Life•Savers . . .

Every gal should have pals, n’est pas?  And who could be a better friend than one who helps you get rid of unsightly deodorant stains?  Made of a special non-abrasive foam, Gal Pal is a quick solution to annoying and embarrassing deodorant marks left on your clothes. Not only can the Gal Pal save you in social environments, but she will also save you time and money in dry cleaning costs.  You shouldn’t have to buy your friends, but Gal Pal is the exception to the rule! Find this Life•Saver here.


Do you have a bunch of keys on your keychain?  Are you constantly trying to find the right key because they all look the same? Stat Key to the rescue! Stat Key is for those who recognize and enjoy a higher aesthetic standard.  It is dedicated to freedom in design and robust but beautiful mechanical execution.  The result is atypical – striking, elegant, and personal. What more could you expect from a company made up of aesthetes from different professions — industrial designers, engineers, and business people.  Stylish and functional?  Really, what more could you ask for?  They’re about double the price of what you’d pay for a new key at a hardware store, but $5 for great design and ease of purpose fits squarely within my budget!


I was in Georgetown on Saturday night and saw some great Halloween costumes.  It’s been ages since I dressed up for Halloween, but I do delight in the style choices of those who do go all out — from the babes in arms to the grown folks with a fondness for the holiday and all those in between. I didn’t have time to buy a pumpkin, much less carve one, but if I had it would look just like the ones above! Have a stylishly Happy Halloween.

Happy Friday!

This picture just made me smile … thought I’d share it with you.  Have a wonderful weekend – go get your nails done, dine with friends, read a good book and just relax!

POSSESS This: The Magic Kelly!

Isn’t she a beauty?  Hard to believe I just learned about her existence.  What’s she called?  Well, isn’t it obvious? She’s The Magic Kelly!  The sparkles give her just the right amount of pizazz to ensure that she will be gorgeous wrapped around your neck, hair, waist or bag.  And she comes in great colors – green, blue, white, pink and yellow to name a few.  I need another Hermès scarf like I need a hole in the head, but she’s on the list to be added to my collection next. What do you think?  Does she make your heart go pitter-patter?

Treasure Trove!

Break into the New York retail market with a concept store that donates 100% of its profits to New York City non-profits to help the children of New York?  It’s too soon to tell if its a good business model or not, but Nordstrom’s, along with some help from Anna Wintour in choosing the merchandise, has set up shop in SoHo and is doing exactly that with treasure&bond.  Why? One day Nordstrom’s might want to open a store in Manhattan and they want to learn as much as possible about serving New Yorkers.  It’s a pretty cool concept and the store shines a spotlight on young and independent designers you might not learn about otherwise.  I stumbled upon treasure&bond a few weeks ago when tooling around SoHo and definitely discovered a treasure trove of goodies!  I hope the retailer from Seattle decides to make NYC a permanent home.

[top image from Stylesight]

Save The Ta-Tas

October is breast cancer awareness month. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.  But, what I do want to impart is that breast cancer will, if it hasn’t already, touch all of our lives. Whether it affects you personally or you know survivors, women battling breast cancer or of those who have succumbed to it, this disease is pervasive and knows no bounds. This week in the news we learned of E! tv’s Guiliana Rancic’s unexpected bout with breast cancer; I applaud her courage for revealing something so private. This week she is the public face of the private reality of many many women.  Look to your left and then look to your right, most likely one of the women right beside you is dealing with breast cancer in one way shape or form – it might be her own battle, her mother’s, sister’s, aunt’s or friend’s. Early detection is key. Self-exams and mammograms are our armor. Encourage your friends and family members to do monthly self-exams, to schedule routine mammograms and to talk about their experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly. I challenge you to tell 10 friends and ask them to tell 10 friends to tell 10 friends today. Your encouragement could help to save someone’s life. Knowledge is power.

Spotlight: ishka designs

I first learned about the interior design team behind ishka designs when I sat down to peruse the third issue of Rue Magazine, one of the hottest shelter ezines on the internet today. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased to see the beautiful brown faces of Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom looking so cool and chic staring up at me.  A few weeks later at the Rue launch party during the New York International Gift Fair, I spotted them gliding through the crowd.  I admit it, I was a little awe-struck.  There they were, such a glamorous pair in the flesh (it may be a blogger thing, we rarely get to meet those we read about on the web in person).  We exchanged information and became fast friends soon thereafer – who knew!?!?! Aside from their decidedly good looks and enduring bohemian chic style, Anishka and Nyia are some of New York’s hottest interior designers sought after for both commercial and residential projects.

