So what, you’re still a rock star
“You’ll wake up one day, but it will be too late.”
I love you.
Equal parts complex and simple, they can be served empty or full.
Some fill them with passion, which leave aching lips with a fiery tingle.
Others sincerity, which always tastes sweet.
They leave us gasping when stuck in the fearful purgatory that lies between heart and throat,
and cause us to choke when laced with desperation.
Some dip them in hope, coloring them with their ideals,
While others drop them in hopelessness, watching them disintegrate in their tears.
Most serve them to company, with the hope they will savor them,
and with a quiet prayer they will treat our gift with the respect it deserves.
“She tells enough white lies to ice a wedding cake.”
(Photo 1: Pinterest, 2: Pen n’ Paper Flowers Studio and Designs)
You could wait for him to text you (but why not put your phone down and enjoy the company of someone who doesn’t make you wait?)
You could spend your Saturday nights standing at the bar, waiting for someone to strike up a conversation (but why not get your butt out onto the dance floor with your friends and attract someone with your independence and happiness?)
You could hope to be lucky (but why not train yourself to be good?)
You could try and marry rich (but why not work hard and invest your money wisely and not sell yourself to someone else?)
You could cry over them (but why waste good mascara?)
You could keep them in your life (but do you really need the drama?)
You could convince yourself that you’ll always be alone (but why not enjoy your independence while you have it and realize the more you do, the happier you’ll be, and the more likely you are to attract someone worth your time?)
You could waste your time wishing things were different (but why not accept the now as it is and work to make it what you want to be?)
You could point out the negative aspects of situations (but why ignore the good sides?)
You could be a source of snark and criticism (but why be someone everyone wishes would go away?)
You could spend your time talking about others (but why not turn conversations into connections and make headlines?)
You could try to accommodate their idea of who you should be (but why not just be yourself and attract someone who likes you as you are?)
You could bend yourself backwards trying to make something work (but why let go of a lemon and invest in something that gives returns?)
You could put yourself down and say you are too old, too fat, too whatever (but why not work to accept that you are not defined by any one attribute, you are package, and that whole package is incredible?).
You could put your life on hold (but why not get into the drivers seat, turn up your favorite tunes and go in the direction of your dreams?)
It’s happened to the best of us.
We meet for lunch, drinks or in the boardroom, sit down and stay silent as the person in front of us spits out every thought and opinion they have about the topic at hand–and several others–sometimes getting louder as each word comes out (you know, for those on the sidelines), all the while frantically rushing through any pauses to ensure there is no interruption.
They are not necessarily angry or trying to make a point, they just really enjoy the sound of their own voice and feel that by having an opinion and an ability to juggle words in the (hot) air, somehow those opinions and words become more relevant than those of anyone else. Rarely speaking with others, they often speak at them. What’s most interesting is that they often seem relieved at the end of these chaotic monologues, not really noticing that those before them are often left feeling heavy and suffocated by the exchange.
If we can even call it that.
It’s more of an episode.
It’s certainly not communication.
For most of us, the word “communication” has a positive tone, hence why the “inability” to do it tends to be seen as the core cause of personal, professional and platonic breakups.
Communication implies listening, speaking, pausing, understanding and coming to a conclusion. Doing so effectively often suggests means the participants are sorting through thoughts, ideas and feelings to work together to come to result that makes sense to the both of them and doesn’t leave one of them feeling gipped.
Let’s think about that for a minute. What are some ways we can leave others feeling they are worse off by having spoken with us?
- Sucking the joy out of the room with negative statements.
- Exhausting others with anger.
- Treating others as an audience.
- Shaming others.
- Presenting monologues.
- Having heavy “text” exchanges.
- Invalidating their feelings.
- Stonewalling, storming out, ignoring or hanging up the phone.
- Making jokes at the expense of others.
- Name calling
- Sprinkling your sentences with harsh or otherwise vulgar words.
- Making generalized claims such as someone “always” or “never” does something.
- A lack of eye contact and attention.
Uh, oh. Wait. I have sone some of these at one point or another. Have you? Be honest. Don’t be ashamed, if you have. Most of us are guilty of spilling over, showing off, talking too much and listening too little, using ineffective words, and caring more about the other person “knowing” we are right than “understanding” where they are coming from. Fortunately, most unhealthy habits can be replaced with healthier ones with a little realization and a whole lot of accountability and effort. In the spirit of building better relationships, reputations and adding something of value to a room, here are a few ways to communicate better.
Practice Good Timing: Yes, your partner always loses his keys and it’s not only annoying, it’s an issue you feel needs to be discussed. You could shame him when he calls you to explain he is locked out of the house, but that is only going to add gasoline to a fiery situation. Instead, you could deal with the situation at hand and approach him in a quieter moment when both of you are feeling a little more balanced. Approaching others in a calmer atmosphere will not only allow you to express your concerns as a partner/friend/colleague (as opposed to an angry parent) but they are more likely to hear what you are really saying.
