Archive for the 'Life Is Good' Category

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Une Femme d’Un Certain Age

On Facebook the other day, a childhood friend posted that she was excited to see The Spinners in concert. Now, if you don’t know who The Spinners are you may not be Une Femme d’Un Certain Age.  But, if you love the song Rubber Band Man by The Spinners, nine times out of ten you are an UFDCA.  What I love about Michelle’s FB post is that she owned it – she put it right out there and said, “Indication that I’ve reached the phase of my life where I’m probably considered une femme d’un certain age— I’m SOOOO excited to see The Spinners in concert tonight!”

There’s been soooo much talk lately about 50 being the new 30 and 40 is the new 20 – it was just nice to see someone joyously state that she’s not 28 and she’s perfectly happy about her stage in life.  For those of you who are 28, ENJOY it!  There are things about being 28 that I miss dearly, but I love where I am right now. Yes, like Michelle, I am probably at the age where some consider me to be une femme d’un certain age.  I like to think that like her, I wear it well . . . but I do have moments in the dressing room where I have to ask myself if a particular outfit is appropriate for someone my age – ladies, just because you can rock it doesn’t mean you should …… Depending on how you look at it, living in New York can either make it easy to forget your age or be a constant reminder of it. I live in the world of the former (foolish though it may be) and truly believe that age is just a number; it’s all about your mindset.  Some of the hottest women on the planet are women of a certain age . . . Halle Berry, Sheryl Crow, Jennifer Anniston . . . um, need I say more? What say you?



[image courtesy of MakingThingsHappen]

Summer Reading

I come from a family of readers.  As a kid, we usually spent family time shopping at the mall on Saturdays. My dad was a good sport; he often joined me, my mom and my sister on these excursions with a book in his back pocket.  He’d walk from store to store with us and pull out his book at each stop.  My father still carries a book in his back pocket just in case and has been know to read a book a day on vacation – something my husband just didn’t understand about me until we went on vacation with my whole family and everyone had their nose in a book.  So, I guess you could say that I come by my love of reading and writing naturally.  I’ve read some great books this Summer!  If you’re like me and looking to escape the Summer’s heat or enjoy a world far far away, here are my top contenders for Summer 2011:

  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One - I picked up the first of this 5 part series this past Winter when I learned that HBO had made it into a mini-series.  HBO rarely picks wrong. If you like lords and ladies and kingdoms far far away with lots of intrigue, this series is for you. I’ve finished the first 2 books so far.
  • The Billionaire’s Vinegar: The Mystery of the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine - I’m a closet foodie.  If I had the time to have another blog, I’d write one for my husband about our dining exploits around the world.  I’m a little bit of a nerd, ok well probably more than a little bit, and I like to know the history behind things like wine, the gourmet food movement in the U.S., the history of the tomato (I told you I was a bit of a nerd), etc.  I knew there were high stakes in the world of oenology (the study of wine and winemaking), I just had no idea to what extent!
  • South of Broad: A Novel - When my friend Lybra heard I was going to Charleston, she insisted I read this book.  Hands down, one of the best books I’ve read all year – just a really well told story.
  • The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel – If you love windswept moors, bleak houses and strange families, this book is perfect.  It’s a masterful, deliberately old-fashioned story of secrets, ghosts, sexual obsession, murder, madness–you name it.
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - One of the better love stories I’ve read in ages. At one point on our flight to Italy I was crying so hard (I a sentimentalist; I tear up very easily) my husband got worried that something was really wrong and forced me to look at him and tell him why I was crying.  He’s seen me tear up before at movies, a picture, books – you name it – just never like this over a story. A real tear jerker.
  • Douglass’ Women : A Novel - My friend Davia finished this book while we were on vacation last week.  It so intrigued me – a story told from the viewpoint of the 3 women in Fredrick Douglass’ life: his wife, his white mistress and his daughter. See . . . gotcha, right? I bought it on the spot.  It’s next on my reading list.
  • Murder of a Medici Princess - After touring all around Italy and spending time in the Florence (the city built by the Medici’s) visiting The Uffizi, The Pitti Palace and Boboli Gardens, the Ponte Vecchio - all apart of the Medici empire – I needed to become fully ensconced in their world.  So, I’m making my way through a long list of books about the Medicis, various Popes and Italy in general.  There’s nothing like a little royal intrigue!

So tell me dear readers, what are you reading this Summer?  Have you read any of the above? What say you?


(oh, and yes, I generally read 2 or 3 books at a time . . .)

Southern Comfort

Although I was born in Nashville and have traveled to some Southern gems like New Orleans, Charlotte and Atlanta, I’ve spent very little time in the Southern regions of the U.S. of A.  So, I am very interested in exploring Charleston and all that it has to offer.  We began by eating our way through Charleston – in two days, I’ve sampled the fare at Cru Cafe, McCrady’s, The Palmetto Cafe and Husk.  And while I’ve not yet begun to get my shop on (a Charlestonian belle provided me with a list of her favorite haunts to check out), just from walking around I’ve been able to discern two things – it’s all about the monograms and antiques down here.

