Maven recommends: An affordable self tanner combo for staycation types

Good morning, Monday. How weird is it when the Fourth of July falls on a Tuesday? Completely throws off the long weekend vibe somehow with the Monday in between that some of us don't know what to do with- is it a work day? Can't really tell but since we are nowhere near the beach this weekend (I hate the crowds and traffic), I thought it a good time to bring up my favorite new discovery when it comes to self tanner.

I'm somehow an expert on all things self tanning- it's been a long time since I've allowed myself to fry in the sun because I'm terrified of ruining my skin. But Lord knows I look better with a little color so I moderate my exposure (I do let myself sit in the sun a bit of course) with some self tanning goodness.

I've tried them all but was thrilled to find my fav new one- loving the L'Oreal Sublime Bronze tan towels right now for lazy people who want a quick and easy way to tan- I get the Medium because I like to be fairly bronzed and the light is too pale for me. I then follow up when I'm less than lazy with the Jergens Natural Glow firming moisturizer (applied daily after showering)  which also has a bit of self tanner in it, though I will admit I don't love the smell of it.  I do like the gentle bit of lift it gives as well as a nice overall glow. And after reading a recent piece on Racked, I'm curious to try James Read's tanning balm, though I've had less success with some of his other products in terms of idiot proof application. I don't like tiger stripes you know. All in all, I'm loving my new sunless combo- my tan looks even and not orange at all- just a nice bronze glow.

Some of you are getting a tan the natural way this weirdly long weekend, for the rest of us, there's some great self tanners out there to help you along. Pleased that my tan is available at my local CVS- it's just slightly cheaper than a weekend in Montauk.

Cause that's what's up this self involved Monday in the 718.  Yours, in faking it until I bake it, and then getting back in bed. XO

Best of times, worst of times, or just time?

Good morning, Friday. It's been a week- lots of ups and downs but I can't thank you all enough if you reached out to me after the last post- your support means the absolute world.

It's hard to think about but these are treacherous times, particularly in the business I grew up in, advertising. I'm not sure there's more security in full time work in that arena than there is in freelance life. It feels unhinged, and since advertising is often a barometer for the times in which we live (at its best), I suppose it makes pitch perfect sense- I watch the news with shock every single day. What happened yesterday with Trump's tweets are so beyond anything I have ever associated with an American President, or moreover, a leader of any kind.

I can't help but wonder what would happen if this was the corporate world- would he not be fired by now for all of his disgusting and distasteful attacks? How is this allowed to go on?

Everything feels unsteady, wheels well on their way to calling off. I'm afraid we're headed for significant blowout. 

As for me, I'm putting myself on a bit of notice. I need to figure out how to sustain my passion for writing but I also need to make a living. I'm worried that Trump is somehow making it acceptable to be a complete asshole. And if there is such a thing as a trickle down situation, I'm more than worried about how all of this plays into business practices. We all have to be better than this. I have to be better than this. And so do you. It's time for a change. Remarkable to me that this country elected Trump because apparently we wanted change. So much has been written about the power of change, but how about when it doesn't feel so hot? Maybe change is not always good?  Or maybe bad changes somehow make us better in the long run? That's a bit of American optimism right there. 

My point of this little rant is that the amount of change happening is unfathomable- leaps and bounds bigger than it's ever been- positively seismic. I need to find my place within it, but right now I'm fidget spinning my way into the Summer and would like very much to find friends and coworkers and inspiration in the good that I know is still out there, somewhere.

I guess what I'm saying is that I feel everything is connected, and I'm trying to navigate some very tricky waters right now, personally and professionally. Some of you may not be feeling any of this, and some of you may be feeling it in spades. Regardless, how will we get through all of this deep uncertainty? For me, I'm going to do everything I can to get ahead of what I see as an inevitability- I'm being forced to question everything of late and I'm still in an inquisitive mood, though I hope the answers come soon. I hate to feel unsettled and uncertain but if you too are going through a big transition, maybe we all need to revel in the unknown and not fear it. I told somebody that very recently, and I suppose I need to take my own advice.

So in such weird times, I'm holding on tight and trying to fasten my seatbelt slightly tired. I have a feeling it's going to be a bit of a bumpy ride, but I'm hopeful I'll get there. I'm very much a "right now" kind of girl, so this feeling of in between is not ideal for me.

