Thursday, December 30, 2010

A poem by Pablo Neruda to help bring in the New Year

Why do I find Pablo Neruda infinitely sexy? He really isn't. Perhaps it is the Spanish language I love so much. Spanish is so fiery to me.

Here is a poem, dedicated to my husband, by Mr. Neruda in both English and Spanish. Enjoy!


Facing you
I am not jealous.

Come with a man
at your back,
come with a hundred men in your hair,
come with a thousand men between your bosom
 and at your feet,
come like a river
filled with drowned men
that meets the furious sea,
the eternal foam, the weather.

Bring them all
where I wait for you:
we shall always be alone,
we shall always be, you and I,
alone upon the earth
to begin life.


Antes de ti
no tengo celos.

Ven con un hombre
a la espalda,
ven con cien hombres en tu cabellera,
ven con mil hombres entre tu pecho y tus
ven como un río
lleno de ahogados
que encuentra el mar furioso,
la espuma eterna, el tiempo.

Tráelos todos
adonde yo te espero:
siempre estaremos solos,
siempre estaremos tú y yo
solo sobre la tierra
para comenzar la vida.

Do you have a writer whose words make you fall in love?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


What does it mean to you? How do you act spontaneous?

Are you attracted to spontaneity or does the thought of doing something unplanned make you break out in hives?

To some, spontaneity means hitting up a different bodega for their morning coffee. If you are like me, much to my husband's dismay, spontaneity means traveling to a foreign country without a schedule and seeing what happens.

Here are some spontaneous acts/things that I love:

1. Photo booths!

2. Spontaneous dance parties! They are very common in my family, very! In fact, it was my husbands first time spending the holidays with my kin and he experienced the dance party of a lifetime. I, of course, was at the center of the action. Love love love it.

3. Spontaneous affection! As Stevie Wonder put it, "I just called to say, I love you. I just called to say how much I care. I just called to say I love you and I mean it from the bottom of my heart."

4. Spontaneous laughter! I've been known to laugh at my desk for no apparent reason. Something funny pops into my head and I can't control myself. It annoys the people around me.

5. Spontaneous adventures - My dear friend M is known for these, she always has a good idea for something crazy to do in the New York area and it usually involves martinis.

6.  Spontaneous acts of kindness!  Marcus Aurelius said, "Execute every act of life as thought it were thy last." This quote has many different meanings, so apply it as you like. For me, it is a good reminder that time is not infinite and to act with kindness whenever you can. If you need ideas, check out the 35 Little Acts of Kindness by Oprah. Later I will write the 35 Little Acts of Kindness that can be done by New Yorkers. Stay tuned for that!

7. Spontaneous purchases - enough said.

8. Spontaneous opportunities for learning? If you live in a city, like New York, you have plenty of opportunities for unexpected learning. On any given day you can walk in, right off the street, to a book reading, a lecture, a wine-tasting, anything. It's brilliant. Whenever you are in a big city you should stay alert and look for opportunities for learning. You never know what fun activity is lurking around the corner, like this or this.

9. Spontaneous cocktail parties! Invite over a few friends, turn up the music, and shake up some cocktails.

10. Spontaneous new friendships. This one is truly my favorite.  Have you ever sat down at a dinner party and instantly knew that you would be great friends with the person next to you? After a few "me too(s)" it is pretty much confirmed that you will be lifelong buds.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season, I know I am. I spent last weekend with my family and my husband. It was a wonderful snow covered weekend with lots of love.

(Photo by a WNY photo booth)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent calendar: Days 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22

I never thought that making 24 days worth of wishes would be this hard! I love to shop, don't get me wrong, but I'm realizing more and more that I have everything I want/need.

Did I fall in love with a beautiful Celine handbag this weekend at bergdorfs? ...Yes! ...but do I need it? Probably not! The gifts I most appreciate come from the heart (truly) and don't require deep pockets. They are usually from my Sister, Brother or Husband.

Last year, my Brother bought we a beautiful camel-colored throw because, as he put it " You are always cold." In the same year, my lovely husband bought me a beautiful leather-bound journal where we can write posts to each other. It was super romantic!

So? What more could a girl ask for?
A copy of this by Ksubi:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Excess, upon occasion can be exhilarating, because it prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit."

- Somerset Maugham

Anna would agree and so would Zsa Zsa!

Zsa Zsa's version of that would be: Excess at every occasion is exhilarating and necessary, because it prevents a lackluster life.