Why ishka designs? The question I asked myself in my last semester at FIT, was why not?  I had worked for many years as an employee at this corporation or that and always gravitated towards the more entrepreneurial roles.  As a career switcher in her 30’s, I found it increasingly difficult to start from the bottom all over again in a new profession.  Since I was starting from scratch, then why not with my own firm?  So, with Niya providing guidance as a serial freelancer, Ishka Designs was born.

One word to describe ishka designs. Two please? Efficiently Beautiful

What was the original vision and goal for ishka designs? Our initial vision was to do the best job we could and systematically build a portfolio through word of mouth.  The vision has evolved in that we now have targeted goals for revenues, a major focus on attracting commercial clients and an actual marketing plan.

How is ishka designs different from other interior design houses? Apart from the obvious, i.e., we’re a minority owned Interior Design firm, Niya and I have a combined island sensibility and resourcefulness that we feel is quite unique to us in NYC.  Also, our combined personalitites definitely sets us apart…ask anyone that has seen us work together. Separately, having two finance degrees, a 10-year career in finance and having a professional photographer in-house helps set us apart. We are long-term thinkers…we want to be around in 20+ years. We are very professional and methodical in how we operate and communicate with our clients but yet we somehow still get a lot of personality in there.

Describe your typical ishka designs client. There is none.  From the go-getter entrepreneur to the meticulous medical professional, we have had a range of personalities to deal with.  The common trait amongst all our clients though is that they are all busy individuals.

Where do you hope to see ishka designs in 10 years? With a store-front selling our ubiquitous furniture designs with random acts of madness thrown in.  In the back or upstairs you will find a team of 5 – 10 staff members working efficiently in a large, well-organized light-filled room.  Our portfolio at this point will be primarily commercial, consisting of office and hospitality projects.  Our residential projects will remain selective.

Any sage advice for people with similar aspirations? Work hard but smart.  Expect to fail at times and to make many mistakes along the way, but be sure to learn from these lessons. Finally, be passionate because that’s the only thing that will get you through the downtimes.

Was there a Plan B? Nope.  And there still isn’t one.

One wish for ishka designs? Longevity.

Now Let’s Get Personal . . .

First major splurge?

Anishka: My first apartment.

Niya: My house

What would those close to you say is your favorite personal item to wear?

Anishka: It used to be this one brown leather belt…wore it for about 8 years with almost everything!  Nowadays there isn’t anything that I am that attached to.

Niya: My father’s ring.

Which one item do you transport from handbag to handbag?

Anishka:  Lipbalm/gloss.

Niya: Since I don’t own a handbag, the one thing for sure that I carry in my wallet is my lawyer’s number. LOL.

Silver or Gold?

Anishka: I lived in silver for about a decade and a half.  No more…I’m more a gold girl these days.

Niya: Both.

Flats or Heels?

Anishka: Toss up really, just depends on the outfit.  However, for hardcore running around the streets of NYC, flats or kitten heels only.

Niya: I love to see a woman wearing heels and that can walk in them.  LOL.

Gloss or Lipstick?

Anishka: See no. 3.

Niya: Chapstick for me thank you.

PC or Mac?

Anishka: Mac.

Niya: Mac.

Books or Magazines?

Anishka: Magazines for day-to-day.  Books when I travel.

Niya: Books.

Favorite TV show?

Anishka: I actually have a few…Dexter, So You Think You Can Dance, The Good Wife and MisFits.

Niya: MisFits.

Favorite city to visit?

Anishka: Kingston, Jamaica.  It’s where my oldest mates live, my mom and where the best food comes from.  Then there is Tokyo, Japan.

Niya: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

To learn more about ishka designs and some of the cool projects Anishka and Niya are working on, you can click here to check out their website.  And if you’re thinking about re-doing a room in your house or a full-scale renovation, click here to shoot them an email for an estimate.

[photos courtesy of ishka designs]

So Much To Do, So Little Time

Do your weekends fly by?  They say that time flies when you’re having fun. No truer words could be said to describe my weekend – it went by in a blur . . . and before I knew it, I looked up and Monday was knocking. All of the fun stuff got done; most of the not-so-fun stuff still needs to be done.  Not exactly how I was hoping to start my week, but c’est la vie.  What do you do to make sure you take care of business on the weekends?

Words To Live By ….

You gotta love KLS – she calls ‘em like she sees ‘em!

Have a great weekend.