Cause that's what's up this having a little faith kind of Friday in the 718. Yours, in keeping it together, or trying to. By the way, I'm open to suggestions. Feel free to reach out if you too are trying to weather the storm or have come out the other end- better, stronger, and whatever else. XO

On career shifts and that inevitable New York question

Good morning, Tuesday. I slept in a bit this am and skipped yoga just because. Khan snuggled up next to me is all the down dog I'll be getting today. Oh well.

So lately I've been obsessing about career moves. (What else is new?)

I live in a city where everyone's first question is inevitably "what do you do?" It's beyond strange how forward that feels and how in other parts of the country and the world, it's not necessarily the first thing out of one's mouth when meeting someone new. But this is New York, and our equity as humans is tied very tightly to how we make a living. Perhaps this has changed a bit with the advent of the gig economy, but still- everyone wants to know just how you can afford to live in this crazy place, and that's the truth.

For many years as you know, I've been a producer. And I'm not being boastful, but I'm good at it. I just am. I know how to solve problems, I've been doing it forever, and I respect great ideas and try to give them the integrity they deserve when I come up with a plan to produce or make things. So it was always easy for me to answer the above question- I'm a producer. Of photography primarily, but I can do other things. That was always my default answer.  And I could say this with a great deal of conviction because that's what I did, and it was easy to explain. But it was the other part of the answer that always tripped me up- those "other things". Because deep down I knew that "just" producing was not a full picture of what I did, or what I aimed to do. It's no knock on producing mind you- Lord bless the sorry lot of us who have worked in production for most of our careers- it's not an easy job in the least and the stress is off the charts. 

So cut to now.  To be perfectly honest, the work is not quite as steady as it should be. As a freelance producer, I was busy for years and years and loving it. But lately, it feels like the freelance well is running a bit dry- many in the ad game who do what I do are diversifying- by learning how to produce video, digital, experiential, you name it. I'd be happy to do those things I guess but if you've been reading this blog you know my true love is writing. So why do I have such a hard time calling myself a writer? In the age of social media influence, can't we be whatever we want? So why in such a creatively democratic age is this such a struggle? 

I'm sure there's a number of reasons for it. First, New York City is bursting with writers. It's kind of writer central. Some of the best writers in the world live here, and have been writing professionally for possibly longer than I've been alive- it's an elitist world in a way and super hard to break into. Second, writers are not my tribe. What I mean by that is I have surrounded myself with ad people, photographers, and those that are in my primary career sphere forever. I find myself uncomfortable around groups of writers, but perhaps that's my own intimidation. I know I need to start connecting with other writers in order for me to become the best I can be as well as make a living doing it. Case in point- this weekend I did birthday dim sum for a friend's 40th at one of those crazy dim sum halls in Chinatown. She happens to be an accomplished food writer, and at the party, there were lots of writer types. As we ate endless dumplings, the question of "what do you do" came up, as it always does, but in a bit of a different way. Instead, the question was "How do you know Gabriella? Are you a writer too?" Oy.

My husband looked at me, waiting for my response. I squished my eyes a bit and said, "Well, kinda, not really, I don't know, can you pass the dumplings"?

There's confidence for you. Why was I so afraid to say I was indeed a writer? Is it because my primary way to pay rent is through my life as a producer? Or is it because I'm not yet convinced that I am said writer? It was a humbling moment for me, but one that bugged me. I guess I'm afraid of being a phony, a sham. In a city of so much talent, who am I to say this is what I do?

And further, why on Earth do I care what people think? After all, I take to this blog as much as I can and share as much as I can. I mean, I am a writer. I've been one since childhood. It's all I've ever really wanted to do. I took many paths away from it through the years and now here I am, back at it. I also think I'm somewhat traumatized by a lifetime in advertising, where you are put in silos in order to assess whose job it is to do what. There is a writer. There is an art director. There is an account person. A strategist type. A media person. A project manager. And of course, a producer.  It is so rare for people to move within these boxes- as much as agencies say they want people who have multiple skills, it's very hard to do more than one thing within the agency structure. Sure producers might cross media and work on video, digital, and whatever else, but damn if an account person is going to art direct a photoshoot. Or they better not try. Ha. 

