The fact that I love to travel should come as no surprise to readers of this blog. I have spent many summers (and winters) residing at various NJ, Florida and California seaside communities. I already have NY and Cali beach trips scheduled for this summer. When friends reached out to ask my advice on how to spend 3 days in Miami Beach I couldn’t resist planning a third. Here’s what I’d recommend…
Marlene Berger ‘Claude’ ruched brocade top | Fuchsia Teardrop Ring | Halston Sleeveless Cowl Neck Jumpsuit | Nine West Zadie Ankle Strap Sandal | Sterling Silver Double Onyx Drop Earrings | Alice & Olivia Delora Ruched Mini Dress | Verdusa Sequin Miniskirt | Black Opium Perfume | | Zara TRF Tied Heel Sandal | Smashbox Lip Gloss
Has it really been two months since I last posted? By the calendar it would appear to be so, but by the one big time meld I have been living since last March it could just as easily have been 2 weeks, or 2 days. Regardless of the passage of time I am still planning on getting to London before October so I can catch the Victoria & Albert Bags: Inside Out exhibition.
I really enjoy 3 to 4 day trips, ones where I can fly in, spend a few days exploring, and then fly back out, maximizing what I do while minimizing what I spend. It’s the kind of travel made for light packing, requiring a carryon bag, a backpack, a captivating book and always, music.
For this quick trip across the pond I am planning my ‘looks’ around the two newest bags added to my own personal bag collection: Studio 54 (a 1980’s Whiting & Davis silver mesh clutch) and Mod Squad ( a 70’s wooden beaded shoulder bag). I’m going groovy for the day and disco for the night, but based on what I’ve pictured here may need more than a carryon to store it all!
Alice + Olivia Marella Dress | Oversized Retro Sunglasses | Soojun Cotton Linen Boxy Top | Saint Laurent Bianca 85 Node Sandals | Scoop Super Wide Leg Jeans | Julia Jordan ¾ Sleeve Midi Dress | Fhayla Pointy Toe Booties | Thin Wild Mercury Perfume
What is it about a handbag? Women go nuts over certain brands and styles, many of which have become iconic over time. The Louis Vuitton Keepall Bag, the Chanel Quilted Bag, and the Hermes Birkin Bag are coveted by collectors the world over, routinely selling, and re-selling, for thousands of dollars. There are bag collector groups, blogs, websites, and even virtual galleries like The Vintage Purse Museum devoted to all things ‘handbag’. You can even take a quiz (or two) to see which handbag you are.
Turns out I am either a backpack (simple, compact, and practical with a touch of whimsy) or a hobo bag (free as the wind, live by different set of guidelines, value autonomy, exploration, art and personal expression, and prefer things that are unique and last a lifetime). Laugh if you will but both bags, and personality descriptions, are quite accurate assessments of me AND my bag styles.
I love those ‘What’s IN my Bag’ spreads in the tabloids. Peek inside my bag and you will always find my Ray Bans, Mac, Nikon, sketchbook, pencils and pens, lipstick, Aleve and my wallet, all carried in a big tote or backpack. I’ve been relying on these choices (almost always in black leather or pleather) since I was a teen. Both styles are arguably the workhorses of the bag world, designed for maximum content and minimal fuss.
Are you a bag lover? Do you have a favorite style? I do, and it is definately not a backpack or hobo. Hands down, my vote goes to a special occasion bag (see whimsical above). Going out for a night on the town in which a great outfit and attendant bag are required always gets me thinking of how to assemble the pieces of the fashion puzzle to make sartorial magic happen. There was a time when my lifestyle saw me routinely dressing up for one glitzy event or another but those days are long gone, leaving me with an awesome fashion archive and nowhere to wear it to.
Even if I don’t have any actual plans, for the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out how I might manage a special, spontaneous and quick jump across the pond to see the Victoria & Albert Bags: Inside Out show. I could travel light, with my trusty hobo (for a few outfits) and backpack (for my passport, plastic, and sunnies) holding everything I’d need to to get me from here so I could tour the V&A in a rocking outfit and carrying by a great bag the entire time. While odds of this fantasy becoming a reality appear slim a girl can still dream, about travel and a great bag (or two)!
