Friday, April 1, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stylin' Spring

I was all eager to do a post on colorful spring outfits but realized this is NY & though we are all bursting at the seams for warmth & bright colors come spring the weather usually takes its sweet ass time.

So while in my mind I am prancing around in tulips & sunshine wearing fun & colorful halter dresses the truth is my fitted black leather biker jacket is going over everything I wear for the time being...
(from Zara a few years back) 

But on the bright side at least I can shed the winter wool & fur & any birds that may have nested in my hair for the winter....

(this was my attempt at imitating Alexander McQueen with a three year old, mad design skillz at work...)
Here are some of my top picks as we transition to the warmer weather & all work perfectly with a fitted black leather jacket & black booties or heels...

Maje leather jacket & jacquard skirt, great pairing of textures...
drooling over Fendi's canvas & leather skirt as well...
Sandro's Ravel dress is a gorgeous, rich color & transitions easily from day to evening (on sale now too!)...
love the pattern & playfulness of Banana Republic's floral ruffle dress...
another sweet Sandro pick, I could live in their clothes...
a great day to evening look from Club Monaco...
& when you're sick of your black leather jacket & want to be the coolest girl in town throw on Alexander McQueen's rose silver metallic leather jacket...
perfection with everything from jeans to evening wear, McQueen leaves me speechless yet again...now this is my idea of the ultimate Easter getup :)....
Happy stylin' spring friends & I hope you are reveling in this season of rebirth & renewal :) Xoxo

photos: 1/me/me/2/3/4/5/6/7/8

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

NYC Happynings

Happy March friends!  What an amazing month- birthdays for my sister, mom & one of my best friends, St. Patrick's Day, & spring is just around the corner- beer & celebration all around, ha!!

NYC to me is one big celebration of life- I love it so much because it constantly surprises & it never gets old.  On a stroll on any given day you will discover the beautiful, hysterical, sublime & just downright weird, many times on the same block.  Here's a peek at some of my strolls lately....

downtown is where I buy all my crystals & charge my batteries...
even though I'm all about the light side I need this, especially with my newfound super powers (why no adult sizes J. Crew?!)....
coziness, coffee, dogs & fireplaces...I could live in this room at the Crosby Street Hotel... 
spring is always in full bloom in the Flower District...
the romantic, old-world glamour of the Upper West Side makes my heart melt...
& look what I saw getting a stroller ride down Broadway!!!  If this isn't a bucket of happiness I don't know what is...
NYC, you never cease to surprise & delight me with your magic :) :)...
video
photos: me

Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Pink Champagne & Cupcakes Day!

I know, I know, you're probably thinking what the hell is Pink Champagne & Cupcakes Day & where do I sign up? Well I invented it my friends & you are all welcome & encouraged to join in on my party.  In fact, this is how I decorate my clients' homes....
The truth is I have never liked Valentine's Day.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a total romantic- I believe in love that transcends space & time & am all for celebration of any kind but I feel like a day devoted to romantic love is a no-win situation.  If you're lucky enough to be in a happy relationship, well it just feels forced & kind of silly- your man getting price gouged on flowers & both of you confused as to whether you should be celebrating the day or not.  & if you're single & looking for love it's just another painful reminder of that (as if you needed one).

Now I love grand gestures- bring on the flowers, jewelry & fancy dinners- but it's pretty easy to do these things.  Really being there for the everyday things- career successes & setbacks, family & other relationship issues, the joy & drudgery of child rearing- is not always pretty or easy but it's what true love & intimacy is all about.  Always being supportive & having each other's backs no matter what.

So Valentine's Day be damned- I'm officially declaring today Pink Champagne & Cupcakes Day to celebrate my love of, you guessed it, pink champagne & cupcakes!  No pressure, no awkwardness, no pain - just bubbly sugary deliciousness :)

Whether you want to join my party or celebrate traditional Valentine's Day let's all just Feel the Love my peeps (& ride horses & be free & shit ;)....I love this song, it's like a church song you can rock out to.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oABEGc8Dus0&feature=kp
photo: Colleen Carney Interior Design (Carrie Leonard Photography)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Adventures in Ecuador

Well, we are already one month into 2016, can you believe it?  I'm feeling extra lucky this year as I've already had an amazing adventure!  My dad moved to Ecuador three years ago & my older brother & I just got back from visiting him for a week.  It was truly magical...come along for a peek at our adventures....

I don't know what's going on with me & foreign countries but for some reason my arrivals have been getting off to a bit of a rough start.  The Paris Metro took my suitcase hostage in October & let's just say I had a "high energy" experience upon my arrival in Ecuador...

My brother & I arrived at the Guayaquil airport at 3:45am, it was pitch black out & raining.  We proceeded out the exit to catch a three hour van ride to Cuenca...it seemed a little shady, like something from the movie Taken but we had been told it was ok to take the vans & hopped in...

Well the van driver turned out to be a complete maniac, we had to go over the mountains so it was three hours of switchbacks at excessive speed, trying to pass every car on the road (many close calls with oncoming traffic), no A/C & all the while he's blaring 80's disco  (I couldn't get that "High Energy" song out of my head for days.)  & to boot, every time he saw a pretty girl he would completely turn his head around to get a look at her!

I was totally nauseous the whole trip- I had to hold my shirt over my mouth to keep from smelling the fumes & told my brother we may have to pull over if I had to toss my cookies.  I was indeed a "greengo" by the time we made it to Cuenca...  

