Fig & Flower. Your new green beauty e-boutique.

In my quest for a caffeine-based eye cream to help de-puff a bit, I came across the lovely green beauty e-boutique, Fig & Flower.  Aesthetically beautiful with a diverse array of brands, Fig & Flower only retails non-toxic eco-friendly affordable products. 

In addition to beauty and skincare, they also carry products for the home, baby, bath, etc.  They truly have you covered.

I wanted everything on the site, but settled on the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream (a steal at $11), and the Moksa Organics Body Butter in Lemon Lavender, also a bargain at $16. 

A must-have eye cream.  Decreases puffiness and brightens the eye.

A must-have eye cream.  Decreases puffiness and brightens the eye.

It didn't take long for my eyes to start to de-puff (in conjunction with proper rest), and the body butter smells so heavenly I apply multiple times a day, even though it provides enough moisture where I don't need to.

This body butter is a treat for your senses while delivering silky smooth skin.

This body butter is a treat for your senses while delivering silky smooth skin.

Fig & Flower is definitely a great go-to if you don't want to spend a lot, see no need for toxins, and want to be a green beauty.  Check it out today!

 

50 ways to leave your lover

There will come a time in your life where a former partner will resurface out of the blue after you had written him off as long since gone.  You know how it is.  You'd finally gotten that person out of your head after an acrimonious split and had put it all behind you, when bam!–here he is again.  When this happens–and it will–brace yourself so that you do not fall victim to the sweet talk once again. 

After a period of hibernation, a man recently reappeared into a friend's life after nearly a year of radio silence.  He'd only just discovered that she had unfriended him on facebook and wanted to double check if they were still friends–if that's what she really wanted: not to be friends anymore.  Needless to say, she was shocked that he had actually contacted her after so long, and was more dumbfounded that he'd had the audacity to ask what he did.  You see, a few years prior they'd dated for a few months until he unceremoniously dumped her by text in the middle of her work day, only to make contact a year later apologizing and asking for forgiveness.  "That wasn't me.  I don't know why I did that," he'd said.  She forgave him and decided that she could be friends with him.  Eager as he was to prove himself worthy of her friendship, he remained in touch until they were finally able to meet for dinner a few months later.  He apologized again for his misgivings and assured her he wanted to be a part of her life. 

They enjoyed a nice catch-up dinner and afterwards he said he wanted to do it again soon, and in the ensuing months she optimistically proceeded to try to get together multiple times, only for him to decline for whatever reason while never offering an alternative date/plan.  Because she wasn't desperate to be friends with someone who clearly did not want to maintain the friendship, she unfriended him and didn't think twice about it.

Until nearly a year passed and he returned, sniffing around again. 

This time she was not so forgiving and, rightly so, curtly returned his message saying that it was obvious to her that it was he, not she, who had no longer wanted to be friends, so yes, she'd unfriended him long ago.  She said it was obvious that he'd had a girlfriend and that it had ended, which was more than likely the reason behind his resurgence.  (As their dinner did not result in her being his girlfriend again, which was fine by her, she did not care if he'd had one, but did not appreciate his sudden drop off for no reason after he had previously practically begged to be a part of her life again.)  She told him that he should not contact her again if he was not coming from a place of sincerity as she was not interested in being friends with someone who says they want to be friends but make zero effort to do so, especially given their history.  He was taken aback by her message and thought it "intense"–code for: I was just hoping for a meaningless hook-up, but she's called me on my shit and I can't handle it so I'm going to be defensive–to which she replied that it was the unvarnished truth, take it or leave it, and she closed by stating that he said he could earn back her friendship if he really wanted it.  After being honest again and not accepting his BS, he replied that, of course, he would love to be her friend.  Weeks passed with nary another word from him.  He did not try to schedule a get together or a talk so that he could again prove himself to her.  Because this guy was an ass, I told her to let it go and forget about him again.  And she did (as soon as she'd hit send for she knew that his weak reply meant that she would never hear from him again.)

Paul Simon's ditty reminded me of her experience and, in her case, she did not need fifty reasons to leave this dud in the dust, but only one: untrustworthiness.  All we have in this life is our word and if you don't have that, you have nothing.

The lesson?  When someone shows you who they are, listen.  The first time.  As forgiving and nice as we women tend to be, perhaps it's time to be less so the first time you are treated with disrespect.  When someone does wrong by you, you can forgive in your heart and move on, but you do not need to let that person back into your life.  People sometimes exhibit patterns of behavior that can be unhealthy when unleashed on others, and you do not have to create your own pattern by letting someone back in who is not worthy.

Tips, tricks and tonics for the freshly du(m)ped.

There comes a time in everyone's life where they meet someone groovy who is seemingly available and become excited at the possibility of a new romance.  But sometimes that turns into a Bad Romance.

Girlfriends, don't let this be you.

You know the signs.  Someone is giving you the greenlight in every major way, then uh-oh, pump your brakes!  It's over before it began.  Such is the [unfortunate] tale of a friend who  contacted me a few months ago asking me what to do in its aftermath.

