Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve when it snows...

New Years Eve by agelessbeautyalways

Happy New Year, One...

We wish you a wonderfully memorable New Year's Eve and the best New Year of your life, so far...

Before we can welcome in the New Year, we need to put the Old Year's unfinished business - mistakes, regrets, shortcomings, and disappointments behind us. Here's how: write down on small slips of paper whatever you'd like to forget, then place the slips of paper in a small cardboard box. Next, with ceremony, wrap the box in black or very dark paper, sealing in the sorrow and hard luck. Say "Good riddance," and toss the box into the fireplace to burn away the past. If you don't have a fireplace, toss the bad memories from the past into the trash where they belong. Keep only the good.

Simple Abundance-A Daybook of Comfort and Joy Sarah Ban Breathnach

Ways to Welcome a New, New Year, Two...

Say good bye.
Say yes and yes.
Say NO! to all that
and that.
Say thank you.
Say hello President Obama !

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Camera Shy...

We have boxes and boxes of photos. Out of a possible million, there are, maybe, ten of me. Although I now regret not having more photos of me at a gorgeous age 22, I will always be camera shy. With the advent of the video camera, although my face is rarely in a frame, my voice can clearly be heard at every holiday photo fest, "take that camera off me!!" All that can change now. Casio has released the EX-Z300 which has a Makeup Function feature. It airbrushes, correcting any flaws, real or imagined, and makes you look like you've just been shot for Vogue. Magic!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Five Things To Do This Week...

Get ready for the New Year with these simple yoga positions.
Pick up Noelle Oxenhandler's, The Wishing Year, and make this the year your wish comes true.
So many new movies to see. Choose one; "Life can only be understood backward. It must be lived forward." The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or
Revolutionary Road.
Stock up on Champagne.
Imagine what you'll pack for your getaway to Makawao.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

Emily Bronte

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Happy New Year......

Before we can welcome in the New Year, we need to put the Old Year's unfinished business - mistakes, regrets, shortcomings, and disappointments behind us. Here's how: write down on small slips of paper whatever you'd like to forget, then place the slips of paper in a small cardboard box. Next, with ceremony, wrap the box in black or very dark paper, sealing in the sorrow and hard luck. Say "Good riddance," and toss the box into the fireplace to burn away the past. If you don't have a fireplace, toss the bad memories from the past into the trash where they belong. Keep only the good.

Simple Abundance-A Daybook of Comfort and Joy Sarah Ban Breathnach

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."Eleanor Roosevelt

...clipping from my grandmother's journal, November 1, 1940

Something to ponder when considering the task Barack Obama has been given:
"Remember Washington's greatest trials came before he was President; so it may be said that Lincoln is the only President who carried so grave a responsibility as the man now in the White House. Please bear in mind the next time you curse him for something you feel you could do better..."

We are filled with hope and wonder that our country has chosen such an amazing man to be our next President. As we approach his Inauguration, only 24 days away, (do you have Inauguration tickets?!, a hotel room?!), take a moment to read FDR's First Inaugural Address, March 4,1933, inspiring in its relevance to the problems we face today.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas visitor...

We had the pleasure of caring for Lola, a Great White Pyrenees, while her owner traveled. She is the size of a giant, white snowdrift.

Big Moon...


'Your Personal Moon'recent blogs, A Cup of Jo, one of our favorite blogs, and unruly things, via the unicorn diaries. They were conceived in Russia.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Minute..Merry Christmas!

Love these clips...

Perfect for reading on Christmas Eve: The Gift of the Magi

Wishing you a magical Christmas Eve.

The Little Match Girl...

One of my favorite Christmas stories when I was a child:

Monday, December 22, 2008

"The Visitor"... Ellis Island 1905

Italian family looking for lost baggage, Ellis Island (1905). Photo by Lewis Hine, from the New York Public Library flickr site

The Visitor, written and directed by Tom McCarthy, (The Station Agent), is an eloquent and quiet investigation of loneliness and connection. (Now available on DVD.) A widowed college professor unexpectedly finds himself involved in the lives of undocumented immigrants, Tarek, a Syrian man, Zainab, his Senegalese girlfriend and Tarek's mother, Mouna, who arrives in search of her son as he faces deportation. The differences in culture evaporate as the two men share their love of music and their friendship deepens. The film addresses personal isolation, but also navigates the solitary plight of the immigrant facing a strange new world. It brought to mind the Borges poem Anita Desai used to open her book, The Inheritance of Loss:

