{Food} FOF’s Best Eats from Coast to Coast

From “aaaah”-inducing cherry turnovers in Nebraska to “indulgent”  Onion Soup in Illinois, FOFs fork up the treats they crave from the neighborhood spots you have to be in-the-know…to know.

1. FOF Jerice Bergstrom: Fat Toad Caramel from Fat Toad Farm,
Brookfield, VT

“Oh my God! When you taste Fat Toad Caramel sauce over ice cream, apples or oatmeal, your mouth will start reciting the alphabet. Not ‘A’ to ‘Z’, but ‘Mmmm’ to ‘No!’ as in, ‘This can’t be real!’ They make it with their own organic goat’s milk and the ingredients are of unmatched deliciousness. Often, caramel can leave a potent aftertaste. Fat Toad Caramel doesn’t have anything but smoothness and delight, from the initial scent to the sweet aftertaste. It is simply the best caramel I have ever tasted!”

2. FOF Cynthia Johnston: Cherry Turnovers from Lithuanian Bakery & Kafe
Omaha, NE

“Delicate, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth, perfectly-tart-and-sweet cherry turnovers make my ‘ahhh’ moment… and now I have to go get one. Okay, two!”

3. FOF Orelle Jackson: Queen City Cayenne Ice Cream from Jeni’s Ice Cream,
Columbus, OH

“Jeni is a local ice cream maker. She uses all local ingredients to make her heavenly ice creams. Queen City Cayenne is my favorite–rich, smooth, creamy, chocolate ice cream and a kick of cayenne pepper. The juxtaposition of cold and hot, creamy and spicy is a celebration for your taste buds. If you don’t live in Columbus, Jeni does mail order!”

4. FOF Lynne Troiano: Stuffed Cheese Blintzes from Lucky Dill Deli
Palm Harbor, FL

“Cheese blintzes stuffed with Romanoff cheese, strawberry preserves, sour cream AND fresh sliced strawberries. Need I say more?”

5. FOF Suzanne Bernstein: Fried Plantain from Portos Bakery
Burbank, CA

“The fried plantain chips from Porto’s Bakery in Burbank, California are AMAZING! It comes as a side to their delicious sandwiches but sometimes we just order them alone! They are thin and crunchy, slightly sweet, and sprinkled with salt. Wow! We can’t find these anywhere else, so going to Porto’s to order them is ALWAYS a special treat!”

6. FOF Rachel Hart: Baltimore Bomb from Dangerously Delicious Pies
Baltimore, MD

“It combines two of the greatest things in Baltimore: Berger Cookies and Dangerously Delicious Pies. It’s filled with creamy chocolate and not for the weak of heart. The slices are big and definitely require two forks and two mouths!”

7. FOF Barbara Wicklund: Creamy Onion Soup from Mary’s Market
Rockford, IL

“It’s difficult to describe this soup and do it justice! It’s not your average French onion soup; it has a creamy base with sweet, perfectly cooked onions and is served in a homemade bread bowl. It’s topped off with so much lightly-browned cheese that you know it’s an indulgence!”

8. FOF Myra Garber: Grandma Pizza from Umberto’s
Wantagh, NY
“The Grandma-style pizza from Umberto’s is the best! The dough is thin, with a little bit of chewiness. The tomatoes are sweet, but with a hint of freshness. The cheese has just the correct amount of salt.”

9. FOF Sue Stebbing: Mussels from Skipper’s Pier
Deale, MD

“The mussels in white wine sauce with garlic, herbs and lots of freshly baked bread to dip with is an ultimate treat. Sitting at the dock bar that extends into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay, eating mussels, watching boats go by and listening to live music on a Sunday evening is what life is all about.”

What’s your favorite local treat? Comment below and tell us.

from →  ,

{Reading} 6 Spiritual Books That Changed Their Lives

“A good book has no ending,” said author R.D. Cumming. The best books provoke, inspire and stay with us long after the last page. Here, FOFs share 6 life-changing spiritual books and the lessons they learned from them. Has a book profoundly impacted your life?

1. FOF Rosanne Henrickson: Be All That You Can Be by John C. Maxwell

“This book is about how to reach our potential and to help others. I’m on my fifth reading! We all have challenges on our journey toward our goals and dreams. This book has helped me to become a better person and to reach my God-given potential by helping me take positive action, have discipline, take risks, be committed, embrace challenges and help others pursue their goals and dreams.”