Let Go of “I Told You So”: Who cares if you told them so? Your telling them didn’t work and it’s a infuriating and condescending statement. Try it another way.
Present (and Reiterate) Your Intention: Lay the foundation for a calmer conversation by sharing that you are interested in having this discussion to share concerns, feelings and come to a mutually beneficial outcome. Let them know you are not judging them, but rather trying to be there for them in the best way you know how to be. If things get heated, reiterate that you respect/value/love them and are doing your best to hear and understand them while trying to be heard and understood.
Give The Benefit of The Doubt: This is where the 80/20 rule can be extremely useful. If your mostly calm and kind coworker snaps at you over printer paper and you know you have done nothing wrong, there’s a good chance they are having a bad day. If your partner is acting out-of-character, try not to forget who they are to you most of the time. Personalizing and reading into things are two one-way tickets to stress city. Clarify, ask questions and try and see the whole picture.
Try to Talk Less and Listen More: You can learn more about the other person and situation by opening your ears and closing your mouth. Also, sometimes people just need to vent and “get it out”. Let them do this and they will likely appreciate your generosity of time and understanding.
Don’t Assume: They may want your advice, they may not. Ask if there is anything you can do to help, if they want your opinion or advice, and don’t be offended if they don’t take it. Their life is not about pleasing you, it’s about seeking wisdom in different places and doing their best with what has been given to them (and what feels right).
Be Kind: Sounds obvious, but conversations turn nasty when the wrong words meet sensitive feelings.
Don’t Talk With Your Fingers: If it’s important, it deserves lip service. Pick up the phone or meet them in person to sit down and talk.
Ask Questions: If your partner says something that hurts your feelings, don’t assume they are out to hurt or harm you, stop and ask them to clarify what they meant and let them know how you are filtering their words. ” You can also ask for examples (this works well when people are making generalized statements) or even “What do you need from me right now?” More often than not, it’s to be heard, understood and valued.
Let Go Of The Need To Have a Response For Everything: My friend, Haley, said this to me once and it made a lot of sense. Having the “last word” is often more about power than it is having something meaningful to say. Saying, “You know what? Let’s take some time to think about this and reevaluate the situation in an hour or two” is going to allow you to diffuse a situation and pull out what’s really important instead of adding extra (often salty and meaningless) words into the ingredients.
Separate Feelings From Facts: Feelings should be validated (if someone feels something, they are feeling it and that’s a fact), but recognize that emotions are notoriously misleading. Anxieties, past experiences, fears, worries and even our ideas about ourselves and abilities can clog our filter. Instead of blocking and stonewalling “You’re wrong” or “That is not true”, try, “I am so sorry you are feeling that way, let me try and explain what I really meant by that.”
Try and Lighten The Mood: Laughter is the shortest distance between two people, so unless you’re dealing with a really serious situation ( 7+ on a scale of 1-10) make a joke about how ridiculous you must look yelling like a five year old or say something silly like “I know you are, what am I? How silly is this, babe?”
Remember That You’re On The Same Team: If you care enough to hash it out, care enough to work it out.
What are your best communication tips?
“The most amazing thing about Iceland is not the lava fields, the hot springs or the glaciers. It is the fact that there are 13,000 km of roads that will take you into this uncharted wilderness.”
Pack Your Bags! Visit my Jet Setting Pinterest Board Here.
(Svínafellsjökull Glacier Photo: Christian Klepp)
“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”
-Dorothy Parker, While Rome Burns
See more fabulous finds on my Le Chic Pinterest board.
(Photo 1: Dolce & Gabbana, 2: Frou Frou Lingerie)
There are those moments which are shared,
and those which are stolen,
Then there are those moments that are all your own,
Caught in the sweet space in time that is left just for you,
To reflect and rejoice,
To exhale, and experience in a way that only you can understand and give meaning to.
Those are the moments one realizes the beauty of life,
The beauty in the life that belongs to you.
There is only one.
“Poor Is The Man Whose Pleasures Depend
On The Permissions Of Another.”
(Photos 1, 2: Pinterest)
If you have been reading Walking Barefoot for a while, you already know of my love of the famous Proust Questionnaire. What started as a parlour game has become a Vanity Fair staple, and I feel it is a wonderful way to get to know yourself better. I usually post it every January, but decided to wait a little while this year.
Personally, I like to print mine out as a way to keep tabs on how I have changed over the years. Of course, I would very much enjoy reading yours in the comments or via email, but the important thing is that you take the time to do it for yourself.
Let’s have some fun!
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
To be be imprisoned by your insecurities and fear, to be without the one you love most, to feel without hope. For me, waking up one Sunday morning and finding out I would never see, speak to or hug my grandfather again.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
To be in excellent health, traveling the world with my partner, without financial stress , publishing meaningful work that rivals Dumas, and finally motherhood to a healthy and happy child.
To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
Worry, my romantic outlook.
What is your greatest fear?
