Holiday Gifts for the Color Lover

1. handmade mini rainbow notebook by cathydurso; 2. plum velvet and leather fold clutch by GiftShopBrooklyn; 3. Paris illustrations by Tubidu; 4. Tsura red cotton and silk scarf by A Peace Treaty; 5. Pomogrenate punch lip smoother by WeiEast; 6. Mulberry necklace by Mica



Holiday Countdown: Gift Guide

Hello everyone!

I hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving break.  Growing up, I’ve always seen Thanksgiving as the start of the holiday countdown.  One of my favorite traditions is to watch the oldie but goodie “It’s a Wonderful Life” followed by the millionth re-run of “Little Women” (sometimes with a side serving of “Home Alone”).  To me they capture the best part of the winter season – the magic of being a part of a family and community.

With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, and with Cyber Monday looming ahead, it’s also the start of holiday shopping madness.  To give you a daily dose of inspiration, I’ll be posting daily gift guides to get your creative juices flowing.  I hope you find something that speaks to a member of your family and friends!

1. silk scarf by Marlene Huissoud; 2. elk wire sculpture from Wired by Bud; 3. ellis earrings by Mica; 4. paper mache bowl by Etco; 5. rustic seeds watercolor by Antonia and Fabio; 6. yellow air plant pod by Seaandaster

My Jewelry Essentials

As much as I love browsing, getting and gifting jewelry, I am blithely aware of the fact that I consistently wear only probably 20-30% of my jewelry pieces.  These are my staple pieces: they are easy to wear, never go out of style and add just the right amount of polish to even the simplest outfits.

What’s your go to piece?

Pearl strand: Instead of the classic pearl strand, go for an unexpected touch.  This gorgeous pearl mesh necklace from 10 thousand things is fresh and full of movements.

Skinny bangle: They are light to wear and great for days when you want a minimalist touch.  This beautiful bangle from Himatsingka provides gorgeous rivet details and an edgy color contrast.

Hoops: Instead of round hoops, I’ve become a fan of these square ones from my own line Mica whose angles remind me of art deco aesthetics.

Cocktail ring: Also perfect for everyday wear, a statement ring that’s bold and colorful showcases your personality and style.   This gold plated glass ring from YSL does just that.

Statement cuff: An exaggerated statement cuff could come in handy way more often than you think.  This molten cuff from Alexis Bittar is so unique in its texture and form, it’s almost like a work of art.

Long necklace: There is a laid back vibe to a long layered necklace such as this one from A Peace Treaty.  Especially as the weather gets colder and we pile on the layers, a statement piece like this one can easily sit over chunky knits.

Symbol necklace: If you are superstitious like me, a little symbol necklace that carries a special meaning for you can be just want you need on those special days.  I wear this ampersand necklace from Mica as a reminder to myself of all the people in my life who are there to support me.

Studs: Instead of diamond studs, opt for druzy ones like these from Lauren Wolf.  Druzy stones are gorgeous for their surface texture and sparkly shine. 

Statement Necklace: Statement necklaces can be a joy to admire and a pain to style. I gravitate toward pieces that have a geometric emphasis in form.  This Metropolis necklace from Anthropologie has a deco like style and infuses a very unusual but refreshing set of materials. 

Night and Day

What a crazy surreal week.

First, we got hit with Hurricane Sandy and lost power (not to mention internet, heat and hot water) for most of last week.  New York felt like Batman’s Gotham City.  Downtown was pitch black after sundown – eerie, deserted and strangely soothing.  Time seemed to stand still as you crossed over to the dark part of town.  The only sign of civilization was the faraway guiding light from the Chrysler building.

I have never experienced New York like this.  But despite the blanket of darkness, there were signs of hope: a small but mighty food cart offering warm food and a source of light in Union Square; a neighborhood bar (Percy’s) around our block providing free charging of cell phones with their own generator; people opening their homes to friends who needed a hot shower; cars co-existing peacefully despite the lack of traffic lights and traffic directors.  All these little details and happenings made me love New York even more.

At one point, we fully expected our weekend trip to be cancelled.  But lucky for us, we took off on Friday morning to the island of Nevis.  And we went from 40 degrees to 80 degrees temperature and stepped into a parallel but reverse world to the one we had just left.  It was like emerging from night to day.

Most of our friends and family have never heard of Nevis.  It’s a small island (you can circle around the place in less than an hour) in the Caribbean Sea.  Little known fact: Nevis was the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (you know, one of our founding fathers who died in a duel with Aaron Burr).  Nevis used to be a British colony that produced and exported sugar.  You can still see remnants of sugar cane mills and plantations around the island.  A few of these have been turned into modern day inns.

As we watched the sun set over the horizon, a bunch of locals pulled up to the surprisingly empty beach, blasting music, dipping into the waves, catching up with family and friends, with babies in tow and dogs on leashes.  I couldn’t help but feel so relaxed and at peace.  It made me wonder whether it’s possible to absorb this peaceful energy and let it guide my life back in New York.  After all, life is about being with those you love and experiencing its simple pleasures.