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2012 Flashback

2012 has been quite a whirlwind on so many levels literally and figuratively. But overall it was definitely an exciting year despite some setbacks and disappointments which are to be expected living in this world. However, I'm grateful that there were many fond memories made - meeting some amazing people, an across country move, new business opportunities/adventures and partnerships created. The highlight was getting the chance to do a fashion finder cameo with the most inspirational lady on Television - Kelly Ripa! There was just so much more that I decided to create a synopsis by way of a small video montage that I hope you find fun and inspirational.

I really relished going through my 2012 flashback archive because it made me focus on all the positive exciting moments that I experienced this past year which helped me see all that I was able to achieve.  Sometimes even when things don't work out the way we expect them in our idealistic mind, we can still find joy in the countless blessings in our life. Realistically, life seldom turns out the way we expect - I find being at peace with that, although challenging at times affords the opportunity to see where future improvements can be made.

I feel very grateful to everyone of you who reads this blog {especially to one of my biggest fans in the universe besides my husband... Kim Moran! XO}. Even though most of you don't comment, I still feel honored knowing that you find my posts interesting enough to read them. My aim is to inspire and hopefully continue to raise the bar in 2013.  Hope your 2012 was good to you, and if not, you still have the opportunity to reach your goals and dreams in 2013.



Road Trip: Day 4 ~ From Nevada To New York City

We have now arrived at day 4 of this long road trip across country! ...proceeding From Day 3 in Indiana, we now approach...

Ohio: a very green state intertwined with a few lakes and no signs of much life. Talk about country at its best! 

...Lake Michigan, Chicago: which is marvelous to see as the lake appears on both sides as you drive across the bridge, the pictures don't do it justice at all... plus, I took this picture through our fast moving U-haul, but hope you get the picture.

...then came our next longest state to drive through...

Pennsylvania: this is the state where my excitement started to build back up all over again since I knew we were finally close to home at last. My excitement was also because of how forresty PA is - having been away from all this greenery for so long made me forget how beautifully green other parts of the country is!  It was so refreshing and reinvigorating!  As evening came upon us, swarms of fireflies started to light our drive through the serpentine roads walled by really dark Forest all around and we started to pray that no deer come out as we had the pedal to the metal as much as you can in a full U-hall with an attached car hitch.

And onto a rather sulfuric state - New Jersey... {didn't take any photos as it was already late evening}, but it is also very green.   I mean after all, it's called the "Garden State." And then.... DRUM ROLL PLEASE! Our final destination... New York!

As I told a friend who got intrigued about doing an across country drive, I find road trips are a great way to see the vast countryside of United States that many don't realize exist, especially if you never have left your comfort zone, or if you live in a city with only buildings where all you see is people living on top of each other. Just like I've had numerous discussions trying to explain to people that New York doesn't only consists of buildings which are usually portrayed on TV or in movies - most don't realize that's Manhattan and it's only 1/8th of New York State.  You can't even see it on a map when you look at NY State. If you haven't already, I strongly urge you to add driving across country as a must-do experience on your bucket list.

Thank you for taking the journey back with me all over again. Are you exhausted, intrigued, or inspired to do a road trip?


The Last One Of 2012

{An arrangement I made for my last dinner party...posted here}

Well dear readers, this is the last Friday of 2012 and the 28th post of my "Joie De Vivre" {which I'll be calling 'Grateful Moments' next year;}... that I'm posting. It still doesn't register that this year is almost over already. I'm not sure how I feel about that. As much as I'm not ready, I know 2013 is looming around the corner nonetheless. However, I'm really curious to see what 2013 will bring.  I definitely hope a much better one than 2012 for everyone! Here are a few of the last moments that made my week in 2012. Hope I was able to inspire you to start listing your special moments of the week/month/year. Until next year, keep aware of those little moments that are sweet, special and be grateful for them.

