photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Now 3 months post perfect-brilliant-smiley-adorable second baby boy birth, and my body remains a foreign cocoon…sloping my shoulders and stretching my clothes while awaiting metamorphosis.

Any optimism in reach comes from the wonderful family created and completed, and the fact that a year ago today I was in ideally toned shape.

 Certainly, this body of yore is re-attainable?

And the energy level?

I’m practicing the appreciation of my imperfection, reveling in the spectacular growth of my children and praising the steadfast graciousness of my husband.

Even under the sometimes pressing burden of constantly care-giving (and not always being considered), I am elevated to understanding more of life and achieving more of my ultimate goal

…to help foster love, compassion, honesty

and diligence in a sometimes chaotic world!

And this little familial social experiment is thriving

and rising to the challenge thus far.

Reclaiming Valentine’s Day

February 1, 2011

The name “Valentine”, derived from valens(worthy, strong, powerful), was popular in Late Antiquity. – Wikepedia

Turns out…there is no specified reason for the February 14th celebration of LOVE…or it’s namesake.  It is a feast day of at least one of the Sainted “Valentine’s” of Rome…but a more relevant reason to rejoice seems to be the very definition of the root of the word.  Worthy…Strong…Powerful.  Words that also describe love!

My philosophy?

Who needs a well defined reason for celebrating something good?  Love is good…Saints are good.  But, let’s be honest…Love is much more marketable and universally understood in some fashion or another!  I’m kind of astonished that there is only one holiday for ALL the ways to love and be loved!  But…even for our commercial society…I guess that would be going overboard.  So, we manage to combine romance, dedication, consideration and the loving bonds of family and friendship into one highlighted calendar date …and hopefully 364 more days of expressing those emotions.

 

So why not share treats with your sweeties…

 

Relish your bond with your partner…

 

Me relishing my husband!

 

Breathe in the fragrance of gifted flowers…

photo by Michael Filonow

 

And remind your mind and body that Love is the most powerfully positive force in our daily lives?

No secret…it’s been a long time since I’ve written.

With the best intentions of writing a weekly blog, I soon realized that with work and family…I need to limit my expectations. Writing doesn’t have to be weekly to be worthwhile.  As much as I’ve enjoyed my momentary musings through this blog, it became the last priority on a growing list.

With long absences come long stories!  But, I can condense.

Since I last posted, I booked a Broadway Show…then found out I’m expecting my second child!  So, Broadway took a back burner, and focus is on baby and family.  Settling in to our great expectations, and with our son about to start kindergarten…we were blasted with a crazy strain of pneumonia that landed my 5 year old in the hospital for a couple days…then got passed to me.  Series of sleepless nights, serious morning/all-day sickness, and antibiotics, and negative physical reactions and several missed first days of school later…we are in recovery!

And NOW…

here is a posting.

ex·pec·ta·tion n.

expectations Prospects, especially of success or gain.

Whether or not we admit it, we all have expectations regarding the results of our actions.  I think we all know that if we work hard, and pursue a goal with our best efforts, we will achieve  a number of these goals.  For a lot of us, success is found in the prioritizing of our expectations and the realization that many of them will not be met.  Will we dig in and try again?  Or, will we drop one responsibility to enhance the others?  Tough questions that we need to keep asking to keep our lives on productive and positive paths

to stay healthy,

 

close,

 

compassionate,

 

vibrant,

peaceful

…and well on track to the destination of our dreams…

or maybe just our brightest reality.

Fashion in Motion

July 18, 2010

photo courtesy of http://www.dancesite.com

I don’t dare title myself a “Dancer” by any professional standard.

But…I am professionally at home on stage and in motion. Being frequently surrounded by fantastic dancers, I get to immerse myself in their talents and become part of THE DANCE. It amazes me that their bodies can reach incredible heights of power in action and inspire even greater heights of emotion.

photo of Royal Swedish Opera dancers

Gathering images of dancers,

photo courtesy of http://www.dance.net

and the people who emulate them,

I feel like grabbing their garb

photo courtesy of http://www.shopbop.com

…and living life spinning on pointe!

photo of dancer Nastia Liukin for a Max Azria campaign

In jeans, sweats, lycra or chiffon…

I see whirling visions of stylish expression!