At the time, this lovely girl had met a guy a few weeks prior through a mutual friend.  They'd hit it off swimmingly.  Having been du(m)ped before, the girl was cautious and let him take the lead from their communications (quite frequent) to his invitations to visit him in his town, a few hours away from where they'd met.  This wasn't her first time at the rodeo, so when over the course of three or so weeks when he kept in touch by text (nearly everyday, sometimes multiple times a day) and phone calls (sometimes just to say hi), she thrilled.  Then finally the invite came.  He wanted her to visit and promised her a dinner out and invited her to a work event, where, surely, she would have met his co-workers.  He confirmed a few times and she bought a ticket, to which he replied, "good."  She was excited to finally rekindle the night of their auspicious first meeting and she was glad that the few weeks prior had allowed them to learn more about each other.  As they'd had substantive conversations, she was pleased that he wasn't just after just getting in her knickers and she'd opened up to him, confiding things that would have normally taken her months to disclose.  But she felt valued and respected so she'd spoken freely. 

Two days before the visit he randomly called to say hello, as he was in her city having dinner with friends.  He was excited about a work accomplishment–that had brought him to her city–and was about to celebrate.  But he'd just wanted to say hello.  She was further pleased that he'd called just for this reason and hung up with a smile on her face.  As luck would have it, she later found herself out with a girlfriend in the same neighborhood as he.  She dropped him a benign text seeing if he could say hello.  He could and he did.  "He was nervous in a cute way," her friend would later say.  Hugs and handshakes abounded and there was talk of her pending visit 48 hours later.  He eventually left and she and her friend effused over his charms and handsomeness.  Roughly ten minutes later, a bomb in the form of a text populated on her phone from him.

"I'm seeing someone else in my town and need to make that a priority.  You can't come visit. Call me to discuss. Sorry,"  it read in all its sorriness. 

She and her friend were dumbfounded.  Not only had her friend had such a favorable impression of him in a short period of time, but the poor girl was out the cost of a non-refundable ticket, to which he simply told her the next day to contact the airline for a refund.  (Yeah, right.  That works.)  The idyllic weekend they were to have would be no more.  She responded coolly, saying there was no need for discussion.  There was nothing to say. 

Guaranteed, none of us have reached adulthood without something similar happening to us, and unfortunately, these occurrences are largely out of our control.  We've all been on the receiving end of major dick moves like this that put on grand display someone's cowardice, and we've all had to bounce back and keep on steppin'.  But she was terribly confused–who could blame her–and wanted my advice on what to subsequently do.

My first bit of advice...don't shed a tear over someone who had exhibited such insensitive and inhumane behavior.  Although they were not officially a couple, or actually dating yet, he'd done a good job of expressing great interest in her and by extending the invite for a visit, and confirming it more than once, it's easy to see how she thought there was real interest there. 

I also told her to take out her frustrations at the gym.  Nothing like lifting, kicking or punching something to relieve some aggression.  Turns out exercise has greater benefits beyond just health, as she would later tell me after sweating herself into oblivion.

Kick it, girls!  Let it out.

Kick it, girls!  Let it out.

And I would be remiss if I didn't authorize her to tie one on just a wee bit.  A good buzz never hurt anybody when trying to get over a sting.

A refreshing bevvie is a helpful tonic for bug bites.

A refreshing bevvie is a helpful tonic for bug bites.

But I think the best tip I gave her was to ask early next time if the guy is seeing anyone else.  She hadn't thought this necessary because he had been so present and open with her, but it's a question that we have to ask regardless.  You know what they say when you assume...makes an ass out of you and me, and indeed she had been made into the brunt of his joke.   (Joke in the sense that he'd had the gall to insert a smiley face into his text when he commented that the person that he was seeing was a woman (insert face) as previously he'd mentioned a friend who was gay when he'd joined her and her friend at the bar.) 

The big lesson?  Ask early.  Within your first or second communiques.

It made her shutter to think that he'd been carrying on with his real object of affection at the same time he'd been speaking to her in the manner that he had over the prior weeks.  I told her to just be grateful that he showed his true colors early before she got too involved.  Thank God for small favors, I said.

Ask early, ladies, to avoid this.

Live and learn, as they say.  She eventually bounced back nicely and is now dating someone worthy of her time and who has not exhibited such asshole-like tendencies.  I am happy for her and wish her and all of you love, luck and success as your navigate this minefield called dating.

xoxo

 

Trinette and Avery's excellent (woodsy) adventures

I've always said that one of the best things about living in New York is being able to get out of New York.  The city demands so much of you on a daily basis and it seemingly gives you nothing in return.  Between the expense of being here, schlepping your entire life with you everywhere you go, dragging groceries home on the subway (love those stairs!), overcrowded loud trains and whatever else (enter your own gripe here) it's a wonder anyone chooses to live here at all.

But for all its challenges there are often overlooked rewards too, and this weekend me and Avery set out to experience them.

On Saturday me and the doggie headed to Van Courtlandt Park in the Bronx.  It was my first time there–yes, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but definitely won't be my last.  It was so beautiful and huge and, in my opinion, knocked the socks off of Central Park.  Nothing against that famous spread in the middle of the city, but Van Courtlandt Park seemed twice as big with half as many people.  Compared to CP's Sheep's Meadow where you often have to step over people as you walk through it, VC's Parade Ground was sparse and welcoming. 

Avery happily frolicking across Parade Ground.

Avery happily frolicking across Parade Ground.

 A lovely discovery along one of the trails.

 A lovely discovery along one of the trails.

Avery at attention taking in the unusual sounds of nature.

Avery at attention taking in the unusual sounds of nature.

And the trails were extraordinary.  They were as quiet as a church mouse and I felt like I was far far removed from New York City, when in fact I was still in it.  Amazing!  Everyone that I encountered was so friendly and Avery reveled in the woods, chasing squirrels and generally instincting as she does.

