Monday, February 28, 2011

The Bull

My Monday morning pick-me-up was that Warren Buffet is very bullish on the U.S. economy, which is excellent news to investors. He repeatedly refers to the strength of the American people in his annual letter, which was released over the weekend. The letter says he is going long on the U.S. "Money will always flow toward opportunity, and there is an abundance of that in America," Buffett wrote. "The prophets of doom have overlooked the all-important factor that is certain: Human potential is far from exhausted, and the American system for unleashing that potential ... remains alive and effective." I love it – thank you Mr. Buffett! The best is yet to come!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday retail therapy outfit

Banana Republic Jaccket, H&M jeggins, Target boots, Longchamp bag, Burberry scarf, Gina Tricot sweater. And the best accessory: My daughter. Notice the pose?
The retail therapy session yesterday was quite fruitful :-)

I came home with high and low finds. I found really cute flat gladiator sandals (there's a style that keeps giving) for spring and summer from Giuseppe Zanotti (black thin strap patent leather) and Tory Burch (studded with gold studs, very "punk"). Some great finds from H&M: a dress with an open scoop draped back, "silk" anorak with gold zippers, and a floral blouse. Zara yielded a navy sweater with big gold buttons on the shoulders. And then a shocker - I went to Walmart to get something my au pair needed, and proceeded to find Norma Kamali line for Walmart. I bought two sheer ruffle blouses, in black and off white, a black zipper motorcycle jacket, grey cargos, an animal/tribal print long sleeve t-shirt, and a black jersey jumpsuit. Wow!

Partly inspired by another blogger, and partly because I've been thinking about it for a while, I also stopped at the Americana mall Hermes store and chatted with the nice sales lady about Evelyn bags. And I put my name on the list for the chocolate brown version. Let's see if they call me before I change my mind.

(Of course I also did ask about Birkins, but I am not quite ready to drop ten grand an a bag let's hope the Evelyn comes through while cross body styles are still big). 

To my disappointment, a couple of chain stores had left the luxury oasis known as the Americana mall, which just happens to be my closest shopping center. There's no more H&M, which is a huge bummer for me. Apparently, the owners of this luxury mall did not want to renew their lease. I guess the economy looks up and they want to dedicate the mall to high end lines exclusively. I don't think this is very smart, since so many shoppers like me shop the whole range, from high to low. And even if the mothers would not want the H&M, the daughters do! I hope it comes back.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


Remember the postpartum girdle I purchased? Guess how many times I wore it? A big fat ZERO! Remember how confident I was that I was going to lose the babyweight in no time flat? Guess how many babyweight pounds I have lost? Another big fat ZERO!

I know how simple it is to lose weight. After all, I have done it a few times, successfully. You just eat less calories than you burn in a day. Simple math. Keep your mouth shut. Eat healthy. Cut out sugar and fat. Eat more protein, and lots and lots of veggies. Drink plenty of water and green tea. So why is it so hard this time??? 

There are a couple of culprits..not that I am totally blame-free, but I am on prednisone because of a chronic condition, and that medication is known for causing weight gain due to its appetite increasing side effect. Another culprit is having literally no time to exercise. I always thought that people who said they had no time to exercise were just making excuses, but that was before I had three kids, a house, a job, renovation projects, and absolutely no time for me... Exercise doesn't make you lose weight, but it makes you feel good about yourself and gives you motivation to eat healthy and less calorie-laden foods. Maybe now that I can set up my treadmill again in the basement I can steal a few moments here and there to exercise. The third sad fact is that my metabolism probably is not what it used to be. I am now much closer to 40 and my new normal has changed calorie-wise; my body just burns less than it used and I need to adapt to that.

Ok, sorry for the rant..I just needed to blow off some steam. The battle continues! I want to be able to join my kids in the pool next summer without wearing a scuba diving wet suit.. Any tips that you have about how to make it easier are welcome.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Crazy for lace

I have gone a bit nuts for lace..very unusual for me as I am usually more of a simple, minimal sportswear type of a girl. A while back, late last year actually, I got a long sleeve off white lace blouse, and then a short sleeve off white lace T-shirt, and the other night I ordered a black lace jacket, or a blazer actually. Against my better judgement I ordered it from Kmart, of all places... We shall see how it looks in real life. In pictures it of course looks great. But I am a bit sceptical about the quality, after all, the price was unbelievable..and usually you get what you pay for.. But I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be proved wrong. It has shipped and should arrive within a couple of days...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Saturday night I and my husband took our 8 year old to see the musical Cats. It is a traveling musical now that it's no longer playing on Broadway, and it came to a performing arts center close to us. It was a great production, with very good staging, dancers and singers, just as good as it was on Broadway. I wanted my daughter to see it and enjoy the great Andrew Lloyd Webber score. We all thoroughly enjoyed the show. And, of course, ever since then, we've all been humming memory...if you touch me, you'll understand what happiness is... and so on... Here for your entertainment is the best version of memory ever, by Barbra Streisand. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Orange Crush

Last week Wall Street Journal style section announced that orange is "the" color for the spring. I have been channeling my orange crush with coral lips, orange tulips and an orange runner on my dining table. Perhaps I will take the runner and add a pop of orange to my wardrobe by using it as a shawl, which it originally is anyway.