Advertising is an industry of specialists, not generalists. I don't care what agencies tell you. That's the way it is and I see no sign of it changing. Sure people are tackling more as agencies hire less, but nobody likes it.  Producers produce. They are often asked now to be more client facing, but they're still producers. Everyone's being asked to do more, but it's still within their very narrow job description. The upside? It sure makes it easy to answer the New York question.  (I assume this is also an LA question, by the way. Though there, it somehow seems more normal to have many slashes in what you do- as in waiter/writer/producer).

My point is that all of this categorizing makes it easy to answer the WDYD question, but it does a bit of a number on you as well. I've been conditioned to think that writing should be left to the writers, because that's how the ad business works. They may tell you good ideas can come from anywhere, but they kind of don't mean it. It's a very territorial game, advertising. And I suppose I was never one for turf wars.

But now that my life in advertising seems to be slowing down, I'm trying to embrace that I am a writer, that I will be a writer, that I've always been a writer. I may not be living on what I make as a writer, but that's ok. I'm curious about the next time I get asked that dinner party question- how will I answer? It may be a while before I can say "I'm a writer" with any sense of conviction, but I'll do everything I can to get there. Sure I'll still produce projects, that's my left limb. But maybe my right limb wants a new move. Thanks to those who support and encourage me to keep going on this path. It means the world. I have never felt more drawn to reinvention than I do right now. Or in my case, rediscovery for a passion I've had my entire life.

Cause that's what's up this questionable Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in writing it all down. XO

Maven pick: A scent to summon your inner child

Good morning, Monday. Hope you all had a lovely weekend- I went to see Dead and Co and even though Bob Weir now resembles Jerry Garcia, it's all good. Was a fun show out at Citifield where the Mets play and John Mayer was actually outstanding. Pleasantly surprised, ad was fun to relive some of the old mojo. Not quite ready to hit the road with them and sell Sierra Nevada out of the back of a van, but still a great show (though that option is not sounding bad, more on career stuff later this week).

Anyhoo, it's Summer (duh) and if you are like me, you switch up all kinds of stuff when it comes to beauty- a good toner becomes key amidst so much sweat and a less intense moisturizer for the face for instance. But first and foremost when it comes to Summer is fragrance. Or at least it is for me.

In the Summer my go tos have always been Kai and Calypso's Mimosa (my husband loves this one), and perhaps some Gypsy Water to boot. Oh and can't live without my Nuxe perfume- it literally smells like the best beach- a standout. But a recent peruse in City Chemists
(a BK fav) in Brooklyn Heights found me sniffing out something new; and it's called Child.  I am so happy I found it- have been on the hunt for a Summer scent and wanted it to just come to me. So my first reaction to this cultish scent?

Oh. Yum.

This is good stuff, ladies. It's got all the beautiful white floral notes for Summer- Jasmine, magnolia, mimosa but I also detect some vanilla and sandalwood which give it that good hippie child yumminess. Apparently, LA ladies have been wearing this scent forever, but now that it's here on the East Coast,  this is a quick Summer must have for smelling delicious. I tried the roll on which I love for a lighter feel in warm weather and I have been smelling my wrists ever since. The scent is intriguing because it changes and I love that- all iterations of it have been lovely so far. Fabulous dry down and suspect it smells slightly different on everyone which is lovely. I love the name too because the scent definitely has a young and fresh vibe- but is also a bit wild child to boot in such a pretty and feminine way, but not too girly at all, which I hate. I'm obsessed. Summer has a playfulness that suits the name of this scent, but its boho sophistication is all woman.

I love a seasonal discovery so thought I'd share it with you. It's so perfect for that free spirited feeling you want in the Summer time- I see wearing this with all white, a lovely tan, and inhaling myself until September. It's that good.

Cause that's what's up this sharing my scent knowledge kind of Monday in the 718. Yours in smelling good and feeling good. XO

The power of Pink: Ways to rock my new favorite hue

Good morning, Thursday. It's so bloody beautiful out today. Hope you can soak in some sun and enjoy this gorgeous second day of Summer. 