IMG_4002.JPG
IMG_4009.JPG
After scaling these rocks like something out of Spiderman, she graciously waited for me to make my way up.

After scaling these rocks like something out of Spiderman, she graciously waited for me to make my way up.

The view from the top was as rewarding as the journey there.

The view from the top was as rewarding as the journey there.

Today I left the doggie at home and rode my bike to The Cloisters within Fort Tyron Park in upper Manhattan's Inwood neighborhood.  Again, I was blown away.  I could not believe that such beauty existed a bike ride away.  Everything was so lush, fragrant and flowerful that I felt transposed to another time and place.

Toodlin' around on my hot wheels.

Toodlin' around on my hot wheels.

Felt like I was in Europe somewhere.

Felt like I was in Europe somewhere.

IMG_8821.JPG
IMG_8824.JPG
IMG_8819.JPG
Stunning.

Stunning.

As I hot-wheeled myself through Fort Washington after leaving The Cloisters, I decided to follow the rest of the bikers and take a little trip across the GW.  Another first, and probably the last.  Not sure if you're aware, but a lot of the bikers who ride uptown (for its extreme hills, I'm sure) are hard core.  There are no polite bike bells to alert you, just a whoosh! as they blow past you, even going up hill.  These were the people I naively decided to follow across the bridge.  Was interesting.

Oh boy.

Oh boy.

Definitely needed to document this.

Definitely needed to document this.

First off, I screamed a prayer in my head for the Lord's protection once I saw how low the railings were.  Couldn't really turn back once I was on the bridge so I just threw caution to the wind, as it were. 

IMG_8833.JPG

After I got my panicked breathing under control and tried not to be intimidated by my "fellow riders," I was actually okay.  My first look out onto the Hudson as I rode unnerved my stomach so that I thereafter kept my head forward and concentrated on making it to the Jersey side. Between the pedestrians, including a parent carrying his kid on his shoulders by the railing–why, I don't know, and the other bikers, I was terrified for most of the ride.  Trying not to collide with any of the above while navigating the narrow space was harrowing.  I was never happier when I made it to Jersey and back and aggressively rode my brakes down the windy decline leading from the bridge to the street, much to the chagrin of the Tour De France team behind me who, I know, wished I would just get out of the way already.

Tuning my head and seeing this, just for a moment, put a pit in my stomach.  But I quickly recovered!

Tuning my head and seeing this, just for a moment, put a pit in my stomach.  But I quickly recovered!

Yay, New Jersey!  Boy was I glad to have made it here.

Yay, New Jersey!  Boy was I glad to have made it here.

Never thought I'd feel safer in New York City traffic than I did on that bridge, but the hazards of the streets were a welcome relief after surviving that bridge.

photo-2.JPG

Both our three hour meander through Van Courtlandt Park and my lung-challenging bike ride uptown, left us both spent, exhausted by the city.  She'd won again.

 

 

Rocky Mountain Model

It's no secret that I love the Mile High City and on my last trip out there I had the pleasure of shooting with two-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Marc Piscotty

It had been a minute since I'd been in front of the camera, but Marc was so easy to work with that before I knew it I was channeling my inner sassy.  (Not easy in the frigid temperatures, but when it was time to drop my coat I just did it and powered through.) 

Trying desperately to not think about how cold I am.

Trying desperately to not think about how cold I am.

It was a great collaboration and we created some awesome images.  More pics here.

Yep.  Still freezing.

Yep.  Still freezing.

And colder still. 

And colder still. 

Ten seconds.

I have Bobbi Brown's lipstick to thank. 

Before I headed out this morning I stopped to apply her Crimson shade instead of doing it on the train, like I usually do. I took a moment, fished it out of my bag and applied; a good ten seconds in total. 

I would soon understand how crucial those ten seconds were.

A few minutes later as I was rounding out the corner on my way to the train I witnessed a horrible accident.  First I heard the sound, and upon turning my head in its direction, saw a van collide with a bus and before I could really register what was happening, started running in the opposite direction as the bus was making a beeline for where I was.  I then saw the bus careen along the sidewalk and crash through a restaurant window. And then saw the stricken man on the sidewalk, who, moments earlier, had been benignly waiting at the bus stop. (Media reports say him, and the other four injured, did not sustain life-threatening injuries.  Thank God.)

Saying I was hysterical after cheating death–or at least serious injury–would be the understatement of the year, and I thank God for fellow witnesses as we were there to comfort each other in the aftermath.

It's one thing to witness something, but quite another to have run out of its destructive path.  And for that, I credit the application of my lipstick that delayed my departure by ten or so seconds, for had I chosen to apply it on the train, as per my norm, the probability is very high that I would have wound up very near to where the man was who was fallen or a few feet behind and potentially unable to get out of the bus's way.  But I don't want to think about that.  It's too upsetting. I can only thank God that he spared me today. 

In the ensuing chaos it is amazingly beautiful how this community bound itself together.  A neighbor who was also a witness, but from across the street, found me sobbing losing my shit and comforted me.  Knowing that I had been ten seconds from tragedy made me inconsolable and I found strength in her arms.  A common language was found between myself and a Spanish-speaking passerby as we held hands and looked into each others' eyes questioning what we just saw.  Then there was the woman who approached me as I was leaving the scene and told me she saw me from across the street potentially walking into harm's way and said, oh my God.  She told me she was glad I was able to get out of the way.  Through my tears all I could mutter was, okay take care, as I walked away.  And then I saw the woman who I had just seen a half hour before when I'd left my building walking her two large dogs. (She's always come across as very sweet, but her dogs...not so much; they're always poised for attack upon Avery.)  As I walked toward her she opened her arms and held me as I cried.  She said she'd seen me at the corner of the accident and was glad that I was okay.  She encouraged me to go be with my sweet dog.  (I had never so much as exchanged a word or two with this woman on our early morning dog walks and suddenly she was speaking the most important comforting words to me as if she had been always been a friend, which I'm sure she will be now.)  I eventually uttered something incomprehensible to her and went back into my building.