Stylishly yours,


Lovely Day!

Lots of exciting things have been happening in the past couple of weeks.  effie’s paper was featured in The Huffington Post on Monday! Click here to read the article.  And, I had the great fortune of being featured, along with my good friend Kathleen Hyppolite of kat flower, on Janie Medley’s The Bride’s Cafe (the mother of all bridal blogs!) last week. Kathleen is a florist extraordinare who took time out of her busy schedule to give ‘lil ‘ole me a tutorial on flower arranging.

As Bill Withers says, “A lovely day – lovely day, lovely day, lovely day, lovely day … “

[photo credit Mel Barlow]

Spotlight: Meghan Cleary

Did you know that your footwear of choice says a lot about who you are?  According to shoe expert Meghan Cleary, your “Shoe Sign” is as important as your Sun Sign.  Meghan believes that the type of shoe that a woman wears can indicate her taste in clothing, her career goals and even her ideal mate.  While all of this may be a little tounge-in-cheek, Meghan’s expertise when it comes to shoe trends is spot on.  She’s a world renown footwear authority who’s just as comfortable on the red carpet talking to celebrities about their favorite shoes to hangin’ out in the shoe salon at Bergdorf’s dishing with salesmen about their most popular shoes. Meghan’s new book Shoe are You? may help you gain some insight into your shoe-personality.  I think I’m a Towering Heights (my mother attributes this to my Napoleon complex).

Why shoes? I became obsessed with shoes when I was five years old. I found a pair of baby blue wedge espadrille sandals with embroidery at KMART and insisted that I have them!

One word to describe Shoe Are You? Fun.

What was the original vision and goal for Shoe Are You? I wanted to get across my proprietary philosophy that shoes are the most essential fashion item– because they are the only thing we put on that have a physiological impact on the way we walk, carry ourselves and stand — they affect our moods, reflect our moods and have the power to change our moods.

How are you different from other noted footwear authorities? There really are not any other footwear authorities that cover what I cover. When I started about six years ago I was the only one and there are a ton of copycats out there now which is the best form of flattery to be imitated! I have written hundreds of articles about footwear for everyone from Time Out to Marie Claire, interviewed designers from around the world, sat in Italian footwear studios with designers to learn about the entire process from stylista to modelista and back, discovered numerous emerging footwear designers, been in shoe factories, studied lasts + heels, interviewed celebrities on the red carpet about their shoes, reported on shoe trends everywhere from Extra! to E!, written two books about shoes, had a show on HSN called Shoe Therapy (R) (C) where we broadcasted live 45 hours into more than 80 million homes, had the highest selling footwear item ever in the history of SHOPNBC in the capsule collection I did for them, received a special commendation from the Italian Footwear Manufacturer’s Association and produced their first ever social media campaign, had my first book translated into Croatian, traveled around the world in the name of shoes, was a consulting producer on the feature documentary God Save My Shoes, get called on by everyone from CNN to MSNBC to talk about shoes and cultural trends . . .

Describe your your job for those of us who’d love to be shoe experts, but aren’t quite sure what exactly it means. See my response above! Basically the thing that drives me most is passion and curiosity. I let those two things drive me and they really take me everywhere I want to go with footwear and everything else in life. A Wall Street marketing background doesn’t hurt to have in my pocket either.

Where do you hope to see yourself 10 years from now? I’d like to have my content creation and production company Miss Meghan Media still going strong and maybe branch out into apparel/general fashion.

Any sage advice for people with similar aspirations? Do what you love and tell everyone you know about what you love and why you want to do it. You’d be surprised at how many people will help you along the way.

Was there a Plan B? Not really. I have done marketing since I was 19, creative writing since I was 10, and I have loved shoes since I was five. I can’t really think of a better combination for all that than what I am doing now.

One wish for Shoe Are you? I hope that when people read it they get a big dose of fun, love and insight.

Now let’s get personal . . .

First major splurge? Mauve Taffeta Jimmy Choos with antique Turquoise brooch

What would those close to you say is your favorite personal item to wear? A silk slip – wear them under every dress/skirt

Which one item do you transport from handbag to handbag? Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

Silver or Gold? Gold

Flats or Heels? Heels

Gloss or Lipstick? Gloss

PC or Mac? MAC!

Books or Magazines? Books

Favorite TV show? So many! Top Gear, Modern Family, and I love documentaries

Favorite city to visit? Rome

So, what are you waiting for?  Pick up a copy of Shoe are You? for yourself or your BFF and do a little sole-searching!