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Julie & Julia

I believe in life that when you're cornered with seemingly no way out, it forces you to be resourceful and dig dip within yourself; in effect it makes you courageous.

Before I relocated from Long Island, NY to Nevada, I had a freelance decorating and personal shopper business that kept me very content and busy, aside from having my circle of friends that made life fun and enjoyable. Within a couple of years after we settled into our newfound environment, I started feeling disconnected and slowly started to lose my joy. The movie Julie and Julia came at the right time. As I was watching the movie I immediately bonded with both characters. First with Julie for the joyless circumstances she had found herself in and wanting to change it. Second, I connected with Julia Child for the love of cooking, eating, and the Parisian lifestyle that she was enjoying, which are all of my favorite things.

 ~ The mastering the art of cooking book is definitely a great edition to a cook's kitchen.

I had just started my blog formerly known as "Keeping Up With DaFashionista" and remember thinking to myself - "omgoodness, here's someone who's going through the same thing that I'm going through right now!" It gave me a sense of optimism and joy. Here, I too, had started a blog to help me keep my passion of design, fashion, food, entertaining and traveling alive while at the same time I found that writing my way through my mental fog after so many years of being away from home really helped me go inward to sort it all out. That's why this movie will be one of my all-time favorites! It's a classic and is super inspirational.

Remembering Nora Ephron - thanks for some great classic memories

What did you think of the movie? Which parts of the movie did you find inspiring? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

*Images: {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} {7} 


Joie De Vivre: Things That Made My Week

 {My little cute birdie that greets me upon entering my apartment's foyer {similar}

I'm shooting for some quiet time this weekend. I have been so unusually tired lately that I really need some time to simmer down, un-fog my brain and just really enjoy a lazy weekend thumbing through my piles of fashion and design magazines possibly with a glass of wine. I hope you have a fun relaxing weekend as well. Have some YOU time! Xx

{Met this sweet bulldog during one of my NYC strolls - she was a big mush!}

{My leaning tower of Pisa shot glasses from our Europe trip}
{Enjoyed a great brunch with friends... this was the most delicious french toast I've had in a long time}

{Beautiful pansies on the rooftop of a friend's place}
{This is for you;)... thanks for reading}

AND 10 things I learned about Italian food...



Simply Dazzling

I have been debating whether to purchase this lovely floor lamp or DIY my existing corner floor lamp that is functional, but I just have lost the love I had for it when I first purchased it {see it here}. Decisions decisions.... I'm leaning more towards getting this lamp for its boutique hotel style feel.

When you are finishing up a room design, it's very important to recognize how essential lighting fixtures are. Not only are lamps essential to a well-lit room, but they also make a big impact on a room's overall look and feel. Whenever you have an itch to change something, one of the ways you can amplify your room's style is by choosing the right light fixtures for your home.

TIPS: things to keep in mind when shopping for floor or table lamps.

1- THE LAMP SHADE: Don't forget as you shop for lamps, make sure to pay close attention to the shade, as it will determine a light's effectiveness. For instance, the wider the shade and the closer the bulb is to it, the greater the spread of light will be.

2- THE LAMP'S HEIGHT: If it's too short or too tall the bulb will create glare that can be annoying and renders it useless.




Levi's skinny jeans, gifted necklace shown here, Top {Similar}, Wedges H by Halston {similar here and here}

When my life feels like I boarded a runaway train ...then I have to quickly reach for the brakes... screechhhhhh! Hear it? Some of the things I love doing to decompress or slow down are explore Manhattan, window shopping and of course eat at some well-known restaurants on my wish list! This past week was no different. After strolling through one of my favorite neighborhoods, the hubby and I headed to my dream place in NYC - downtown Soho where we enjoyed some nice quiet relaxing time talking at one of Downtown's hidden spots for celebrities {another one of Kelly Ripa's favorite spots}.

Banana Pancakes

This week the weather went from spring-like to a very brisk cold fall air {almost late fall type}... I couldn't help but be inspired to get back into making comforting breakfast foods again. Since I had a bundle of bananas that were quickly ripening on me, I decided to make this recipe , which came out light and fluffy oddly enough - not like your typical heavy pancake that makes you want to sleep for days. I omitted the sour cream part though.

Isn't the sweet aromatic smell of cooking breakfast on a cold fall morning the best! hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmmm! I LOVE fall!


Charlotte Olympia Knows How To Do it...

How gorgeously vivid are these shoes!? I'm in LOVE!
As a lover of shoes, I must say nothing polishes off a look better than an amazing pair of heels, and Charlotte Olympia understands that well with the incredible style of shoes she produces. Her distinctive style sure makes her stand above many others - making her heels one of the best "wow!" accessories a woman could ever own in her collection.

For instance, this past week as I left the LIVE! with Kelly and Michael show with my bags of merchandise bought at the show's kiosk, a patron at the Starbucks across the street asked me how I enjoyed the show, and proceeded to tell me that there's a pair of heels that Kelly Ripa wears and she knew they weren't Louboutin but could not figure out which brand they were.  She was dying to know as she loves them a lot. I knew exactly which shoes she was talking about because not only has Kelly worn them {except hers have the espadrille covered platform similar to these} many times in the past on the show but I also had the privilege of appearing on fashion finder with Kelly that same day and she had them on which made it all feel so serendipitous. So, I of course told her that they were Charlotte Olympia shoes, and she could not stop talking about them. She was ecstatic to finally know who designed the shoes. That's why I say Charlotte Olympia knows how do it!

Beautiful heels make such an impact not only on how we walk but even on how we stand. The proper heels/shoes therefore, are a detail not to underestimate when finishing off a look.