By 9:00am I was back home and loopy on tequila shots and had cried myself through more than a handful of tissues.  (If there was ever a day for early morning drinking, this was it.)

The rest of the day was spent connecting with those important in my life reaffirming my love for them, followed by major dog snuggling and countless Mad Men episodes.

We'd all like to think we don't need reminders like this to reiterate to us how precious and fleeting life is.  But sometimes we do.  We must all remember that tomorrow is not promised to anyone and that today is all we have.  The present is all we need be concerned about, along with improving upon our future, whatever that may mean for each of us.

Today's events brought everything in my life into sharp focus and I know I must continue to live each day as if it is my last.  I don't need to almost get hit by a bus again to get that message.

I wish for you the same.

Rocky Mountain Chop

"It's only hair, right?  It will grow back." That's the one thing to remember when deciding on if/when/how to spruce up your look via your hair. 

Having a perfectly fine hair day a few weeks ago in Denver.

Having a perfectly fine hair day a few weeks ago in Denver.

I had such a conversation with myself a few weeks ago while in Denver.  My friend and I were minding our Ps and Qs taking her dog for a walk when we ran into her hairstylist.  He'd just given her a new fierce look and we started chatting.  I wouldn't say I'd been previously married to my 'fro, but I was pretty comfortable with it.  However, I was open for a change.  What to next do with my hair had been on my mind for awhile and before I knew it me and her stylist, Stevie of Studio Stylists, started talking about different styles for my hair.  He showed me a picture of Pink and suggested something along those lines.  As I was open for a change and was on my own Rocky Mountain High (due to the warm temps, folks, not the other high...), I was an easy sell.  Soon enough I was in his chair undergoing a Tall T transformation.

Perfectly calm as my locks are shorn.

Perfectly calm as my locks are shorn.

Stevie works his magic...

Stevie works his magic...

Almost there!

Almost there!

Closer still!

Closer still!

It's amazing what a new 'do can do!  I have gotten more compliments than I can remember, the most notable being from a 50s REI-clad woman on the subway. (That one just really touched me for some reason.)

With my hair transformer, Stevie!

With my hair transformer, Stevie!

Sometimes you just have to jump in and do something you otherwise wouldn't do.  I'm not advocating for you to shave your head after a five minute deliberation, but it is important to shake things up on occasion to remind yourself that you're alive and to LIVE!  It keeps things interesting. That's what we are here for: to be in the moment and live.

Ta dah!

Ta dah!

Loves it!

Loves it!

A charitable night at the Bowery

As New York is, sometimes you find yourself at an event or occasion with someone really interesting; that was my such night tonight as I was at a Gavel and Grand event where Sarah Ferguson was in attendance.

With the wonderfully gracious Sarah Ferguson.

With the wonderfully gracious Sarah Ferguson.

Hosted by Paddle8 and Modern Luxury Magazine, tonight's event was in celebration of The Bucket List Auction and benefited such great charities as amFar, Children In Crisis, founded by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, among others, was held at the ultra chic Bowery Hotel on the Lower East Side. 

Too much fun photo boothin'.

Too much fun photo boothin'.

In addition to the amazing auction items, the night was filled with photo booth shenanigans, libations, and zany personality readings by The Bumbys.  Awesomeness all around.

IMG_7500.JPG
Being analyzed by a "bumby."

Being analyzed by a "bumby."

I've been bumbified! I'll take Lisa Bonet! (And definitely the rock star bit.  Heeeeeyy...)

I've been bumbified! I'll take Lisa Bonet! (And definitely the rock star bit.  Heeeeeyy...)

With a fellow party-goer who was"bumbied" a youthful Catherine Kaneer. 

With a fellow party-goer who was"bumbied" a youthful Catherine Kaneer. 




Leadership lessons

Last night I attended an Aspen Institute talk on leadership by New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin at the Roosevelt House at Hunter College. 

Fortunately, there was more talk of the importance of collaboration and hard work than there was of actual football (for surely it would have been lost on me), so I could actually follow what he was saying. 

With the admirable Coach Coughlin

With the admirable Coach Coughlin

As a twice Super Bowl winning coach, he knows a thing or two about getting the best performances out of a team for optimal results, and I found his talk both inspiring and aspirational as I take my own journey in life and strive for my personal definition of success.

 

Your 40s: selective. smaller. smarter.

Pamela Druckerman's New York Times opinion piece, What You Learn In Your 40s, is probably the best such one I have ever read.  One wise observation she makes is: "When you meet someone extremely charming, be cautious instead of dazzled. By your 40s, you’ve gotten better at spotting narcissists before they ruin your life. You know that “nice” isn’t a sufficient quality for friendship, but it’s a necessary one."

Truer words were never spoken about dating in your 40s.  If you find that you are still on a quest for love in your 40s, this is one critically important thing to remember.  You must be discriminating.  The things that were passable in your 20s and 30s suddenly are no longer and you have to approach things with a sharper focus.  If that person is not Mr./Mrs. Right–or even Mr./Mrs. Right Now–you have to gracefully exit stage left.  Your gut always tells you if something is potentially problematic (from the very beginning if you are listening, which you should be), and you are better served saving everyone's time and proceeding on your own. 

