spring

When Commencement Commences: Celebrating the Graduate

This month both of my children will be graduating–one from elementary school and one from middle school–and entering a new phase. It’s an exciting time that comes with anticipation, reflection and even a bit of sadness.
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For St Patrick’s Day – Getting Grateful, Feeling Fortunate, Giving Luck

It’s mid-March and I am finding quotes, cards and info-graphics about luck and good fortune popping up in my newsfeeds and inboxes almost daily. All understandable with St. Patricks Day imminently approaching, but it made me stop and think about the meaning of luck–or rather, it’s meaning to me. Some believe we make our own luck, others believe it’s being at the right place at the right time. The Roman philosopher Seneca said that luck was a combination of preparation and opportunity. I think it’s a bit different–although who am I to argue with a philosopher–I think luck has two primary vectors to those that believe in it:
1. How we view ourselves
2. How we view the world around us

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Spring Essentials and Welcoming Change

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A cherry blossom in midtown

The changing of seasons is always a signal for me that it’s time for change–change in scenery, wardrobe, attitude (even a minor adjustment can bring upon an entirely new outlook). It’s always wonderful when being a gift-giver can also be an opportunity to act as a catalyst for positive change, particularly for someone you love. Now I’m fully aware that meaningful change isn’t as easy as slipping into a new pair of pants, but sometimes small things can add up and that’s all we need to cobble together an attitude adjustment.

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Things That Say Spring

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Image Courtesy of Marcio Jose Bastos Silva / Shutterstock.com

Even though last week was the official start of spring, those of us in the north east aren’t quite feeling it yet. I won’t postulate about climate change and how a mere twenty years ago I was running around Central Park, the same time of year in cutoffs and a t-shirt during daylight hours (oops, I guess I just did)… but I will say that my insides are aching for a warm, delightful spring day and all that entails. So instead of dreaming, I thought I would put pen to paper (or finger to keypad as it were) and strut down memory lane until Mother Nature complies, as we know she ultimately will.

Top ten things that say spring:

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Updated Easter Hats

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Easter weekend is just days away and as a fashion enthusiast, I tend to benchmark and contrast experiences as they relate to a textile or accessory. So…what goes better with Easter than hats? I also think we’ve come a long way since the white, woven, ribbon-accented bonnet I used to don approximately thirty-five years ago (although I did get a new one every year).

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Nostalgic for Passover

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I always get nostalgic this time of year. Seven years ago I was just dating my now-husband about six months and he invited me to come to Seder at his sister’s house. I was raised a Catholic girl–I’m not a practicing Christian today–and although I’m a far cry from Jewish, having been raised in New York City, I’ve been to a few Passover Seders before so I knew this was a big deal and not just any dinner.

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7 Unique Gifts for Baseball Fanatics

20120813-001232.jpgI come from a long line of baseball fans… OK fanatics. And couple my tri-state location (some of my family is in Connecticut, I am a New Yorker) with an Italian lineage and you end up with Yankee fans… Shhh, my son is the rebel Met fan. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to religiously watch games and would pray for the players. I remember her telling me about going to a book signing for Daryl Strawberry (when he was a Yankee) and when she got up to speak to him, she said: “I’ve been praying for you.” Graciously, he replied: “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll take all the prayers I can get.”

When my husband and I got married, he made a few things very clear: loved me, the kids, his family and the NY Yankees and no one could say anything bad about any of us. His love of baseball goes very deep, and I wish he could have known my grandmother to be able to share this passion together and she would have loved to see her great-grandson get in on the action. So as I watch the Yankees play Toronto (actually I’m watching my husband watch the Yankees play Toronto), I put together this unique list of gifts for the baseball fanatic.

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Gifts For Moms & Grandmas

July 4th Lobster Bake: Three Generations
From left to right back row: my grandmother, mom, aunt
Front row: my son (2) and daughter (4.5)
I am behind the camera

My mother’s birthday is at the end of August–sometimes falling right in the middle of Labour Day weekend (if you want further proof of this, see my earlier post on her Summertime Tea Party). What’s really interesting, or at least it was for me, is when you see your mother in action as not just “mom” but as “grandma”… particularly if this is to your children, and in my case since I was my mothers’ only child this was the only way that was going to happen. Putting on my gift-giving hat, this is a very cool challenge because I get to think about different kinds of gifts for her from my children and work with them on the selecting and assembling.

Gifts for Golfers

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Golf runs in my family. Perhaps you have a strain of that DNA too? My grandfather, uncle, cousins…not me but my kids are taking lessons this summer. If you know and love anyone who plays golf, and not just plays but LOVES golf you know this is a sport meant to be taken very seriously. As one golfer I know has told me many times: “go to the driving range, that’s where amateurs belong.” ‘Nuf said. These are gifts to buy your golfer that are “safe” when you don’t know WTF you are doing.

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Wedding Shower Ideas

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I must confess, most of my friends are past the wedding stage–although a handful are in the second marriage stage–but planning a wedding shower is one the most amazing things you can do for a friend and today there are so many more options for revelry than when I first got married. The list below includes some I have personally tried, but first a few questions to ask yourself:
– How adventurous is your friend?
– How many other showers will there be?
– What special interests or hobbies does the couple (or just your friend) partake in?
– Are you inviting family? How open-minded are they?
– Are you trying to make this a surprise?

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