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9.30.2013

Indian Floral Tunic

Indian silk floral tunic, Grey skinnies (similar here), Marc Jacobs bag (very old and completely worn out), BCBG heels, Ulta sunnies (old...featured here, here), Mixed jewelry, Teal cocktail ring - c/o Moe

This is what I already miss about my beloved city New York. It's the only city I know that you go in to get your eyebrows threaded and come out with a one of a kind silk tunic. As I walked down these narrow steep stairs to a small back room to get my eyebrows done, I was pleasantly surprised to have found that it also was a shop full of beautiful garbs, colorful slippers full of intricate details, sandals, pretty fancy bejeweled heels and tunics for men and women in the most beautiful hues. As soon as my feet hit the floor from the last step, my eyes laser beamed straight to this luxurious silk yellow/lime green tunic that I just couldn't pass up. The fabric is so light, silky and super comfy. It's such a versatile piece that can be paired with so many pieces. I just love it!




 

 
 

 
Happy Monday!
 
 
 

9.27.2013

Grateful Moments

{The prettiest chandelier I've ever seen in a movie theatre just enhanced the experience!}

I know it seems to be a constant chant every time Friday rolls around, but truly, this week went faster than usual. It might be because it was a full schedule of meetings,  making new connections and luncheons. I love a week that leaves you feeling like you accomplished much and now I'm ready for a low key weekend - possibly catching up with some reading.

{Enjoyed enlivening our home this week with bouquet bunches from the hubby}
 
{Revived some jewelry pieces back to their luster using a simple at home natural solution that I'll share soon on here}
 
{One of my guilty pleasures - fall beverages are back at Starbucks!}
 
{Friday always puts us in good spirits...}
 
Happy Friday Dearies!
 
 
 

9.25.2013

I'm Currently Inspired By


This fall, I'm currently inspired by: Vegan leather leggings, Striped curved hemline loose blouse, Gold crystal turquoise and white enamel crescent bib necklace, Zac Posen colorblock satchel, Seductive fragrances like: diptyque 'Eau Duelle', Estee Lauder nail lacquer blue blood, Metallic toe cap peep-toe bootie, Jeweled right ear cuff, Rolex card holder.

9.24.2013

Thoughtful Tuesday

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.  Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” – Brian Tracy

I have been dealing with overwhelming feelings of complete disgust by my encounters with ill-mannered people. It seems that it is now "normal" behavior while driving, to honk uncontrollably or impatiently swerve in and out of traffic to cut someone off and be the first person to get to the red light. Also what seems to be "normal" behavior in grocery shopping, or any shopping for that matter is to walk into you without a word, hover over you or shove and push to get where they need to be instead of saying "excuse me". It saddens me to see that it isn't just that men aren't opening car doors for women, or offering them seats on subways or buses. It goes deeper than that. Indeed, everywhere we look, we can see evidence that we are living in an increasingly unmannerly world. One may ask what has changed? Well, for one thing, when you have a generation who are being brought up with the emphasis on assertiveness, individualism, and self-expression it fosters a me-first attitude and self-entitlement mentality. Another factor contributing to the dearth of public manners, is that those who ignore the accepted standards are no longer viewed as ill-mannered or boorish but as chic or sophisticated, much to be admired. In fact, today, the more shocking and outrageous a course of action is, the more popular it will likely become with many people.

This made me realize how much more effort that's needed on my part so that a person's bad manners don't strip me of my values to be kind, thoughtful and courteous. Because think, if everyone decides 'I'm going to be nasty just because this is what society has declined into...'what kind of society will we be fostering for the future? I'm not an expert in human behavior, but I do know the principle of cause and effect can be observed in virtually every aspect of life. No doubt the most memorable lessons you learned were those in which you had to face the consequences of your actions. In contrast, being thoughtful breathes so much more happiness in ones life. Have I honed this to a "T"? Absolutely not, but being conscious of it helps me try my best every day to exchange any bad manners with good ones.