There tulips were actually more orange in real life, somehow the color did not translate well to pictures. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Yesterday I saw the "Purge" at LaMama Theater. It's a play, and a novel, by a Finnish writer Sofi Oksanen. I had read the novel a couple of years ago when it won the literary award Finlandia, and the story, which deals with women's abuse and rape, human trafficking, war, desperation, strength, and love, made a great impression on me. It is a work of fiction, but it is something that could have happened and could be happening now...whether in Estonia, Rwanda, or Congo. It is very disturbing to think how close to truth the story may be. The play was great, especially the women in it were fabulous, particularly the girl who played Zara, unfortunately I don't have her name because I threw the playbill out by mistake.. A semi-famous Finnish actor was also in the cast, Peter Franzen, or at least his somewhat famous in Finland. He played Martin, and his performance was ok. The only thing that annoyed me a little about the play was the ending, which was different in the novel, more dramatic and justified, because Aliide redeems herself by saving Zara. The ending in the play was more ambivalent, maybe more thought provoking, but not as believable. In any case, I am happy that I had the opportunity to go see the play and did so with dear friends with whom we will probably go back and discuss it many times to come.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today's Quote

We choose with our focus. We face a universe of unlimited possibilities, and we choose which one becomes "real" for us by focusing on that possibility.
                          Ellen Debenport, The Five Principles

The basement renovation is done - and now it is time to clean and set up! The kids will have a beautiful playroom, a hobby space, and the whole family will enjoy our gym and the 3D movie room. I can't wait to haul all the kids toys back downstairs and claim our family and livingrooms back from the clutter.

And at some point in the not so distant future, we will add a sauna there as well - and then it's complete.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Show me your bookshelf and I'll tell you who you are

I love books. They inspire, entertain, transport and teach me. I am trying to learn that there are different kinds of books; most books fall into the category of read and let go - those you can download on the iPad, borrow from the library or from the office swap. But then there are those books that must be purchased because they either look too beautiful in print, or it's a book you keep coming back to.  Most of my books have been stored in the attic since we moved, waiting for the right bookshelf space. But because I cannot totally live without books, a few piles have found their way here and there. And in this family the kids love books too - maybe because I love reading to them.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Make me pretty

I always need a little boost for my skin at this time of the year. The skin is tired, pale and lackluster. So off I went to the Sephora at my lunch hour looking for some good vitamin C cream to give my skin the needed boost and clarity. Thanks to the perky sales person, I walked out with a product that cost twice as much: Caudalie's Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. It promises to make my skin "moisturized and luminous" and to give me a complexion that "looks even and beautifully radiant" (gotta love that marketing language). The secret ingredient comes from grapewines, so how bad could it be - I love the other good stuff coming from the grapewines ;-) I will tell you how beautifully radiant my skin gets with this after I've used the serum for a couple of weeks.

I also got some make-up - my absolute favorite lip gloss, Buxom Lips, in Lacey. The perfect color and perfect consistency. And a new treat, a Bobbi Brown shimmer wash eye shadow in Heather Mauve (looks more silver or gray than mauve to me, but who am I to say, I am not the make-up artist, all I know is that it's a pretty color that's neutral enough for the day)...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coffee Table - Take 2

The coffee table display evolves again..this time the green Aalto vase is out because it is in use elsewhere housing tulips. I added the cute little reindeer thingy I found at Anthropologie and the golden clock that has been looking for a place. The poor little clock has always looked out of place but I think I finally found the perfect spot!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Never Ending Winter

Yes, winter 2010-2011 is now officially known as the never-ending-winter! Kids have had their fun in the snow and husbands have had their exercise shoveling the driveway. It's been pretty, but it is now time for the white stuff to melt. This winter provided plenty of material for pictures though, so here are a few shots taken on our yard.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

NY Fashion Week

Today was a beautiful clear and sunny day, a day when you want to think about spring! (And go shopping, which I did, but more about that later...) However, the fashion week is always a step ahead, and the fashion industry is already looking at fall and beyond. With all the pre-fall collections and sneak peeks, there have been news about fall for so long that it almost feels like old news by now. But let's not let that stop us from enjoying the shows at the Lincoln Center! As the week kicked off yesterday, there were a couple of my favorites on the first day: Richard Chai and Christian Siriano. And since I am a very pragmatic person, I love the wearability of these designers. Here are my top picks:

Richard Chai

Richard Chai

Richard Chai

Richard Chai (and the beautiful finn Suvi Koponen!)

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

Christian Siriano

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coffee Table

There is a rotating collection of items on my living room coffee table. I change the display as the spirit moves me. Recently though, I changed it because a couple of wild girls were throwing a ball in the living room (a big no! no! in my book, apparently not in daddy's book) and broke one very delicate Orrefors candle holder that was from a set of three. There are two left, but they don't look as nice without the third. Needless to say, now throwing a ball in the living room is a no! no! in everyone's book!

