What is your favorite AK item and why?
I am totally obsessed with my matte alligator Knox in oatmeal with fuschia interior. I carry everything with me at all times!
What can you not live without and what are your latest obsessions?
Indagare Insider Trips
I've been called an "Indagare whore" (trips include Morocco, Turkey, Cuba, Mexico, Mii Amo in Arizona, Myanmar, and most recently India). I have made great friends who share my love of travel.
James De Givenchy creates the most beautiful baubles.
Enoc Perez Paintings
I love a wonderful pop of color in a room.
Lady M Mille Crêpe Cake
Think layers of paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with pastry cream and a crunchy golden brulee top = Yum!
ALL James Bond Movies
We recently named our boat Nick Nack after the "Man with a Golden Gun."
Margaritas with fresh lime juice - tequila is my fav!
I prefer a basic margarita (not frozen) made with fresh lime juice on the rocks with no salt. It's so simple but so many people mess it up. La Casa Que Canta in Zihuatanejo, Mexico makes the best I have ever had!
I could easily live in a hotel and always love chocolates on my pillow. My favorite hotels include Sandy Lane (Barbados), The Four Seasons Hualalai (Big Island, Hawaii) and La Casa Que Canta (Zihuatanejo, Mexico) where they decorate your bed in rose petals daily.
The entire family loves Buddy! A visit to his Hoboken kitchen this August was the bomb.
Carthusia Mediterraneo Perfume from Capri - divine scent of the lemons of Capri.
Fresh flowers and greenery
Bougainvillea and night blooming jasmine always remind me of my home: Palm Beach (I even had my walls handpainted with palms and sea grape leaves so I could be surrounded by them).
Where is your favorite place you have traveled to and why?
South Africa and Zimbabwe - My husband and I travelled there after he finished business school and before moving back to NYC. We stayed in several CC Africa lodges (Ngala, Londolozi Tree Camp, Phinda and Matetsi Safari and Water Lodge) and then explored Cape Town while staying at Ellerman House. It was truly magical and I can't wait to bring my kids.
Is there a particular charity or cause that you're passionate about?
DreamYard uses the arts to inspire youth, public schools and communities. DreamYard works with approximately 9,000 students through programs that run across 42 Bronx public schools including the DreamYard Preparatory High School and at the Art Center. Ten years ago I was invited as a guest to their benefit in lower Manhattan and was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the students and the dedication of the teachers. Art and creativity play an important role in nurturing a complete child. I hope DreamYard becomes a role model for other communities to follow.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Malasadas (Hawaiian donut) from Leonards Bakery in Honolulu and anything with sea salt.
What are your beauty essentials?
Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner
It not only works but smells unbelievable.
Tammy Fender Holistic Products
A visit to Tammy's charming spa in WPB for a facial and foot reflexology is a must!
Too lazy to clean the juicer ... spinach, kale, pear, lemon and ginger from Serafina Cafe and Takeout on Madison.
What are three things most people don't know about you?
I love the smell of airplane fuel.
I obsess over everything Hawaiian.
I absolutely HATE the cold! - everybody knows but should be reminded.
Since you're a fabulous gift giver - what are your favorite gifts to give under $50?
Havens Kitchen NYC "Christmas Breakfast in a Bag"
Homemade granola, pancake mix and local syrup.
Custom iPhone Cases
Collage case including all of Minnie's Instagram photos.
Honorine Jewels pom pom tassle and camel bone bracelets from shoplatitude.com
Fresh flower lei's are a great gift for every occasion (birthday, graduation, or just because).
What are your favorite gifts to give friends?
Aerin Small Batik Beauty Bag with Rose Lip Conditioner & Nude Lip Gloss
A fun treat for my girlfriends on a trip to Art Basel in Miami last December.
Burmese Lacquer Clutch
It's always nice to give something unusual from a recent adventure.
Blair Husain Gold Charm
I am a sucker for anything rose gold and I love giving something personalized.
...and for spouses and children?
Molly B. Right bottle cap portrait of my husband
She really captured his eclectic style with his terry cloth hat and white sunglasses.
Custom decorated surf boards for Tate and Minnie
Both boards were personalized with their names, hibiscus flowers and a Tiki.
Do you have any special gift wrap or signature touch on what you give?
I absolutely love gift wrap! I have a drawer filled with it. I typically wrap gifts from the kids to their friends in personalized paper so I don't need a card. Lately I am obsessing over faux bois and driftwood paper (Elum, Paper Source and the Container Store) tied with a large white or red grosgrain ribbon.
What's on the top of your personal Christmas list this year?
Solange Azagury-Partridge bracelet with my kids names.
Cooking class at Haven's Kitchen
I absolutely love to entertain and simple seasonal suppers would be a fun way to sharpen my skills and prepare for a fun dinner for friends and family.
Anything Anya Hindmarch
She has beautiful bespoke jewelry zip boxes that can be outfitted with a photograph and engraved with a personal message!
Alexandra Knight Mini iPad Cover - perky color please!
What are your top prized possessions?
St. Christopher medal given to me by my parents after graduating from Georgetown - my dad wore the same one his whole life (he was a 6'7" Italian who always wore lots of gold jewelry).
Carlo Moretti multi-colored Venetian glasses - wine always tastes better in a pretty glass.
My husband Tom and my kids Tate and Minnie - I met my husband freshman year in college and we have been together for almost 25 years.
My wire haired daschund "Stretch" - unconditional love.
A ring made out of an old button from my dads blazer - I have worn it since I was 10.
My health - enough said.
What is your personal mantra?
Find Your Inner Hula.
Who is Marina Purcell and why do we love her?
I first met Marina on an Indagare Insider trip to Mexico a few years ago. As it usually goes we had many mutual friends in common and share a common passion for travel. It was not until our recent trip to India did we realize how much in common we had - I think every outfit I wore she had, every sentence I was trying to get out she could finish and I honestly can never imagine tiring of it.
I thought Marina would be the perfect person to profile on gift giving just in time for the holidays. She loves it, she is GREAT at it and if you are lucky enough to call her a friend you will also receive gifts everyday by her unwavering loyalty, love and support. This Thanksgiving I am thankful to have friends like Marina who are so thankful to be living blessed lives and constantly pay it forward.
Marina grew up in Long Island and Palm Beach and received her BA from Georgetown University in 1993. After college she worked at Verdura where she managed the watch, cufflink and repair departments as well as did their traveling shows. She then went on to work in the Career Services office of Harvard Business School, and for an online wedding registry company called The Wedding List where she managed orders while assisting countless brides in the selection of their priceless registry items.
"I learned the most about customer service while working for Global Assist for American Express while I was in college," Marina says. "I had to be able to answer the phone in Japanese, arrange bail, coordinate proposals in fortune cookies, set up hot air ballon rides, arrange prescription transfers, locate hard to find items, purchase play tickets and make dinner reservations."
Along with being a fabulous wife and mother of two, Marina currently serves on the Board of Directors of DreamYard and the women's board of The Boys Club of New York where she resides with her husband Tom, and children Tate (12) and Minnie (11).