So here's something you may or may not know about me- I love pink. It's a color that I'm enchanted by but honestly, I find it a bit tough to wear. Because for me, the best pink is Pepto pink, and try as I might, it doesn't look fantastic on me.  I look better in very pale pink or bright pink a la fuschia, but if you're game to embrace pink as a wonderful color for Summer and even going into Fall, have at it. It lights up the face and it's no longer super girly in terms of how you can rock it- I am madly in love with it. I liken the renaissance of pink (some call it millenial pink) to the new interest in rosy perfume. I always associated rose notes with a grandmom vibe, but now rose has been renewed and it's showing up in some of my favorite fragrances- from Frederic Malle' sPortrait of a Lady to Byredo's Rose of no Man's Land, it's unavoidable and absolutely decadent in the best of ways. And not in the least bit grandmom, unless your bubby is getting stopped on the street because she smells that good.  

And back in the day, pink always made me think of Molly Ringwald. Not even for "Pretty in Pink", but more for that fab look she rocked in the "Breakfast Club". Remember that fab pink scrubs top with the brown suede skirt and boots? I do. It was the most, and now that I'm a redhead again, I'm all kinds of about it. It must be all that rose I'm drinking too. Clearly I've got pink on my mind.

So here are five pink pieces/looks that I just adore. Pink can be punk in a way so don't be afraid of it's girly reputation- plus with a red lip it's pretty much the most divine thing ever. Check out my favorite pink things:

Tibi Pink suit- Loving what Tibi is up to of late- just got their lookbook for Cruise 2018 in the mail and it amazing. I kind of want everything. But a quick peruse through and found this divine suited look that feels so modern and cool- with the slouchy, relaxed vibe and pink hue, it means business but is soft enough to be pretty and fresh and perfectly appointed for the new pink I'm after. Lustworthy.

Oliver People's Sayer aviator frames- Spotted these last weekend up close and I've been dreaming of them ever since. I'm a coppery redhead these days so they go very well with my hair, and they are so beyond cool for beachgoing, citygoing, and daily life going. I'm obsessed with their outsized vibe and rose hue. So good. They don't look super pink here, ps. But trust.

Loeffler Randall Vera slide- Look at this sweet little shoe. Where oh where would you not wear these? Love them with a white shirt dress to cropped jeans to everything you own. Fabulous.

Bird Sophia poplin dress- This little number is a bit of a departure from pink, because it's more rose. I love this dress- saw it the other day in my local Bird on Smith Street and it's so pretty and fresh and great for hot weather. Plus it's a wearable hue good for most. Feminine in the best of ways. Wear with Portrait of a Lady and you'll most likely get a good bit of attention from the opposite sex. Just a vibe I get.

J. Crew Pink signet bag- Love this little lady for small bag lovers- so cute with white, denim, and love the idea of it with red. Such a cute bag to go with all your printed dresses for Summer too. And it's on sale, just as most of the other stuff I've written about today too. Bonus.

So in my mind, pink is the new power color and that's that. It's so lovely and I want all the things I wrote about today, so why not pick up some pink when thinking about color this season and beyond? Cause that's what's up this pretty in pink kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in pink power moves. XO




New York apartment living (is a lot like life)

Good morning, Tuesday. It's hot out there, I'm so glad to be in here. So as a workman who came to fix a leak in my ceiling yesterday took an excruciatingly long dump in my bathroom, I realized something. New York apartment living is a lot like life. Too much perhaps.

We all live in places that reflect our tastes, income, and place in life. Our homes say a lot about us for obvious reasons- from the gilded tack of Trump Tower to Georgia O'Keefe's stripped down chic in New Mexico. But if you do or have ever lived in New York City and its environs, you know that living here is often a mirror into a carnival ride of emotions and moments and symbols. 

I have lived in many ways in New York City. Those apartments and habitats read like a list of discarded lovers.

I have lived in a one bedroom shared with a woman I did not know and slept on a futon for several years. This was my first experience living in New York, and the apartment was merely a vessel for all that I was to discover outside its walls. The space meant little to me; just as most things did back then- I did not particularly care about finding love, career success, or much of anything else except climbing into the woodwork of Manhattan. And that I did.

Many places followed- the first stint in Brooklyn, in a beautiful little jewel box on Bergen Street that felt like protection from the world when I needed it the most. Back then Brooklyn may as well have been the moon. But there were trees, and shade and children playing, and truly, that's all I needed. Until I didn't. New York living is indeed like a love- the smell of fresh paint seduces you, the promise of more closet space, the revelation of a garden. But suddenly, and just like that, you outgrow it, and then you move on.