{Fresh flowers from the hubby on my dresser + my new amazingly aromatic diptyque candle}

Although this past week didn't look too promising in the beginning, it sure made a quick turn around to being an amazing one. There were so many enjoyable moments including one of my long time dreams coming true, that I can't even begin to put it all into words. Since pictures are worth a thousands words, I'll just have to let some of the photos give a synopsis of some of those great moments.

PS: just give the video at the bottom time to load.

{The day I exchanged a quick hello with Joan Rivers in front of Jimmy Choo store on Madison Avenue}

{Couldn't pass up this beautifully chic purple hat window shopping on the upper east side of NYC}

{Have been enjoying some beautiful weather reading in Central Park}

{This was the icing on the cake with the sweatest cherry on top!}

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend! Thanks for your support and please join the website;) Thanks a million. Xx

A Dream Moment At LIVE! with Kelly And Michael

Had I not been so starstruck and overly excited yesterday upon finally meeting my all-time favorite TV person - Kelly Ripa on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael, this is what I would have wanted to properly articulate to her:

Kelly, thank you for being a kind-hearted person with an unselfish spirit; a mother who teaches her children great values and does her best to raise responsible grateful children. Your bubbliness, unpretentiousness, spunk, and a ability to always see the silver lining in every unfavorable situation are qualities that make you enjoyable to watch every day. That's why for years now I've been willing from time to time to wake up at 4am {so I can be at the head of the line...ensuring that I would get in} when I didn't get tickets to the show,  and wait on that standby line just for a chance to come in the studio so I can be entertained by your wit, great antics and infectious smile that never fails to lighten up my day. You certainly inspire so many of us to be kind, giving and be unselfish.

Human Kindness is a form of love.  It is the showing of hospitality and expressing interest in a complete stranger; it is the doing of little things to make life enjoyable. Yesterday I definitely experienced that extraordinary human kindness from the staff, and of course from the amazing Kelly Ripa who has a gift of making anyone and everyone feel special in her presence and for that I will forever be a FAN and grateful! I took so many photos, I decided to put it as a slide show so as to not overwhelm with 30+ pictures on this post. Hope you love the pictures of that fun day for me, plus my backstage moment on fashion finder. I was dreaming of this moment for 11 years and it finally came true! Still on cloud nine!

 "You get what you give out. Be kind." 


Life Lessons in Friendships

I couldn't agree more with one of Oprah's tweets this year:
"I thank the people who've brought me dark moments; when I felt most wounded and betrayed. You have been my greatest teachers."

I can now clearly see and understand that. Sometimes, you wonder, why a relationship or friendship that seemed so right and perfect, takes such an unexpected turn for the worse? Although it's an experience that can be extremely painful and disappointing, I'll have to maintain balance by endeavoring to see it for what it is - a lesson in life that needs to be learned.

That's why it's very important to size up a potential friend first - meaning if you are interested in making friends with someone you have met, you might want to ask yourself ‘Who are his or her friends?’ You've heard the adage "birds of a feather flock together"? Well, the type of close associates someone has tells much about the person himself. Also, it is wise to consider not only how potential friends treat us but also how they treat others, particularly those from whom they have nothing to gain. Unless a person displays good qualities - such as honesty, integrity, patience, and consideration - at all times and to all people, what guarantee is there that this person will always treat you well? Getting to know someone’s true character requires patience and skill, as well as time to observe the person in real life. We need to talk to potential friends about serious subjects - those that reveal their true personality, motivations and, yes, values. What sort of people are they? Are they kind or cold? Basically positive and cheerful or negative and cynical? Unselfish or self-serving? Trustworthy or disloyal? If a person talks critically about others to you, what will prevent such an individual from talking negatively about you behind your back?

Some think that their friends must have exactly the same tastes as they do. It is true that friends need to have enough in common to be able to understand each other, and it is best if they share the same basic moral and spiritual values. But they do not have to be identical in personality and background. In fact, differences in life experience can bring richness and mutual benefit to a friendship. The good results of mutual encouragement can be far-reaching. Many happy young adults give much of the credit for their success to friends of their youth who were at least a little older and who served as good examples and gave them good advice. So great friendships don't have to be limited to just our peers.

More great advice on friendships:

... how to create a healthy social circle
... four ways on how to keep a friendship alive
... True friendship - how to build it?

*Photo sources {1} {2} {3} {4}


My Second Favorite Neighborhood In NYC

Last week I had one of those days that the minute you open your eyes in the morning, every single thing goes wrong, and all you want to do is crawl back to bed and sleep the day away. I came close to doing that until I decided to head to one of my dream neighborhoods in NYC {which I've written about before here} - Brooklyn Heights!  A trip there always does the trick. The serenity of this gem tucked in Brooklyn is one of those places that always bring my blood pressure down - for good reasons. Look at this place! Pictures don't do it justice, but I hope you get the idea.



Grateful Moments

{Enjoyed some chocolate sampling on Madison Avenue at Godiva}

Finding joy in the daily mundane day-to-day routine can free us from the burden of being angry and unhappy with our lot in life. When we're rushed and don't take the time to ponder over the little daily blessings that we have, this can make us develop a bitter/ungrateful spirit that will rob us of having a calm happy disposition. Stop and smell the roses among the thorns of daily life.

{An ominous/magnificent sky off the Brooklyn promenade in Brooklyn Heights}

{This little guy nonchalantly came to my feet at the Brooklyn Heights promenade - that's a true NYer pigeon - unafraid of people:}

{Beautiful flowers while sitting at a street cafe}

{Vibrant lips in a boutique's window on Madison Avenue... very whimsical}

{New set of  earrings added to my jewelry collection - matching necklace shown here}

{Happy gelato servers at Il Gelato in Little Italy mentioned here - one of Kelly Ripa's favorite spots}