Get Lifted at the Barre

If you haven’t touched a ballet barre since your elementary school days, don’t panic! I want to introduce all my followers and friends to my newest obsession: Pure Barre. If you’ve already heard about it, then you’re probably one of the women in my classes because you’ve gotten hooked. If you haven’t hopped on the Pure Barre train (or should I say medicine ball) yet, then get ready, I’m about to rock your world and your getting ready to get a butt lift.
Pure Barre is a new breed of fitness class, designed to tone and strengthen you, but in a different way than traditional gyms. I’m all about staying healthy and maintaining good habits, but I’ve never been a “going to the gym” person. I need something that’s fun and in a group setting. That’s why Pure Barre has become my new favorite hangout! What makes it unique is that all the exercises are centered around a ballet barre. All the workouts are high intensity, but very low impact, and are done using the barre for balance.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re not too sure about this. Lacing up pointe shoes wasn’t really your idea of getting in shape, but it isn’t Pure Barre’s idea either. There’s no dancing (and thankfully no tutu…well not always) involved, just tiny isometric movements meant to lift and tone. If you see someone walking around with a perky butt and your wondering where how they do it, I’m willing to bet it came from the barre! Keep an open mind ladies, banish all the negative thoughts and try out a class! Pure Barre is something anyone, of any shape or size, can do because it puts little to no pressure on your joints. Their 55 minute, full-body workouts target women’s problem areas and even incorporate a stretching segment so as to create long, lean muscles. I have personally seen woman transform their bodies and attitude.
Block out the rest of the world for an hour and focus on you! And as they say, “a transformed body and a clear head… it doesn’t get much better than this.”

See for yourself! Find out more about my favorite place by going to


Bohemian Rhapsody

The return of summer signals the return of one of my favorite looks: Bohemian Chic! Warm weather for me means sunny days, Farah Fawcett hair, and getting to wear fun, creative outfits. I love the bohemian look because it’s all about being comfortable. It’s not often that you can look great while feeling totally relaxed in your clothes.
Boho chic combines loose, breezy clothing with light, neutral colors. Some of my favorites for this “village-inspired” look are printed maxi dresses, large floppy hats and oversized tunics. You can easily convert lace pieces and items with beading as well. Throw in a bag with the same trademark name and you’ve got it!

#Bohemian #Style like the the colors of the shirt and the bag is nice

I sent this cause it reminded me of something your mom would like

I’m all about being original and creating an outfit that no one else has, and this can be done with jewelry… jewelry… and more jewelry! True bohemians know that layering is essential and we can mimic this by adding on funky odds and ends we find in our own jewelry boxes.
Bangles, natural stone rings and long necklaces make for the perfect boho pieces. And when in doubt… add some more! When it comes to this trend, there is no such thing as overdoing it!

Channel your inner artist by sculpting a look that is unique and fun, but most of all comfortable.

Layered Boho Necklaces | Bohemian Jewelry

Mixology – Creating Your Perfect Skincare Cocktail

I was chatting with a friend of mine, Dr. Shawn Birchenough, the other day when he mentioned an event he’s hosting soon. Shawn is a plastic surgeon with Magnolia Plastic Surgery here in town, and he’s planning an event called “Spring Spectacular” on May 9th. But our conversation got me thinking…
When people think plastic surgery, the first thing that comes to their mind is “frozen face” and surgery-gone-wrong horror stories. There is certainly a lot of stigma surrounding this practice, but why? Plastic surgery doesn’t have to be something negative. A lot of time, whatever procedure you have done can truly change your life. New age cosmetic medicine is all about looking relaxed and refreshed, and that’s what Shawn wants to do for his patients.
So many times, people have asked me “what have you had done” or even better asked my mother “when did she (referring to me) have a facelift”! After my initial shock wore off, I had an “aha moment” because I myself have looked at someone with envy because of their great skin or their smooth, wrinkle free complexion. I can certainly attribute my great skin to not only good genetics that mother blessed me with but also a skin care regime that started at an early age. I remember in my teens never going to bed with my makeup on. During my long overnight flights to Europe, the first thing I do after my meal is take off my make up and apply an über hydrating crème, la prairie is my go to. High altitudes and the air on a plane can be very drying. In my 30’s I started with the Obagi skin care program, which Magnolia Plastic Surgery carries, and that truly change my skin and gave the “glow” that everyone asks me about. I am not opposed to botox or injections to give me a more relaxed look, however, I am not ready for the knife and if I look at my mother nearing 70 years of age, I may never need the knife. Entering my 40’s has made me more aware the importance of staying out of the sun as much as possible and the important role a great “cosmeceutical-cocktail” can play in my life.
If we keep tight-lipped (no pun intended) about the things we’ve had done, Shawn’s open house will be for naught. Spread the word ladies! Plastic surgery isn’t something to be ashamed of, and most times, it isn’t even surgery. There are plenty of things to do to help your skin be at its best that don’t include going under the knife. If you’re looking your best (even with a little help), that should be something to celebrate! So celebrate by bringing a friend, I’m sure they want to know your secret to looking fabulous.
Great skin starts with your genetics. What your mama gave ya is valuable. Climate also helps. It’s no surprise that southerners have great complexions because of the humidity, and where we live gives us that boost. But if neither of these aspects play in your favor, skincare treatments offered at a plastic surgeon’s office might be for you. We want to help you create your perfect skincare cocktail! MIXOLOGY
Like any good recipe, you have to start with some basic ingredients…

