Cuffing Around, NYC

MEJURI! Think of MEJURI as the Warby Parker of jewelry. Quality jewelry for modern day women with an affordable price tag. The middle man is removed along with its traditional mark up. They have partnered with high quality designers and manufacturers to insure a beautiful product.

MEJURI currently has three showrooms: NYC, LA, and Toronto. But don’t expect to leave the store with your new shiny purchase. Explore the store, try on pieces, order it on the spot, and then roughly a few days later it will arrive at your door. I enjoyed the NYC showroom. A lovely experience with plenty of staff to assist you. I love the concept of an online experience brought to life. Well done!

If you plan on strolling NYC anytime soon, here are a few recommendations.

Have coffee here at Coffee Project, have bite to eat at Dimes (hip & damn good), see American art at the Whitney Museum, early breakfast with coffee at Kava Cafe, and for drinks with a view, try citizen M! NAKED is worth a peek if you find yourself in Nolita. New York is all about exploring and trying new spots. Don’t forget to walk the High Line.

My Amsterdam Heart!

I was recently speaking with a friend about isostilo.  What sparked the idea?A very convincing and supportive Dutch friend  encouraged me to start isostilo with the intention to define it as it evolves.  Part style, fashion, travel, lifestyle, and everything in between.  What I know is that I needed a push to just begin something and to see where it goes.  A large part of my inspiration draws from my four years living in Amsterdam and the many return visits. 

Amsterdam is a chapter in my life that opened my eyes.  The wonderful part of my relationship with this city is that every return visit my connection becomes deeper.  Spending time in Amsterdam gives me a gift that continues to grace me with love, appreciation, and curiosity.  It continues to shape my thoughts, perspective, and personal style.

In a nutshell.  My husband and I, along with our sweet dog Senna, moved to Amsterdam as expats three weeks after we married in 2004.  Working for me was not option since I was not sponsored for a work visa.  I explored every day by foot, by bike, made friends, took cooking classes, failed miserably at Dutch lessons (except for befriending the most amazing girl friends), joined a Bikram studio, spotted interesting designers, soaked up the culture, and drank up the city one coffee at a time.  Two years into our stay, I became pregnant and gave birth to our son.  I had a home birth and embraced the norm of not going to the hospital.  It was magical.  If you want to know more about this then you can read about my birth in Ricki Lake’s book, Your Best Birth.  We built friendships that became our family.  It was four amazing years before returning back to Boston.  I have managed to visit once a year since our return in 2008.

It is the friendships that we cultivated during those years that I hold so dear to my heart.  These friendships draw us back.  Friendships that make me tick in a way I can’t fully explain but will try.  I feel more grounded, more connected, and my life becomes simpler in a way.  There is honesty and truthfulness from these friends (which is what led me to lobbing off my hair and bleaching it blonde a year ago).  I can laugh at myself.  My beat is smoother.

I have a true appreciation for the qualities that I admire from my Dutchies.  What I see are non-followers who have a true sense of themselves.  There is a sense of strength and confidence while being kind-hearted.  They are not over thinkers.  Straight forwardness is admirable.  You want to do something, you just do it (I am trying to practice this) and not worry about what anybody else thinks.  Hence isostilo!  Beating to your own drum is a good thing.  Traveling and experiencing the world around you is a given for them.  Your perspective shifts when you leave your comfort zone.  Mine certainly have.  

For me there is something comforting about leaving my Cambridge life that is also full of wonderful friends and family.  Flying across the pond to slide into another life that is equally familiar but completely different.  Catching up with friends, embracing a different environment, and conversations helps me gain a fresh perspective that is so good for my soul.  I can walk Amsterdam all day and never get bored.  This recent visit, I walked over 150 city miles during the month of August (crazy indeed but I also didn’t do any other exercise).   I love the cobbled streets, the bikes, the lifestyle, the charming homes, the history, and the apple cake.  It is easy.  I also love the personal style of this city.  It feels like anything is possible with no restrictions.  It is all accepting.  Be who you are.  A denim and kicks kinda crowd.  I find it all inspiring.  Sneaking in a little shopping where I score a few lifers for my closet is an added bonus.