Boast of Quietness

Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.
The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.
Sure of my life and my death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them.
Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.
Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.
They speak of humanity.
My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.
They speak of homeland.
My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword,
the willow grove’s visible prayer as evening falls.
Time is living me.
More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.
They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.
My name is someone and anyone.
I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to

- Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The Dead by wastrel from Flickr

one of our favorite passages:

Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

from "The Dead" by James Joyce

Friday, December 19, 2008

Diaphanous Dressing

Anthropologie double times your wardrobe. Take the "Altostratus Dress, diaphanous panels of grey silk chiffon gather and flow in elegant arcs and billows..." from day to night,
great ideas for accessorizing to get the most mileage from your holiday dress.

note: sorry, this dress was in their winter collection. The Anthropologie Spring 2009 dresses are lovely, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Little Bit of Magic...

Everyone is looking for a little magic this time of year and we have found it in a jar. CLARINS Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch is just that… MAGIC. This make-up base can be applied alone or before makeup to smooth away lines and imperfections. Use it around your eyes, mouth or forehead or anywhere you need a little help, and who knows something magical may happen. It is that time of year.

Make a Wish...

Make a wish: Set your wish free.

"We're never truly separate from what we wish for." Kythe Heller, Immolation

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In Black and White...

Rouen France 1970
In the lonely night in the blinking stardust of pale blue light
You're coming through to me in black and white when we were made of dreams...
Born In Time
, Bob Dylan

Black and White: Ukranian Nuns, Katherine Turczan
image I, image II

Bill Cunningham's On The Street, Ink Spots
Black style... and White, Karin Nelson's, Pulse, Shine A Light

Monday, December 15, 2008

"In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn't. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic." Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things

Happy Birthday To You...

Happy Birthday
Originally uploaded by sugarpie honeybunch

"Time can but make her beauty over again:
Because of that great nobleness of hers
The fire that stirs about her, when she stirs,
Burns but more clearly. O she had not these ways
When all the wild Summer was in her gaze.
W.B. Yeats

May these lines from a Yeats poem bring comfort as we accumulate birthdays!


Sunday, December 14, 2008

“A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return." Bhagavad Gita

Gift Giving 104...

yes the blue ornaments and robe are colored this way in the ad 57 years ago! from from Flickr

Perfect gifts to bring to a party host: Holidays On Ice, by David Sedaris and I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence,by his sister, Amy, have become holiday classics.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gift Giving 103...

"Time is like a stretched elastic band. You can't let it go or it'll come back and take your eye out.
" Patsy, Ab Fab

For your BFF: Absolutely Fabulous, the Brit import on DVD, follows the misadventures of Patsy and Eddy. Shameless laughter is the perfect antidote to all the bleak media news.

To Market, To Market...

George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress),Flickr

New York City is full of holiday markets.
Take a day to see the windows, the tree, and browse the stalls.

Look for a street bazaar near you and make it a magic part of your holiday.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Shopping...

My family grew up in the country with a field of wild strawberries and a brook running through the woods. We considered our dad a little eccentric because of his love of and respect for nature. We had a compost pile. He was a beekeeper. We had every kind of fruit tree, a grape arbor, and a garden that supplied our vegetables and berries. Although he worked in a city, he had the heart of an artist and a farmer. Every Christmas he would bring home a live tree, something we balked at because it was like no other tree. Our friends thought it odd that our holiday trees were always smaller and had a ball of cloth covered dirt under them. As the replanted trees grew in our fields marking the passing years, we came to embrace our yearly ritual. This year's Rockefeller Center tree came from this same lovely tradition. Living in the city makes it difficult to have a live tree, but it is a wonderful memory. In memory of John

What to wear when shopping for the tree...

imaginary outfit: going to get a christmas tree by evencleveland

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


1940's fashion.
Originally uploaded by EleganceisRefusal.
Don't we all love velvet? It makes us feel beautiful and festive. Whether we channel Anna Karenina or J. Crew, it's up to us how we wear it. Mix it with denim, tweeds, cashmere or silk. Some years are velvet years. We welcome it back!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Snowman...

We had our first snowfall in New York on Saturday night. The trees are lit in Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. Time to get out your ice skates! There are lots of outdoor rinks open now!
If you want to add more magic to your holidays,revisit The Snowman. The music, the DVD, and the book are enchanting.

What to wear:

imaginary outfit: skating costume by evencleveland

Monday, December 8, 2008

Betty Davis Eyes...