What Shawn suggests:
*A good diet


*Regular hydration

*Minimal sun exposure

*A skincare regimen

*Treatments that won’t break your bank and will keep you from going under the knife…

*Regular facials – A spa facial will do wonders for your complexion and getting them regularly can only improve your skin.

*Cosmeceuticals – This is a mixture of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, something that you would put on top of the skin to correct it. Shawn suggests the Obagi or Revision lines.

*Chemical peels – Peels work by targeting the first three layers of dead skin and sloughing it away. It creates a refreshed look by diminishing the appearance of wrinkles. There are many types of chemical peels, so make sure to ask Dr. Birchenough which is best for your needs.

*Laser peels – A bit stronger than a chemical peel. This can be used to target certain areas and dark spots.

*Injectables – Botox and Juvederm. These are injected into the skin to fill places that need a little lift. Fillers are made of natural proteins that are found in the skin and injected to the deeper wrinkles.

These are just a few of the procedures that can be performed on you at Magnolia Plastic Surgery. All are non-invasive and can prevent or hold off surgery until you’re ready for a major change. Shawn recommends starting your “skin maintenance program” as early as possible and says it is helpful to mix and match procedures and products.
Join him May 9th for Spring Spectacular for a day of beauty. All patients get a free consultation with him so they can ask questions and learn what procedure is best for their individual needs. Many procedures and treatments are discounted for that day only and can be done in the office. Please call now for an appointment as private time fills quickly or visit his website, to learn more and to RSVP!
Magnolia Plastic Surgery 864-849-9330
A Kiss of Couture,
Amy R Zimmer


Juicing is Liquid Gold!


Juicing is a trend that’s been around for years, but has blown up with the recent “health food craze.”
Ever wonder why some svelte celebrities, such as Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow , look so
amazing? It’s because they have been advocates of juicing for a long time. We’re not advising that
your goal be to get down to their ultra-thin sizes but to learn about finding a healthier lifestyle for
you. One does not juice to loose weight, however, weight loss is definitely a benefit of juicing.
If you want to make the move towards a healthier lifestyle, a juice cleanse might be for you. Take it
from me , it’s been the best addition I have ever made! I’m a juicing addict now because…
● Clarity- my mind is clear and my body feels great! I’m a creative person, in case you didn’t
know, and when I on my 2nd day into a juice cleanse I have the most amazing clarity for ideas
and stay focused on my task as if I am channeling Super Woman!
● More Energy- with my busy schedule, everything helps. It’s like injecting caffeine into the
veins without making that stop thru Starbucks! Yes, when I am committed to doing a full
cleanse I eliminate coffee! First day is hard but by the second day comes with clarity.
● Reduced craving- I no longer feel the need to eat fatty or sweet foods. However, if I do have a
craving it’s a small one that normally one bite of something sweet can take care of!
● Grab & Go! I’m always on the go and it’s so much easier to just grab the bottle and hit the
● Skin Glow! Yes, your skin will literally start to change over time to reflect all the goodness
you are blessing it with. MAJOR benefit!
The point of juicing is to get rid of the toxins in your body and at the same time fill it with nothing
but goodness from Mother Nature. The benefits are endless. We live in a world packed full of
preservatives, additives, pesticides, science made food and the American “drive-thru” that our
bodies are not designed to handle. The rumor is though, that juicing will be expensive, time
consuming and to be honest, gross. When we think of drinking the juices from raw fruits and
vegetables, it doesn’t sound too appealing. I was a skeptic at first too, but once you try it, you
really won’t go back.
My mother, who is known in our circle as “Paula Deans” fierce rival because of her talented
southern cooking skills has recently taken to juicing. I invited her to a juicing seminar at
Spartanburg’s based Culinary Hub, an über cool event location (more on this below). Understand
I have been juicing for some time now and my mother always thought I was something out of a
science fiction movie because of my “strange ways”! After the seminar and introducing juicing
into her lifestyle she has stopped drinking coke, cut out using splenda, going thru drive-thru’s
and has lost a good 8-10 pds. My friends were worried our “Paula-Dean” had left the building and
we would not have any more yummy pound cakes delivered or coconut cakes on Easter but her
response was “you guys can eat it, I’m not”! So yes, a 10 pound coconut cake was sent fed-ex to
Santa Barbara when my best friend sent her request for Easter! When I asked her how to describe
how she feels after juicing for almost 2 months, her simple response is “much better”! Her goal is to decrease her medication, to loose more weight in a “healthy” way and to spread the good news to her family and friends.