2. FOF Cheryl Savage: Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

“Sometimes people are looking for a ‘sign’ from God. This book challenges that. It’s argues that communication with God can occur within yourself–your intuition. I am a very spiritual person. There is nobody else responsible for our journey in our life but us. My mother used to always say, ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps and you get back on that horse.’ Conversations With God talks a lot about that.”

3. FOF Mary Nedvins: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

“The book is about how to live life to the fullest and to pay attention to everything around you. Tolle would say, next time you wash your hands, pay attention to the way the soap and water feel on your skin. Don’t just wash your hands. It’s life-changing.”

4. FOF Jan Melk: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

“This book teaches you to be aware of the present. It taught me not to spend a lot of time thinking about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow, but to be really aware of what’s happening NOW. With that awareness you feel in control, peace and grounding.”

5. FOF Sherry DeRosa: The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles by Bruce Lipton

“This book provides scientific evidence that our DNA is not determined at birth but instead, is determined by our belief system. In the past, I sought science as an alternative to accepting spiritual truths. The book revealed that life was not an issue of science OR spirituality, it was an amalgam of science AND spirituality.”

6. FOF Kathy Gheen: You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism by Brad Hirschfield

“This book is by an Orthodox Rabbi who was a fanatic as a young man and realized the peril of thinking that there is only one truth. Hirschfield shares his own personal insights regarding Judaism, Islamic and Christian perspectives and how we can learn to discuss our differences rather than clash over them. I believe his message that ‘conflict is an opportunity to learn and grow — and often to grow closer to one another’ can be life-changing and maybe one day world-changing. He has devoted his life to spreading the messages of inclusiveness, tolerance and peace.”

{Inspiration} My 6 Simple Pleasures

These days, many of us are forgoing the big luxuries and rediscovering the little things. Here’s some down-to-earth inspiration from one of our favorite FOFs.

Portrait by Jill Lotenberg for Jillphotography.com

{Beauty} 9 Spa Treatments FOFs Swear By

From micro-dermabrasion to massage, FOFs divulge their favorite ways to indulge. (Plus: Win a California Spa Getaway and $1,000 Soft Surroundings Giveaway here):   Thank you for entering. This contest is now closed.

1. FOF Catherine Del Spina: Facial at FacelogicSpa, Locations across the country. Pricing varies by location.

“It’s facials by subscription. It is so fantastic. A facial is $89 but if you’re a member you can go once a month for about $49 each. That’s one of the ways I completely relax. I have to fight not to fall asleep because it’s so calming.”

2. FOF Sherry DeRosa: Sans Souci Massage at Sans Souci Massage in Eau Claire, WI. 30 minutes, $40 or 60 minutes, $60

“I get a massage every other week. I go to Sans Souci in Eau Claire, which means ‘no worries.'”

3. FOF barbra1206: Lavender Relax Body Treatment at the Canyon Ranch Spa in Lenox, Mass., 50 minutes, $160 or 100 minutes, $270

“Any and all of the personal trainers at this Spa are so trained and in tune with your needs. After properly working out, I follow with a Tai Chi or Chi Gong class outside under the majestic trees of the Berkshires, then get a spa body lavender treatment to pamper and improve my skin. Heaven!”

4. FOF Joan Shepp: Facial at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa in Philadelphia, PA. 60 minutes, $90

“I like to go to Rescue Spa. The woman who owns it, Danuda, does the best facials. She’s amazing.”

5. FOF Lucy Lee: Facial with esthetician Mona Sappenfield of the Mona Spa of Well Being in Memphis, Tennessee. 60-120 minutes, $75-190

“Mona is an esthetician that I’ve gone to for 15 years. I think she knows as much about skin as any dermatologist I’ve ever been to. She does facials, laser genesis and tightening. She tailors her treatments to whatever she thinks you need. I’m trying to avoid ever having a face lift by going to her. She’s excellent.”

6. FOF trish: Facial and Swedish Massage at Magna’s Salon and Day Spa, Amelia Island, Florida. Facial, 60 minutes, $80 and Swedish massage 60 minutes, $80

“When I need that luxurious spa day, I check in with Magna’s Salon and Day Spa. The one-hour facial is magnificent usually followed by an hour of Swedish Massage. Tom and Stacey, owners of Magna’s, make the visit to their spa a truly awesome experience.