To not have lived a meaningful, rewarding and happy life with a family of my own.
What is the traits you most deplore in yourself?
I can be quite hard on myself. The fact that I have answered that way for several years and it’s still my answer.
What is the traits you most deplore in others?
Bigotry, superficiality, cruelty, any “ism” (sex-race- age), homophobia, closed-mindedness, insincerity, callousness, deception.
Which living person do you most admire?
No one living person, all of my friends for different reasons.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Daydreaming, writing, romance
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
I have told people I did not love them when I did. I have also said that I didn’t care when I cared very much. That said, I have never said I loved someone when I did not or pretended to care when I couldn’t care less.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Depends on the day. Sometimes nothing, sometimes one thing, sometimes everything.
Which living person do you most despise?
Fortunately, the ones I once despised now matter so little that I waste no time or feeling on them.
What are the qualities you most like in a man?
Honesty, integrity, ambition, kindness, strength, intelligence, charm, wit, fidelity, loyalty, wisdom, patience, tenderness, empathy and masculinity.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Honesty, integrity, ambition, kindness, strength, intelligence, charm, wit, fidelity, loyalty, wisdom, patience, tenderness, empathy and boldness.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My grandfather. Tony Che Montana. My friends. Romantically, I have an idea, but not sure yet.
When and where were you happiest?
Spending time with my grandfather, In Capri, Walking alone in Windsor, in the arms of someone special.
Which talent would you most like to have?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d love to have a sharper mind, thicker skin and the ability to always get 100% on my grammar tests.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Queen of England
Where would you most like to live?
With the love of my life and our children in a beautiful and happy home with a garden office where I sneak away to write meaningful books.
What is your most treasured possession?
Tony Che Montana, My grandmother’s ring, and grandfather’s photos and pocket knives.
What is your favorite occupation?
What is your most marked characteristic?
I am often told it’s kindness (which I appreciate).
What do you most value in your friends?
Mainly that each of them teach me something new, and all feel like a guardian angel to me.
Who are your favorite writers?
Dumas, Nabokov, Austin, Gibran, Neruda
Who is your hero of fiction?
I am wildly in love with Edmond Dantes.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Eva Peron, mostly, and Marilyn Monroe in some ways.
Who are your heroes in real life?
My Grandfather, My friends, Marilyn, Elizabeth Taylor, Queen Elizabeth I & Bill Clinton.
What are your favorite names?
Sophia, Isabella, Alejandro Joaquin, Tony Che Montana, and Mancie most especially.
What is it that you most dislike?
A lack of empathy combined with ignorance is a combustible combination.
What is your greatest regret?
That I am just now understanding many things didn’t need to last as long as they did, and some things, like conversations and walks with my grandfather, should have lasted longer.
How would you like to die?
At 101, in my sleep after a fabulous party where I made my grandchildren and their friends laugh at my fire and in the arms of my husband, regardless of whether or not has has passed before me.
What is your motto?
Whatever you do, wherever you are, bring light, show love and work to add value.
Murad Osmann, a Russian photographer, has put together the coolest Instagram project I have ever seen. What do you think of his venture around the world?
Those of you who have been reading Walking Barefoot a while know of that I am a fan of Mr. Churchill’s, and often highlight his quotes here on the blog. I recently came across this article, What Would Winston Do?, on Inc.com and thought it would be worthwhile to share as it highlights the qualities I love most in Churchill: His unapologetic way of holding both himself and others accountable while maintaining a tight grip on what he felt was right, regardless of the consequences.
He simply could not be bought or swayed, but he could be reasoned with, and through reading about him, I learned the difference. While Kim Kardashian and Beyonce might dress nice, that’s someone to “look up to”.
(Photos: 1.Illustration by J.C. Leyendecker, 1932. 2. Tyler Smith)
Had only you known that all of this was waiting for you.
You’d have not wasted all of that fantastic mascara on him.
I mean, really,
Now that you’re where you were meant to be,
Get out into the world,
Smile at the crowds,
Step into your spotlight,
and live the hell out of your life.
(Photo Courtesy of Guess)
Though it’s not the most flattering photo, I love this pic because it represents exactly how I felt in that moment: Present and happy. This was taken at an outdoor club on a hilltop in Rome at an after-party Mara and I were taken to by our friend Lorenzo, aka “The King Of Rome” (seriously, he might know everyone). The gentleman in the photo was a new friend I enjoyed several lovely and lively conversations with while there.
When was the last time you felt present, happy and complete?
If the best champagne you have ever sipped were a tea, this would be what it would look like.
We snuck a few of these from the boss’s office (sorry, Preston) and realized why he has such a sweet tooth. Holy decadent, Batman!
When my friend (and Glamour editor) Lindsey suggested a “bold red” for my often pale nails, I reached for “Forever Yummy” and never looked back. It didn’t change my life, but I swear, I have had a little more sass since that Wednesday evening mani-meet-up.