Happy New Year everyone! I trust your celebrations led to much happiness, joy, and love for you and yours. I almost forgot it was New Year’s Eve as my sense of time has been totally out-of-whack since covid began. While I may not be able to tell you what day it is with any given accuracy, one thing which hasn’t been affected by the pandemic is my love of reading, and of books.
I took a look at my reading log for 2020 – yes, I AM a nerd – and 80 titles are listed. That averages out to 1 book every 5 days, and what would be a very expensive habit if not for the library. While no one had any answers for what was going on in March or April, by May our library had an online reservation system up and running and I was back in the reading business, using my 2 Read or Not 2 Read page for inspiration.
I can’t say every book I chose was a winner, and in fact a few were such slow slogs it took much longer than my average 5 days to finish. That said, each of the 80 helped me get through the uncertain days of the past year, and my newest ‘9’ have me hopeful for a great start to this next. I hope the same for you. All the best for 2021!
If ever there was a time to make protest art wouldn’t it be now? In 10 short months we’ve gone from ‘normal crazy’ to outright mayhem, chaos and anarchy with little street art questioning any of it. Have you seen anything in your town? Anything that suddenly appears on a street, wall or empty storefront which makes you pause to look and maybe say WTF or better yet think and question?
While most street artists work anonymously there are a few, like Banksy, Pussy Riot, The Faction and Lushsux who have achieved notoriety, fame and fortune. That said, with the exception of The Faction, none seem to hail from or regularly create art in the US. Can that be right? Is no one making challenging art in America today? Continue reading “Not Ready to Make Nice…”
When I first began blogging the goal was to challenge my creative skills while sharing my fascination with the world around me with anyone who visited this site. Fast forward a few years and a few hundred posts later to now, where inspiration and content creation are challenges I’ve struggled to overcome since covid changed our lives. After reading Austin Kleon’s ‘15 years of blogging (and 3 reasons I keep going)‘ I am, once again, enthusiastic about posting on a more regular basis, beginning with a topic which always gets me excited – travel.
The road dog in me was thrilled by having to drive cross-country TWICE this summer. Even more exciting was the prospect of traveling with two of the people I care most about: my sister and my son. Big Sis joined me for Road Trip #1 to retrieve a cherished family dog from Denver. Our trip started in Tennessee, then led us north and west through Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado, after which we headed back east to New Jersey before I made the rest of the drive solo through Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, finally ending up back in the Volunteer State. It took 8 days to make the drive but we only made it 140 miles before we stopped for our first adventure… Continue reading “I’m a Traveler…”
It’s Memorial Day which means it’s the start to summer for this Jersey girl! Plus, all 50 states are beginning to open back up after Covid-19 and I couldn’t be happier. It’s not that I minded staying at home these past 3 months so much as I hated being told I had to stay home. I’m a road warrior so when safer-at-home orders went into effect the thing I missed the most was the simple freedom* to get in my car, crank up the tunes, and go.
I am about to make up for my lost travels with 5 upcoming roads trips which will take me through 17 states by August. While Denver, Philly, Mobile and San Diego (x2) are my final destinations I am also looking forward to the pit stops along the way. Regardless of where I stop, or go, I always try to travel light: a few good books, a lot of rock and blues tunes, and a few interchangeable outfits and I am ready for anything the road offers.
Normally I’d pack for my travels with the things I already own but after three months of wearing the same comfy sweats and worn-in t-shirts I’m going help the economy get back on its feet by buying some new clothes that will take me from hiking around Red Rocks to eating a cheesesteak at Pat’s to dancing under the Avenue of the Oaks to swimming in the Pacific.