Tuesday morning wisdom

During a recent jaunt at a wine bar my friend told me something that her father used to say. And, on this fine morning (tons of decorative sun here in NYC) I can't stop thinking about it. He says that in life there are three types of people:

People who make it happen.

People who watch it happen.


People who wonder what the heck happened!

Of course this got me thinking, which one am I? Do I sit and watch as life passes me by? On days that I feel critical of myself I would say that I watch "it" happen, but reality is that I make "it" happen (usually).

The best way to ensure that you are a person who makes "it" happen is by being fearless, decisive, open, and not afraid to fail. I also find that surrounding myself with "makers" helps.

So tell do you make "it" happen? Who are the makers in your life that you most admire?

Monday, December 20, 2010

I hated Hollywood. It's a town without pity. Only success counts. I know of no other place in the world where so many people suffer from nervous breakdowns, where there are so many alcoholics, neurotics, and so much unhappiness.

- Grace Kelly

I wonder what Madam Kelly thought about New York City. Hmmmm. New York is a magical place to live, but it definitely attracts people with a competitive streak. For some, here in New York, only success counts as well.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Theophilus London sings Humdrum Town

Theophilus you are the epitome of cool.  

Humdrum Town is my Saturday morning theme song this week. It's a great song. I hope you all enjoy it. 

Here are some of the stunning lyrics (just a snippet):

To be near you just feels right
Through mountains and valley hikes
I brought the flowers to the picnic the 
linen is eggshell white
And they say
Darkness falls I miss you more
Two missed calls can't take no more

Save the date: Diane von Furstenburg at the 92Y

Happy weekend lovelies! Here is another amazing event that I'd like to share with you. As a part of the Captains of Industry Series, DVF is to lecture at the 92Y. DVF is definitely a timeless diva, so I will definitely be present at this event.  This event will be moderated by Norman Pearlstine. 

Thursday, January 13th, 8:15 PM, $29. Click here for tickets. 

Diane von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her iconic wrap dress, coming to symbolize female power and freedom. In 1997, after a hiatus from fashion, Diane reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the re-launch of the dress that had started it all and began building her company into a global luxury lifestyle brand. Today, the DVF collection includes ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, accessories, eyewear, swim, DVF by H. Stern fine jewelry and watches, rugs and luggage. In 2005, Diane was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and was later elected the CFDA's new president, an office she continues to hold.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent calendar Days 16 and 17

The countdown is almost complete. The final days are upon us.  Where has the time gone?

Here are days 16 and 17 of my wishlist.

Anything from the Fabulous Ranjana Khan's collection.

Ranjana is Naeem Khan's wife, they got together 30-years ago after Ranjana escaped an arranged marriage. 30 years! Very romantic.

54 years old and totally stunning! Timeless diva alert. Truth is I want to emulate her even more so than I want to wear her jewelry.  Click here to read more about the artist.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top TIPS from Harper's Bazaar

I'm loving these Top TIPS from Harper's Bazaar! Most of these things are intuitive like don't consume aspartame (it's poison - duh) or drink water to think more clearly. But...did you know that a shower can help a bad mood! How easy (and comforting) is that! Apparently the negative ions, that are concentrated around flowing water, help to boost energy and your mood. A-mazing!

Who is in for an uplifting sprinkling?

Work BFF's and other discoveries

Last night, at the Katharine Sise reading, I had the pleasure of meeting a dynamic duo of work BFF's. They were great! It reminded me of my work BFF who recently bought a one-way ticket to newjobville. I am in an absolute tizzy about her upcoming departure. How will I ever cope without her? What will my humdrum office be like without her? WWZZD?

For most of us, a work BFF helps to make the day run a little bit smoother by providing a daily dose of distraction. My work BFF takes me for coffee and mid-day shopping adventures, she also provides a ton of fodder for laughter. I love her.

In talking to the dynamic duo I made another very important discovery: many women in creative fields supplement their incomes with day jobs! For example, if you're a musician you might be a music teacher during the day. How perfect is that? You get to practice what you love and make money doing it. Kudos to them.
Also, loving Sophie van der Perre's photos - I just discovered her work! So young and hip.

(Photos by Sophie van der Perre)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mer des amis

Important news: I'm going to be a successful fashion designer! I dream about this almost daily! Apparently so does my darling Kate.

If it "came" to Kate in a dream it's bound to come true (Channeling Goethe right now, dream it, begin it, check!).