For instance, I'll share this quick story. A few weeks ago, I didn't see my 82 year old neighbor for a while. I got a little worried and couldn't stop thinking about her, so I took time out of a super busy day to get her an orchid and placed it in a pretty pot. I was so excited to bring it to her that as soon as I got home I didn't even start dinner but ran it to her. With eyes wide open looking at the orchid she embraced me and gave me a hug and proceeded to tell me that she was feeling very lonely because her children and sister have not visited (sort of abandoned her) in years. Listening to her expressions of family disappointments put a huge lump in my throat and made sacrificing my time to visit with her worth every second of it. That experience brought more joy to me than getting a new pair of shoes or bag for I knew I made a difference in her life that day.

You either enrich or deplete someone else's life by your behavior and actions. Always remember that good manners are truly the finer touches in life.


9.23.2013

Feeling Blue

Cobalt maxi dress (old...similar here), Mirror aviators, Leather jacket (seen here), Rachel Zoe flats, Mixed jewelry, Hair flower (similar here)

Strangely, I'm having some mixed emotions about summer ending. I'm not sure if it's because my summer was spent in California where for the most part the moderate temperature sometimes fooled me into thinking it was spring. While there were some unusually hot/humid days (according to the locals) that had me wishing summer was over, now that the season has come to an end, I feel somewhat sad. I'm thinking maybe because I'm feeling nostalgic about being on the west coast this fall instead of NY (tearing!).

What do you miss about summer or your hometown?

 

9.22.2013

Emmy Award Winning Crab Salad Bites


I love me a cocktail hour so much that I always look for an excuse to host one. Today's 2013 Emmy awards celebration gives me a great excuse to have a couple of friends over for a mini cocktail party - hooray! So I thought these quick and easy festive crab salad bites, which are deliciously packed with nutrients would make a great pairing with some moscato or bubbly while watching the show. 


Ingredients

1lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, or stone crabmeat (or any meat of preference)
1 stalk celery, peeled, and finely diced
4 tsp. finely sliced fresh chives
1/3 cup prepared mayonnaise
3 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. stone ground mustard
2 tsp. green onions chopped (to sprinkle on top)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat, celery and chives.
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and mustard. Then add the dressing to the crabmeat mixture and stir until just coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  What's nice about a crab salad is if not using right away, you can refrigerate it until you're ready to serve.

Serve on crackers or in Endive leaves as shown in photos.

Have fun and enjoy the show!

9.20.2013

Grateful Moments

{One of my favorites diffuser fragrance at the moment from Kitson}

What are your weekend plans my dear readers? Hopefully, it involves rest and relaxation. This weekend starting today, I'm looking forward to going to the movies for the first time in over two years. Dragging the hubby against his will to go see "The Butler"; it seems interesting hope it's not a let down or a downer. I'll also be cleaning out my closet retiring pieces that I no longer love, but are in great shape to donate to my local charities. I'm particularly looking forward to working on some fun DIY's that I've been desperate to finish. I can't wait to share one of my latest finds that I'll be giving an easy makeover with some gold brass paint to bring it to the modern age. So excited about this particular project!  Well, let me get my day going. You guys have a fabulous posh weekend!

{The cutest moped in front a local restaurant in the neighborhood}

{I mean C'MON! who wouldn't love these pretty Macaron bath fizzers in their Loo?}
 
{Sneak peek of a newfound item this week = one of the projects that I will be working on this weekend}
 
{Note to self;}

Xx,
Rebecca


 

My Summer of 2013

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. - Celia Thaxter

Today marks the official end of summer folks! How was your summer? Did you get to accomplish all that you dreamed? I hope you did and this summer of 2013 was a memorable one for you and your family.
With the swift passage of time, I think it's safe to say that some of us might feel a bit disappointed that the season rapidly slipped away, possibly without giving some of us the chance to accomplish goals on our wish list. As a person who tends to beat myself up on things that I didn't get to do, I thought it would be a better idea to reflect back on the last three months and ponder on what went great just to boost the mood. One of the main accomplishments this year was our across country road trip fulfilling one of our goals of many years. It's been fun exploring new areas, meeting new people, decorating a new space and trying out restaurants that have been on the wish list for a while. But most importantly, being out of our comfort zone is really helping the hubby and I to be adaptable. When you are in a new culture dealing with a different mentality it sure helps to widen your perspective - helping us to grow into better individuals as we learn to be flexible while maintaining our sense of self.