I always love Tony Che Montana, but lately my little buddy has been extra loving, extra funny, and extra loud. You make my life complete, diablito.
Channeling Ms. Vreeland. One can dream, right?
Planning my trip across the world. Fall: Italy, Spring: Australia! Spain is coming soon! Where are you ready to go?
Staying in more than going out. I have been accused of being a “social butterfly” but one can socialize in more intimate settings and still have a ton of fun (if not more). Kaley’s wine shack and Stacey’s home theatre are far more glamorous than a rented venue with a red-rope, I say.
I have never been one to sleep soundly through the night (insomnia is a killer) so I have been trying everything from lavender drops and Benadryl to wearing a super-cute zebra print sleeping mask. Low and behold, the mask works! Not only does it keep the light out, I feel so much more rested in the morning.
You. Thank you for coming to WB and sharing a piece of your day with me.
There are those moments, the ones when no one is with you, the ones when no one can hear the voice inside of your head. The voice that dares to remind you of where you started, and where you have been. The one who narrates the photographs and film reels that flash in your mind.
“Remember this?” It asks. ”Do you see how far you have come, how much you have learned?”
You don’t often look at things through that filter.
The truth is that you feel like you’re still stuck back there, so far behind everyone else. Somehow you have convinced yourself that everyone else has it all figured out, that they are without the issues, fears, worries and scars that seem to plague only you.
Especially when you feel their eyes judging, their fingers pointing.
Oh, but that voice.
Though faint, and not as strong as the one that criticizes and condemns, it consoles, comforts, and even congratulates.
“Look at you, making your way, who would have thought you’d fare so well?” It asks.
You used to ignore it, and sometimes you even shooed it away. Not now. Now you will listen.
You allow yourself to sit, even for just a moment, and relish in the awe of a life lived as well as you could with the information you had.
You think about the journey behind you and the road you are on. You think of where you hope your steps will take you, and are grateful for those who choose to walk along side you, those who have taught you how to pack lighter, those who have been so kind as to carry your bags when you were too weak, or simply too tired.
Life is not always pleasant, nor are those moments we experience always lovely, perfect and kind. There are not always reasons to laugh, but you have learned to cherish the sweetness and how to endure a bad day without mistaking it for a bad life. You are not perfect, you are not broken, you are just human, and you are doing the best you can.
Just like everyone else.
No better, but certainly no worse.
Somehow that brings you all of the peace you had hoped for, for you now understand that it is the combination of your imperfections, your missteps, and your scars that make you the unique and irreplaceable soul that you are.
And to those around you, it makes you beautiful.
A few months ago, while at the going away party of a very good friend of mine who was moving to her dream city, Sydney, Australia, I was introduced by her to someone she thought I might like to get to know. According to her and everyone at the party, this friend of theirs was “amazing, family oriented, funny, trustworthy, and so nice!” Apparently, he was “so good-looking, too”. That said, the introduction was slightly in jest (she saw it as a ploy to get me to visit Oz over my planned trip to Barcelona where I had planned to meet Enrique’s twin) but I was intrigued just the same.
My friend and I had known one another since sophomore year in college and she’d never once thought to introduce me to anyone under the pretense that I was too picky and had too much of a type (tall, dark and handsome, preferably with a Latin-based accent). A text and a couple of photos were sent to the stranger on my behalf, and I went back to crying over my friend leaving, not giving him or Sydney much thought. Though he was handsome and from New York, he now lived in Sydney. I mean, how serious could I take this?
A week later, she was texting me that she hoped we got married and I moved out there. But a few weeks later when texts, calls, emails, secrets and smiles were being exchanged with someone with whom I shared a striking amount in common, I was thanking my girlfriend and sprinkling that special “I just met someone new” happiness into our frequent WhatsApp conversations. Her response wasn’t only surprising, it was nonexistent. I realized that she was literally ignoring anything related to my blossoming relationship all the while discussing her growing anxiety over hers. I took it as a sign to focus only on her move and her needs as a resident of a new land and let it be.
When my special someone and friend both returned home for a visit over Christmas, we met up with friends and I wrapped my arms around her, asking her thoughts about her new home which she excitedly shared with me, but when I thanked her for my introduction to my now very special someone, her face went blank and we both got caught up in the conversations with others at the table. The next day, I called and got no answer. Finally, I texted her that I had planned to visit Australia in March, and she responded with “I should be around.”
At that point, I knew I had to say something. ”Have I done something to upset you?” I asked. It turned out I had not, but I had.
I was stepping on her dream.
After decades of aching to live in Australia (her dream location) and hoping to be with longtime crush (who lived out there) she was finally where she had thought she wanted to be. Unfortunately, things were not working out as seamlessly as she had hoped (and I believe, she deserved and deserves). Here I was enjoying a blossoming relationship that seemed to get better by the day and planning to visit her country. It may sound petty to some, but it made sense to me. I would not have approached it the same way, but I knew this was important and painful to her, so I tried to understand it as best as I could.
