Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Five

T.G.I. F. We made it to Friday!! Here are my Five Favorite things found on the Internet this week:

1. Liquid Palisades: How on earth did I ever give myself a manicure before without this??
Liquid Palisades allows you to paint your own nails without the mess. Simply paint this on to your cuticle area or wherever you don't want the polish to stick, let it dry, paint your nails and then peel off the liquid palisades. What you end up with is a clean manicure without the salon price tag. If you are daring, you can use it to create nail art, french manicures and even half moon manicures. I ordered this on Monday and it was here by Wednesday! I used it today and I could not be happier.

2. Dormouse Video: Now I know why the Dormouse in Alice in Wonderland could sleep through so much of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party! I think I want a dormouse as a pet. Check out this video

3. Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva: This gorgeous castle is Switzerland's most historic monument and it is quite obvious why. This castle is amazing. I wish you could rent a room there.

4. BHLDN's Funny Face: BHLDN offers up six beautiful wedding day looks, complete with how-to's that help you achieve the look you  like best. In addition to posting the looks online, you can also download them and print them out to give to your stylist/makeup artist. I think these looks are great for everyone - not just brides. We all have parties to go to and big nights out, and we want to look our best. My personal favorite look is Mrs. Sixty.

5. Peanut Butter Fudge: Tuesday January 24 was national Peanut Butter Day. Peanut Butter is my favorite food in the world. I cannot live without it - I have tried! In honor of this holiday, I present Peanut Butter Fudge from Pennies on the Platter. You can thank me later.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Craving Color - Mint Green

It is not even February, and already I am looking forward to the Spring. I cannot wait to walk around Central Park, stroll through street fairs and ride my bike around my neighborhood. What I am most excited for is the reappearance of color! I envision some minty new additions to my wardrobe. I think mint is going to be a very popular color for this Spring. There are already a lot of gorgeous options for new clothes and accessories in mint. Below are a few of my favorites.

Clockwise: Executive Chic Bag  from Mod Cloth,   Carly Dress from Fossil,   Honeydew Intimates Polka Dot Undies from Madewell, VincenzaGold Gemstone Cabochon Ring  from QVC, Pins and Needles Backless Lace Dress from Urban Outfitters, Tessa Cardigan from Fossil, Transmission Tee from Madewell, Kudzu Skirt from Anthropologie

If you prefer to keep your clothing neutral and wear color on your nails, Essie's mint candy apple is the perfect green for Spring!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Muse

In Greek Mythology, the muses were 9 females who inspired the creation of literature and the arts. They were idyllic, beautiful goddesses who personified the understanding of the arts. 
 Artists, writers, musicians and fashion designers still refer to their muses today. These women help to inspire the designer to create their new line, pose for the artist, and often become the face of the brand. Givenchy had Audrey Hepburn. Richard Avedon had Dovima. Alexander McQueen called Daphne Guiness both his muse and his friend. John Galliano and Kate Moss have both a work and personal relationship. Muses become more than inspirations to the artist and designer. They become an extension of the brand and give the customer/viewer someone to relate and aspire to. 

I don't have a muse. I am inspired by people, places and things, but there is not one specific person that serves as the inspiration for all that I do. I think having a muse might be exciting for a while, but I get bored so easily. I do not know how long it would last. Do you have a muse? What inspires you?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Wanderlust - a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world  (at least that's what Wikipedia tells me).
I am 34. I want to study abroad. I want to take photography classes in Paris; study Gallery Management in London. I dream about studying art history in Florence and finally moving to California - hopefully getting a job at MOCA. Is this realistic? I don't know, but I do know that this is not just some fleeting feeling. It is a deep ache - a need. It took me ten years to graduate college because I worked full time while taking classes part time. I never interned with artists and photographers. I worked for lawyers. I was never happy doing this, but it was unavoidable. Now that I am a little older, I want those experiences. I want to travel and learn and see everything that I can, but I do not know if I am being fair to myself, to my husband and to any family we might have.

I've read so many blogs and stories about people who gave up their jobs to start businesses or go back to school. This is a brave and bold move. Am I selfish for wanting to do the same thing? The word Wanderlust always pops in to my head when I think about studying abroad, but I don't know if this quite describes me. Is there a word for the need to constantly be learning while traveling? If there is, I think that would be a better way to describe me.

Photo courtesy of Flickr


Often times, I focus on my own personal issues and find it hard to think of anything else. Between health and personal problems, life can be rough. However, there are people who go through so much more in their lives and I think their fight needs to be shared.

Beth is a wonderful young mother that I know from high school.  She shares her family's daily struggle, as well as her appreciation for life in her blog My Hands and Heart Are Full. Beth and her husband have a 6 year old son, and several months ago brought a beautiful girl in to this world. Despite their daughter's health issues, Beth remains strong and compassionate. I could only hope to be as wonderful a mother as she is. Please read her blog and help support Down Syndrome Awareness.

Some might call it an obsession

I love bags.....I mean really really love bags. To me, there is nothing wrong with buying a bag that costs more than two car payments. There are several bag designers that I love, but the last year it has been all about Rebecca Minkoff. Oddly enough my obsession with her did not start out with a bag purchase - it was with a pair of shoes (the two-tone Vixen pump - the only heel I have ever owned that didn't contribute to me falling over). After wearing these gorgeous heels and feeling like I was walking in a pair of ballet flats, I knew I had found my designer soul mate. It was on the the rest of her line. A wallet, change purse, cell phone case and many bags later, I can officially say I am obsessed. 