Why not make a list of your accomplishments of the last three months. You'd be surprised of how much you've done thus boosting your mood to take on the rest of the year with gusto and renewed eyes.

9.19.2013

My 5 Steps To A Cleaner Hotel Stay


Apart from our leisure travels, we find ourselves traveling quite a bit due to the nature of the hubby's business. As glamorous as that sounds, it comes with a little bit of anxiety for me and certain rituals that must be followed so that I am ensured of a relaxing hotel room experience.

Interested in what my rituals could possibly be? I'm going to share 5 steps of what I do before even checking what's in the room. For starters, as soon as we get into the room the hubby has come to know now (after many years of yelling this:) "DO NOT  put the suitcases, bags or anything on those carpeted hotel room floors", EVER (just the same way I never ever use the glasses in the room)...no matter how luxurious the hotel is. (staying at luxury hotels have cut down the rituals from 50 steps to a manageable 5).

Let's get right to the process, shall we?

1. Room inspection - Examine the luggage stand for possible moving black dots - in other words, bed bugs or other critters before depositing luggage on them. If sometimes they look suspect, I usually pile our bags on top of chairs or ottomans (only if they're leather) so I can do a full room inspection first before unpacking. Remove all bedding to inspect corners of mattresses for bed bugs or bed bug droppings.

2. Disinfect room - meaning ripping off the top decorative cover on the bed. Then douse everything with 19oz Lysol can of spray: including bedding, pillows, toilet seat, toilet tank flushing handle, tub/shower, sinks including knobs, TV remote front, back, side, lamp knobs, I also throw away the first few Kleenex sheets on top, inspect all towels for spots, hair etc...  I wish they would make a Lysol 'bomb' that I could just open the door and throw in like a grenade before entering. That would be so ideal!

3. Exit the room - After having the room completely sprayed down to the point of asphyxiation, we normally go out to dinner/cocktail hour and let things marinate in Lysol. Upon our return to the room, I go back with Lysol wipes (or small traveling hand wipes ) to wipe down everything to a squeaky clean finish.

4. Extra necessary hotel items request - such as, extra clean pillow cases (with no stains or hair) to cover the opening sides of the pillows just to make sure there's no possible exposure to the actual pillows themselves on my delicate face which usually breaks out immediately with the thought of putting my head on them. I used to pack my own pillow case protectors with zippers, but for the sake of cutting down extra luggage hassle, I've resorted to just requesting extra pillow cases now. Once I replace the bedding back on the bed after doing my inspections mentioned in #1, I sometimes turn the iron on the hottest setting and slowly iron the mattress to make sure any living breathing thing on there is completely toasted. Eek!

On this tray: Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, Maybelline great lash clear mascara, Nail oil conditioner and strengthener (old), Maybelline Fit Me concealer makeup, Maybelline lasting drama gel eyeliner in brown (which I never use as an eyeliner, but use on my eyebrows instead), MAC pink frontier eye shadow (that I dab on my cheeks and forehead for a little color only for special occasions), Pur berry pretty lip gloss stick (shown here)... you can see more of my "beauty" routine here