I went back to the island of Manhattan some time later, to a studio apartment on the Upper East Side. It was small, and smelled of gas. But it was my first apartment on my own, and it was there I grew up a little. Much like your first grown up relationship, it may not be physically exactly what you're after, but it shows you stuff you didn't know you could see. Plus there was a decent diner downstairs and I was often comforted by their late night sounds of dishwashing and plate clanking. It provided a soundtrack of sorts for my very noisy mind at that time of life. 

After that there was Stuyvesant Town, another step in maturity that felt necessary. The apartment itself was truly a step up; a gift from some far off Apartment God who somehow connected me with someone whose family had been on that infamous list forever and wanted a subletter to keep the dream alive. I was living there during 9/11, and somehow its middle class hamlet vibe was what I needed at that time. There was green space, there was light. But there were very few subway lines nearby. And for that reason, I outgrew this place too. 

There were more places- a tiny apartment in Soho that felt more like a psych ward cell in a designer prison, and then there were spaces in Miami, and then, there was New York again. Another apartment, another love affair, another life ended, and another began.

Hello, Brooklyn.

We recently moved out of the apartment we had been in for just over five years. David found it for us and truly, it was perfection. Until it wasn't.

We had a yard. We had a duplex. We had two bathrooms. We were living in a posh neighborhood that felt leafy, perfect, beautiful. And as I came to rediscover the city and pursue my freelance career, this apartment tripped me up somehow. Because there was no light. Absolutely zero natural light. So even though on paper this apartment provided everything we needed including the bonus of not having to put on a bra to take Khan out to pee, it was dark. And that made us a little dark. Oh and all my clothes lived in a storage space across the hall. And we slept in a basement. That has to be a metaphor for something somehow.  And then our landlord sold the building, and we panicked. Because even though we were in the dark and our bed was in the basement, we were not quite ready to give this place up. But the universe had other plans I suppose.

So cut to now, where I'm living on a third floor walkup in the same glorious neighborhood, on a far more beautiful block. I know I've written about this place before, but this place. The most beautiful floors. Natural light. Tasteful kitchen.  But not without sacrifices. Because our second bedroom became my closet, to house all the clothes and shoes and stuff I've collected from this lifetime. And what does that mean? That we don't really have room for guests. Because my stuff needs a place to live. And I'm ok with that. Because right now, I feel a big breakthrough happening and perhaps I need my stuff around me- literally and figuratively to feel it out. Or maybe I just have too much shit. Either way.

But even though this apartment is lovely and sexy and super pretty, there are things. As there always are in New York dwellings.

What are those things? The mailbox system is confusing. I never know when I'm going to get mail and which mailbox it will be in. Hmm. The bathroom is right behind the kitchen, which is always a little weird. We're on the third floor and sometimes the steps make my knees ache. The constant construction makes me feel less like I’m in Brooklyn and more like Beirut. But then I look at my beautiful bedroom, so simple and light filled and lovely, and realize how wonderful this apartment is. Because I'm spending a lot of time here lately, working alone, going through this blog and trying to put together something of note to present to the world in the form of some essays, a book perhaps. And just as I'm consoling myself that everything's going to be alright, the guy who came to fix the leak in my ceiling disappears into my bathroom for an obscenely long time and makes me remember that there is nothing truly idyllic about apartment living in New York, particularly when you're renting. And just like life and sometimes love, all the beauty in the world can't protect you from a hot dump. And that's the truth. It's not enough to make me want to flee the premises of course, I'm holding on to this place for a good stretch. Because as a (ugh) grown up on the verge of yet another birthday next month, I'm well aware that there's always something there to remind us that life is not perfect, love is not perfect, we are not perfect.  I'm sure the gentleman who chose to assassinate my Aesop product filled bathroom had not a single thought of this situation, but somehow he was a reminder of how weird it all is- this life, this living, all of it. 

And truly, many of my friends have purchased their apartments and good for them. But we live in a city where you can't afford to commit, so that says something- we can only afford impermanence, or that's what most of us end up with, though we somehow make it our own. The transience of New York living is not lost on me. Many rent the same apartment for years and years, I tend to switch them out when I'm done with them. Love 'em and leave 'em I guess. It's funny- when people buy the first thing they do is tear down what exists- we renters learn to live with what we have, for better or worse. 

