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Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Family and friends, Travel | 0 comments

A Quick Pause

A Quick Pause

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?

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Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in Family and friends | 0 comments

Finally, Spring is Here

Finally, Spring is Here

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.

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Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in Family and friends | 0 comments

Music, Discipline and Some Friendly Support

Music, Discipline and Some Friendly Support

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.

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Posted by on Mar 8, 2017 in Family and friends, Lifestyle | 2 comments

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

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?

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Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 in Family and friends | 0 comments

And Now We Return to Our Regular Programming…

And Now We Return to Our Regular Programming…

Hey, are you guys still here?  I know I’ve been away from this space for a little while.  Just like everyone else, I needed a break from the constant Breaking News that’s become such a part of our daily lives.  I thought, why add to the media clutter, right ?  Then, I started thinking of how talking about simple beauty and blissful moments in our lives when the world seems to be so chaotic these days felt a little too self-indulgent.

And, yet, here I am, back in this old blog of mine.  When I was away from here, I started missing a few things like taking photos and documenting trivial moments in life.  I still have conflicted feelings about sharing life in such a public space but I find that I need this space for my own sanity.  This place is where I define who I am and what matters to me and where I get to express myself creatively.  This place is also where I hold myself accountable to live life with intent, beauty and joy.

A few snippets of what’s been going on in our lives lately…

  • Celebrating a milestone birthday.   We now have a teen in the house.  

Cake made by Ines

  • Enjoying the simple things like finding an old-fashioned independently-owned bookstore 

  • Going to the last Father-Daughter Dance in grade school

  • Three times the charm, performing at this wondrous hall for the third time.  


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Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Art, Family and friends, Lifestyle | 0 comments

On Simple Joys and Self-Care

On Simple Joys and Self-Care

It’s getting harder every week to come to this space and blog about simple beauty and joy.  What can I say?  We simply don’t live in a time when we can be frivolous and go about our lives as if it were business as usual, oblivious to geo-political developments in the US and the world.  No matter what our political inclinations are, there’s no way we can breathe easily these days. There’s just too much unrest and discord in the news and social media as well as daily conversations that we often just feel exhausted and a little depressed.

Yet it is during stressful times like the one we are in right now when we actually need more self-care, often in the form of simple joys.  We still need to find a moment in our days when we can recharge —  read books, go to yoga class, laugh with a friend, and go to our happy place.  Because at the end of the day, no one will hand these things to us on a silver platter and tell us we deserve these pleasures.  We must guard our simple joys zealously to keep going, to continue fighting and resisting, for the road ahead is long.

Personally, my simple joy and happy place is a museum, any museum.  Seeing works from various artists and learning the process in which they create always give me tremendous joy and satisfaction.  Last week, I went to the Met Breuer and checked out Kerry James Marshall’s exhibit before it closed.  Marshall’s inspiration and approach to painting and his subjects are refreshing.  In depicting African-American life in the US, Marshall used a painting style that was largely influenced by diverse styles from the Dutch masters to Jackson Pollock and Romare Bearden while adding a distinctive touch into the mix.  The result is eclectic, diverse and full-bodied masterpieces that use classical methods while pushing the status quo.

What do you do to tend to your soul?  I’d love to know…

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Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 in Family and friends, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Life Lately

Life Lately

I can’t believe that it’s already the third week in January.  Life usually slows down a bit in January and February for us but I don’t think that will be the case in 2017.  Our calendar is already quite full for the next few months with numerous commitments and obligations, many of which we cannot avoid unfortunately.  A day at a time, a task at a time, be mindful, be in the moment.  These are the words I easily say to myself but have a hard time adhering to.

Like everyone, I have good days and bad.  As a parent of tween girls, I tend to have more of the latter, aka tumultuous and emotional roller-coaster type of days.  How does any mother of tween/teen girls stay sane?  You almost have to experiment in various forms of self help to get through these turbulent years.