Initially, she said that she ignored my happiness to temper it out of concern, but our conversations proved that not to be the case. It became clear there was no real “reason” for her to be upset, and she got upset at my pointing that out. Finally, she had a reason to be angry and reacted somewhat relieved.
I thought about all of the wonderful heart-to-hearts we had, the gorgeous memories, the birthday parties and late night visits to the diner. I thought about how thrilled I was for her that she was in her favorite place and how excited she was for me to visit her until there was someone else there for me to see. This was unlike her. Aside from one silly cocktail-induced outburst over my being the only one flirted with at a bar, my lovely friend (and she is lovely) had never behaved this way. I wanted to get to the bottom of things, but the more I pushed to openly talk with her about things, the colder she became. Eventually, we had a real argument and my olive branch was brushed away, leaving me to wait for her to come around.
This whole situation got me thinking about how destructive envy and projection can be, not only to our relationship with others, but to ourselves. While I tend not to feel envy too often (the only thing I truly want that I do not have, most people have, which means I would be in a constant state of anguish had I not learned to deal with it at an early age) I am certainly guilty of projecting my fears and worries onto others.
Time has proven this to be an ineffective way of navigating towards happiness.
When we look over at someone and assume what they are thinking or feeling, that they have something we want and that their having something means we will have less of of it, we are setting ourselves up for heartache and failure. Happiness begets happiness, but envy, anger and misery? It infects every aspect of our lives at a rapid rate. When we cannot accept that we are all on individual journeys and are not extracting our joy and success from a shared well, we become frozen, and cold. We have all had pains and experienced unhappiness. We have all worried and wondered and had our hearts broken. We have all been anxious and deceived. But when one of us finds happiness for a moment, however brief, or more profound, one learns how to be happy in spite of the heartaches of life, it is the truest source of hope, a beam of light from the universe. It is “proof” that we can do it, too.
To my friend, thank you. I love you.
“The question isn’t “who’s going to let me?”
It’s “Who is going to stop me?” - Ayn Rand.
See more fabulous finds on my Le Chic Pinterest Board.
(Photo 1: The Jeweled Life, 2. Louis Vuitton)
The faux shock over (super-cute) Seth MacFarlane’s jokes aside (not sure what people expected being that he’s Seth MacFarlane), this years Oscars were like every other Oscars, only short(er) (yay!) with more musical numbers (uh) and Jack Nicholson back in his reserved seating, with a fresh pair of glasses (yay!).
Now that the granddaddy of awards shows is over, the real Monday night quarterbacking can begin. Instead of lamenting on who said what (or why everyone who works in a technical field had troll-doll hair) let’s get to the good stuff and highlight the best looks–and lessons of awards season.
Jessica Alba at The Golden Globes
The side-swept look is all the rage among actresses and musical diva’s alike, but what I love about Jessica’s take is how effortless, loose and sun-kissed it looks. This look would look great on everyone from brides to birthday girls, and it’s easy to recreate.
The Lesson: Whether short or long, up or down, hair that looks moveable looks youthful and glamorous. Sticky prom-like locks? Not so much.
Marion Cotillard at The SAG/AFTRA Awards
There’s no denying Marion would look gorgeous with wet hair in pajamas, but the confident, fresh haircut and dress–with pockets!–she rocked at the SAG/AFTRA awards did the seemingly impossible, giving her classic beauty a boost. .
The Lesson: There’s something really magnetic about a woman who is comfortable in her skin and open to changing things up. One look might look great, but so might another. We have different sides of our personalities, why not allow ourselves a chance to explore different hairstyles and perhaps a new color or two?
Catherine Zeta-Jones at The Oscars
She carries herself like a Grande Dame a la Joan Crawford and an icy air floating around her. I have never found her particularly interesting, but I can appreciate her allure, talent and her passion for living like a movie star. Last night, she rocked the red carpet in a gold ensemble that rivaled Oscar himself.
The Lesson: Treat yourself like a queen and the rest of the world will follow.
Emily Blunt at The Golden Globes
When it comes to mixing modern chic with classic elegance, there are few who merge as well as Ms. Blunt. Stunningly beautiful, chic, and so ladylike, Emily is everything I love in an actress–I have watched “Young Victoria” no less than a dozen times–and someone I would love to invite out to lunch. This is not about any of that, this is about the understated glamour she flashed at the Golden Globes. Her smokey eyes, loose ballerina bun and pretty pink-stained lips proved that less is often so, so much more.
The Lesson: Ladylike elegance can be far sexier than an up-to-there slit and vampy lipstick and nails.
Jennifer Aniston at The Oscars
Our favorite girl next door wore her stunning signature look–California beach girl gets glammed-up-and wowed us all with her stand-out red gown, flowing locks and diamonds worn as though they were trendy accessories purchased on a whim somewhere in Cabo. The whole room smiled when our girl took the stage, and with good reason: who wouldn’t want to be as cool, pretty, chic–and happy-- as Jennifer Aniston seems?