Let's hope today is dump free. Until it isn't.

Cause that's what's up this New York life of a Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in living, loving, and apartment dwelling. XO

 


Is drinking Rosé really drinking? This maven wants to know.

Good morning, Monday. Hope you had a lovely Father's Day weekend- was missing my dad this weekend big time but was nice to wish a new generation of Fathers best wishes- lots of new daddies out there of late and that's a lovely thing.

So in other news, some of you who are readers of this blog work in advertising, as I have for the majority of my life. And in adland, no week is supposedly more important than the Cannes Lions- a week of debauchery, self congratulation, fist pumping, and an endless amount of rose. For those not indoctrinated (present company included- I've never been), it's a bit of a merde show- because everyone is partying on yachts, toasting their collective success, and sending a cringeworthy amount of selfies on Instagram and Facebook that will most likely have you reaching for a glass of something. It's a bit much. That's the truth.

But besides ad people, you've no doubt sipped on some rosé yourself the past couple years. What is it about this hot weather beverage that has us all in its clutches? Perhaps it's because of my theory- that eosé isn't REALLLLLY drinking. It's just not.  Because rosé? OK! That's how I react when someone asks me if I want some, but that's just me. I

For those of you who partake, you know exactly what I mean. One can consume veritable gallons of the stuff and somehow keep it together. Now let me be clear- I'm a good drinker. Meaning- I can drink quite a bit. I'm not necessarily proud of this, but it's true. Yea, I've had moments that have been no bueno when it comes to boozing, but it's only when I don't eat and that's the truth. Otherwise, I'm good to go. And go. And go some more. It must be that above mentioned career in advertising- Lord knows it's been a minute since the mad men days, but that profession is saucy. More than most, I suspect. I can remember many late nights in many places with many ad comrades. And we are a drinking lot. 

But back to rosé- or as a dear friend of mine calls it- "summer water". I go back and forth between drinking the more clear versions (for a moment we were all completely obsessed with almost clear rose) to the more pink versions, which in my mind are a Sancerre type rosé that is super delicious. The thing with rosé is that it goes down so easily on a hot day and is so pleasant to drink, there's really no reason not to drink it all day long. And yes, I love rosé the most for daytime drinking, when the sun's out. As an experienced imbiber, I would dub rose the session beer of the wine world. In fact, nobody I know has just one glass of rosé. It's poor form. It deserves your attention even though it's a fairly benign beverage. I have not experienced frose mind you- though many in the Hamptons are probably halfway into a slushy pink drink right now. And not sure how far reaching this trend is in the US- I know for sure it's super Eastern seaboard, but did not notice a ton of rosé out west (though I know some out in Napa are experimenting with it) , and when I went to the Delaware beaches last summer, the liquor stores out there had, gah, white zin. Non. Non. And non.

I'll admit- last Summer I was super over rosé and wanted nothing to do with it. Because in Barcelona I rediscovered gin and spent a summer sucking on Gin and Tonics- and to be clear, gin is not at all like rosé- too much gin and you're in big trouble. Trust me, I know. Gin will put a hurt on you, and me. It's delicious but not without danger. And I was happy to be craving the pink stuff as soon as it hit Memorial Day. I'm back to it. Because it's easy. And in my mind, far from gin and its unpredictability. Sure, rosé is a bit of a white girl cliché but I don't mind. Plus it's PINK. I know, right? 

So rosé- it's not really drinking per se. It almost looks like water. I'm not sure a ton of fistfights have resulted from drinking rosé, though I suspect that rosé fans are more lovers than fighters. And though I do like beer, particularly ice cold and when the sun's shining, I can't glug down a ton of beer at this point in my life. I'm not really down for a freshman 15 type vibe. At all. Though one of my barre teachers refers to the hips as the "rosé storage area". I don't disagree, but it's still not as bad as beer, and it's nowhere near as bad as margarita gut. 

