Nothing like a minor fender-bender accident during Friday rush hour to make you want to reset things a bit in life. So the rest of the weekend was spent idly as I tried to enjoy my mother who flew in from out of town as well dear friends who hosted a lovely Saturday night dinner.
Hope you had a wonderful time with the mothers in your life…
Deemed as the Oscars of the fashion world, the gala for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute exhibit is always something to marvel at. There’s always controversial outfits donned by celebrities like Rihanna and Lady Gaga but the actual exhibit is often overlooked by many. This year’s Costume Institute exhibit is on the legendary Rei Kawakubo from the design label Comme des Garcons.
I have to be honest but I’m not a big fan of Kawakubo’s design. Her figure distortion in clothing design definitely makes us rethink of the relationship between the clothes’ fit and the human form. But I’m a classicist in this sense and love designs that flatter the body rather than contradict it. Nevertheless, here are some pics from the exhibit. What do you think?
A couple of weeks ago, Ines and her friend, Miya, participated in the TREPs Program in their school. I love this entrepreneurial program for 4th and 5th graders where they get introduced into the nuts and bolts of starting a business. The girls came up with their own business venture called Relaxation Station where they sold candles and lotions and provided two-minute massage sessions.
I love how both girls really took ownership of their business idea and seriously prepared for the big TREPs day. There were a few after-school meetings to discuss their venture and finalize details like product design and sales pitch. I was quite satisfied that both girls stayed at their booths to talk to potential customers about their products and service, despite the numerous distractions like stopping by other friends/vendors’ booths. I think the most remarkable lesson from that day was that both girls learned how to handle their finances and ensure that expenses are at minimum so they can yield a higher profit. Never too early to learn some life lessons go along the way, don’t you think?
Have you seen Erni Stollberg? She is the 95-year old Instagram sensation and model for Park, an Austrian concept store. A former dancer for a Jewish dance company in Austria in the 1930s, Erni and her troupe were able to escape to Buenos Aires before Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Her exuberance as a former dancer comes through so vividly in her expressive and full-of-personality Instagram poses. Yes, when I grow up, I want to be like Erni.
A young Erni
Images from vogue.com and @park_wien
With the girls going to two school systems with different vacation weeks, our Spring Break was pretty much limited to five days. And so with that limited time, we decided for a quick getaway in Miami even though we already had spent Spring Break there two years ago. At least with Miami, we did not have to worry about connecting flights, time change or unpredictable weather. Sunny days, entertainment and good food are pretty much guaranteed.
I wish I can say we did all these novel things while in Miami. The reality was that we wanted to enjoy every minute of sitting by the pool and the beach and really not doing much of anything. Our sole outing, apart from eating out, was going to the Perez Art Museum while my biggest accomplishment was finishing two books.
As short as this vacation was, I still feel recharged from putting a quick break from the usual routine. How was your Spring Break?
I never thought we would see spring emerge after the last snowstorm we had in March and the heavy downpour from the last two weeks. Yet almost in a blink of an eye, signs of spring are simply everywhere from the birds chirping in the morning to the crocuses and daffodils blooming everywhere. I love spring, the renewal of life, the longer days, and the warmer temps.
Like the other seasons, spring acts as a milepost that marks where we are in life — another winter under the belt, another summer to look forward to. Yet what’s most prevalent in my mind these days is the unstoppable forward motion of time. Five more years before Chiara goes to college, eight more years before Ines leaves. While a lot can happen during that time frame, I know the remaining time I have with my girls will go fast. Slowly, I’m learning to let them go as they prepare to take off and begin to define themselves in relationships and roles outside our family.
A few weeks ago, Chiara performed with her guitar ensemble at Merkin Hall in the city. It’s the first time that the ensemble played with an orchestra and I must say the whole experience was quite amazing! Not only was the music they created that afternoon rhythmic and melodious but the ensemble members got to see what it was like to play with professional musicians on a renowned concert venue. I can’t sing enough praises for these kids, this guitar ensemble, who had put countless hours of practice yet never once forgot to laugh and have a good time together. So much of what the group has become and now embodies is the result of their guitar teacher’s passionate teaching style and unrelenting dedication to these kids.
Apart from the music, I have to say that my other favorite part of the afternoon is seeing my friends’ children come out to listen and support Chiara. The concert lasted for two hours, a long time for these kids, yet they sat patiently and respectfully while trying to choose which music they liked the most and mimicking the conductor’s moves. It’s this kind of support from friends where I, and I’m sure Chiara as well, feel loved and supported.
Lately it seems that I’m obsessing quite a bit with interiors and home design. While we’re all a little HGTV-obsessed in my household where we critique home layouts like a national sport, I think all the binge-watching has helped refine my vision for what I want in our house. I’m slowly editing, getting rid of things that no longer reflect our aesthetics, and replacing them only with objects and furniture that we love. Personally, this meant getting rid of our old Pottery Barn dining set and replacing it with timeless midcentury dining table and chairs that can be passed down from one generation to the next. I’m done with bulk — all I want are sleek, well-designed chairs and tables in our humble abode.
Going to the Architectural Digest Design Show in the city, courtesy of my favorite artist Hollie Heller, is a bit to blame for my current design obsession as well. Walking through the show and seeing the newest design trends and innovations will make any girl want to redecorate, refine and tweak what she’s got at home. Some of my personal favorites were the light fixtures section along with the art/furniture and kitchen show areas.
…my little helper and partner-in-crime
…Hollie Heller’s booth that showed her newest creations
The last thing that’s fueling my design mania is this blog, www.thesocialitefamily.com, and its recently published book. I literally can spend hours perusing through different posts from this blog and dream of various spaces I can see myself in. Socialite Family’s design philosophy is boho Parisian chic but I think there are certain things that transcend geographical boundaries and work in many places. Check out the site and tell me what you think…
I love those fashion articles that advise you on how to dress according to your age. It’s not that I heed every single thing that fashion gurus say I should wear. For me, it’s simply a fun reality check to see whether or not I’m breaking some silly fashion rule at whatever life stage I’m in. For instance, I loved it when beauty advisers used to say no long hair for women over forty, as if we’re all supposed to chop off our locks and sport an Annie Lenox ‘do the moment we hit the big 4-0. I did that look in my teens and there’s no way I’m going back there again…
So when I saw this article last week, I was a little intrigued. I guess I never gave much thought to decorating based on age. Buying the stuff you love and surrounding yourself with them were always my guiding principles in interiors, not age. But then, I thought about it a little further. We DO decorate by age, unless you’re one of the lucky ones with unlimited funds to buy what you love at a young age.
The fact that I hardly had any money for furniture in my 20s dictated my apartment aesthetics of mostly Ikea and hand-me-down furnitures. And, there’s also the fashion trend at the time. In my early 30s, there was a lot of Pottery Barn-inspired pieces that I was attracted to and grew out of in my 40s. Now that I’m close to another milestone in my life, I’m more drawn to pieces that have longevity, more estate pieces but of the mid-century kind, that I can hopefully pass down to the girls one day.
How do you decorate?
30s and beyond decorating
Those times when I feel like crawling underneath a rock and hiding from ugly things around us, I think of these girls, of the strong women who came before me and the courageous women who stand with me to fight through our current battles.
I can’t think of a world without women, can you?