Despite our limitations, we move to live.

We walk.

photo of dancer Sara Mearns by Sarah Silver

We sway.

dancer Kathryn Morgan as Juliet

We reach.

And, if we BREATHE

…We DANCE!

A Jewel in the Crown

July 12, 2010


India has long been known as the Jewel in the Crown.

More recently, it has captured the hearts of masses of Westerners.

The vibrant majesty of the culture has long awakened my senses

photo courtesy of http://www.tradeindia.com

…and set me to dreaming

…of saturated color,

…limitless expression,

…unabashed adornment,

photo courtesy of http://www.rajeshgems.com

…intricate filigree,

…gilded opulence,

…and venerated antiquity.

photo of Hindu god Shiva courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art

I have long imagined myself an Indian Princess, misplaced by time and continents.  Beneath imagination there is possibility!  The dazzling influence of the Earth’s cultural gems allow us to synthesize the exotic stuff of our reveries

…with the often bated patterns of daily life.



Go Granny

July 3, 2010

With images of cardigans, doilies, crochet, pearls, caps and furs swirling in my head…

photo courtesy of Country Living

I thought that I’d coined a fabulous new phrase…”Granny Chic!!!!”  Then I searched the words to see what kind of images would surface…and I realized that my phrase is widely popularized in defining one of the hottest new trends in home decor

…and fashion.

And why wouldn’t it be?

It’s a way of looking at our lives today,

…and the lives of the people we love who lived before us.

It’s seemingly synonymous with “vintage,” but the difference lies in the juxtaposition of old and new.

photo courtesy of http://www.antique-arts.com

Remember, our Grannies hit their height of style in days past, then grew older hanging on to the things they liked while incorporating the progressive elements of trends that they could subscribe to.

To make it chic, we live in The Now, and incorporate treasuries of style passed down to us by the history of the people we love.

Whether Whippersnapper

…or Aged and Dapper

…if you live in the present with a love for the past, you can ponder your own inner Granny Chic

photo courtesy of Country Living

…and define it however you like.

Summer and Strand

June 25, 2010

Summer is here.

So is mass-hyst-HAIR-ia!

Along with the sun and the swim and the salt and the sweetness of summer come variant obstacles to p-HAIR-adise! I’m going to stop doing that now….putting HAIR into words. But I shall put solutions into words…and pictures!

For every follicular foe…

there is an ally!

One of the first and the best is to embrace and control the natural change in your mane!

Besides the gorgeous natural effect of a day on the shore, there are amazing products that reduce frizz and set hair’s natural movement. There are even crafty ways to make your own products! Check out some Salt Spray recipes on ehow.com that get you that natural beachy hair anywhere! If you’re not into even minimal manual labor, Bumble and Bumble makes Surf Spray for the same effect.

As a girl with fine, frizzy and unevenly wavy locks, I adore a couple of John Frieda products. MANE-ly (oh gosh…sorry) his Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation. I know it says “straight”…and upon styling with a flat iron it lives up to it’s title, but I find that if I use velcro rollers or put in pin curls or even air dry, it smoothes the strands in their intended form. I also love to finish any styling with Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hairspray. I’ts especially great with any formal styling or ponytails, chignons and up-do’s. For a more intense frizzless wave, I love to spritz my hair generously with Garnier Fructis Wonder Waves Wave-Enhancing spray, then scrunch and blow dry with a diffuser. That brought out my curviest wave!

I personally have consistently…inconsistent…and often unruly strands, so I’ve devised many methods to tame the mangy mess with virtually no effort.

Pull back a ponytail!

Simply teasing the root and securing a pony at the base of the crown, about an inch and a half up from the bottom of the hairline, creates the ultimate low maintenance look. I like to defrizz by lightly straightening or curling the tail of this do. If you have bangs, they are best silky and straight. For my more flamboyant females, there are ways to stylize and personalize with a headband, flower, brooch or extra ties.

Headbands are my personal favorite!

I usually wear a scarf or band with my long hair lightly teased at the root and tied back in a low ponytail or bunch. For an instant fix that goes with anything, try a $10 versatile braided headband from Sephora.