Secretly (well at times I am pretty outspoken about this) I have always hoped that my family and I would return just for a year or two.  If you think I love Amsterdam then you should talk with my son.  His love runs just as deep.  He is building his own connection through friendships and memories.  In the mean time, I am thankful for all the time I have been able to spend in this city.  For the gifts it has graced me with and the new friendships it inspires.  The most precious gift being my son.  I am so appreciative of my husband who understands my deep connection and encourages me to visit as long as I return!  Hugs and kisses to those friends that have moved on from Amsterdam to other exciting places for me to visit.  The world is full of beautiful places but it is the people you meet along the way that truly make it so special and so memorable. 

isostilo is not just about fashion.  Sharing new finds, designers, ways to wear your closet is part of it.  Trends are fun but come and go.  I’m really not into big labels.  They are not terribly interesting to me but I do appreciate them and have a few pieces that I have collected over the years.  I love classic, timeless pieces that go the distance.  I respect craftsmanship.  I tend to hunt for designers with a clean modern aesthetic.  Denim, t shirt, blazer and sneakers is my uniform of choice.  At the moment there is so much stuff out there, that it is difficult to know what you like.  It feels excessive and not very special.  The art of buying to just buy is very off putting to me.  Buy it because it means something to you not because everyone else is wearing it.  I don’t practice retail therapy but would rather go for a walk or catch up with a friend.  

When you find your own personal style, now that is interesting, label or no label.  Style to me encompasses it all.  When it is not a focus and it’s your own look and it doesn’t wear you, that is far more intriguing.  I love when authentic and personality is what you notice.  I believe you are shaped by exposure, life, exploring, and the people you meet.  This is where isostilo lives. 

Practicing to be healthy and respecting your body is so very important.  Over all fitness is a focus of mine.  Now in my forties, I feel stronger and more committed than ever to keep embracing the changes that come with age.  I have found a very healthy balance for myself.  When you shift from just focusing on your external that is when the magic happens.  To feel good in a pair of jeans and tee, I am happy.  Keeping up with my 12 year old keeps me motivated.  Health is everything.  So, yes, isostilo goes beyond clothing.  But rather just trying to keep everything in balance.  Not being afraid to change the course when needed as life evolves.  Sometimes it is messy and sometimes it is great.  

Who knows where isostilo will go but for now it is a journey.  It is an outlet that I enjoy and hope you take something away from what I share.  I will say that the past year and half plus has taught me a lot about myself.  At the beginning the writing, grammar, technology, and self-doubt really challenged me.  The question “what is your goal” really annoyed me.  Not anymore.  You like it or you don’t.  I am ok with either.  When I don’t feel inspired, I simply don’t post.  I have nothing to lose and a ton to gain.  I am finding my way around all this and I am forever thankful to my husband and son who give every long post a glance over.  I love the fact they are both encouraging and curious about what I am interested in or questioning my latest read.  Grammar will forever challenge me (bear with me)!  I am ok with not being perfect. Hopefully we all are.

Forever in my heart, Amsterdam

A side note:  This most recent trip has me looking at my life and the influence of my friendships.  How fortunate I am to have wonderful friendships near and far.  Each friend is so very different from the next.  Put everyone in one space, well it is a bit like the United Nations.  They all have one trait in common, genuine and honest with a whole lot of humor.  There is always a different way to look at something and you can agree to disagree but understanding where they are coming from is so very important.  A diverse group of friends is pure gold!  Forever evolving is key.  Taking the time to chill is important.  Having fun is a must.  Being yourself is beyond cool.  Sitting still in comfort needs to be shaken up a bit.  I’m in my forties with something to do is the new goal.  I hope to make a difference, small or big.

 

A Peachy Treat

Summer is officially not over. At the moment New England is in its sweet spot for delivering tasty candy like treats that are ripe for the picking. Apple picking season is not yet there but peaches and nectarines certainly are waiting for you. The crowds are light and perhaps your next free weekend will take you back into nature. Picking your own fruit just may be a lovely window of time worth carving out and your efforts. A fun outing for all.

Nothing better than fresh fruit to snack on, diced up for your morning yogurt bowl, or simply sliced to accompany your cheese board. I was planning to make a compote but there was no need for any extra effort. Best on their own!

We enjoyed visiting C.N. Smith Farm located in the South Shore just around 30 minutes from Boston. It felt like a boutique orchard. So not too big and plenty of guided assistance as you walk around the farm.