{Disc necklace I scored for $5 from my young fashionable neighbors moving sale}
{An amazing smelling soy Pine candle that lured me into the cutest store on our trip here}

{My first Peter Pan collar necklace...added to my jewelry collection}

{A most unexpected and mammoth red bridge. I regret missing a chance to take a picture of it while we were actually driving on it which was really cool!:/}
Wishing you all a quiet & safe end of 2012!
Xo, Rebecca


A Restful Getaway in Nyack New York

Although I revel in the city life and its energy, I also enjoy an escape to a restful getaway every now and then. A much needed reprieve was welcomed this past weekend. Nyack in the lower Hudson Valley region of upstate NY is such a cute little town with Victorian style houses and their main street is lined with many antique and thrift shops along with eclectic boutiques which made me ecstatic... as I have a mild obsession with finding such shops to scavenge for those unique/one-of-a-kind items that I love to incorporate into my home decor. I may or may not have bought a couple of things;)


Buy Out The Time

"The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships." - Anthony Robbins
One of the things I enjoy most is good company and conversation. So of course there's nothing that I love more than to be able to spend time with those that I don't get to see a lot because of busy schedules. Gifts to me are those moments of which I make sure to create/have all the time throughout the year.

For a centerpiece at this dinner party, I simply filled up an oversized martini glass with four pomegranates as I love the rich rosy red hue of the fruits. Then I covered the open gaps around the pomegranates with fuchsia Gerber Daisies and filled the bottom with water  - simple, yet full of color that pops against the white table palate.

Sometimes I go with a simple tablescape - letting the food be the center of attention on the plates as compared to other tablescapes I've set up for my dinner parties. Hope you take time throughout the year to nurture the relationships that are important and never take them for granted or wait to see them only once a year -remember, life is short and nothing is for sure the next day.

Happy Hump Day!


Pumpkin Pudding Crunch

As much as I love to cook and bake, I don't like to spend all day in the kitchen -especially in a diminutive NYC apartment kitchen.  When I find a recipe that is simple and quick, right away I put it to the test to see if it's one that's worth adding to my arsenal of great recipes to make. As soon as I saw this recipe on LIVE! With Kelly and Michael...I knew I had to try it, and believe it or not, this is already the second time I've made it for friends at my dinner parties. So, it's safe to say - it's a keeper.

But since I'm bad at following recipes to a T, I usually somehow find a way to adapt the recipe to my own taste.   I substituted almond milk for the carnation milk and I use only 1/2 cup of sugar instead of the full cup of sugar. Also, I decided to divide the dessert by putting it in ramekins to create individualized desserts. I felt it presented well that way, but of course if you're making it for more than 6-8 people, I guess it would be more practical to bake it in a long rectangular Pyrex.


Olive Corduroy

H&M plaid pants, Old Navy grey vest { feels like cashmere}, Limited turtleneck...{also ancient}, Black supple leather gloves with cashmere lining...{10 years old}, Juicy Couture bag, Mia suede boots, Henri Bendel bracelet...{seen here}, Gold hoops, Vintage sunnies, Harve Bernard corduroy jacket 
Our winter has arrived with a vengeance making up for the lack of it last year I guess, cause it's been so cold out. Thankfully my good'ole warm olive corduroy jacket has come to the rescue for those chilly non-rainy days. I like that although it's a heavy jacket that keeps me warm as if I'm wrapped in a nice soft blanket, yet it is also easy enough to wear because it isn't bulky.

Happy Monday & Keep Warm!
Xo, Rebecca


Road Trip: Day 3 ~ From Nevada To New York City

...continuing with Day 3 of four on our road trip drive across country journeying back to NYC.

...Nebraska: we leave a rainy overcast Nebraska from day 2.

smeared dead bugs on the windshield...
Iowa: we reached Iowa, the air was filled with cow dung, but it is a very lush and green state with lots of rolling hills - where I dreamed I lived on this amazing ranch surrounded by many different types of animals including a few white horses...then, I woke up!


Illinois: Lake the sun had just set...can you see the mauve colored sky from the sunset?