What to say when a romantic prospect/relationship turns toxic.

What to say when a romantic prospect/relationship turns toxic.

This edict should also be applied to personal friendships.  As we mature our circle of friends tends to grow more closely knit, which is a good thing.  In high school and college we have so many friends that we find ourselves in various cliques to enjoy them all, but as an adult–especially a 40-something one–suddenly you only have a few good ones that you can count on one hand.  And that's okay.  These relationships develop into richer, more fulfilling, valuable ones than their predecessors.  Life consists of many moving parts and you find that your more adult friendships consists of those who unselfishly and without judgement take this ever-evolving journey with you.

Enjoying steadfast, loyal, life-long friends on the town in NYC.

Enjoying steadfast, loyal, life-long friends on the town in NYC.

Much like you would (and should) rid yourself of toxic romantic relationships, you should do the same for platonic ones.  This frees you up to love fully and wholly in the relationships that really matter.

With one of my lady loves, Margot, in Hong Kong, after a low-key New Year's Eve dinner.  (A good friend does not need the distraction of a big event on New Years, only you.)

With one of my lady loves, Margot, in Hong Kong, after a low-key New Year's Eve dinner.  (A good friend does not need the distraction of a big event on New Years, only you.)

A good friend will gift you a sweet doll she picked up on her Scandinavian travels, indulging both your youthful spirits and further cementing your bond.

A good friend will gift you a sweet doll she picked up on her Scandinavian travels, indulging both your youthful spirits and further cementing your bond.

A good friend will say to you, "watch out, girl!" when being preyed upon by an unsavory character in a Jamaican nightclub so you're not caught unawares.

A good friend will say to you, "watch out, girl!" when being preyed upon by an unsavory character in a Jamaican nightclub so you're not caught unawares.

A cold night made warm

I would like to thank everyone who came out and made my photo exhibit a success tonight.  The love that was shown was overwhelming and melted my heart.  It's good to know there are some things that New Yorkers will still endure the cold for. 

Lots of love,

T

My two pieces, Allyson & Charlie's Cafe.

My two pieces, Allyson & Charlie's Cafe.

The crowd filters in...

The crowd filters in...

Love the Bella gang!

Love the Bella gang!

Coty marketing girls Catherine and Daphnee showing their love.

Coty marketing girls Catherine and Daphnee showing their love.

Grateful.

Grateful.

Uptown love represented downtown.

Uptown love represented downtown.

More love.

More love.

Check yourself

Sometimes along the journey for true love we become too preoccupied in making sure the other person is meeting every box on our list that we sometimes forget to put ourselves in check.

Sometimes you need to talk to the hand and check yourself first.

Sometimes you need to talk to the hand and check yourself first.

A good way to check in with yourself every now and then is to return to the basics and ask yourself what you might ask in a potential partner.  Questions like, what drives you, what are your passions and inspirations are a good place to start.

If you expect for someone to answer you these questions, you need to also be ready to ask them of yourself.

 

February photo exhibit

Hi folks!

I am honored to announce that my photography will be featured as part of a group exhibit at the Baboo Gallery in NYC and I hope you can join me at the reception on Thursday, February 27th at 6pm.  And, yes, the work will be available for purchase.

You can view some of my work here.

flyer trinette.jpg
Baboo PRESS RELEASE.jpg


Gansevoort lovin'

Who says cupid can't arrive four days late?  Thanks to Mother Nature and the havoc she has been wrecking on us New Yorkers this winter, cupid had no choice.

The chic Park Ave South Gansevoort Hotel threw a Fall In Love With Gansevoort affair tonight, rescheduled from last Thursday the 13th, due to one of Mother Nature's lovely blizzards that she's been handily delivering every few days without fail.  No matter because a robust love-infested crew represented tonight as they would have a few days ago to a delicious serving of treats, tapas and libations.  Was great fun and was definitely worth the wait, as love almost always is.

A table full of yummies.

A table full of yummies.

With Jeremy Bridgman of Clear Media.

With Jeremy Bridgman of Clear Media.

Trying to resist the sweets table.  I'd like to think that little slider in my hand killed my urge to devour this table.

Trying to resist the sweets table.  I'd like to think that little slider in my hand killed my urge to devour this table.

And amazing "Twizzler" rice krispy treat display by Jessica Siskin of Mister Krisp.  And, yes, this was tasty too.

And amazing "Twizzler" rice krispy treat display by Jessica Siskin of Mister Krisp.  And, yes, this was tasty too.

Photobooth fun!  Need I say more?

Photobooth fun!  Need I say more?

Party people.

Party people.


Awesome Aveda = Hydrated Hair

The only good thing I can think of about dry winter weather is good hair days.  For someone like me whose hair instantly shrinks, shrivels and retracts at even the hint of humidity–summers can be tough–I treasure the dryness of winter.  I have more styling options and typically don't have to worry about nature cruely taking over and making my hair look completely different when I arrive anywhere from when I left home because of oppressive humidity.

One big help in keeping my curls hydrated as well as defined in this weather are Aveda products.  In short, they are my jam.