7. FOF Callie McDole: Micro-dermabrasion Treatment at Bella Vita Rejuvenation Center in Dallas, Texas. $150

“I have micro-dermabrasion treatments 3 to 4 times a year at Bella Vita Rejuvenation Center. It makes a real difference in the way my skin feels. Their esthetician also recommends the best products”

8. FOF Alison Spear: Master Cleanse at We Care Spa in Desert Hot Springs, CA. $20-$70 for cleanses.

“It’s a Master Cleanse spa. You go for a week and you cleanse your body by drinking their special concoctions. My husband and I try to go every August. It’s not expensive and you feel great at the end. You can finally see the whites of your eyes again.”

9. FOF Jenni Lipa: The Aromasoul-Oriental Ritual at the Sagestone Spa at Red Mountain in St. George, Utah 75 minutes, $160

“Set in the midst of Red Rock country, Red Mountain Spa is one of my all–time favorite destinations. I’ve been there once a year for the past ten years, and I always leave feeling rejuvenated—body and soul. All their treatments are inspired by beauty practices from around the world, using indigenous desert botanicals, Utah honey and mineral rich muds, essential oils, balms and rich body butters. My personal favorite treatment: The Aromasoul-Oriental Ritual, where elements of Chinese massage increase energy flow and replenish vitality. It’s great for relieving stress and arthritis!”

Comment below to share your favorite spa treatment!

{Reading} Beach Book Bingo

7 FOF authors reveal their all-time favorite summer reads.


1. Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom (2010)

“Well-written stories of love that will make you read the entire book in one sitting. Order two glasses of wine and get going.”

–FOF Kris Radish, best-selling Bantam-Dell author who writes about friendship, sisters and celebrating life. Check out her just-released novel Hearts on a String.


2. Going to Extremes by Joe McGinnis (1980)

“This book was written during the building of the oil pipelines in Alaska in the ’70s, but is resonating now, especially since Joe, the author is currently renting the house next to Sarah Palin while he does research for a new book about her! One of my favorite books ever.”

–FOF Barbara Hannah Grufferman, author of The Best of Everything After 50: The Experts’ Guide to Style, Sex, Health, Money and More (2010), a compilation of expert advice on how to stay fabulous after fifty.


3. Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1955)

“Ms. Lindbergh wrote this book 55 years ago. Amazingly, the messages are as pertinent to a woman’s life today as they were then. She wrote the book in a period of retreat by the sea, and she assigns a different seashell as a metaphor for each stage of a woman’s life. A few years ago, for the holidays, I gave it to each of my female clients along with a unique shell that I felt represented her.”

–FOF Jaki Scarcello, author of Fifty and Fabulous, a series of interviews conducted with women around the world who hit their stride after fifty.


4. Letters to Our Daughters by Kristin Van Raden & Molly Davis

“I lost my mom a year ago and it brings me great joy and comfort reading this gorgeous, gorgeous collection of letters and photos of mothers and daughters who share their courage and triumph, pain and loss, wisdom and love.”

–FOF Amy Ferris, author of the bare-it-all, Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis, a book chronicling every one of her funny, sad, down-and-dirty stories about mid-life.


5. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and 6. The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

“I love stories of women’s lives–friendship, family–and the relationships that are most critical to our well being and the ones that sustain us through the ups and downs of life and love.”

–FOF Virginia DeBerry, a New York Times best-selling author and former plus-size model. Her most recent book, What Doesn’t Kill You, came out in 2009. You can see all her books, here.


7. Mystic Grits: A Southern Girl’s Journey to Wisdom by Darelyn DJ Mitsch

“This book will make you laugh, cry, reflect and love your friends and family even more. It’s a fabulous journey through a southern girl’s life as she becomes an incredibly wise and successful woman. I can’t wait for the movie!”

–FOF Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, studies the factors the help and hinder high-achieving women in the workplace. Her latest book Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction came out this June.


8. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

“One of the most truly charming and hilarious books I’ve ever read. This is the memoir of writer/naturalist/zookeeper, Gerald Durrell, who writes about his family’s years in Corfu, where he began to collect local animals as pets. His brother was famous travel writer, Lawrence Durrell. I laughed out loud.”