Here is a correspondence between me and one of my longest standing friends:

me: I miss you! I loved spending time with you in Guatemala!
Kate: Awwww, ditto.
me: It was really awesome.
Kate: It was, wasn't it?
Kate: OMG! I almost forgot! I had a dream after I got back that you were having a fashion show of your designs. You had me model in it and I hated you for it, because everyone else was skinny.
me: Haha! I love that dream. It means I will become a successful designer someday.
Kate: I kept saying, "No, I'm a size 12. It doesn't make sense!" LOL
me: That's funny and very much something I would do. (Note: Kate is one of my most beautiful friends and would certainly be featured in my fashion show.)

In my lifetime, I have had the pleasure of having hundreds of friends. Male friends, female friends, related friends, best friends, party friends, yoga friends, shopping friends, ex-pat friends, funny friends, diva friends, travel friends, and now blog friends.

I've learned that there isn't a relationship more rewarding than female friendship. Female friends empower and encourage each other, help each other bring visions to fruition, and support each other when they are feeling blue.  They also keep you on your toes by being their fabulous driven selves.
Thanks for the vision Kate! 

 (Photo titled: Mer des amis, taken by a friend in Rincon)

Advent calendar: Day 14 and 15

Advent calendar day 14, wish 14: a flowing leather skirt like this one:

Perhaps I'll sew one myself!

Advent calendar day 15, wish 15: a gorgeous jumper like this one:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent calendar: Day 13

Naeem Khan

Advent calendar: Days 11 and 12

Day 11, wish 11: 3.1 Phillip Lim Printed Lace Silk Bralette. On sale here.

Day 12, wish 12: 3.1 Phillip Lim Printed Lace Silk Tap Brief. On sale here.

"To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."

- Bruce Lee

Monday, December 13, 2010

I didn't sign up for THIS.

And other things you might say to yourself during your twenties.

1. Who am I?
2. My bum looks great in these pants!
3. I don't know what I want, but I know it's not this.
4. I'll take IT!  (And other unapologetic exclamations whilst shopping)
5. What is my passion?
6. What do I want to be when I grow up? (I'll let you know when I figure it out.)
7. You want me to send a FAX ? But wait, I have a master's degree in English literature!
8. I wish I hadn't drank so much last night!
9. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. (It doesn't have to be!)
10. Mom will know what to do. 
11. Is this it? Am I doing enough with my life?
12. What is her deal! (And other comments on overly competitive Women.)
13. Where's my Vogue?  
14. Do I choose stability or excitement?
15. How do I decorate such a small space?
16. I'd love to see him again. I'd love to see HER again, she is so talented, smart, funny, and successful.
17. What do I want? How do I get what I want?
18. What is a 401k?
19. Who am I?
20. Should I marry him now? See here.
21. That was my promotion, why did he get it?
22. I'm exactly where I set off to be, so why don't I feel happy?
23. I love my roommate(s)/flatmate/boarder/hoarder.
24. Where have all the good cowboys gone?
25. I keep pursuing what I think I want for a profession, then change my mind and start over. Something has got to give! DID syndrome can happen to us all. And can be treated with the right support and proper planning.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the week!

Oh how I love Saturday mornings!

Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma is the perfect Saturday morning theme song. At least for me it is! It's making my heart sing.

(Photo by my one and only)

Friday, December 10, 2010

I absolutely love...


I bet you didn't expect me to say that!  You probably thought I was going to say that I love the Asos White Collection. Well I love the (very sleek) white collection too! The British-based company, Asos, is offering free shipping worldwide (everywhere - for a limited time only) on their reasonably-priced pieces (and many items are on sale!!). Back to why I love children...

They are pure at heart and totally open. Adult minds are cluttered with biases. Children are open to new concepts and, most importantly, to people who are different from them.

Today I had the opportunity to teach classes in the Bronx to a group of underprivileged kids. The rambunctious group was better than any powerful, youth-infusing cream at making me feel young again. Forget La Mer  - I'll take the power of fourth and fifth graders any day.

One little girl asked the most profound question. I'd like you to picture this first: everyone else was being silly and laughing, when she quietly raised her hand to ask us this: "Do you like your jobs?" I was floored! Was she a mind reader?! I didn't even know what to say (I'm a DID after all!), so I said, "That is a very good question, thank you for taking interest in us. Our jobs are very challenging at times, but they are rewarding because we get opportunities to meet with amazing children like you."

So I stretched the truth. For all intents and purposes, I dislike my job and am working towards finding a new career, but at that moment when she asked the question I meant what I said. My company is amazing in that it allowed me the opportunity to take time out of my workday to volunteer. They encourage philanthropy and community service. Even this DID can find the positive in what she finds to be rather humdrum. I'm proud of me and hopeful.