5. Decorate and settle in room - I now unpack our toiletries setting them into a his and hers section on the sink counter. Most hotels have a pretty tray on the counter where they leave shower gels, lotions, shampoo etc... I normally turn that into my beauty tray for my hotel stay - sometimes, even putting in fresh flowers in those glass cups they have that I would NEVER drink out of or even using one as a makeup brush holder if you're one that travels with lots of them. Shhh, don't repeat this out loud...but if the hotel room doesn't have toiletry trays, I'd normally resort to using one of the Kleenex sheets as a tray or even a washcloth to corral all your beauty items neatly on the corner of the sink counter. Sometimes, depending on how short our hotel stay is, I normally don't ever let the housekeepers back in there until we leave. This avoids them coming in with their dirty rags and contaminating all my hard work spent detoxing the room which we leave much cleaner anyway. Just request extra towels and toiletries, so you are self-contained. And leave the tips at the back end of your stay.

And now, we finally come to the moment where we can enjoy the room and really take in all the goodies that are placed in it for your pleasure. Oh, and do you believe that I still sleep on my forearms or the palms of my hands resting on the pillows so my face doesn't touch the pillows after all of that? I know. I'm weird.*

P.S. If I had Oprah or Tom Cruise' money, I'd send my cleaning team ahead of us to our personally owned hotel suites to get it ready with fresh 100% Egyptian cotton, cashmere sheets, down comforters, and faux fur (don't want any animals harmed for my living pleasure) blankets.  They would also replenish our well-stocked bar cart with the best imported spirits, filling each space with gorgeously rose-colored peonies, candles, covered chocolate strawberries, a tray of crudité, already poured bubbly on sparkly silver trays adorned with bright fresh red sweet strawberries, with jazz or French music playing in the background, or heck, maybe have a handsome pianist like this guy (from Under the Tuscan Sun), preferably with long flowy wavy dark hair playing some Mozart on the piano in the parlor for our welcoming pleasure. Oh, I can just go on and on...

P.S.S. I'd like to invent my own disposable toilet seat for when I travel. Who's going to steal that idea?

* Listen, I know I'm not the only one and yes, I might be a little overboard to some or Monk-ish as my hubby likes to call me, but I rather err on caution than regret it later somehow, plus it gives me a little...just a little peace of mind.

You're welcome hotels of the world!


9.18.2013

Finally Revealed: My Beauty Routine


For years now many have always told me that I have flawless skin and often ask me what products I use and what is my routine.  Honestly, I have no secret to flawless skin but for the record, I think my skin is far from being flawless.* In any event, I guess that's neither here nor there - I figured it was time to share what I use consistently for all those who've asked. My routine is rather simple and boring really. Truth be told, most of the time I don't even bother to wash my face at night before bed - just simply too lazy. I know that's terrible and I probably will regret it when I get older, but extreme exhaustion from the day usually overpowers me. I'm the type that will try everything that's advertised to even out the skin, keep it youthful looking and not dry it out no matter what the cost. I will generally use a new product for about six months to a year just to see if it really works.  However, in most cases I simply revert back to my tested and true basics below that I feel have done the job well:

After washing my face with a cleanser such as Aveeno positively radiant to even out my skin tone, I then apply one of my favorite tinted moisturizers by Laura Mercier, followed by grooming of the eyebrows using a little bit of this Maybelline number in brown. On the days I wake up with raccoon eyes, I dab a little bit of this Maybelline concealer and on extreme rare occasions/special occasions, I even go as far as applying a clear mascara. My beauty routine or lack thereof is simple, quick and leaves me looking as natural as possible just how I like it.

*This is not a sponsored post.


 

Favorite Links

 
1. One of fall's must-have fragrance. I love anything with a sweet undertone and when it's complemented with a touch of warm notes, it makes it all the more seductive and elegant. Just a spritz is needed for a night out.
 
2. Ways to sweeten without sugar. Such great alternatives for a person like me with a major sweet tooth and would be happy eating desserts for breakfast (pass the crème brulee please), lunch (anything that's a mouse, gelato) and dinner (crème puffs, cheesecake)....
 