I live in a small town that up until recently had no idea what a “juice bar” was. Tawana Hamby of Good
To Go Juices based out of Taylors, SC is responsible for bringing the juicing trend to Spartanburg, SC-
literally! She delivers her “liquid gold” on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s to The Culinary Hub, located at
147 East Main Street in downtown Spartanburg, SC. If you’re looking to break into a healthier routine,
don’t hesitate to go and see her. She can answer all of your questions and put together a plan that is
customized to your needs. For Spartanburg deliver you must call and place your order Monday
mornings for a Tuesday delivery or Wednesday for Thursday delivery. Make sure to order some
protein balls and tell them I sent you!
Whether you’re looking to cleanse and start over, banish bad eating habits, or feel fit in that summer
swimsuit, juicing can fit into every lifestyle. Make a change for a better you. Feeding your body is
necessary, but feeding it the right things is essential.
Good to Go Raw Juice Bar located 5000 Old Spartanburg Road, East Taylors, South Carolina

“There is no “it-bag”. The “it-bag” is the one that fits.” -ARZ

Let’s face it ladies, the “It-Bag” is a myth.  There is no one certain bag that will be perfect for everyone.  It’s impossible for everybody to like the same shape, same color and same design.  And who wants that?  I like my accessories to showcase my individuality! And unless your budget is over-flowing to allow for all the “It-Bags” you may want to read this in detail!

Though there isn’t one bag for everyone, the neutral tone is a trend that is universal.  A neutral bag isn’t based on its color, though it is a huge reason people purchase them.  The beauty of these bags is in their versatility, how they fit into your lifestyle.  A neutral bag should be able to transition into a season or a situation.  It may be a structured black bag, a metallic satchel, a basic signature Louis Vuitton signature piece, or a simple straw tote.  Any of these examples would fit with almost any outfit.  Below are some of my favorites!

This Celine has everything you need; Structure, style and the perfect neutral color.  Snakeskins are great go-tofor neutral & über chic approach


Metallics are a great way to still make a statement with your accessories while keeping with the neutral trend. Silver, gold, bronze or gunmetal are all winners!

Louis Vuitton has had the right idea from the beginning.  Their signature color is traditional, yet classic. Stay away from knock-offs!

Essential handbags to have in your closet…

  • clutch

  • structured tote

  • cross-body

  • shoulder bag

  • a hobo (if you like larger bags!)


Your bag doesn’t have to have a label to have a value!  If you can’t afford designer bags, buy good ones with great structure and quality.  I only ask that you not support the knock-off designer labels.  A handbag doesn’t have to be wildly expensive to be the perfect bag for you.  Make neutral purchases wisely, because if its good one, you’ll only need one!

A Kiss of Couture,

Amy R Zimmer

I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my Closet.

“I like my money right where I can see it, hanging in my closet.”
Carrie Bradshaw said it best. You want a to-die-for wardrobe and a designer closet to show it all
off, but having them both can get expensive. I know I would rather spend my money on clothes and
accessories, so I’ve figured out a way to have both your dream closet and the wardrobe to fill it.
Ikea is known for making clean, minimalist furniture at a great price. They build things that can be
sold as a single item to make a room pop or you can buy whole sets that fit right in. You might not be
able to pronounce the names of their pieces, but you don’t need to be able to speak Swedish to see that
their whole goal is helping to create rooms that exude beauty and quality. Now, that’s a company I can
stand behind (or a closet I could stand in!).