IMG_3545.JPG


Aveda's Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair is fantastic.  I first learned of it at a friend's apartment who swore by it so I decided to give it a try.  I use it as a leave in conditioner and it works so well at keeping my hair soft as well while enhances my natural curls, which drink it up.

av_A750_254.png

 

The classic Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade is great for days when I work out, as it helps maintain my style by locking my curls in place, and the Brilliant Universal Styling Cream gives me a touch of non-greasy moisture in the mornings when I run a dab through my hair.

av_A1KG_185.png
av_A1K3_185.png

 

Black hair comes with its unique challenges and I'm so glad that Aveda is addressing them.  They've made my life that much easier because we all know that when your hair looks good, you feel good, becoming a better version of yourself.

 

Early signs you're wasting your time

In light of that upcoming love day (or advertisers making you feel like a loser if you don't have a date day), I want to enlighten you of a some early dating warning signs that you will be wasting your time if you don't nip it in the bud immediately.

1.  If on the first date the guy shows up at your house with a box of wine when a nice regular sized bottle would have sufficed. 

First of all, the presumption there is obvious: this fella plans on getting you half in the bag and into your knickers.  There is no reason for him to gift you something that was meant for a party,  or screams "volume discount." 

2.  If leading up to your first dinner date the guy has done nothing but tell you how much he digs you, wants to be with you, has already planted one on you, and you've actually enjoyed each others' company at dinner, it can be disconcerting if he shows his ass when the bill arrives by saying, "you can leave the tip."  I don't need to tell you how tacky this is, but if this is the same person who also delivered you a jug-o-wine, ergo transparently showing his not-so-noble intentions, then just laugh gingerly and pluck down a few bucks because this is all the sign you need to know that you will not be on another date with this guy.

No need to look at him like this, just pay the tip and be done with it and him.

No need to look at him like this, just pay the tip and be done with it and him.

Put quite simply, the first time he asks you to leave the tip is the last time you go out with him.

Got it?  Good.

3.  If before going to dinner the guy left his murse behind and, of course, has to reenter your apartment afterwards.  How convenient.  This move is clearer than a glass-bottomed boat. Needless to say, do NOT open the party-sized wine (if this is the same guy) as you will surely be fulfilling his goal of making you three-sheets to the wind.  Instead have a glass of water and know that not only is your store shut down for business, but will never be open for him. 

If this guy looks like he's settling in for the night (i.e. popping open his laptop to check emails, charging his phone, removing his shoes, snuggling next to you, kissing you, etc.) and you don't know how to get him out of your apartment, just remember it's your space and simply tell him to get to steppin'.

Ummmhmmm.

4.  If after you've met a seemingly normal professional guy at an upscale restaurant and your first text exchange goes like this after exchanging pleasantries about the weather and other extraneous shit:

Him: What a day.

You: Hope it was better than yesterday.

Him: Yeah...

You: Can't be that bad.  I'm sure you still looked handsome throughout it all :)

Him: You think I'm cute?

You:  I think you know the answer to that.

Him: Do I?

You: Do you think I would have talked to you otherwise?

Him: You don't.

You: Don't what?

Him: Think I'm cute.

You: Huh?

Him: I'm confused.

You: You asked if I thought you were cute after I said you were handsome.  Yes is your answer.

Him: I don't get it.

You: Now I'm confused.

Ladies, if you come across something like this, not only should you stop communicating immediately, but you should delete this crazed insecure weirdo from your phone.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  This is a rough time for the single ladies navigating the dating world but always remember, you are not desperate, you should never settle, and you should pay every attention to early signs that indicate you will wasting your time if you spend another second with someone you clearly shouldn't be.

 

Saturday morning survival

The first sign was the initial jar of the house-club sounding beats, immediate and ear-blasting.

No, let me retract that.  Even before that the first sign was the instructor's tardiness for this Diezel Kick class at my gym.  He wasn't exactly late, but he was not there a few minutes before the class started to put everyone at ease ("Just do what you can. Thanks for coming.")

It was nothing like that.  Suddenly a shortish stocky man entered the room as if he'd had one too many espressos, overly hyped up.  I knew I was in trouble.  He blasted the music, which I'm surprised didn't shatter the windows, and just dove in.  "Let's GO!," he screamed and demanded a rousing set of high knees, followed by booty kickers, jumping jacks and punches thrown so fast I couldn't keep up.  Luckily, I was in the back corner in the room (I decided long ago to leave the front two rows to the overachievers),  just out of his view.  Thank God for that big pillar in the room, shielding me.  Or so I thought.

"I see you back there!  You in the back!  I see you!" He bellowed.  Was he talking to me!?  It was hard to tell, but a moment later he was in front of me with a mitt taunting me to punch it in a magical three punch sequence, that I couldn't quite master because of the preceding squat front and side kick combo that I was failing miserably at.  Nevertheless, I punched.  Or at least swatted.  Whatever it was it was pleasing enough to him and after a minute or so he sprinted off looking for his next victim.

Then came the burpees and push-ups.  Lord, I hate both of these.  Who ever invented the burpee needs a swift kick in the ass.  And push-ups...I won't even go there.  (And apparently didn't when he demanded that we drop and give him ten.)  In the time I collapsed onto my knees and tried to catch my breath, he was already on six, seven...I think I managed one and a half.  Pretty good, considering.

This torture went on for forty-five excruciating minutes.  Why, I asked myself, did I think this was a good way to start my Saturday?  I was more angry with myself than I was with the instructor by the end of class, after which I stumbled onto a bench, immobilized. 

I guess I put myself through this because I enjoy food too much not too.  And as awful as it is in the moment–and it is awful–there really is no alternative to staying in shape and being healthy.  As I sat down for an enormous sized steak lunch–resembling something from The Flintstones–the other day at Bobby Vans, my companion said, "but you're so skinny, you don't need to go to the gym."  I said, "I could chose not to, but how do you think I stay this way?  I have to maintain."