Current feeling: Inspired. Thanks teachers of P.S. ___ you are warriors.

Happy weekend everyone!

"I'm not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."

- Carl Jung

Advent calendar: Day 10

No words.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vintage me!

Dress by Pronovias.
(Photos by Christina Craft at FunkyTown Photography)

Advent calendar: Day 9

Advent calendar, day 9, wish 9 (10...11...). Dear readers, it's official, I'm in love...with the latest Celine handbags. Subtle, classic, and edgy!


 So timeless. So me! Celine call me.

The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it.

- Diana Vreeland (via rememo)

Save the date: Katharine Sise at Castor & Pollux

December 15, 6-8
Katharine Sise Trunk Show/ Book Reading

Katharine Sise is a jewelry designer and recent author of: Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career. Katharine will present her Castor & Pollux collection, while she reads inspirational excerpts, from her book, on how to convert your creative dreams into a real life career.

When I met Katharine at the Lesley M.M. Blume reading, she struck me as funny, smart, motivated, and high energy (this is an understatement)! She is a rock star and an inspiration to this DID.

Her book provides a pragmatic approach to a creative-career change, I couldn't put it down. She forced me to face tough questions like: What are my natural abilities? What sacrifices am I willing to make for a fulfilling career? What's holding me back from leaving my day job? 

For me, Creative Girl was a truly eyeopening read! I realized that F-E-A-R is holding me back from setting up my own business or starting in a creative field. Damn - how on earth do I overcome the F-word?

So tell me - how do you overcome fear? Plunge into the unknown face first? Eyes closed? Eyes wide open?Staring straight at the potential consequences?

This DID needs a push.   

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent calendar: Day 8

Day 8, wish 8: Dannijo Finley silver-plated earrings. On sale here at net-a-porter. Perfect for everyday wear or for that added touch to an outfit. I like the contrast between the rose alabaster Swarovski crystals and silver-chain embellishments.  

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

25 things every woman should know

1. How to plan a trip and enjoy it -  alone.
2. That your dream job is...? You need to know! So that you can avoid the DID trenches.
3. Your exit line (i.e. last words) for every situation. Every woman needs a proper exit.
4. How to embrace your own vanities. Pride in your own abilities and achievements is nothing to hide.
5. That it's important to enjoy life and not worry about being perfect. Tick tick goes the clock.
6. That love like that of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov exists. She was his muse, editor, and devoted wife.
7. Whether or not you enjoy children.
8. What book you would hide and covet in a Fahrenheit 451 situation.
9. That life holds only one guarantee: NOW.
10. How to make one good cake.
11. How to age gracefully. And not to forget to thank your Mom for the good genes. Thanks Mom!
12. Your fashion muse. Mine is Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. Althought I'm not sure that Carolyn would wear this
13. This line from Breakfast at Tiffany's: "You could always tell what kind of person a mans thinks you are by the earrings he gives you."
14. That you should not indulge in jealousy.
15. What colors most flatter your skin tone. If you are anything like my sister, you can wear many splendid colors.
16. How to balance a checkbook, contribute to a 401K, and save for a rainy day.
17. That your self worth is not based on who likes you. Rather, it's based on whether or not you like yourself.
18. How to connect with your inner self, while remembering which side is most flattering for photos.
19. How to drive a manual- transmission vehicle. Why? For that driving trip through the alps.Trust me, if your man is anything like my city bloke, he won't know how!
20. The name of at least one fallback author for uninspired bouts at the bookstore or international departures terminal. Try Milan Kundera or Haruki Murakami.
21. To please your lover.
22. What you would do with a jackpot. Everyone needs a contingency plan. I've already won the jackpot.
23. How to enjoy the opera.
24. About Yale University's open lecture series on youtube. There is an entire lot on modern-American Novels. Amazing! And perfect for a confused Diva like me - who often needs a daytime distraction.
25. How to say yes! Yes to life, love, and flattering pants.

So tell me - what is your exit line? Who is your fashion muse? Your

Advent calendar: Day 7

Day 7, wish 7: Derek Lam Fox Fur Vest with Knit Trim. One sale here. It's stunning. It's fox. And, much to my dismay, they have my size!

This dear friends, is by far my favorite advent calendar wish and the most expensive! It's a cruel cruel world. I'm being melodramatic - I know, but I love this!  Or maybe I need a fashion shower? Impossible! I had one this morning! I wore Emanuel Ungaro booties to the office today - I feel great.

So, tell me, did you have a fashion shower this morning?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent calendar: Days 5 and 6

I'm a day behind on my advent calendar. So today you get two items from my wishlist. Happy Monday!