The Lesson: Happiness is the best look on any woman.
(Photo 1: Getty Images, 2. Nola Images 3. Red Carpet Fashion Awards 4. Painted Ladies, 5. Yahoo)
A return to a past so dark,
in the making,
remains bright and untainted.
A clean slate.
Decorated by wishes or worries,
regrets or rewards,
and framed in a mind that is hopeful or haunted.
In the present,
only fleeting moments are seen,
a bigger picture.
One of light,
contrasted against dark.
One of beauty and transformation.
One where wishes came true.
(Photo courtesy of ZsaZsa Bellagio Pinterest)
I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”
(Photo 1: Mermaid by Mecuro B Cotto; 2. Pinterest)
They are wiser than you think they are, more patient than you give them credit for, and love you more than you know.
The closet in the attic needs to be opened and explored, the past needs to be reorganized and set out on the sidewalk for the universe to pick up. Those memories need not clutter up our space now. Instead of holding onto all of that energy, allow it to be recycled and donated to a soul that needs them to grow into their best self.
We must be reminded that, while we are not responsible for the the things that have been done to us, we are accountable for how we choose to process and handle these things.
It’s just time to accept that certain relationships are not healthy for us and let them go.
We just have to do our best to make each 24-hour block of time the best day we can.
”He’s more myself than I am.
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
“Brenda doesn’t care about the Oscars.”
Said no one, ever.
As a child, I used to tell everyone and anyone how I planned to grow up and be “a movie star”. While other children wanted to be teachers and firemen, I was enamored of the idea of acting out different roles on the big screen, waiving to the crowds (yes, I practiced in my room) and accepting my Oscar (something else I practiced in front of my dolls). As I grew older, the allure of fame faded, but my love of glamour remained.
And what is more glamorous than Oscar night?
My girlfriends and I plan to dress up, get together to sip champagne, nibble on small bites (and yes, deliver speeches) and I thought it might be nice to share a few ideas for all of you to throw your own awards celebration. Here are a few tips:
Make sure the decor is Elegant.
No, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune: A cream table runner or cloth with clear serving trays and gold or silver accents will do fine. Add red roses, white gardenia’s, or orchids as centerpieces and scatter tealight to add to the glamour. A trick I learned from my boss: Add a lightly scented candle to enhance the smell of the flowers (Example: rose if using roses). Feeling a little bolder? Go with a red and gold color scheme.
Find ways to keep guests Entertained.
The Oscars are long. Keep it fun by printing up fun ballads, sharing interesting “Oscar Facts” to read before the show starts and during commercials, and have door prizes for “Best Speech” and “Best Dressed” and “swag bags” full of gold-wrapped chocolates, candy rings and other fun goodies. Have everyone put 5.00 into a pot and winner takes all or it gets donated to the charity of choice.
Serve a flavorful menu your guests will want to Eat.
Lovely finger foods and champagne, Prosecco or cava are the way to go. Toasted bread tips with fig and prosciutto, caviar, lox and capers, or even a very well made flatbread/brick oven pizza cut in strips are all wonderful bubbly bites!
Lastly, be respectful. I personally dislike when people talk during the speeches. Take the temperature of the room and come to an agreement.
A big thanks to Kaley and Nadia for hosting ours!
See that reflection? That’s proof.
After all of that, you’re still here.
You’re not only alive, you are living.
You have survived ,
And starting to thrive.
You have learned so much along the way,
and now you’re wisdom helps others find their way.
You’re still searching,
seeking,and able to love.
Not only did you land on your feet,
You’re able to dance.
Also known as uncertainty, gambles.
Depending on your outlook, a change can be a second chance or a challenge.
There are those who will wonder why you worry away your wanderlust, but let’s face it; sometimes change can feel scary. Sometimes rewards are hard to locate in a room full risks. It can be difficult not to feel anxious and overwhelmed when you are fearing the worst possible outcome when presented with a new situation. If attaching yourself to the more positive possibilities doesn’t feel comfortable just yet, go as negative as you can.
Think of the three worst possible outcomes of a given situation. Then, place those three in order of manageable to worst. Next, think of three to five ways you can work to prevent those outcomes and three ways you would deal with each situation should you be faced with it.
Use the information above to rank how likely each outcome is on a scale from 1-10. Is it really as risky as you thought it to be? Be realistic. If it is, is it worth it? If it isn’t, pay attention to how you feel after looking at the facts. Are you excited about the chance of moving in the new direction or are you still making excuses in the face of “proof” that it’s not as much of a challenge as you first thought it to be?
Now you know if you really want it.
An albino baby turtle.
(Photo courtesy of Don’t Call Me Betty)
Looking back, she couldn’t help but to shake her head,
not in regret,
But at her own misconceptions.
Fortunately, experience had taught her that this was what ”growing” up was all about…
If not for the lessons she learned when she held herself back in order to be deemed “nice” and “agreeable” to those around her, she would have never learned that being nice to herself was equally, if not more, important. She would not have understood that others who asked her to devalue and degrade herself were not worthy of her kindness, let alone chunks of her self-esteem.