In addition to getting the lay of the land, I always try to find a book or two to help give me a better perspective on life in an unfamiliar local or a book on the history of the area.  To learn more about Charleston’s charm, I’m reading Pat Conroy’s South of Broad.  Tell me dear readers, what do you do when in a new locale for the first time?

Viva Italia!

I’m going to be MIA for a few weeks whilst I traipse around the Italian countryside. This is a much needed vacation in more ways than one! I think I’ll be right as rain after a few weeks by the sea and in the fresh country air drinking sweet Vermouth and wine to my heart’s content.  Ciao bellas!

Live Sparkly!

Whenever I’m feeling a little down or sad, sparkles of just about any variety – sequins, rhinestones, glitter – make me smile and lift my spirits.  I discovered this picture the other day via Pinterest – I think it just about says it all.  My personal mantra used to be “Keep Calm & Carry On”, but I think I may have to change it to “Keep Calm & Sparkle.”

A Moment To Recuperate . . .

It’s been a crazy couple of months! I feel like I just finished running a marathon. In 2.5 months, my team and I worked liked the dickens to get effie’s paper ready to exhibit at the National Stationery Show.  The NSS just ended. Pardon me while I take a moment to catch my breath.

The Whimsical World of Kate Spade!

I love pops of whimsy here and there and Kate Spade never lets me down!  If you still think of Kate Spade as those cute shiny satiny rectangular bags, you’re a little behind the times  . . . The company is no longer owned by Kate and Andy Spade, but Liz Clairborne Inc. has managed to maintain Kate’s aesthethic, some argue even better than Kate Spade herself could have.

Last year Kate Spade launched its book clutch collection; they’re interpreting some of the greatest novels into cheeky cherry clutch bags.  I think I must have the I Married Adventure clutch! I learned about this book last year and was immediately smitten.  The title made me chuckle because, to me, no truer words could be used to describe marriage.  It’s definitely an adventure. Osa Johnson’s book is about the adventures she and her husband, Martin, had as photographers, explorers, marketers, naturalists and authors while studying the wildlife and peoples of East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo during the first half of the Twentieth Century. They explored then-unknown lands and brought back film footage and photographs, offering many Americans their first understanding of these distant lands. Now this book is a collector’s item for decor enthusiasts; I’m not sure I’ll ever get my hands on a copy of the original, but I know I’ll have fun carrying this clutch bag.

If you haven’t thought about Kate Spade in ages, check out the new online store when you get a minute — great shoes, handbags, clothes and jewelry –there’s  a little something for everyone. Oh, and for the next two days Kate Spade is having a Friends&Family event, 25% off online and instore.  Shopping online? Use promo code  FFSPR11. In store? Print out this coupon (accepted at outlet stores too). Oh and fellas, there’s a promo code for Jack Spade too JACK25.

Happy Shopping!

Hello Italy!

We’re taking a big trip to Italy this Summer, I can’t wait.  I’ve already started packing in my head. When I saw this picture, I realized that she’s exactly who I plan to channel when I really start packing for the Italian seashore and countryside — sequins & Hermès bangles, my kind of girl! Disco + French woman=KALYN.  I love the color combinations, her insouciant air and her general joie de vivre!  Italy, here I come.

Ciao!

[photo unknown]

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’m in LOVE with LOVE.  I’ve been dreaming about this necklace since last August when I spotted it while on vacation in Nantucket.  This gem is from the Mizuki Collection, the brainchild of Mizuki Nagasawa and Alan Goltz. Mizuki was born in Tokoyo, but raised in New York and schooled in sculpture at the School of Visual Arts.  Her fine arts background, cool Soho style and Japanese heritage are apparent in the sleek movement and visual power of her shapes.  I tried it on last Summer. Divine. Simply D.I.V.I.N.E. I’m in LOVE with LOVE.

[photo courtsey of Mizuki]

Divine Inspiration

I met my friend Coco about a year and a half ago through our mutual friend JT. Also a blogger, Coco was contemplating taking her passion for writing about beautiful homes to fuel her next venture, a textile company.  Like me, she’s a formerly practicing lawyer, who began blogging as a way to channel her creativity and her budding interior design aspirations.  Coco’s blog, cococozy, is wildly popular; she’s the darling of Jonathan Adler and other big-wigs in the interior design space.  I sat rapt as she gave me great advice and guidance about blogging, but I was more than intrigued about this whole textile venture.  I mean really.  How do you go about getting fabric manufactured? How do you find someone to create the designs you have in your head?  Oh, and did I mention that she still has her day job as an executive in LA?