Escape The Heat With Art

Two massive abstract pieces: The Mural from Jackson Pollock and Untitled from Katharina Grosse

Both pieces are currently on display at the MFA Boston. Two artists that truly excite me with their bold large creations being showcased together in one space. I don’t have deep knowledge when it comes to art. But little by little with help from my museum buddy (aka my mother-in-law), I am appreciating more art in my life.

Museum memberships are great for short visits. Even better when you enjoy it with a friend. This exhibit is showing now through February 23,2020. MFA

Carry-On Essentials

Vacation time! Trying to keep it light with just my travel essentials. To become a more efficient and smarter traveler is the goal. It starts with a carry- on suitcase. One of my favorite gifts that I have received, a RIMOWA roller. It effortlessly rolls along with plenty of space for a weekend getaway or simply to carry all your airplane requirements. No longer do I carry multiple bags or anything on my shoulders with the exception of a crossbody bag for easy access to my wallet and passport. All the extras tuck neatly into the roller.

My on-board essentials:

iPad fully loaded with movies and series for both flights. Big Little Lies is top of the list.

Noise cancelling headphones from B&W. A fab and useful holiday gift I received. Headphones is something I would never purchase for myself. I feel a bit spoiled with them but they make a huge difference.

Compression socks are a game changer. A gift to your legs! No more swelling. Your legs and feet feel 100% when you reach your destination. I am trying out COMRAD. I’ve been rocking some sexy CVS Pharmacy socks. I am ready for a stylish upgrade. Packing my Nike slides for arrival.

Hand sanitizing wipes, always. Super handy for hands as well as giving everything a quick wipe down. Airports + planes are pretty gross.

For the face: Jet Lag Mask from SUMMER FRIDAYS. Can’t wait to give this new product a try. My skin always feels dry when I travel so perhaps this will do the trick. Always nice to have a lippy on hand. I like Aquaphor. Lots of water before, during, and after flight.

Clothes: Always a sweatshirt + large scarf to wrap. Dark colors in the event of a spill.

What you don’t see that has space in the RIMOWA: the newest Vogue, unsalted nuts, a take away salad or sandwich that from my local bakery to eat on the plane, phone charger, tissues, Advil, and a deck of cards to play with my son.

Happy Summer!

A Salad For Your Next Picnic

Inspiration for your next picnic. A big beautiful salad that requires little prep and a couple of mason jars. Hit your local farm stand for some summer freshness and you are half way there.

Mason jar #1: layer with fresh summer corn (cook it then cut it off the cob), black beans, diced cucumbers, farm fresh heirloom tomatoes, and diced avocado (swap in or out what you like)

Mason jar #2: shredded roasted chicken (grilled shrimp also works well)

Additional mason jars: fill with fresh slices of pineapples, local strawberries, or other summertime favorites. Yes, the jars add some weight to the cooler but you can reuse the jars (save a tree and use less plastic).

Pack a small container of your favorite dressing along with small container of feta. The avocado and feta combo really makes this salad creamy and super tasty. Don’t forget a large bowl and wooden serving utensils to prepare your salad. Serve salad in large cups like a solo cup with forks. So much easier to eat!

Tips to save time:

Buy a roasted chicken then shred it yourself. Pre-washed greens of any kind makes this a fast and easy salad. Honestly you don’t even need greens if you want to pass totally up on them. Perhaps toss in some fresh herbs instead.

Enjoy!

Surf Clinic With Gal Pals

A day at the beach with a group of women that all said yes to joining a surf clinic. Experiences are gifts. Bad or good, they shape you, challenge you, and teach you something about yourself. I am an over thinker (totally reaffirmed during the surf clinic). Sometimes we create reasons and obstacles that prevent us from participating in something that may test ourselves. When you have the support of friends, all those reasons tend to fade away.

This surf clinic was a first for all us. We laughed, used our bodies, and survived to talk about it. Yeah, we are all over 40 but does that really matter?! Age shouldn’t prevent you from having fun. Perhaps a little soar the next day. Which I think is a positive side effect.

Love these women for jumping on board. We finished the clinic feeling stronger and more confident although tired. We are no worse for the wear. New friendships have been formed while some have reconnected. Check out all the beautiful smiles!

Living Water Surf is located in Little Compton, Rhode Island. They offer private lessons, clinics, and camps for kids. Lessons are taught on South Shore Beach. Arrive before 8am to park for free.

Good friendships motivate and encourage you to try something new. Happy Summer!