–FOF Jill Jonnes, historian and author of Eiffel’s Tower about Belle Epoque Paris.


Images via Kris Radish, Barbara Hannah Grufferman, Fifty and Fabulous, FabOverFifty, Simon & Schuster, Outsmart Your Brain, and Jill Jonnes

{Food} 10 Dishes To Eat Before You Die

Want to know where to get “the best Napoleons on the face or the earth”? Or how about a B.L.T. “to die for”? FOFs dish out their “fave” dishes from across the country. (Bonus: We got recipes for three of the faves so you can try them at home!)

1. FOF Georgia Witkin: The Napoleon at Campagnola, 1382 1st Avenue, NYC

“I’ve been going to Campagnola all my life. It’s Italian food, and the kitchen cooks it like you want it. They have the best Napoleons on the face of the earth.”


2. FOF debann7858: Crabcakes from Dutch’s Daughter, 581 Himes Avenue, Frederick, MD

“Dutch’s Daughter is my favorite restaurant because they make the very best crab cakes. They are fat and full of crab meat with no fillers.”


3. FOF bjsst: Adult Macaroni and Cheese from Good News Cafe, 694 Main Street South, Woodbury, CT

“Adult Macaroni and Cheese is a favorite of my husband and myself–lots of lobster chunks in homemade macaroni and cheese with a sprinkle of truffle oil!”


4. FOF Wendy Foster: BLT & Coleslaw from Montecito Coffee Shop, 1498 East Valley Rd, Montecito, CA

“It has plain old good American food and is frequented by the locals. A BLT to die for and wonderful cole slaw.”


5. FOF Cheryls: Hard Boiled Egg Appetizer with Rock Salt and Caviar from Club XIX,17 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, CA

“Club XIX has best of the best food. It overlooks the ocean–beautiful views. They have this incredible hard-boiled egg appetizer with rock salt and caviar. My mouth is watering just talking about it.”


6. FOF Babbie Lovett: Hot Tamales from Doe’s Eat Place, 1023 West Markham Street, Little Rock, AR

“I love Doe’s in Little Rock. There’s nothing better than their hot tamales. It was my daddy’s favorite place in all the world.”


7. FOF Ann Hand: Capellini Ann Hand from Cafe Milano, 3251 Prospect Street Northwest, Washington, D.C.

“There’s a sense of entertainment in the restaurant. [The owner] named one [dish] after me called Anne Hand Capellini. It’s a pasta with a light tomato sauce so I can eat it and not feel guilty.”

(recipe courtesy of Café Milano)

{click here for the recipe!}


8. FOF freestyleme123: Mango Tango Sushi Rolls from Fuji Yama, 1827 Midway Rd., Dallas, TX

“When you do go, have the Mango Tango. It is an explosion of flavors in your mouth! You can’t go wrong, and your tastebuds will thank you for it!”


9. FOF Elaina Spilove: Spinach Gnocchi from Vetri, 1312 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA

“Vetri is a very small Italian restaurant, and it’s very, very special Italian food. The chef, Marc Vetri, is a genius and the nicest person in the world. I always order the spinach gnocchi – it’s heavenly.

(recipe courtesy of Il Viaggio Di Vetri Cookbook, Reprinted with permission from Il Viaggio di Vetri by Marc Vetri with David Joachim, copyright © 2008. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Douglas Takeshi Wolfe © 2008)

{click here for the recipe!}


10. FOF Jayne Norwood: Heaven and Hell Cake from Stephan Pyles, 1807 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX

“It’s casual elegant and serves Southwest and Peruvian food. I like the decor, the people and the art. They know how to treat customers. The heaven and hell chocolate cake is to die for!”

(recipe courtesy of Stephan Pyles)

{click here for the recipe!}


Note: While all recipes on this site are used with permission from the restaurant indicated, the photo for the recipe (in some cases) is not the actual dish from the restaurant. If restaurants would like to submit a photograph for their recipe, please send us an e-mail.

