for a casual look during the day or dress one up with a blazer and some heels for an evening out. This option is just too fun for spring travel.
  • Stylin sunnies- I never leave home without a pair of great sunglasses. Sunnies are even more imperative when you’re spending your days outside exploring. They’re a perfect way to accessorize a basic outfit or cover puffy eyes after long hours on a plane.

Wherever you’re off to this year, I hope you travel in style and have a safe trip!

Winter Getaway


Looking to escape the Minnesota winter for some much needed vitamin D? According to CBS Minnesota, great last minute deals are still available. Book that flight to Puerto Vallarta and let Brass Tacks do the rest.  From hotel research to itinerary planning to restaurant booking- we will ensure your vacation is what it should be- stress free.

{via Around The World Villas}