I got the pleasure of seeing Rebecca Minkoff at Fashion's Night Out and realized that she was the most adorable and fashionable pregnant woman I had ever laid eyes on. My friend, Alissa and I got our hair braided at the event and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Although I promised myself I wold stop spending this year, I am hoping my hunny takes this very unsubtle hint and buys me the Ostrich Embossed M.A.C. Clutch clutch for my birthday.....and maybe a pair of Rebecca Minkoff Bowery sunglasses. 

 l to r:  Sak's Fifth Avenue for FNO, The lovely Rebecca  Minkoff, Alissa shows off her braid
 l to r: Virginia "Nerd Alert" Laptop case, Ostrich Embossed M.A.C. Clutch
My favorite bag that I own: Navy Cupid Satchel

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saying Goodbye (written 9/8/2011)

This morning, my husband and I dropped our English bulldog, Rocky off to be boarded at the vet. We were supposed to go to Disney World for our last vacation before our Disney annual passes expired. The last few vacations we went on, Rocky gave us problems. My sister-in-law usually watches him, but the last two times, he attacked her - viciously. He attacked someone at the pet hotel where we tried to board himy in February. He attacked our friends who tried to watch him for us. This big, wrinkly, mush face was clearly not himself. I gave the vet strict instructions regarding his aggression and the vet assured me he could handle it. However, Rocky was unhappy and he attacked the vet technician and the vet. This was enough for me to cancel our vacation. My husband went and picked up Rocky from the vet and I headed to tonight's many Fashion's Night Out events .
My husband spoke with the vet and they both came to the conclusion that even with everything we have been doing to help Rocky, there is something wrong that we cannot fix. Rocky was put to sleep this afternoon. I did not get to say goodbye to him. I did not get to tell him how even though he makes me so angry when he pushes me or trips me, that he will always be my favorite boy. I did not get to rub the soft spot behind his ears. I love my dogs. They are my children. I hope Rocky went to sleep knowing how much he was loved.
Lola is walking around the house before and I wondered if she knew Rocky was gone. Does she miss him? Will she cry every night when I put her to sleep like she did when she was a puppy and we kept them separated? I hope not. I hope she will be ok. There is a lot of sadness in this house right now and I hope she stays the happy little Frenchie she always was.

good morning beautiful, courageous, boundless, vigorous, diverse, spirited, INDESTRUCTIBLE New York!

This was originally written on September 11, 2011 for the first blog I tried to start.

In 2001, Chris and I just began to date. I started the photography program at F.I.T. Tuesdays were darkroom days. I decided not to go to school on THAT Tuesday. I was tired. I was lazy. I did not want to be on the 7:30 am express bus. I wanted to sit in bed all day and cuddle with Chloe. I was awake and watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch when the news broke in about the attacks. I watched in horror. I watched in absolute fear - but relief that I stayed home. I called Chris and begged him to come over. I called my mom and begged her to come home - begged her to get my sister, Dani from school. I filled up all the empty bottles in our kitchen with filtered water. I sat and stared at the tv not willing to believe something so senseless and evil could occur.
That was when everything changed. When we realized that there were evil people out there who hated our country and its citizens so much that they felt we needed to be destroyed. That was when we came together and showed everyone in this world the strength and courage we as New Yorkers,and as Americans, possess. It took some time but New York institutions, such as Saturday Night Live and the New York Yankees, helped me to feel like it was ok to live life again. For months, I felt scared to travel to and from school. It took a long time for me to get back on the subway, but it happened.
My initial idea for this weekend was to go away to Disney World. I felt that it would be too hard to be in New York for the 10 year anniversary. I wanted to run away from the pain and the memories. We did not get to go and in a way, I am grateful - grateful that I did not get to escape my fears and my sadness, grateful to be alive and grateful to be living in this amazing city.

New Year's Wish List

2011 was a year of a lot of ups and downs....mainly downs. With so many illnesses for myself and my family, I can only hope that this year goes a little smoother.
1. To use my camera every single day : If I am ever going to get any better at my craft, I have to put it in to practice. Thinking about photography will get me nowhere. Practicing photography will make a world of difference.
2. To pay down my debt: We have a considerable amount of debt and it never goes just piles up. Maybe it is because I have a wicked spending habit. Maybe it is because I can never justify paying off a bill in whole when there are trips to take. Whatever the reason is, the insanity stops this year. I would like to build up my credit score and start to save up for our own house.
3. To visit more art galleries: this sort of goes along with number 1. Seeing art helps an artist to create. It also helps me in school! You cant get a degree in Art Market: Principles and Practices if you never see the art people are talking about.
4. To start a family: While we are already working on this, it doesn't hurt to wish for some help in this department! It would be nice to have a new addition in 2012.
5. To build this blog: I would love to actually keep up with this blog on a daily basis. Not much is stopping me other than laziness and insecurity. This year, I want to write more, create more, and share more.
6. To get healthy: Whether it be losing weight, getting in shape or just not feeling so crappy on a daily basis, I need to make a change in order to see results. Hopefully, this year I will.
I think making a wish list is a little less scary than making a resolution. Hopefully my wishes will come true.


Every Boy Should Read This

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.
Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.
She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.
Buy her another cup of coffee.
Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent.  Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.
It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.
She has to give it a shot somehow.
Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.
Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.
Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.
If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.
You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.
You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.
Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.
Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

—  written by  Rosemarie Urquico in response to