What do all these images have in common? Other than the fact that I want my own home to look
like this! These closets are functional and beautiful at the same time. It doesn’t take much to create this
look. All you need are a couple of simple tips…
● Stay organized – Have separate spaces for jewelry, clothing, shoes and accessories.
Ikea closets have plenty of storage space for all your special items.
● Add molding – Create a sophisticated look and clean lines by installing molding around
the edges. Go from unfinished to completely redone in a flash!
● Don’t overcrowd – A closet like this is all about displaying your fashion choices. Space
your shoes or your handbags so as to show them off.
● Go with white – White is the best color to highlight your wardrobe. Its an
understatement that goes a long way. Your clothes are colorful enough, don’t let your
design show them up.
When you’re not spending a fortune on hiring an interior designer, you have more room to add
that special wardrobe piece you’ve been longing for. Make an Ikea closet to fit your lifestyle. That way
you can have style and storage and be able to afford it too.

Couture Closets also offers closet makeovers & clean outs….it’s our White Glove service. Book your appointment today, get ready for Spring and Summer!

Kiss of Couture

Amy R. Zimmer

Statement Shades

Whats the one item #AmyAdores for spring? Chic eyewear!

With spring fast (and finally) approaching, I’m ready for some serious sun and a bold statement. What
better way to combine the two, than with a pair of bold, fashion-forward sunglasses. They instantly add
style to everyone’s face and are probably the easiest accessory to grab when glamming up an outfit.
Whether you are just running some Saturday errands, or are dressing to impress, your look isn’t
complete without a pair of “glam-glasses.”
My favorite pair lately are my Tom Ford cat-eye sunglasses and my vintage Dior “Butterfly” frame

These cat-eye frames are my new favorite because they’re a daring choice, yet sleek enough not to be
overwhelming. They create a polished and put-together look, no matter what I decide to wear.
Bonus…the “cat eye” effect offers an instant know the kind I am talking about.
I love taking a simple accessory and turning it into my own signature piece. Think of others that have
changed the way we look at sunglasses, like Iris Apfel with her big, round frames and Anna Wintour, who
wears her signature shades to all the hottest fashion shows. Besides having impeccable fashion sense,
these women have taken sunglasses from being just something we use to shade us from the sun, and
turned them into a tool for defining your style.
With so many different styles on the market, it can be overwhelming deciding which pair is right for you.
Here are a couple tips from me about how to choose this spring must-have…
● Decide what look you’re going for. Do you want your sunglasses to say classic, sporty, or
● Decide on a frame color. Black, tortoise or colorful?
● Make sure you know your face shape and what styles work best with each shape.
● What do you want your sunglasses to accomplish? Do you want everyday wear or a statement
piece, or both?
Don’t be afraid to try many pairs on, it’s important to find the right fit and what looks best on you. If you
want to make sunglasses a permanent part of your style, it never hurts to have as many pairs as
A Kiss of Couture,
Amy R Zimmer


Thanks for Sharing your picture Allison Ezell, your aviators look fabulous. LOVE Brigitte Bartley’s choice of Shades.



Deidre Merrill Waldrop has on her Go to DG shades. Thanks for Sharing.



Women are always looking for different ways to look younger; I’m no different.  In my retail store, Couture Closets, we cater every day to “enhancing” ladies of all ages through a process called… wait for it… retail therapy! We’ve done posts in the past about how jewelry can draw the eye away from the wrinkles, but I’ve got a new idea about how to lose a few years.  Botox and fillers have changed the whole “aging” process, but if you are looking for a more natural and less expensive way to look younger, I suggest spicing up your look with a new hairstyle for Spring!

I recently went in for blow out and came out with a totally different look!  I am known to get a wild hair (literally speaking) when the seasons change.  Nothing too drastic, just enough to change things up a bit for the coming season.  My hairdresser created a cross between Rachel Zoe and I Dream of Jeanie’s, Barbra Eden, so needless to say, I was a happy girl.  After posting my first pics on social media, I realized what I had done was inspire others to do the same and had totally changed my look.  Best compliments were, “you look 10 years younger!”  Ok- I’ll take that.  I’m certainly not the first to do it, (think back to when Michelle Obama cut her bangs and it went viral) and I won’t be the last.  Who knows what next season will bring!

Even if you aren’t trying to subtract the years and just want to be at your best, bangs are the way to go!  All we hear about on the subject of women’s beauty lately is, “anti-aging this or stop time with that.”  But just take a look at these women who’ve changed the game with just a simple cut.

Audrey is the classic go-to for bangs.  No one could ever tell whether she was sixteen or sixty.  I can’t think of anyone else who had such timeless beauty.

Kate Moss sets a great example of how straight-across bangs should fall on your forehead.  And ladies, take note of that ridiculously perfect cat-eye!

What works well together – long layers and side swept bangs.  A combination that goes with any age!