So the takeaway from this post is this- rosé is good for you. I'm sure of it. You can drink it all damn day and the worst thing that could happen is you may get a little huggy/kissy or want to dance. Or maybe I'm just in denial and looking for any excuse to drink rosé. I thought for a moment, it would be on the wane this Summer but if you go in any liquor store in the New York metro area, it's front and center in the fridge, from light, light pink to a more vibrant hue. I'm sure my ad friends in Cannes are on a yacht right now, downing rosé as if tomorrow will never come. That's fine- because tomorrow is not so bad because rosé is not really drinking and open another bottle, s'il vous plait? IN closing I ask you cher readers, is drinking rosé really drinking? Let's pour some and decide. Yea I know. It's 10 am. But it's much later in Cannes.  And if you think it's really drinking, keep it to yourself. I'm happy to live in my denial and rosé tinted glasses. I'm good right there.

Cause that's what's up this pink hued Monday in the 718. Yours, in Summertime. XO

Maven pick: A truly local French joint that delivers

Good late morning, Friday. it's a bit of a gloomer out there but I'm happy to be WFH. Now if only I could shut off CNN. So over it, but my need to know prevails.

So listen- living in New York is magical for many reasons, but the New York we all came up with has kind of hit the highway and turned the city into something a bit less charming. Bigger doesn't always mean better, and with many mom and pop businesses shuttering (old news) to make way for big box brands, life in New York can feel a bit generic at times. My vantage point from leafy Brooklyn tells a bit of a different tale- there's still charm to be had from these shady brownstoned blocks but you can't avoid the construction of high rises and chain stores moving in on this very sacred ground. In any event, I'm not one for nostalgia. Change is growth, regardless of whether or not you like it. But I stumbled on a perfect little resto the other night that reminded me of why I still love this city, for impromptu lovely meals in charming and unexpected places. 

I booked a table at Les Enfants de Bohème, a super cute spot way the f down on the Lower East Side, at that strange spot where it looks like the set of "Flight of the Conchords". The restaurant is on Henry Street, just around the corner from East Broadway. This is a neighborhood, that, although full of cute hipster types, is still deeply New York at its best- a petri dish of different cultures, particularly Chinese, whose presence in the area reminds me of when New York felt like the most culturally diverse place on Earth. But back to the food.

I was super in the mood for French food and charm the other night- it was a lovely, temperate evening in New York- the kind of night that is the perfect early Summer evening when the city feels welcoming and alive. A lovely French woman served us the most divine cocktails- mine was a watermelon vodka concoction and David's was a yummy bourbon and mint varietal. We ordered foie gras, we ate amazing cheese, and then we both had beautiful, fresh salads, mine with the most perfectly and simply prepared roasted chicken.  I did not have to close my eyes to imagine myself in Paris at that moment- the food replicated some of my favorite easy dinners when I was in France a few years back- particularly our fav little local spot, Café des Musées on the Rue de Turenne (not fussy and delicious food- memorable times there). The windows were all open to the street and I enjoyed watching life go by on a Wednesday night, and felt lucky to still have a great neighborhood standout like Les Enfants to celebrate the midweek point and enjoy a fabulous meal and satisfy my jones for French vibes at a fair price.

When New York gets on my nerves, and it often does, it's moments like that meal and that place and that sweet, weird little corner on the LES I appreciate. And just like that, I fall in love with New York all over again. I guess I'm easy. Just give me a good meal, a nice glass of wine or two, and a view of the city that still speaks to my soul. Highly recommend this cute little spot celebrating 2 years in biz- they were so sweet and the food was so, so good. If not here, keep looking for those little gems that make the city tolerable amidst so much major change. It's nice to know there's still some there here. New York is a wonderful mix of neighborhoods and cultures and there's nothing better than discovering a nice local spot when you're not all about seeing and being seen and such. Local is still alive and well here and I'm so happy about that. Happy to meet anyone of you there for a glass of wine and some great food.

Cause that's what's up this French inspired Friday in the best city in the world. Yours, in remembering what it's all about. XO



So do you have it in you?

Good morning, Thursday. It's a nice one here in the big city and I'm happy to run amok. I've been thinking, as I often do, ok always do- about what's next for me. It's something you do as a freelancer/contractor quite often as you move through gigs and assess what's working and what's not.  I'm sure full timers do that too, but perhaps in a different way- it's just part of life when you work for yourself because you're constantly figuring out ways to be more efficient, more successful, more agile.