I was thought to be “stuck up”. I wasn’t. I was just sure of myself. This is and always has been an unforgivable quality to the unsure.” Bette Davis

Women of a "certain" generation were reticent about accepting compliments in fear that we would appear conceited. No matter how talented or gifted or beautiful we were it was somehow inappropriate to acknowledge it. Well it is time to claim your gifts. You have earned them. Denying what you are and what you have learned is not self effacing it just negates your power. Some women have always known this and that sets them apart. “She got Bette Davis eyes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"The Upside of Anger"...

"Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. That's what I know now. It needs nothing to burn but the air and the life that it swallows and smothers. It's real, though - the fury, even when it isn't. It can change you... turn you... mold you and shape you into something you're not. The only upside to anger, then... is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they're not afraid to take the journey, someone that knows that the truth is, at best, a partially told story. That anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits, and in its wake, leaves a new chance at acceptance, and the promise of calm." from the film: The Upside of Anger

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Leg to Stand On...

"The average man is more interested in a
woman who is interested in him than he is in
a woman, any woman, with beautiful legs.
Marlene Dietrich

If your legs are your best feature, and legs do tend to outlast every other body part as we age, then this is for you. Look fabulous without going broke! Remember accessorizing? Lose the black tights for an evening and splurge on a pair of these from today's NY Times ThursdayStyles. Have a look at other lacy tights by DKNY, Betsy, Johnson, and Chanel on the Times site.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gift Giving 102...Tom's Shoes

TOMS Shoes: How To Spend Less And Give More (VIDEO)

"With the economy as it is, spending money wisely is more important than ever. Gift giving is a wonderful thing - and should continue to be - but we need to be conscious of how we spend our dollars. Before you break open the piggy bank, ask yourself the following: Will this gift truly be appreciated? Is there a way that I can spend less AND give more at the same time? I believe that you can with TOMS Shoes...

This Holiday Season, TOMS launched an audacious campaign to sell and give 30,000 pairs of shoes in 30 days! We kicked off this campaign by making a short one-minute video describing our goal. View here: Tom's Shoes . In the past 10 days, over 25,000 people have seen this video and more than 9000 shoes have been sold and will soon be given. This is AMAZING... but we still need YOUR help. We only have 20 days left to reach our goal!

Please share this video with your friends, family, co-workers... and absolutely everyone you know. Everyone that sees this video will be inspired to buy a pair of TOMS and make our 30K in 30 day goal possible!

Together, we can make a difference... one pair of shoes at a time!"

from The Huffington Post

Gift Giving 101...

Get started today. The Etsy Holiday Gift Guide has something perfect; handmade, original, whimsical, for everyone on your list.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Nothing but blue skies from now on..." Irving Berlin

"What hurt me so terribly
all my life until this moment?
How I love the small, swiftly
beating heart of the bird
singing in the great maples;"
Jane Kenyon

Blue birds of happiness...

It is a common belief that our state of happiness is a quotient given to us at birth. If so then we are born with a propensity for viewing the glass as either “half full or half empty”. It is said that even after a tragedy when the mourning period is over, we return to our set point. We are not talking euphoria here like falling in love but the nuts and bolts of daily life. What does make us happy? Is our happiness based only on external events that are so many times beyond our control? No one has a blessed life; we all have our share of disappointments. So in these difficult times let’s try to perceive things differently; develop the happiness habit and try our best to see that glass as half full.

"If you want to be happy, resolutely turn the spotlight off yourself. Forget your own self-importance, your aches and pains, your feelings and fears. Instead, get busy. The world is wide and fascinating, and it needs your participation." Michael Crichton

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Always remember to be happy because you never know who's falling in love with your smile." anonymous

photo from: The Sun, a subscription could be the perfect gift for a literary friend.

Nothing will age you faster than a dingy smile. It use to be that you could only whiten your teeth professionally at the dentist. Of course that is still an option but now there are so many good over the counter products that can have a dramatic effect as well. One of the easiest of methods is Listerine Whitening pre-brush rinse. Used twice a day before brushing it is a gentle, gradual way to lighten your teeth without creating sensitivity. Crest Whitestrips Daily Multicare is excellent as well. So visit your local drugstore and smile!

Smile - sunshine is good for your teeth. ~Author Unknown

Monday, December 1, 2008

Remember Our Returning Soldiers...

When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards the wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following and send to the address below:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD. 20791-5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than Dec. 10. For more information, visit or for Holiday Mail for Heroes program guidelines.

Thanks to a reader for the address correction!

Another way to help returning veterans: Contact
Rebuilding Together