Well, fast-forward 18 months. She did it! Coco and her cococozy line of pillows, throws, curtains and textiles premiered last week at The New York International Gift Fair.  Her booth was FABuLOUS and her wares divine (click here to shop in her online store).  I went to the Javits center on Thursday to hang out with Coco, check out her booth and just take the whole thing in.  I was and am so excited for her!

Again, she provided me with the perfect roadmap.  I could take a page from her book and begin my planning process for participating in the May 2012 National Stationery Show.  I decided to walk the floor and get a sense for how other stationery companies showing at NYIGF displayed their products, think about where I might like to be stationed and look at booth construction.  Off I go on my merry way.  I’m walking up and down aisles, taking catalogues and pamphlets, talking to vendors when out of the corner of my eye I see this booth.

It catches my fancy.  I walk closer to it and realize, I know this woman!

It’s Amy Holbrook, a woman I met when I did my Ladies Who Launch incubator almost 4 years ago now . . . She had this crazy idea for modern needlepoint designs (check out her products here) and here she is with a booth at the NYIGF! (Obviously, not so crazy when you see her stuff and take a look at her stockists page).  More confirmation that the 2012 National Stationery Show was within my reach.

Amy’s products are much more similar to mine than Coco’s, so it was great to see how I could display my stationery and use a white background to insure that our colorful designs really pop. Excitement was mounting, and then Amy and I started talking; she participates in both the NYIGF and the National Stationery Show. I started asking her questions about booth sizes, prices, booth construction and whatnot to begin to file things away in my mind for 2012.  And then Amy started pushing me outside of my comfort zone.  Believe it or not, although I haven’t seen Amy in at least 3 years she’d heard from our mutual friend, Karla, that I’d started effie’s paper. She told me I’d be crazy not to do the stationery show this Spring.  I said I’m not ready yet, we’re designing new lines, I’m having the website re-done, I’m still learning the business and she said, you’re as ready as you’re ever going to be.  I left her booth with a lunch date to talk more and my stomach in knots.

I went back to Coco’s booth and relayed my conversation with Amy.  Coco agreed with Amy. So, while the jury’s still out, the seed has been planted.  I think it was definitely Divine Inspiration. Not sure yet, I’m still thinkin’ on it, but there’s a pretty good chance effie’s paper is going to be at The National Stationery Show 12 months in advance of the plan.  As my mother told me years ago, life is what happens while you’re busy planning for it.  So, thank you ladies – Amy, Coco and mom – for helping me to see the obvious.  I think.

Mid-Winter Break

Dear Readers -

I’m taking a little hiatus for a few weeks. Snowpocalypse 2010 derailed my plans for the last week of December and I need to take a moment to get things back on track.  I was supposed to spend that week, the week between Christmas and New Years, planning for 2011. Instead, I got stuck in Atlanta and was at the mercy of Delta Airlines.  So, I’m going to take a mid-Winter break to take care of a little business.  Stay tuned, Possess Your STYLE will be back the week of January 31st. In the meantime and in-between time, please check me out on FaceBook and twitter.

Stylishly yours,
Kalyn

[image source unknown]

So Much TeuxDeux, So Little Time!

iPhone Screenshot 1

You say “To Do” and now I say “TeuxDeux”!  I’m a list maker.  I have a “To Do” list that I update daily.  Well actually, I have a few “To Do” lists that I update daily.  As I’ve taken on more responsibilities, my “To Do” list has expanded.  When I was practicing law, now matter how late I left the office, I always created a “To Do” list for the next day.  Now, I have a “To Do” list for each of my businesses, one for personal things like doctor appointments and whatnot, one for my husband and one for household/family things.  I’m a little anal, so I don’t have one big “To Do” list, I literally had a notepad with a seperate page for each of the categories mentioned above.  My friend Meghan thought I was crazy when I showed her my notepad; she might be right, but to each her own when it comes to organizing the grey matter between her ears.  I thought my notepad was genius until I needed to take my “To Do” lists with me and I was carrying a purse rather than a totebag.

Then TeuxDeux entered my life.  It’s this nifty little app that I learned about from fellow bloggers, Erica Reitman of DesignBlahg and Nicole Cohen of Sketch42 at lavish! It allows you to create a daily TeuxDeux list online or on your iPhone/iTouch (it’s free online and $2.99 to upload to your device).  As pictured above, you can cross items off of your list.  You can move items that didn’t get done to the next day.  You can list things that need to be done but not in the immediate future in the “Someday” section (you know those things that pop into your head and you want to write them down some place where you’ll be able to access them when you have time to focus on them).  And, you can have as many accounts as you’d like.  Oh and if you’re an apple convert, you can toggle between your various accounts from your device.

So, if you’re like me and one of your goals for 2011 is to be organized, you might want to add a new word to your vernacular and change “To Do” to TeuxDeux.

Happy New Year – Best wishes for 2011!!!

Stylishly yours,
Kalyn