If I want to continue to look like this...

If I want to continue to look like this...

And eat like this...

And eat like this...

Then I need to continue to do various forms of this.  (On a hike in Vail.)

Then I need to continue to do various forms of this.  (On a hike in Vail.)

And that's one of the not-so-secret-secrets towards being your best self: diet and exercise.  There are no shortcuts.  You could go under the knife or pop some pills, I suppose, but in order to be truly healthy you just gave to put the work in.  Is it fun?  Not always, but it is always worth it.

Heeeeeeeeyyy!

Never know when I'll have to do something like this, so I must always be ready!

Never know when I'll have to do something like this, so I must always be ready!

Life, party of one.

There is no doubt that in life we have to blaze our own paths; we can't let others dictate our trajectory for our destiny is our own.  There are so many things in life that we do not have control over, but the direction of our lives is not one of them.

This starts, simply, by not living in fear.  Too often we let things that frighten us or pose what we think too much of a challenge stand in our way to achieving our best selves.  There's plenty to be afraid of, sure, but we can't let it stop us as we climb our own mountain to greatness.  We all know what scares us to the bone–be it heights, lack of finances, rejection, whatever–but that should not deter you from flying, paying yourself first, or asking someone out, or what-have-you. 

Modeling has played a large part of my journey.  What's played a large part in yours?

Modeling has played a large part of my journey.  What's played a large part in yours?

Trust me when I say that modeling can cause such anxiety, fear and stress, but, as with anything, you power through and roll with the punches.

Trust me when I say that modeling can cause such anxiety, fear and stress, but, as with anything, you power through and roll with the punches.

Some of us chose a more unconventional life and others are fine with the norm or status quo.  Whatever you chose, it's your choice alone.  Let go of any fear you have and grab life by the horns and giving it a good shake.  Flexing our own wings and writing our own story is what makes us unique and, ultimately, more self-fulfilled.

My very first step and repeat (that I wore with pride) at an event I had at Columbus Circle.  Starting a business and writing my first novel were terrifying, but the ups and downs and lessons learned have proven invaluable.

My very first step and repeat (that I wore with pride) at an event I had at Columbus Circle.  Starting a business and writing my first novel were terrifying, but the ups and downs and lessons learned have proven invaluable.

But one thing we should all be scared of is a sunburn.  I learned that the hard way in Belize, but that's another blog post.

But one thing we should all be scared of is a sunburn.  I learned that the hard way in Belize, but that's another blog post.

Live and celebrate you and your life.  If you don't, no one else will.

Go on.  Celebrate.  You deserve it.

Go on.  Celebrate.  You deserve it.



Space, transformed.

Lately my mind has been a big fat dud.  A blank canvas, if you will.  Have fruitlessly been trying to write for the last few weeks but have been syntax-challenged.

But just because I've been devoid of any creative storytelling, doesn't mean I haven't been busy.  I returned from a holiday for the record books in Australia and Hong Kong, which was more amazing than I could ever express, the next week was followed by readjusting to the time–no easy feat–and staying awake past eleven am, cursing the cold (I had just been in 85 degree surf, after all), and putting some serious mental energy into redecorating my apartment.

As New York apartments go (read: tiny, cramped, no closet space), mine is just the opposite.  I am fortunate in that I have a one bedroom that is probably two to three times the size of your average one bed in the city.  How?  I just got lucky.  Right place, right time, I suppose.  But New York being as transient as it is, I never put much effort into my place as I wasn't sure if I would move into a different space one day or head for the burbs to the west or north of the Hudson. 

Until one day I was hosting a friend for dinner and was discussing my ambivalence about sprucing it up a bit and she simply said, "but it's your shit!"  And just like that, inspiration was born.  She was right.  It was my shit and an upgrade was overdue.  (My place had always been fine, but it needed a little umph.) So upon returning from holiday I started scouring various websites looking for ideas.  Said inspiration was quickly found at West Elm, Pottery Barn and CB2, and I hit the streets to go look and feel in person.  I made my purchases and awaited delivery, which came last week.  It took about a week to pull it all together and I took great pleasure in purging some of my old stuff.  Donated went old furniture, shoes, clothes and bags.  I did a complete cleanse of my place and it felt 100% better and worth every bloody New York penny (read: not cheap) when I was done.  As if I'd just completed a novel, I felt lighter and freer when I walked into my place and wondered what the hell took me so long to do this.  I mean really?  It's not like I couldn't make it happen before, but I guess sometimes sometimes someone or something crystallizes it for you ("But it's your shit!") and suddenly you're doing what you need to do.

Part of the spruced up living room. 

Part of the spruced up living room. 

Earlier tonight I was talking with the same friend and was telling her how I'd been trying to write as of late but have been blocked for some reason, and again she put it in perspective by saying, "you've put all your creative energy into your temple." Well hot diggity if she didn't just do it again.  The creative energy I had been using in redecorating–researching, purging, assembling, hanging, decorating–had been dominating my brain and left room for little else.  It was no wonder I couldn't write, at least in the traditional sense, for I had been rewriting my apartment for two weeks. 

The other part of the spruced up living room.

The other part of the spruced up living room.

You don't want to know what this looked like before.  Trust me.

You don't want to know what this looked like before.  Trust me.

The French toile duvet and celery striped sheets make all the difference.