Walk Like an Egyptian

The news from Egypt has given me a pause. The uprising is scary and exhilarating at the same time. The country finally has a shot to achieve true democracy after so many years of autocracy, but the road to change may be long and arduous. Egypt may also be the front runner of the other arab league countries, that yearn for change, democracy, and corny as it may sound, freedom. Of course the whole western world is holding its breath waiting to see whether Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood will emerge as a leading force, or whether the change to democracy will take a secular form. In either case, it will be very interesting to see how Egypt will incorporate islam into its politics going forward. Hopefully there won't be anymore violence, but a peaceful revolution. America should now "put its money where the mouth is" and strongly show its support for Egyptian democracy. And since this is a style-focused blog, I cannot help but asking how long do you think it's going to take to see some Egyptian influence in fashions?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A New Line to Watch - Leifsdottir

I discovered Leifsdottir online last summer when I was enormously pregnant. The clothes seemed really cute and had a somehow Scandinavian feel. And of course there was the name, Leifsdottir. I was left wondering about the Scandinavian connection. Sunday's New York Times Styles section brough the answer! Leifsdottir is a standalone higher end line started under the Urban Inc (parent of Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters) umbrella. The clothes are sold at Bergdorf''s, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus (and apparently they sell very well). And, the best of all, the line is the brain and design child of Johanna Uurasjarvi, a fellow Finn, who for ten years was the director of designer for Anthropologie, and then started this line in 2010. I can't wait to get myself to the nearest Bloomies next weekend to try on a few pieces.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Entre S'il Vous Plait

Remember the auction with the Kelly bag I did not win? Well, it wasn't all bad...I actually got a few nice pieces at the auction, like this white carrara marble top side cabinet which is now in my entrance. I love the way it looks there. The piece is big, but the white top lightens the load visually. Now I just need some bright colorful art or prints on the wall next to the mirror, preferably something modern and something a bit whimsical or humorous. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Sewing Project

If you recall, I got my daughter a sewing machine for her 8th birthday. First she practiced sewing shapes on paper, and then it was time to start a project. Given that she's really into baking, she wanted to make an apron. I figured that that's an easy thing to start with - no sleeves, collars or buttonholes :-)  We've had so much fun making the apron - or should I say, I've been having fun making it...she lost interest at some point and now comes around to check on my progress! The little machine works like a wonder and has a really nice and smooth stitch. I haven't sewn anything for years and years, but it's coming back to me, and now my mind is full of ideas of what I could make...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Shoes Shoes Shoes

I am always looking for cute flats or ballerinas. To my great regret, within the past couple of years I have lost the ability to wear high heels and am now wearing flats pretty much all the time. Even though ballerinas are everywhere, it is actually quite difficult to find good looking ones that don't make your feet look too flat, or too wide, or too long or too dumpy. This week, as a result of a quick lunch time run, I found a perfect pair of black, highly decorated flats by Enzo Angiolini. These made the prime placement under my desk at the office to better slip on as soon as I get in!

Also, a while back I had a little obsession on Gucci motorcycle boots. But I managed to talk myself out of spending $800 on them - and now I am so happy that I did, because I found this pair of very similar boots in the Bloomies sale for $50. Ha!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


One of my favorite blogs is in the running for this year's Weblog Awards - 2011 Bloggies in the Best Latin American Blog category. Check out Anabel's beautiful blog "and so I whisper" and vote here.

And talking about awards, I have received a couple: the Versatile blogger award from Anabel, and Violette of the "Chez Violette" blog. Violette also gave me the Stylish Blogger Award.

Now, I would like to thank God, my mother, and all who have made this possible, i.e. me :-)

Apparently, once you receive these awards, you have to share seven things that nobody knew about you:

1. I love planning, not so much doing. Oftentimes, the urge gets satisfied with planning, and I can save myself the trouble of actually having to put the effort into doing...
2. But when I do finally get into doing stuff, I like to do it (whatever it is) well.
3. I always have about 2-3 (or more) books that I am reading. Some books may take me years to read, as I may come back to them after a long period of non-interest. I also read self help books...
4. I am a very impulsive shopper and I loooove bargains (not my best trait and am trying to change this).
5. I am a bit of a peeping Tom. I love to peek into people's homes. I guess that is why I love blogs that showcase how people have decorated.
6. I am always struggling with my weight. I have accepted that I am tall and large and will never be tiny, but it is those last few pesky pounds that refuse to leave my butt and thighs.
7. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up - I have always wanted to start a business but am too accustomed to a regular paycheck and convenience of a job. (And I actually like my job very much!) Maybe when I retire?


As New York is in the throngs of yet another winter storm, this time a veritable ICE storm, I was thinking about ice...a little bit different ice... I have never been a huge fan of diamonds, because to me diamond jewelery tends to be either a bit boring or too much into the rapper bling bling world. And since I am a fan of big necklaces, most of my diamond options would be in the rapper category, sigh. Except that there is one diamond necklace that I absolutely adore. The DeBeers Talisman. It is so beautifully organic, historic and not too precious looking. I even love the name, Talisman. This piece is on the eternal wish list!