But sure enough the clouds parted, the sun came out in all its glory & I had to keep blinking at the paradise that was before my eyes....
the Tomebamba River & three others wind through Cuenca, they are so tranquil & other-worldly...
me & Dad...
Parque Calderon...
Santuario de la Virgen del Rocio just outside of Cuenca, this was one of my favorite spots (the church is built into the side of a mountain!)...
Something strange & wonderful happened to me in Ecuador.  Have you read the book Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander?  I saw him speak at a near death experience symposium in NYC a few years ago & he gave the most beautiful description of his experience in heaven- he was riding on the wing of a butterfly, looking down at a lush valley with brilliant colors & blooming flowers.  The people of the village were dressed in beautiful, colorful clothes- children were playing, dogs were jumping & birds, hummingbirds & butterflies were flying through the air.  I've had this mental image in my head ever since I heard his description & guess what?  I had never so much as googled Ecuador but right before my eyes was the paradise I was dreaming of!  Ecuador is truly heaven on earth (view from the top of the church).... 
Dad in a field of llamas & sunshine, what more could you want out of life?...
 my first llama ride! :) :)...
 I was so inspired by the embroidery & the gorgeous color palettes the women wear...
  Cathedral in Saraguro....
 Bano del Inca waterfall...
 we couldn't resist a family selfie... 
Shamu Co- amazing Ecuadorian restaurant with a French flair....
My brother & I saw the "Mousse de Coco" (thinking it was chocolate mousse) on the menu & were like, Just give me two of those & a glass of wine & we're all set!  Well to our surprise, this was the "chocolate" mousse- coconut mousse & sorbet with rum liquor inside a coconut shell!  Not what we were expecting but a very pleasant surprise :)....
 beautiful angel in Turi overlooking Cuenca...
 ferocious Ecuadorian wildlife ;)...
delicious al fresco lunch at a friend's house our last day in Cuencafornia ;)...
there is such an abundance of fresh, organic fruits & vegetables, I was in cuisine heaven as well...
I had been dreaming of the paradise that is Ecuador- the only thing is I didn't know it actually existed.   Like I said I hadn't so much as even googled Ecuador before this trip but the my dad & the universe brought me there.  My dad is so happy there, he has a circle of friends that are the most beautiful kindred spirits you could imagine & I feel so blessed to now be part of that circle as well.  Even though I'm in NY a part of me is now connected to Ecuador, my new friends there & the time we shared together.  It was a truly magical gift & I'm already planning my next trip back! :)

photos: me

Thursday, December 31, 2015

How to Achieve Your Dreams in 2016! :)

At year-end over the past few years, I've been choosing a word for the new year.  Something that is meaningful & that I want to make a priority & focus on in the year ahead.

My word for 2015 was "act" & I've refined it a bit for 2016 with "proactive."

We usually get messages from the universe that really hit us hard when we know it's time to make a change & two things recently happened...

I was watching the NYC marathon in November, in awe of the runners & their strength & the perseverance & dedication it took to get them to that day & one of the commentators said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish."  Wow, no beating around the bush there.

Then a friend recommended the book, "The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity."  It's a short read & I can't recommend it enough if you want to have more focus in your day, reach your goals & lead a healthy & balanced life.  Here's a link to the pdf http://www.the5choices.com/5choicesminibook.pdf

One of the main concepts of the book is that you must schedule time in FIRST for your important & meaningful goals & work on a plan to achieve them (be proactive).  Otherwise you will be bogged down all day in reactive mode- answering calls, emails, routine tasks, etc. & will make no progress towards the goals that are truly life changing.  I'll be the first to admit that this is challenging- reactive mode is safe & easy whereas proactive mode can be uncomfortable & confusing.

We also live in an extremely noisy & distracting world, we are constantly bombarded with demands for our attention & we even feed off of it- we get a text or social media alert & our brain says, "Someone is paying attention to MEEE!!  I must respond to that text or see who 'liked' MEEE!!"  Well you can spend your time on these fleeting thrills or you can spend it creating & achieving something truly meaningful for yourself & others.

All we have in this life is limited time so use it very wisely.  I'm not saying social media, texts, etc. aren't fun & a great way to connect but really limit yourself & keep the time spent on them in check.  I can pretty much assure you they are not getting you to your big goals.

My priorities for the new year are my health (mental, physical & spiritual) & being proactive in making my dreams come true.  I'm going to steer my ship to the promised land instead of getting knocked around aimlessly in the waves.  Sure there may be bumps along the way but it's not about perfection, it's about knowing your destination, having a good map & staying on course.

What's a dream that you have for 2016 & what's your plan to make it happen?  Let's turn those dreams into goals into realities! :)

(a crude summary of my plan ;)....
photo: 1


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Believe


Merry Christmas my dear friends!  May you carry the peace, wonder & magic of Christmas in your hearts every day of the year & never, ever forget to BELIEVE....

A few years ago when my nephews were younger they would watch The Polar Express on repeat the whole time they were at my Mom's for Christmas.  Although my brother & sister in law were as happy as clams that the boys were entertained for hours, I honestly found the movie a bit creepy.  The animation is strange & the characters aren't the cutest, in fact they look like zombies.

As my sister & I were browsing through Netflix this year she saw it & turned to me & said, "Oh no, not The Polar Express!" We were kind of traumatized by it.  But......I do have to admit, after probably the twentieth viewing & getting over the creepiness I realized that it has a wonderful message....BELIEVE.

The universal law is to ask, believe & receive. I think most of us have no problem with asking, it's the believing & receiving that we have trouble with.  I was watching Oprah one night & she said, "You don't get the life you WANT, you get the life you BELIEVE."  Shazam.  Yowzer.

That stopped me dead in my tracks.  Well, I was laying on the couch with a glass of wine but you get the idea.  I realized that children have a much easier time believing than adults.  They have open hearts and minds which unfortunately can easily close as they become adults & life takes its toll.  Perhaps it's the adults that need to watch The Polar Express on repeat....

"Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste
There's so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe"

Josh Groban, "Believe", The Polar Express

photo: me