3. Please let this babysitting dog story help you trust your animal's instincts in the future to act quickly.
 
4. Having experienced one of these awful things recently (Move #5 - I guess there's always a first time for everything) - make sure to go over these 10 awful things that movers do before committing to any moving company.
 
5. 6 steps to a perfectly made up face. As an individual who keeps things minimal, who's clueless about makeup and doesn't have a village prettying me up, I like documenting these tips because every now and then I'd like to know exactly what to do to get that Hollywood star look for special occasions and events.

9.17.2013

5 Steps To Create and Hang a Wall Gallery

 
I find wall galleries comforting because they remind me of faces, places and things that I love. A wall gallery when composed correctly can bring warmth to a home, awakening one's sense to daily reflect on what matters the most in our lives.

Now if arranging and hanging a wall gallery seems daunting to you, no need to fret. Here's an ingenious way that makes arranging and hanging (the hubby did the actual hanging for me;) your gallery arrangement a breeze.

I simply recycled some existing frames I had by changing out pictures that I was tired of looking at and replaced them with some cool photographs from the Met museum's art book that I purchased a few months ago.
 
 Frames before I changed out the photos
 
  
Steps:

1. Lay out your gallery arrangement on the floor in a pattern that appeals to you.

After: revived frames with the New York art photos

2. Flip frames over face down.


3. Tape several pieces of wax paper together so that it is the same size of your gallery arrangement. Then place your wax paper on top of the arrangement to trace the outline (I used a sharpie) of each frame and hanger/nail spot onto the wax paper.






4. Tape the wax paper on the wall exactly where you want it. I wanted mine in the center of my big wall and credenza, so I just eyeballed it but you can use a tape measure to ensure that it is level.

5. Now nail away onto where your markings are on the wax paper. Remove wax paper from the wall. Hang photos.

I tried several different arrangements before I settled on the one shown above. At first, I still wasn't sure if that's how I wanted it, but seeing it all up on the wall leaves me feeling pleased. I will be posting the finished look of my home office wall gallery soon. So check back or sign up on bloglovin' so you can automatically get updated with new posts.


 

9.16.2013

Jumpsuit Trend

Spaghetti strap jumpsuit, The Limited white blazer (also shown here), Vintage clutch, Gifted mixed jewelry, Boutique 9 heels

One good thing about fashion being so cyclical - it gives me the opportunity to relive styles that bring up some good memories from my yesterdays. Case in point, this jumpsuit has been in my closet for the last 18 or so years, but I could never part with it because of its comfortability and my fondness of jumpsuits. What's fantastic about them is that they're easy to wear and versatile enough to be casual or classy, whether roaming around the neighborhood, or by adding a few simple accessories such as color popping heels and a simple floral clutch you can go from a day to an evening (date night) look.


 
 
 
 

9.13.2013

Grateful Moments

{One of the greatest spots for a leisurely afternoon}
 
It's been several months now and I am still bogged down with a packed schedule.  I have been trying to put a dent in my endless to-do lists but it seems like the pile has not diminished one iota! This rut has left me feeling uninspired, and overwhelmed - I knew it was time to leave the home office/all the projects behind and went out to get some fresh air. So for the past couple of days I decided to break the cycle a bit by being 'out n about' doing some of my favorite things (things that refresh, renew my mind) like, exploring my surroundings, window shopping, sitting at quaint cafés for some tea with macarons, and I even went for some guac and chips with a nice margarita at a local restaurant that had outdoor seating so that I could watch all the interesting people as they strolled along. I felt so renewed by being in the outdoors that I plan to do more of that this weekend. Whatever your taste in leisure pursuits, make your weekend upbuilding and enjoyable.

{My cool vintage finds this week...doesn't this picture make you want to have a high tea party?}
 
{Slowly collecting vintage decanters for my bar cart}

{I just love good hotel soap - it's one of those things that make me smile from inside out}

{Quaint cafés with sidewalk seating just bring me back to vacationing in France and Tuscany: pure joie de vivre}
 
 Have a nice weekend!