So it's no surprise going inward would be on the agenda when it comes to a bit of career soul searching. We've been told for years how important it is to love what you do, and with that refrain constantly in my head, it's kind of a bummer when you don't. There's moments, there's glimmers, there's times when I look around at the lovely people I get to work with and realize how lucky I am. But does it make my heart sing? Not really. Is that ok? Yea, it is. It's work. It can't be a lovefest all the time- I think that's a completely ridiculous expectation.

But here's what I do know. I was walking down the street yesterday, enjoying the scenery of my Brooklyn neighborhood, when it kind of hit me. This notion of what's in you. Or really, what's in me.

You know that expression- do you have it in you? 

For me, that phrase came into my brain and I chose to think about it for the rest of the afternoon. What's in me? What do I have in me? And how does that truly speak to what's inside, in my heart?

Here's what I came up with:

I know I have a book in me. It's clear as day- not the subject necessarily but that it's there at all. I've been writing on this blog for years- it's never been about becoming a famous blogger or anything like that truly. It's been a wonderful place for me to share all the things I think about and love and so on. Looking through the gobs of posts I've written,  there's truly a there there. And I know I have it in me to explore what all of these musings could become. It may not happen today, but it's going to happen. Because I've always had a book in me and I know it.

What else is in me?

A desire to get good and clear on my intentions. It's in me to clear the fat out of my life- the things I don't need, the people I don't need, all of that. 

It's in me to seek new ways to be healthier- mind and body. That's a big one.

And it's in me to work on projects with people I love, as a means to support my book and any other projects I may want to take on that feel all mine- maybe it's a dress line, maybe it's something else. I'm not sure, but what's in me right now is a desire to create on my own terms, and fully not for hire. I want to make stuff on my own, that speak to me, that speak to my own point of view. After a lifetime of orchestrating creative work (with other people's ideas), I feel it's time to create somehow. That's in me- though that one may take a bit more time to come to the surface but I know it's there.

So the question remains, fair readers, what do you have in you? Is it running a marathon? Working on your relationship? Learning to fly? I promise you if you ask yourself that question in the most honest way possible, you'll get some answers. And if you don't, you may need to do a bit more looking. Trust me, it's there. We all have something inside- and most of the time, it's the truth. It gets masked and hidden by daily life and all the external stuff we need to do to survive and pay our bills and whatever else. But take a minute while walking around the block or when you're in the shower or after a run or whenever and ask yourself if you have it in you. It's a relief to find out there's still something inside, it's listening to that where the real work begins.

Cause that's what's up this me to you kind of Thursday in the 718. Yours, in what's inside. XO

Maven pick: A jumpsuit that keeps its cool

Good morning, Tuesday. I'm pretty much not leaving the house today. It's too hot to trot, baby. Khan and I are happily hitched up at home and we're not going anywhere. 

You all know how hard it is for me to beat the heat. It simply doesn't work for me and I've got a major case of the vapors. I can't wait for this heat to break tomorrow, but all kidding aside, you need some fashion that works when the temps just aren't.

And I'm completely obsessed with this jumpsuit from my pals at Meg, a fantastic clothing line made right here in New York. I love the girls at Meg on Atlantic Avenue by my house, they are so helpful and positive- there's always a treat for the dog as well as adorable pieces perfect for all seasons. I like their pants very much and adore their dresses, but I love the way they cut a jumpsuit and have purchased a few of them over the years. This one may very well be my favorite. You can rock it in so many ways- with disco high heels or flat sandals and everything in between.

It reminds me of the very expensive one from Electric Feathers- the one I want but can't have. This little number has that harem vibe and love the low cut back and ability to remove the ruffle from the straps and rock it any way you want- and it's made of this crinkly linen that is so light and easy and looks great a bit rumpled so no need to worry about the whole linen thing. It's just the most and ticks the box for staying cool and looking cool all at once. It's loosey goosey and altogether lovely.

It comes in a few colors (love the mossy green) and although I don't see it on their website, it's absolutely in stores now so go in to a Meg near you (a few in the city and in Toronto too) and get this. It's too cute. Even when this heat is anything but.

Cause that's what's up this hot in the city kind of Tuesday in the 718. Yours, in yet another jumpsuit. You know you love it. XO