Reese Witherspoon.  The perfect example of hair helping you appear ageless.  Not that she has any, but if she did have laugh lines or crow’s feet, we wouldn’t even notice.  Her bangs add even more beauty to that gorgeous face.

I’m all for a woman that’s comfortable in her own skin and who displays her age with confidence!  Even if you aren’t trying to take back time, this bold hairstyle will make you feel great about yourself (just like we know you already do).  So here’s a little tip from me, from one bangs-lover to the next…

Bangs = The New Botox!

Kiss of Couture

Amy R Zimmer

Starbucks is the new accessory!

“I’ll have a grande half decaf soy latte.”
Everyone knows what I’m talking about; ordering at Starbucks. And everyone has their own
specific drink order that they can rattle off in three seconds flat. My favorite drink may not have a
name as long as others, but I consider it a personal signature!

My husband and I were having a conversation the other day and he said to me that “Starbucks
created the coffee culture that America was missing.” And thinking about it, he’s exactly right!
Starbucks has created it’s own culture and filled a huge gap that was missing in ours. Nowadays, you can’t walk two blocks without seeing that famous green and white sign and
everywhere there are photos of celebrities either walking into a Starbucks location or drinking
from one of their signature cups.
It got me thinking…

  • Starbucks is the new accessory!

Like pampering yourself with a manicure or trying out a new hair style, splurging on your daily cup
of coffee can be something that makes you feel good about yourself. Most women, myself included,
don’t feel complete without making their morning Starbucks run. I know for me, having that cup is
a routine and, now that I think about it, a trendy accessory.
Like I said earlier, Starbucks is everywhere. Here are some places where it’s mandatory to bring
your signature drink and even possible to use it as your own accessory…

* The gym – Nothing wakes you up more than a morning workout, but you need a little something on the way there to get you going!

*The office – Everyone needs a little caffeine to keep them alert during their busy day. And since business settings are often “less is more,” this is the only ornament you’ll need.

* A lunch date – Oops! Forgot your favorite sunglasses? It’s alright, as long as you have your
favorite blend, you won’t feel like you’re missing anything!

* A meeting – Bringing Starbucks to a meeting has become a way to say that you’re ready to
work, but able to still look stylish while doing it. (Plus you’ll get major points for bringing
along some for your coworkers!)
It might be silly to think that something as simple as coffee can be a status symbol, but it is.
Starbucks has become so much more than a café… it’s become a fashion trend. Just look at the fact
that the company is now sponsoring my idol, Rachel Zoe!
So the next time you order that tall, white chocolate mocha with an extra shot, just know that you’re
silently saying, “I’m here, I’m in charge,  and I’m stylish.” What woman doesn’t want that?

A Kiss of Couture,

Amy R Zimmer

Escape. Engage. Explore

Escape. Engage. Explore

It might come as a surprise to you that spring break is right around the corner.  With how hectic the fall season has been, I for one have been looking forward to spring for weeks now.  Warmer weather and a little time for relaxation are on the menu.  Though Spring Break is only a short respite from your busy schedule, a week is plenty of time to rest and re-focus yourself.  If you’re like me, I’m thinking the Caribbean is on the way out.  Palm trees and white, sandy beaches are great, but why not do a little something for yourself this year?

I’ve been thinking of something more invigorating;a place to cleanse the mind and rejuvenate the body. How about spending your mini-vacation at Hotel Domestique?Vacations are for taking care of yourself and Hotel Domestique caters to that “ultimate experience.”  Set in the peaceful atmosphere of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it has everything to offer for both the person needing blissful relaxation,and the adventure-lover in you.

Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina hasn’t yet been listed as one of the top travel destinations for 2014, but I’m thinking that staying at this gorgeous, European-style hotel will change everyone’s minds.  Enjoy long bike rides, both “leisurely and intense.”  Walk through vineyards so picturesque, you will think you’re in the French countryside.  Experience the finest dining and highest quality service at Hotel Domestique’s own Restaurant 17.  Feel the need to explore? The hotel is centrally located so that you’ll have an easy drive to take in the scenery on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or travel to Greenville or Asheville, NC to enjoy a day outing.  Don’t have time for a romantic trip for two and want to bring the family along?  Sure!  Hotel Domestique has everything even the kids could want, including an unbelievable pool (That’s all it takes to make them happy anyway!)

It’s easy to see that Hotel Domestique offers just about everything one could want in the way of comfort, style and inspiration for a truly magical vacation.  So have a getaway… in a place that’s not so far away!

A Kiss of Couture

Amy R Zimmer