The French toile duvet and celery striped sheets make all the difference.

The point of this diatribe is that sometimes our creative juices flow from unexpected areas and leave us just as fulfilled as if we'd written a song, book, etc.  We all have a creative outlet within us and if you're open to what others say to you sometimes ("But it's your shit!") then it will ebb and flow, surprising you in the process.

You're worth it, people, so get to sprucin'!

As long as the new couch is comfy enough for the kids and their shenanigans, then it's alright by me.

As long as the new couch is comfy enough for the kids and their shenanigans, then it's alright by me.

With Daphnee, my inspiration, in my dining room.  Ha!  I wish.

With Daphnee, my inspiration, in my dining room.  Ha!  I wish.

Making your workplace work for you.

Everyone knows about Steven Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but I have a few suggestions of my own to help you succeed in the workplace.

1.  Arrive earlier than your boss, or at least try to.

One of the best things you can do to advance your career–besides your stellar performance–is being punctual.  Your boss is your boss for a reason and if you have any higher career aspirations than whatever it is you are already doing, showing up early is a great way to show him/her that you are serious and dedicated to the cause.  If your boss usually arrives at 8:30 and you're not due in until 9, it will not only impress him/her that you are there at 8:20, but you'll find you will also be more productive.  (That precious 30 minutes - 60 minutes before everyone else shows up allows you catch up on your emails in peace and possibly have a pow-wow with your boss before he/she becomes too distracted by the day to connect with you.) 

Set your alarm and aim to arrive early a few days a week, and come review and bonus time you'll be thanking me for your promotion and hefty raise.

2.  Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have.

Unless you're suited up everyday on Wall Street or well-heeled working at a glossy mag, a lot of offices can be fairly casual.  You start out in your best duds during your first few weeks, trying to look your best and not too "business casual", and then you get comfortable and break out the wrinkled khakis and polo shirts.  All fine and dandy if if's July 3rd and you're the only one in the office working, or if you're content to never advance from the level where you are, but my guess is that you'd eventually like a bigger piece of the pie, if for no other reason than to make a dent in your student loans! 

Thing is, no one will come out and tell you that your wardrobe looks like something from Little House on the Prairie or from the Gap Outlet.  Or that your hair looks like the ratty pony-tailed shag that it is.  Your image will just become something that is associated with you in the mind of your boss and he/she will never put you in a networking position or give you the opportunity to expose yourself with higher executives of your firm (i.e. business drinks or dinner with colleagues or clients) because he/she doesn't think you look the part to be in such company.  And he/she will be right if you're dressed like a college intern at a radio station.

I had a co-worker once who–I'm sure–was brilliant at her job, but I could never get past the fact that she looked as if she was outfitted from the clearance bin at Dress Barn and that she never wore so much as a lip gloss–let alone lipstick!–to brighten her what I'm sure was pretty face underneath those octagon-shaped glasses circa 1980 and heavy droopy hair.  I knew she could afford to dress much better than she did and I could never understand why she didn't.

Point being, you want to be known for your quality of work and not your lackluster appearance.

I don't have to tell you that image is important and especially so in the workplace.  If you notice that your boss and other executives largely dress in crisp suits or the like, and you aspire for the corner office one day–or even to get out of the cubby–take a cue from those above you and dress the part.  Invest in a few great pieces: suit, jacket, a few crisp button downs, pencil skirts, nice shoes.  (You don't have to break the bank.  A J.Crew jaunt can dud you up just fine.)  You will naturally assume a more confident air, and your performance will improve and you might not get overlooked the next time a promotion presents itself.

3. Be the change.

We rarely hear this in the context of a workplace, but the same theory applies.  If you want for your boss to give you more responsibilities, just start assuming them.  For example, if you have access to your boss's emails and typically don't do more than scan them, start reading them to better understand your company's business and consider the items that are appropriate for you as action items.  If you see that Bob, your CEO that sits in your Chicago office, or that Jean, the CFO in Chicago, have been trying to connect with your boss regarding x,y,z, proactively bring it to your boss's attention and ask if you should try and connect them during a specific window of time that day.  Or if you know your boss has a meeting in twenty minutes and has just received the deck for the meeting in his email, print it and deliver to him/her in case he would prefer to view it that way.  It also doesn't hurt to create your own projects and bring to your boss's attention by seeking his/her advice on the best way for you to execute them, or to ask if you can sit in on a meeting or two to take notes (as an example). 

Basically, if you change your behavior and become more proactive, your boss, and other colleagues, won't help but notice and soon your plate will be full of more interesting things and more will be expected of you, just as you wanted.

4.  Whenever your boss invites you anywhere, at any time, go.

It doesn't matter that you have plans with someone you haven't seen in three months, or were going to catch the latest IMAX release after work.  If your boss comes to you at the last minute at asks if you want to grab a beer or invites you to his kid's twelve year old birthday party, go. 

Because what's happening is that your boss likes you as a person, values you as an employee and envisions greater things for you so you'd better go.  Graciously accept and talk shop over a beer or play pin the tail on the donkey at the party.  This social activity will pay greater dividends in the long run. 

In short, once your boss signals that he/she would like to spend time with you out of the office, make yourself available and recognize it for the opportunity that it is. 

However, when you do seize the opportunity, don't be a drunken ass, boast about it in the office or constantly bring it up to he/she  after the event about how awesome it was (he/she's your boss, not a sorority sister).

These are just a few tips to help you develop your best career.  With the marketplace remaining as competitive as it is, stepping up your game at work can only assist in your career advancement.