In fact, braids are another easy fix for free spirited strands!


I like to start one at my natural part then wrap fully or partially at the crown. Encircling tresses with a french braid adds more polish to the pouf.

With a little more time and a little more stress on your tresses, you can properly prep and straighten with a good ceramic hair iron. Proper time and technique ensure slick and smooth style that can stand up to the heat and humidity…unless you plan on serious sweating…or swimming.

So, pony up!

Coax the curl, wrap your cap, play with braids or move to smooth your coif…

and crown your summer with style!

Hot Shades

May 17, 2010

Shade n.

1. Light diminished in intensity as a result of the interception of the rays; partial darkness.
2. An area or a space of partial darkness.
3. Cover or shelter provided by interception by an object of the sun or its rays.

If eyes are windows to the soul

…then sunglasses are Bada$$ tinted windows

to the intriguing inner workings of a mysterious personal vehicle.

photo courtesy of mybabyphotos.net

They are the style equivalent of cool.

photo courtesy of ericsmithrocks.com...and he does seem to rock

I have always felt infinitely more powerful…and secure…in a hot pair of shades. Behind dark glasses you can watch the world watching you and disappear behind the protection of not having to react.

And, there is, of course, the super smooth moment of the reveal…when the reflective camouflage is peeled away, and the soul is gloriously unveiled.

Watch all extraneous social expectations and the stress of unwanted obligatory responses melt away.

jamie-chung-horacio-salinas sunglasses

Peer through partial darkness

…at the diminished intensity of life’s glare,

…and mellow.

Multipurpose…Monochrome

April 30, 2010

Choosing colors to live with and live in is overwhelming…

photo courtesy of http://www.annesage.com

and the notion that things have to “match” is limiting.

Look to Nature.

photo courtesy of http://www.oregonlive.com

Greens and blues can go together!

Orange and red often join beautifully!

Take a look at two versions of the same color, like a blue and a blue-green, and in proper scale they meld like sugar and spice.  Mute one to enhance the other and throw in a white or neutral to keep your bolder choices front and center.

Sometimes a room, tablescape or outfit decked in soothing neutrals

can create the most balanced environment and mood.

Start with a color that makes you feel

photo courtesy of http://www.oprah.com

….calm and comfortable…

photo courtesy of http://www.eluckyme.com

…expressive and creative…

…or happy and energized…

…and open your eyes to one color

photo courtesy of http://www.fusionbeads.com

…and it’s variety of hues.

The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color of that which illuminates it”

-Leonardo daVinci

Herbophilia

April 25, 2010

The Urban Dictionary defines an HERBOPHILE as…

“A person who is sexually attracted to flora of all sorts
this includes plants, ferns, trees and flowering plants”

That’s ridiculous.

I just wanted to find a sweet title that would describe my adoration of herbs as Nature’s gift to epicureans.  (And certainly we must not confuse ‘herbophile’ with ‘hebophile’ …which is infinitely wrong and has no place in my blog.)

Back to herbs

…and fun places to find them.

My son, Parker, and I spent a sunny and cool Thursday morning at Stone Barns in Westchester County New York and stayed through the early afternoon.

Stone Barns

Thanks to two of our closest friends, Vonnie and her son MacArthur, we took a short car ride 30 minutes north of the city to the fresh air and open landscapes of this working farm and educational center.  The central stone building is also home to the Blue Hill Cafe and the prestigious Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant, famous for their use of the the farm’s freshest seasonal herbs and other market wares.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns herbal tea cart

I drank iced coffee and tasted scones with cheese and chives, and a fluffy frittata full of fresh herbs and vegetables.

Blue Hill Cafe's frittata

We walked through a quaint outdoor garden with apple trees and fragrant mint and thyme, and we were encouraged to rub the leaves and wander with the heady fresh scent lingering on our fingers.

Parker and Mac next to some mint at Stone Barns

To me, the aromatic essence of fresh herbs synthesize energy and calm

…history and presence

…flavor and fragrance

…beauty and rusticity

…earth and air

…and somehow provide a refreshing perspective

…on life.



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