Pretty Garden Boho Maxi Dress | Aurelia Ankle Strap Pointed Toe Pump | EV1 ‘Love’ T-shirt | A New Day Aviator Sunglasses | Halogen Tube Hoop Earrings | Cheetah Swimsuit | Sephora Lipgloss | John Lee Hooker T-shirt | Fresh Sugar Lemon Perfume | Scoop Vegan Biker Jacket | ChainJoy Ruffled Boho Skirt | Dr. Scholl’s Classic Sandal | Downton Abbey Pearl & Crystal Earring | Bo Diddley Scooter T-shirt | Boden Claire Espadrille| Time and True Tote | Levi’s Signature Boot Cut Jeans
How about you? Do you have any exciting travel plans? Or will you stay closer to home? Drop me a line…I’d love to know where you are headed this summer.
*I am deeply grateful for all of the men and women young and old who have given their time and their lives so I can enjoy the freedom of the road – and all of the other freedoms I have taken for granted too. Thank you.
**Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
I am going on Day 55 of self-isolation, am very much Covid free, and anxiously looking to the heavens for any sign I can get back to my ‘old normal’ soon. That’s why it was quite serendipitous I was offered a chance to review Dawne Kovan’s newly published Secrets of Numerology. I’ve always been fascinated with astrology, tarot, astral charts and the like but it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything more than check my weekly horoscope. Having a chance to take my time exploring Secrets of Numerology gave me insights into myself and a few of my loved ones and provided me with hours of escapism at a time when I really wish I could see into the future (or at least see ahead to the next few weeks).
I’d summarize Secrets of Numerology as a very well-written, easy to understand beginners guide to exploring the role numbers play in our lives. The history and theory of numbers is explained in a very methodical manner, moving from an overview to the specifics of universal, personality, destiny, karmic, soul, secret self, and maturity numbers. The author delves into numbers as they relate to relationships and explores in some depth how numbers can predict important times in our lives (including pinnacle periods, challenging periods, and the personal year). Finally, the book explores the relationship between numbers, the Tarot and astrology. All in all, Secrets of Numerology is a very thorough, very easy to follow exploration of numerology perfectly suited for any beginning enthusiast.
So what did I learn about my own numbers? As a designer who has always been influenced by multiples of 3 I was somewhat surprised to learn my universal number is 9, my soul number is 6, my destiny is 9, my pinnacles are 6, challenges are 3, and my personal year yet another 6. Pretty weird, right? Universal 9’s embrace experiences and like to learn about life. They are practical and realistic. They like to tear down the old to make the new but don’t hang around afterward as they are on to the next thing. 9’s are uniquely prepared for what life throws their way. I won’t go into all the details of the 9 that is me, but suffice it to say after I researched all of those 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s I really am, without any doubt, a true Number 9.
Curious about what your universal number might be? Take your birth month + birth date + birth year (4 digits) and add them all together, then break down the 4 digit total by adding the 1st numeral to the 2nd, that sum to the 3rd, that sum to the 4th, and oof that gives you a double digit sum add the two numbers again, until you finally reduce the number to a single digit (although straggly enough, 11 or 12 are the exceptions to this rule). Easy, right? Of course, now you need to know what your number translates to, which means you’ll need to get your own copy of Secrets of Numerology and figure it out for yourself. I can’t think of a better way to while away the hours until we are free again. Until then, stay safe and be kind…
12 o’clock – Keith Richards Gibson Flying V Prototype Guitar
1 o clock – Elvis Presley Harmony H165 Mahogany Acoustic Guitar
2 o clock – Jimi Hendrix 1967 Electric Guild Starfire V Cherry Guitar
3 o clock – David Gilmour 1984 Fender solid-body 57v Stratocaster
4 o clock – David Gilmour 1955 Gibson Les Paul Solid Body
5 o clock – Jerry Garcia Martin D-28 Acoustic Guitar
6 o clock – David Gilmour 1954 White Fender Stratocaster #001
7 o clock – Jerry Garcia D’Angelico Style A Archtop Acoustic Guitar
8 o clock – Duane Allman Fender Coronado II Guitar
9 o clock – David Gilmour 1957 Ex-Homer Haynes Solid Body Stratocaster
10 o clock – Eric Clapton 2006 Custom Taylor T5 Thinline Honey Sunburst Acoustic-Electric Guitar
11 o clock – Lindsay Buckingham Rick Turner Custom made Renaissance Electric Guitar
I have always been enamored by guitars (and guitar players). No one appreciates the irony of this more than me, since I am someone who can barely keep rhythm with a tambourine. And while I have been blessed with many artistic talents the ability to dream of music and turn that vision into a reality is definitively not one of them.
