Thursday, May 31, 2012

Picnic in the Park

I love Long Island. I am so lucky to live here! LI is full of gorgeous recreation areas, beaches and shopping (haven't had time to do much of that lately, which is just fine - I've been meaning to clean out my closet to make space first). These photos are of our first picnic of this summer.. I know, it's not even officially summer yet, but who's counting? We went to the Sands Point Preserve, which has a couple of Gold Coast era castles, large park and a beach.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Summer Started with a Bang

This Memorial Day weekend was so busy I did not take any pictures! We hosted a barbecue party, had people sleeping over at our house, and hosted a brunch for other set of guests.. We are all hosted out for a little while, but we did have a great time and it was lovely to see so many friends in one weekend. Me and the girls also squeezed in the pool opening, and then later took our brunch guests to the pool. The summer has now officially began!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Date Night

Note to self: Don't schedule a date night on the evening before a big party that you're hosting. Or, at least don't mix up martinis and mojitos...

What I wore: JBrand jeans, no brand tunic which I've had for about 10 years, Nine West shoes, Tory Burch clutch, Givenchy earrings, and David Yurman bracelet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Saturday Mornings Are Made Of..

Fresh squeezed lemon juice, long leisurely brunch with the family, and reading my favorite, the WSJ magazine (love the magazine's picture below of a bed room at the Petersham house, a gorgeous room not styled, but totally lived in).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Outfits

This was a busy weekend running around with kids. Most weekend mornings I don't really plan an outfit, I just wear what feels comfortable and what I can find and wear quickly. My young fashionista is another story. She can change three outfits before heading out the door (I remember doing that too, thankfully that is something everyone grows out of).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Morning

Saturday mornings are the perfect time to do a bit of gardening and to have a friendly chat with the neighbors..

Friday, May 18, 2012

Proud Mama

Yesterday was one of those days when you're in meeting after meeting and don't have time to come up for air. But how lucky was I to have a delicious meal waiting for me when I got home. The meal was  prepared from start to finish by my 9 year old daughter. I am such a proud mama!
The words Gucci and Comfort are usually not heard in the same sentence, but these Gucci flats are my comfort shoes..
The chef came to give me a little bow and invite me to dinner.
The Office outfit: Banana Republic jacket, Mac and Jac pants, Jones New York top, F21 necklace, Chloe bag


Love this photo I took at my daughter's dance class today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Living in the Moment

So every now and then I try to get outside of my head and live in the moment. Since it was the first day of no rain for a while, I went to say hello to New Jersey (across the Hudson river) at my lunch break, and literally took the time to smell the roses.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Don't Let a Bad Day Make You Feel Like You Have a Bad Life

When you are working through some stressful things, it is difficult to remember that "this too shall pass". But what I tell my daughters is to never let one bad day, or a week, or even a month, make you feel like you have a bad life. I just lived through a few trying weeks, that were naggingly stressful, and full of emotional anxiety. It all ended perfectly on time for Mother's Day. Now that it's over I feel drained out, tired (I slept 10 hours last night) and at the same time, I feel really good, happy and grateful about what my life is right now. I am true to myself, and to the people around me, living an honest and grounded life, providing a base for my daughters to grow up free and safe, and explore who they are. I am so proud to be the mother of these three intelligent and beautiful individuals, who each have their own unique character, mind, humor, likes and dislikes. I received many Mother's Day presents, but the best ones were the sincere words straight from the heart telling me that I am the best mom anyone could have.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today's treats

The yummiest ice cream made from fresh organic ingredients, and back yard barbecue veggies and Kielbasa skewers.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sewing School

My 9 year old daughter and I are undertaking our second sewing project. The first project, which we started last year after she got the Hello Kitty Janome sewing machine as a birthday present, was an apron which I ended up sewing mostly (but which she likes to show off to people as her own work!). It did come out pretty cute, even if I say so myself. That was a project without patterns or instructions, just done on the fly with some creativity. Now I feel that it’s time to graduate to a more difficult sewing project that would involve tracing patterns and following instructions. This time we are going to try our hand at sewing a shirt! One for her and one for me. Quite ambitious, no? But we are excited!

In Finland, where I grew up, it is part of every student’s curriculum to learn to sew. Sewing is considered  as one of the basic life skills that kids should learn as they grow up. I can still remember some of the projects I did in school 30 years ago. And one of those projects, a kimono-type terry cloth bath robe, is still in use every summer at my parents’ summer house. I love it!

 Unfortunately here in America there are no sewing classes in school. There are also no woodworking, or cooking classes (all of which are kids’ favorites in Finland).  I guess in this day and age nobody really needs to sew, or know how to work wood, unless for a hobby. Cooking might come handy in every day life, though, and it is astounding to me that it is not taught in schools! But knowing how to do something on your own, even if you never have to do it, is a good feeling. And knowing something about the construction of the garments that we cover ourselves up with every day, and realizing how much effort and skill it takes to create them, is important. 