Day 5, wish 5: Castor & Pollux's Maggie Thick Bracelet. Mrs. Pollux describes this 100% brass piece as an instant heirloom. She told me that, "This is a piece that only gets better with age."

Day 6, wish 6: A photo portrait from the late Richard Avedon's collection, like the one shown here of Brigitte Bardot. Wouldn't this look perfect in a modern California home? 

Or better yet! What about a first edition of Observations with photographs by Richard Avedon and comments by Truman Capote. Talk about iconic!

Ten ways to keep your bum nice and chubby this winter season

There is no denying that the cold-winter weather is upon us. There is a chance of flurries today in NYC!  Rather than suggest you get cozy with blankets and cashmere socks, I thought I would suggest ways to fatten up your bum for some extra warmth and cushioning. These are the very same tactics I use, so they are guaranteed!

1. Eat Nutella out of the jar at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At least two generous spoonfuls at a time. 

2. Consider cheese a major food group. I never leave the market without my weekly servings of gruyere, cheddar, and manchego - I need them.

3. Red, red, wine. A lovely glass of cabernet on a cool winter's evening will not only keep you warm, but it will prompt you to feel a bit hazy and lazy, so you won't move. Little movement equals some extra cushion.

4. Sit and K-I-S-S a lover, love interest, or old flame. I plan to spend extra time this winter snuggling up with my new hubby and K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Sure they say kissing burns calories, but sitting on your bum next to a fireplace does not!

5. Hot chocolate from the chocolate bar. Full of delicious calories and warm to boot. No need to run laps around the west village to get warmed up.

6. Après ski with a serious bang: mulled wine, biscuits, and aperitifs galore.

7. Take a trip to Iceland and spend time in the Geysir hot springs. Icelandic people are known for being extremely happy and content - oh and did I mention very attractive. How about some people watching after your hot springs trip?

8. Eat yummy ramen at places like ippudo or rai rai ken then schedule a nap for afterwards. These long luxurious pleasures take zero effort!

9. Invite your friends for a foreign film night and watch L'avventura. A friend so kindly told me that I remind him of the main character, Anna. Pair foreign film night with Italian cuisine and Italian wine.

10. Spend time enjoying the innocence of full days in pajamas and feel like a kid again. Cozy silk or cashmere pajamas will help ensure you feel luxurious and will skip movement all together. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent calendar: Day 4

Day 4, wish 4: 18 karat Verdura gold curb-link necklace.  A classic! Italian founder Fulco Santostefano della Cerda's iconic piece can be worn everyday at the office or dressed for a night on the town.  

Gold is so expensive these days that I've been thinking about designing a line of attainable good-quality-gold jewelry. I'm thinking classic gold bangles and other similar designs.  

Would you guys wear vermeil? 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent calendar: Day 3

Advent calendar, day 3, wish 3: a copy of Just Kids by Patti Smith. Patti Smith was the original hipster (once called bohemians), she defines an era and remains undeniably chic.

Just Kids is Smith's memoir of her friendship with, her once lover, Robert Mapplethorpe - the famous photographer and fellow bohemian. They made a pact to keep each other afloat until they found their voices -- or until the world was ready to hear them. It was the 60's in NYC and Smith was to become a famous rockstar before Mapplethorpe reached fame. 

I had the opportunity to meet Patti Smith, last year, when she did a reading at the Robert Miller Gallery.  Cool huh?

Judy Kaufmann

Barcelona-based artist Judy Kaufmann created these adorable illustrations. I just bought the Frida Khalo print for my Mom for Christmas.  I hope she likes it. I have bad luck buying art for my Mom. Last summer, I brought her back a Joan Miró print from Barcelona, that I think resides in my brothers room or the spare bathroom. In response to Frida's-grey printed question below - you need feet so you can buy beauties like these!

This one reminds me of me and my sister:

A big thanks to Katie Armour for the tip.

Here are a few pictures from Barcelona for you viewing pleasure:

p.s. I sprained my ankle earlier on this trip when we were in France, but nothing was going to stop me from seeing beautiful Barcelona! I limped around with vigor!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NASA finds new life

"The definition of life has just expanded."

NASA has discovered a new life form - called GFAJ-1- that doesn't share the biological makeup of anything currently living in planet earth. It uses arsenic to build its DNA, RNA, proteins, and cell membranes.

Click here to read more on the insanely groundbreaking discovery.

In other news, NASA tweets: "NASA tweeted that this discovery "will change how we search for life elsewhere in the universe."