Arrived in Indiana {which seems to be one of the longest states to drive through...besides PA...sheesh!} needless to say, it was time for much needed rest, shower and sleep at this point. So, good night for now. We shall continue with the last {but not least...} day of this road trip next.


Remembering Newtown

Usually Fridays are the days I share with you my Joie De Vivre of the week, but today as it's already a week since the most chilling crime happened in Newtown where the lives of little innocent ones were snuffed out prematurely and left us in a state of shock, I wanted to take time to reflect on this event. As much as I've been trying to distract my mind from the overwhelming sadness of that heinous crime, I still can't stop the constant thought of those little kids and adults that lost their lives and the anguish of the parents and town.

I may not completely comprehend the depth of the families grief, but as a child who grew up in an extremely abusive home, I know how strongly I feel when I see any child get mistreated, abused or suffer. In fact as a result of the aforementioned, at a very young age I conscientiously opted not to bring any children into this wicked world. Unfortunately, we live in a society where adults and young alike are exposed to  glorified violence through the media, the internet, movies and video games. Society as a whole has no fear of God or respect for his written word.  Although tougher gun controls will make it harder to get weapons, it does not cure the disease.  The fundamental issue is we reap what we sow.  People are taught through the entertainment industry that violence is an acceptable means to vent their anger and rage living in a stressful world.  I have tried to help people counteract this kind of thinking by volunteering twenty-to-fifty hours a month in community service to raise awareness of how the lack of kindness, compassion, empathy and love is affecting not only them, but their neighbors. An old adage says 'knowledge is power'.   Learning correct standards helps each individual to make a self-examination of their values and also makes them realize that there is an accountability to a much higher being.

Often overlooked is the value of a letter of condolence or sympathy. Knowing the kindness of such a gesture, I would like to offer my condolence to the families, community, and colleagues of Newtown, CT.  I'm deeply sorry for your loss, the pain and sorrow that you're experiencing at this time.  I hope knowing that you're in our thoughts and prayers gives you comfort and strength to bear up under this difficult time.  Just know that God isn't responsible for such a wicked act. It is people that commit these crimes, and soon all these things will be a thing of the past.

"He will swallow up death forever. The Lord God will wipe away all tears and take away forever all insults and mockery against his land and people. The Lord has spoken - he will surely do it!..." - Isaiah 25:8


Inspiration: Fall Table Settings & Decor Details

I'm just bummed that my favorite season is over today - fall. It's nothing new as I have always had an affinity for fall AND beautiful table settings. In honor of that, I figured I'd post a couple of table settings and decor details that I have found inspiring.

I love a beautiful fall table setting. It's such a joy to look at the different hues of red, burgundy and burnt orange as well as the shimmer of the glass and cutlery glistening on a table. It conjures up so many emotions and a warm fuzzy feeling inside me - mainly, JOY! Consequently, around fall I find myself mesmerized by the different fall table settings/decor details on the web, so here are a couple that I've pinned in the past. I certainly hope this post was able to distract your mind for a few minutes from life's anxieties.

Hope you enjoyed your fall!

*Image: {1} source {2} source {3} source {4} source {5} Martha Stewart {6} source {7} source 


Fall 2012 Hottest Nail Color: Inspirations

Matte navy polish

Almost all my life I've always gravitated to warmer hues {a.k.a earth tone colors} including my nail polish color choices, which I usually change according to seasons.  I often switch to dark variations of browns, reds, and dark navy for the fall/winter months, and cool tones like a marshmallow hue to soft pinks for spring and summer. So imagine my contentment when I noticed that the hottest 2012 nail trends this fall is all about the dark hues with added drama using arts and textures.  It always feels good to see that what I've already been doing and love is trending in the fashion world. These are a few of my favorites.

Polish color: O.P.I Oktoberfest

How about you? Is the dark hues trend a yay or nay for you?

*Images: {1} source {2} source {3} source {4} source + pinterest {5} source {6} source ...see more of my nail color inspirations on pinterest. Check out a couple of my own nail designs here.