I am a horrible teacher…not patient…not kind. But my daughter puts up with me, because she’s so excited. She’s constantly sketching outfits.

She is going to be a Famous Fashion Designer when she grows up (or a TV reporter, or a CEO).

I was going to be a fashion designer too, long before it was cool on reality TV, and even made most of my clothing for a few years in my teens and even in early twenties, until sewing that much became too tedious. The Burda magazine was my bible then, just as Vogue and InStyle are now :-)  My sewing skills are very rusty. But it is so rewarding to create something with your own hands. It doesn’t have to be perfect, for you to proudly say “I made this”.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Boss Style

Finally, even the Wall Street Journal agrees: The old power suit is no more, and business dressing can be feminine, fun and more sophisticated. However, these types of outfits require a level of style and creativity which can sometimes be overwhelming, if you're used to a "uniform". Since I love fashion and playing dress up I am not complaining, but happy to have more options and more fun dressing for work. I have witnessed this change in the office within the past few years. When I started in a professional capacity, all I wore was suits, mostly pant suits in dark colors. In the last few years, I've worn them less and less. When Michele Obama became the first lady, her style really inspired the way American women dress, especially in business. If separates and colors were good enough for the White House, they were good enough for finance and law offices too.. I can't even remember when I last wore a pantsuit.  And all I can say is Hallelujah! Let the personal style and taste shine through, in all aspects or our lives!

Office Outfits: Tops

Overheard on the train yesterday two college students, apparently about to graduate this spring, speaking about what they wear going to interviews. The other girl was actually on her way to one, wearing a light colored cute blazer, skinny jeans and ballerinas. A cute outfit in and of itself, but not an interview outfit. The girl actually said to her friend that she does not want to look too formal. I wanted to give her some advice, but kept it to myself because I did not want to ruin her confidence before the interview. The thing is, I don't think it is ok to go to an interview wearing jeans. If you are interviewing to a professional position, or even to a job that will lead to a professional position, you have to wear professional clothes, and worn out skinny jeans are not it. Of course companies have different cultures, but I don't think that any serious company would punish you for making the effort to dress nice and somewhat conservative for an interview. Or am I too old, and have been in the financial industry for too long and know nothing about real life?

Anyway, here are some of my recent, more relaxed, business outfits or, tops:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Work Week Vegetarian

I am trying something new this week. New for me that is, old for many people who've already seen the light. I am giving up meat, and eating a vegetarian diet during the work week. I was inspired by an old friend who recently became vegetarian and looks damn good! She was never heavy, but now she's lost those couple extra pounds from around her middle, and looks just radiant. Great skin, very healthy looking. She also dropped her cholesterol so much that she did not need medication, but that's beside the point. The point is that she looks gorgeous, and I became a bit jealous, and decided to follow suit. Of course I picked the worst PMS week to alter my diet, but even with that, and with just four days of eating vegetarian, I feel great. Less bloated, more clarity in thinking, just somehow less foggy. Skin is weirdly clear too, or maybe it's just wishful thinking.

My next stop is to watch the Forks Over Knives movie.

I am taking this thing step by step, not ready to give up animal products all together yet, I love dairy, especially plain yogurt and cheese too much. But I believe that even being a work week vegetarian will improve my health and set me on the right path.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I love the fact that I live and work in a place where I can take a walk by the water's edge whenever I have the time. It really nurtures my soul. I love the water in all seasons and weathers, it is always so calming to my mind, even when the waves are high or water is gray and choppy. Here are some pictures from my stress management outing today:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Gold Coast

I have always been a bit of a history buff and especially have tried to learn something about the history of the places I've lived in. I have been lucky to live in places rich with stories. I believe that knowing about the past increases your understanding of the present.

The history of Long Island, especially the Gold Coast era is fascinating, and a bit sad. My area was once full of magnificent mansions, some of which were really more like castles than houses. There were hundreds of them in the North Shore of Long Island. The sad part is that only about a hundred remain, and some are empty ruins. The best kept example is the Westbury Mansion and gardens, which is now a museum. And which I have mentioned here before.

I am still learning more about the Gold Coast era, and about the houses that remain, one of which is Winfield, an amazing estate in Glen Cove, the house which is said to be haunted with the spirit of F.W. Woolworth who built it. I just finished a book about Winfield written by Monica Randall. Winfield is a three story Italian renaissance style marble palace with 56 rooms, and it employed over a 100 staff to upkeep the house and the extensive gardens. Absolutely gorgeous house, and totally fascinating history - this book made my commute feel short!