Had she not choked on swallowed words out of the fear of being called a b***, or one of the other negative names women are called when they assert themselves, demand and command respect, or protect their boundaries, she’d have never learned that the pain of not doing those things was much worse than ignorant and vulgar name-calling.
That’s when she realized that she was in training.
The less she crawled, the taller she stood.
The less she cried, the clearer her view.
The more she spoke (up), the stronger her voice.
That’s when she realized that her world didn’t fall apart when she carved out a space for herself in it.
Her days were more vibrant, her relationships stronger. Those who loved and truly respected her were pleased with the change.
Those who didn’t were no longer around.
She was less concerned with being “nice” than being authentic.
That was nice.
Generalized, but oh-so-funny!
Whether at 6, 16 or 60, men and women who carry themselves like ladies and gentlemen stand out and inspire others to be kinder, gentler and more polished versions of themselves.
Think of words as the car, and actions, the fuel. We can hand over a gorgeous exterior to someone, but if it doesn’t run, they’ll deem it junk.
You can choose to be inspiring to someone or an example of what they never want to become.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed, but fortunately you have the here and now, and right here and now you will find a chance to make the changes you ache to put into place.
It is damn near impossible to feel anything negative when listening to “Billy Jean”.
People will criticize you. Unless they are living the life or doing a great job themselves, smile in the face of judgement and remember that someone having a negative opinion about your choices doesn’t make your choices wrong.
There’s a difference between disappointment and betrayal.
Curiosity keeps life vibrant and interesting.
When someone loves you for who you really are, imperfections and all, when they challenge you to be a better person, work to be better for you, remind you to eat, cheer you on, make you laugh and hold you when you have had a nightmare, they are worth 1,000 admirers. That is love in its most concentrated form.
To have everything you need to achieve your goals yet convince yourself that you don’t would be a great tragedy. You may not think you can do the things you desire most, but why not spend your life really training and trying? Your status quo doesn’t change if you don’t move forward, but then, what if you do?
Happy President’s Day to those of you in the United States!
As a little girl, my grandfather spoke quite a bit of politics. A farmer who started to vote during the depression, it’s no surprise that I grew up hearing about FDR and the differences between red and blue. In fact, I was so aware of election time, that after accompanying a neighbor to the nearby electronics store, my grandfather asked me who was ahead in the polls and I shook my head and replied, “That old Ronald Reagan, Grandpa.”
He didn’t say anything, but I could see his disappointment and it hurt me. A couple of years later, we were asked to write letters to the President for his birthday, I decided to avenge my best friend.
”Dr. Mr. President,” I wrote. ”My grandpa doesn’t like you. He was sad when you won.You can’t be president anymore. You have really nice hair and I want to be a movie star, too.”
My teacher was not amused. I refused to rewrite it, but agreed to draw a flower and made sure to watch her put it in the envelope.
The trips to the polls and the chats on grandpa’s lap were very special to me and instilled in me a passion for voting and an interest in what happened in The White House. I loved reading about Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Roosevelt (again, Franklin, though I loved that the “Teddy bear” was after named after distant cousin Theodore). As a young woman, I admired Mr. Carter as he reminded me of my grandfather, and I adored, met, and worked for President Clinton while in college.
Regardless of what party you support (if you support one at all) I hope you take a moment to reflect on what you stand for and why, and even learn a few lessons from those who have led our country.
Want more motivation? Check out my Walking Barefoot Board on Pinterest.
I Am Staggered USA #1 Men’s Wedding Website
Reed Krakoff for Laduree. Divine Design.
Not a big fan of soda, but I know my interns will want to sip out of one of these fun cans designed by Marc Jacobs. Too bad they are only available in Europe.
Brad and Angelina have partnered with Marc Perrin, and will be releasing the first of their new wine collection, Miraval, next month. The wine was made by grapes harvested on their $60 million French estate.
When I was in Paris, I wound up having to dine alone and popped into a little place for a steak and a glass of wine. I sat there feeling both glamorous (cue Edith) and a bit self conscious (in another country, dining alone at dinner). Imagine my surprise when I found that my little spot is now considered one of the best restaurants in Paris. Funny how the universe works: I had the best meal I could have had.
Looking for more Inspiration? Visit my Living La Bella Vita Board on Pinterest.
I Am Staggered USA #1 Men’s Wedding Website
We’ve all used the word, but what does it really mean? Webster defines it as “amazing, wonderful” and then lists “exaggerated; overstated, embellished” and “extreme; beyond reason and convention” as secondary definitions.
Then it’s settled: Diana Vreeland was fabulous.
Born in Paris to a mother who found her “rather ugly” and a father who demanded an English approach to the showing of emotion, Ms. Vreeland (nee: Dalziel) was born in Paris (which she loved) and raised in the Rockies (which she loathed). When she moved to New York with her family, she took up dance both onstage (Carnegie Hall) and off (speakeasy floors). Guess which one she claimed to enjoy most?