My favorite musicians all belong to the blues and rock worlds. Their bands still provide me with endless listening pleasure decades later but it’s the pickers themselves I really love. Robert Johnson. T-Bone Walker. Buddy Holly. Dick Dale. Duane Eddy. Scotty Moore. Les Paul. Johnny Winter. Peter Green. Eric Clapton. Muddy Waters. Jimmy Page. John Lennon. Hubert Sumlin. Robert Fripp. Duane Allman. Jimmy Hendrix. Steve Cropper. Mick Taylor. Frank Zappa. Buddy Guy. Billy Gibbons. Jerry Garcia. David Gilmour. Keith Richards. These cats are responsible for some of the greatest formative rock ever recorded and they couldn’t have done it without a Lucille, Blackie, or Flying V at their fingertips.
As a woodworker’s daughter I appreciate the workmanship that goes into creating a guitar and view custom guitars as true works of art. Maybe that’s why when I stumble upon an instrument auction I always get pulled in. Clapton’s 2011 auction to benefit his Crossroads Centre in Antigua, Guernsey’s 2017 treasure trove of rock instruments, and David Gilmour’s 2019 epic sale benefitting the Climate Earth initiative have all left me wondering if I should place a bid to own a piece of rock history. Taking a look at the prices most of these beauties sold for probably means the answer is probably ‘no’, but hey, a guitar girl can dream…AND listen.
12 o’clock – The Rolling Stones Out of Our Heads
1 o clock – Elvis Presley Girls! Girls! Girls!
2 o clock – Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold as Love
3 o clock – Pink Floyd Smoking Blues
4 o clock – Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother
5 o clock – Grateful Dead Workingman’s Dead
6 o clock – Pink Floyd The Wall
7 o clock – Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band Almost Acoustic
8 o clock – Allman Brothers Idlewild South
9 o clock – David Gilmour About Face
10 o clock – Cream Disreali Gears
11 o clock – Fleetwood Mac Rumours
I am 3+ weeks into this isolation thing and pretty sure at this point I am corona free. Week 1 of social distancing saw me driving 2000 miles for a work trip where I was essentially alone except for a few food, gas, and restroom breaks. Made record time getting to my various destinations too, since the highways weren’t crowded at all. And while I feel very fortunate to be able to work remotely week 2 & 3 have convinced me I am less busy when I work from my office then when I work from home.
If I put aside the fears, disappointments, and uncertainty that accompany this pandemic I am actually enjoying having more time to garden, cook, read, and spend time with my family. I have also been spending a LOT of time on the web (which I am grateful has enough bandwidth to support what seems like the entire country watching ‘Tiger King’ at the same time). Here are a few things that have kept me from going a stir-crazy over the last week. Here’s hoping one or two will do the same for you…
- When you’ve scrolled through everything Amazon, Netflix and Hulu have to offer check out Shout TV
- Spend some time virtually strolling in these beautiful gardens – my garden doesn’t come close
- If gardens aren’t your thing maybe Escape to The Chateau will be – I was instantly hooked
- Get lost in this chilling tale of character assassination which could happen to any of us
- Until we get the all clear to travel again you can explore the Rijksmuseum, the National Gallery, The Getty and The State Hermitage Museum from the comfort of your couch
- I am living in my comfy couch clothes but dreaming about the 2020 Spring Runway looks I – eventually – be wearing
- Everything is better with music – including 12 of Joe Exotic’s songs for your listening pleasure
…hoping you and yours are keeping healthy!