What helps for now are talks with loved ones who always have my back as well as reading a few good books on parenting teens.  In fact, there are two books that I have read recently that are so insightful on the subject — The Gift of Failure and Untangled. I have used some of the strategies recommended from these two books and can see a difference already in my relationship with my girls. So if you have a moment, do read at least one of these books.  It may shed some light on how to parent your teen or at the very least reinforce what you already know but may have forgotten.

Here’s a little snippet of our lives as of late….

Brady turning one! Happy Birthday, Big Guy!

Some eye candy while getting ready for the upcoming Matisse show at Montclair Art Museum

Holidays may be over but not at Ines’ school where they sang holiday songs and played instruments last week


Loving C’s school as it reaches a milestone year in 2017. Way to go, Villa!

How’s 2017 treating you so far?

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Posted by on Dec 26, 2016 in Family and friends, France, Travel | 0 comments

Week 52/52

Week 52/52

Life lately in 2016

The last week of 2016 is here!  What a crazy year it has been with all the ups and downs in our everyday lives.  As many variables and unknowns face us in 2017, I know one thing we’ll always have is the love of family and friends.   I plan to hold  on to those whom I cherish a little bit more in the new year and minimize any negative presence in my life.   Life is just too short to bother with the trivial and unnecessary. The death of loved ones in the last few years along with those of singers and artists who were such a part of my childhood are simple reminders how fleeting our time on Earth is.

I am not sure yet what I want to do with the blog in the next year.  A part of me wants to stop blogging with my girls getting older and the pull for them to live their own lives become stronger.  Another possibility is that I continue writing in this space but focusing more on my own personal narrative (and less of theirs), knowing how much writing fulfills my soul.  It’s doable but challenging given how much of my self-definition revolves around motherhood.  Yet another option is to just focus on Instagram and let my photos there do the talking.   An easier option but a bit limited as a communication outlet.    What to do, what to do?

I want to share some photos from our Christmas in France at my in-laws this year.  We have not spent Christmas here for five years so our visit was definitely long overdue.  The girls have little cousins here now too so there is a stronger need to come to France for all of them to start building some memories and bond even just for a few days.

Have a great week!!!

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Posted by on Dec 19, 2016 in Family and friends | 0 comments

Week 51/52

Week 51/52

Life lately in 2016

Wrapping up the year and getting our holiday groove on were the main focus of this past weekend. It was festive and heartwarming to be able to celebrate a great meal on Friday night with the girls’ French class, followed by a Saturday night piano recital and holiday meals with friends and family on Sunday. Sounds a bit jam-packed but only because we’re trying to see everyone before we leave for France.

I’m excited for the holidays. I’m hoping to unwind, unplug and take a few moments of reflection as we gear up for 2017. The beginning of the new year is always full of promise and I want to spend the next two weeks gathering my inner strength to prep for what lies ahead. But there’s a also a part of me that’s a bit melancholic as we say goodbye to another year, shedding part of ourselves as we get ready to move forward.

What are your holiday plans this year?

Look of exasperation as these girls won’t stop talking sometimes

Happy girls in the rain, waiting for Santa to come by

Talent show, brotherly love and competition

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Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Family and friends | 0 comments

Week 50/52

Week 50/52

Life Lately in 2016

So I caught this stubborn cold and coughing bug that I’ve been fighting off this past week and it culminated into a full-blown laryngitis, hence reducing my ability to communicate dramatically this past weekend.  It has not been fun, especially now during the holidays when I’m desperately trying to get things off my to-do list.  A few nights this past week turned into 9pm bedtimes for me as I wrapped up the day feeling completely wiped-out and lethargic.  As someone who’s used to caring for everyone else in the house, I found myself in an odd place of being the patient and not the nurse this time around.

The good news is that I am beginning to feel better.  My voice is still a little raspy and I’m still coughing but I’m not as lethargic or weak as before.  I just can’t believe there’s only two weeks left before Christmas.  There’s much to be done but I’m looking forward to the school break, spending time with family and just changing the pace a bit.  What are your plans for the holidays?

Here are some photos from this past week…

Waiting for her sister’s school Christmas concert to start

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