Images via (top to bottom) ehow.com, West End Magazine, Neiman Marcus, self.com, Seattle.net, Irapuato, Lifes Ambrosia, Sushi Day, Country Living, and Stephan Pyles

Capellini Ann Hand

(recipe courtesy of Café Milano)

2 Tb. Extra virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped carrots

½ cup chopped onion

1 can (approx. 16 oz.) plum tomatoes (Italian canned)

10 basil leaves

5 cloves garlic

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Angel hair pasta

Rock salt (for pasta water)

½ cup cherry tomatoes (fresh, cut in half)

5 cloves garlic

5-6 leaves fresh basil

2 Tb. extra virgin olive oil plus finishing drizzle

Tomato Sauce:

Heat 2 Tb. Extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Add chopped celery, carrots, and onions and sauté over medium heat until golden brown. Cover and allow to sweat. Add Italian plum tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan. Add garlic cloves and sauté until they are golden. Remove from heat and add fresh basil leaves. Add oil, garlic and basil into the prepared tomato mixture.

Process mixture through a food mill to produce a smooth sauce. Can be prepared ahead and held refrigerated for one or two days.

To Prepare Pasta:

Heat salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and return to boil.

Meanwhile, sauté garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil with fresh cherry tomatoes. Remove garlic. Once the cherry tomatoes are cooked, add some tomato sauce and fresh basil and heat through.

Strain pasta and stir into sauce, continuing to heat for about a minute more. Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Serves 2-3.

{Interiors} A Room of Her Own

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write,” said Virginia Woolf in her classic ode to women’s independence, A Room of One’s Own.

We couldn’t agree more. FOFs are entrepreneurs, moms, professors, engineers, artists, writers and much more. Our workspaces are an extension of ourselves and the foundation for our businesses and passion projects. See some of our faves from around the web, below!

Images (top to bottom) via Lonny, Making it Lovely, Dilly Dallas, This is Glamorous, Design Sponge, and Lonny

{City Guides} Your perfect long-weekend plans! 9 great getaways recommended by FOFs

From a Washington State winery with breathtaking views to a storybook coastal town in Connecticut, FOFs know the best off-the-beaten path spots across the country for long-weekend travel.

Kenwood Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, CA
FOF nettie54 says, “This cozy winery is located in the beautiful Sonoma Valley. Kenwood’s grounds are just lovely with a picnic area for you to enjoy their wine while you have lunch. The staff is very helpful and have steered us towards wines we may not have ordinarily picked. I would recommend this little gem for anyone who is visiting the San Francisco area as a little side trip.” Read more.

Cave B Inn at Sage Cliffe Winery, Quincy, WA
FOF lifeiswonderful2 says, “Poised 900 feet above the Columbia River, Cave B Inn surrounded by estate vineyards & fragrant orchards, offers breathtaking views of sky, water and canyon. Comprised of 30 guestrooms, the inn includes a full service spa and a swimming pool…” Read more.

Crockett’s Run Luxury Cabins and Lodges, Logan, OH
FOF leej5 says, “Crockett’s Run is a very romantic place to visit. You can do anything from canoeing to antique shopping. I really enjoy relaxing in the hot tub right on the deck under the pine trees!” Read more.

Saranac Lake, Saranac, NY
FOF leej5 says, “How gorgeous the scenery is with the mountains around you in all directions, lively water beneath, a stillness that creeps up on you as you leave all cares behind. We read, ate, swam, played games. Slept so well! Ate so much! It’s my FAVE place to be, where I feel in harmony-mentally, physically, and spiritually- so alive.” Read more.

The Berkshires, The Berkshires, MA
FOF rokoren says, “We stayed at the Thaddeus Clapp House in Pittsfield, MA. It is located one street off of the main street and you can walk to many restaurants, the Performing Arts Theater and the movie theater. There is so much to do in the Berkshires.” Read more.

Old Saybrook, Ct.
FOF sp says, “Walk the beach at sunset, check out the boats from all over the country docked at the marinas at Saybrook Point. Play mini-golf with one of the best views you’ll ever find. History, antique shops, art galleries and natural beauty.” Read more.

Fort DeSoto State Park, St. Petersburg, FL
FOF maydaycolorado says, “The beaches are white sugary sand and the Gulf of Mexico water is that absolutely beautiful azure blue!  Spend the day watching boats go by, playing in the water, camping, having a barbecue…or just relaxing with a good book on the beach!” Read more.