She decided “to become the most popular girl in the world” and developed a reputation for being fast–”I rather enjoyed the company of Mexican and Argentinian men who loved to dance as much as I did,” she said– and fun. Things slowed down in the man department when she met Thomas Reed Vreeland and found him to be ”the most beautiful man in the world.” Better yet, he helped to calm her own insecurities about her looks. “He made me feel beautiful,” she said. The two were married quickly which she found “Fabulous, of course. It was love at first sight, and that was romantic. All things that were romantic were just wonderful,” she said.
Still, while other brides settled down, days full of pie-making and sewing were not penciled into her life plan. This seemed to go over well with her new husband. He appreciated her joie de vivre and encouraged it. Good thing because it led to her discovery and wound up benefiting generations to come.
One night, the newly married, self-professed “lazy girl” hit the town and found herself dancing on the rooftop of the St. Regis hotel in her white lace Chanel dress and bolero (and roses in her hair, natch). She was making a scene in her usual way and caught the eye of Harper’s Bazaar editor, Carmel Snow. Snow admired her unusual fashion sense and brought her on-staff. Vreeland started “Why Don’t You…” a decadent advice column that suggested things like wearing diamonds in your hair and velvet gloves everywhere. Note: She is credited with coining the word “pizzazz” in that series.
When the war hit, the column seemed ridiculous, but Snow had more in store for Vreeland and annointed her the first fashion editor-ever. It was a brilliant move, one that changed the face of fashion editorial forever. With her near psychic ability to see what readers, designers and fashionistas would covet long before they themselves knew, Mrs. Vreeland was a force in the world of design and rocked editorial like no one before (or after) her. Vivacious and sharp–she discovered Lauren Bacall, Twiggy and convinced Manolo Blahnik to design shoes–she believed in infusing all things–even gloom–with something glamorous. “Don’t tell a story if it’s boring, even if it’s true,” she would say. “A lie to get out of something, or take an advantage for oneself, that’s one thing; but a lie to make life more interesting—well, that’s entirely different.”
While she admitted to exaggerating “everything,” from her fashion to her fireside, champagne-soaked tales, there’s no denying her incredible talent for fashion, editorial, and and life. She was exactly the kind of woman I fall madly in love with: Smart, successful, glamorous, romantic and totally independent. I would have loved to have sat with her and just listened to her speak. I imagine she’d give me fantastic insight, such as this wonderful piece of advice.
“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself.”
I Am Staggered USA #1 Men’s Wedding Website
The hardest conversation to initiate is the easiest one to participate in.
Your friends will have to step in and shake the crazy out of your thinking.
You need to sit down and ask yourself the tough questions in order to figure out who in the hell you really are.
Life and situations aren’t as tough as they seem.
Feelings are deceptive.
Logic is poison.
You have to not answer in order to get them to listen.
You’ll just have to make a note of it and move forward.
There’s no value in being “right”.
You need to push yourself to be better or accept subpar.
You have to protect your right to exist in a positive space.
They won’t believe in you, or will be jealous and want you to fail. In those moments you have an opportunity to shine even brighter.
I Am Staggered USA #1 Men’s Wedding Website
You are giving your friends the name of your OBG and add “…and she’s so chic” with the same vigor as “she’s got great bedside manner.”
You will never judge someone’s religion, but really, are they wearing those with that?
You will fake illness to make the line for a sample sale.
Your boyfriend and you argue about the mean things he says about your shoe collection.
You’ll proudly Facebook photos of your hair mid-balayage (under the dryer, no less) as proof of your war on the terror of bad hair days.
You can’t fathom why anyone would shop outside of Soho when it’s the only place in the country that sells the entire collection.
Buying Tiffany’s silver from Tiffany’s is met with the same enthusiasm as buying “Tiffany’s” silver on Canal Street.
Being seen at a Fashion Week event isn’t to show how cool you are, it’s to see the work of some of your favorite artists.
Coach: The Chicago of purses.
Juicy: The Los Angeles of Purses.
Versace: The Vegas of Purses.
Chanel: The New York City of Purses.
You know about Housing Works, but rarely–if ever–tell.
You get completely freaked out when you call to check on someone visiting the city and they are not within 5 blocks of Soho.
When the September edition comes out, you put out the “Do Not Disturb” sign.
In terms of going out, your Friday night is your Monday night, your Monday night is your Friday night and if there’s no fun in Sunday, you’ll have your girls over for pizza and wine.
You’re glad that Crystal Light finally figured out what you had always known and created fun flavors like “Mojito” into the mix.
You and your friends see your threads as one big clothing collection housed in several small closets.
You secretly love that no one can ride the elevator with Anna.
Looking for more fashionable finds? Visit my Le Chic Board on Pinterest.
I Am Staggered USA #1 Men’s Wedding Website