Red Mountain Spa, St. George, Utah
FOF Jenni Lipa says, “Set in the midst of Red Rock country, Red Mountain Spa is one of my all–time favorite destinations. I’ve been there once a year for the past ten years, and I always leave feeling rejuvenated…” Read more.

The Beaches of Carmel, Carmel, CA
FOF Diane Danvers-Simmons says, “I’ll take my dog and walk along or just sit by the ocean.” Read more.


Know an under-the-radar weekend getaway spot that you don’t see here? Add it to your Fab Faves now!

{City Guide} Dallas

Dallas is known for its architecture (with buildings designed by the renowned I.M. Pei and Frank Lloyd Wright), barbecue and, of course, The Dallas Cowboys. However, FOF’s know it’s also home to some Fab shops, spas and suppers. Here are some of their Faves:

1. Johnny Rodriguez Salon
FOF Julie Harrison says, “I go to Kathy Hill at Johnny Rodriguez Salon. Kathy makes it so that you look fresh and you’re not out of date.” Read more.

2. Short Suzy Facials
8215 Westchester Dr
FOF Jane Grant says, “I indulge by getting a micro-dermabrasion facial once a month from Suzy Short.” Read more.

3. Allie-Coosh Store
6726 Snider Plaza
FOF louis545 says, “You have the option of buying right off the floor OR having something made especially for you. The woman who finds it difficult to walk into a large department store and buy right off the rack would love Allie-Coosh! Read more.

4. The Grape
2808 Greenville Ave
FOF Jane Grant says, “The grape is intimate and wonderful and always has excellent wines. Their signature dish is the mushroom soup, and I always order the fish special.” Read more.

5. Stephan Pyles Restaurant
1807 Ross Avenue at St. Paul Street
FOF Jayne Norwood says, “It’s casual, elegant and serves Southwest and Peruvian food. They know how to treat customers. The Heaven and Hell chocolate cake is to die for!” Read more.

6. Nana Restaurant
2201 Stemmons Freeway
FOF Paulette Martsolf says, “Great food, great service, but it’s all about the view. Nana’s has a wonderful skyline view of Dallas.” Read more.

7. Lakeside Park
Lakeside Drive and Armstrong Avenue
FOF Callie McDole says, “There’s a little park with a creek running through it and benches for people to sit and read or just enjoy the beautiful and peaceful surroundings.” Read more.

8. Fuji Yama Japanese Restaurant
18217 Midway Road
(not on map)
FOF Freestyleme123 says, “Simple, tasteful and oh! so relaxing… sit at the bar…and watch Diego in action. Have the Mango Tango… the Franford Roll, the Salmon Roll and the Butterfly Kisses.” Read more.

{Style Expert} The “Ooh la la!” factor:

FOF expert Joan Shepp picks her French Faves.

In honor of Paris Week, we recruited four fashion pros to scour their racks for the crème de la crème of spring fashion from France. In our first installment we speak with Joan Shepp, the owner of the eponymous Joan Shepp boutique in Philadelphia. She’s been discovering haute fashion for 30+ years and was the first to bring designers such as Yohji Yamamoto to Philly.

Joan carries lots of French-designed–and inspired–items, but for FOF, she picked the ones with the highest “Ooh la la!” factor:

Jive Bag (small) by Beracamy $375 “Beracamy bags are functional, fashionable and made with great leathers. They fit into a price range that many items from Paris do not. This Jive Bag is just as luxurious as something two or three times that price.”

Wired Ruffle Blouse $178 You can be as finicky as the French with this incredible top. “With one shirt you have an endless amount of looks by simply molding the collar or cuffs however you like.”

Perforated Leather Handbag by Yves Saint Laurent, $1495 “Items from Yves Saint Laurent are always classically French.”

Demisos Heel by Robert Clergerie, $685 These vibrant pumps with a deconstructed butterfly print evoke the spirit of Jardin du Luxembourg on a spring day. “They are handmade in a factory in France that is over 100 years old. The true attention to detail is what makes these shoes so amazing.”

Triple Layer Tank by Majestic, $116, Linen Dress $226, AND Ribbed V-Neck, $150 “Our basic items from Majestic are made in France using a unique process that makes them incredibly soft and beautiful,” says Joan.

Lorel Lace Up by Repetto, $375 “Repetto is a brand that started with dance shoes. They’re beautifully crafted, form to your foot and always have the best colors and textures.”