Mad for Steve Madden

it's finally time to start the weekend, and nyc is currently going through a heat wave! it's a good thing i picked up some summer-worthy sandals last weekend from steve madden. not only do they have a beautiful coral shade, but i also saved 50% thanks to an in-store promotion. i can't wait to have them in regular rotation with my summer wardrobe. and for those who are lucky enough to have summer fridays, have an extra cocktail for me!

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Getting Some Mojo

i hope you all had a great memorial day weekend! here in nyc, it started off with horribly cold, grey, rainy weather. but monday was a sunny and glorious 72 degrees. Z and i decided to pack a picnic and head to central park for some much-needed sun and relaxation. definitely a wonderful way to kick start the week as i recently mentioned that i was struggling to find motivation, but i'm finally getting out of my funk.

on saturday, i caught up with my friend who recently launched a roasted chickpea business. i love when we can get together and offer each other tips and solutions and just bounce ideas off each other. our get-together was just what i needed to remind me of what i can still achieve if i just buckle down and re-focus.

and that's exactly what i'm doing. in fact, i'm going to an event this wednesday sponsored by glamour magazine at the 92Y called "secrets of start-up queens." the panel is moderated by glamour editor cindi leive and features iman, dylan lauren, coco rocha and more. tickets are still on sale if you're interested, check it out!

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Elle Mag Celebrates with Smirnoff Sorbet

last night i got to attend an elle magazine party for its june issue featuring the scandalous actress kerry washington. it took place on the rooftop of hotel chantelle and was sponsored by smirnoff sorbet making yummy cocktails. it was an intimate gathering and the weather luckily held up (the weather forecast was threatening rain). such a perfect way to kick-off the memorial day weekend. do any of you have plans? i'll be spending the next couple of days fixing up the apartment, meeting up friends i haven't seen in a while, and making some headway on the drinkware. here's to a lovely 3-day weekend!

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Must or Lust

i'm going to start a few new series on this blog, so you have something to look forward to on a regular basis. the first ongoing series will by my own version of "save or splurge." when i come across great items, i'll share affordable and pricey options. so let's get started!

i recently met up with an old friend, and i couldn't stop staring at the gorgeous gold knuckle rings she was wearing. as soon as i got home, i started looking for my own set, and eventually found myself on an etsy site. i purchased a set of 8 rings (including an infinity ring, score!). they just arrived in the mail this week and i am super stoked to wear them around this memorial day weekend.

but for those looking for something more high-end, look no further than catbird's threadbare rings. they're super thin and glamorous, with a devoted fan base.

a summer filled with tiny gold rings all aglow is just what i need. don't be surprised if you spot me wearing them practically every day. after all, they'll pretty much go with anything!

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Hitting the Wall

motivation. it can be a challenge, especially when you're self-employed and deeming yourself to be an entrepreneur. when you work alone, you are responsible for your accounts. for your daily pay. for doing all the work, whether it's creative and brainstorming out-of-the-box ideas for clients, or administrative and having to file paperwork, draft contracts and pay taxes. but don't get me wrong, there are certainly perks to working for myself. i can determine my own hours. have lunch dates with friends. but this all comes at a compromise. some days, i might start work at 9am and wrap by 3pm only to put in a few more hours later in the night. but after taking this leap of no longer being in the corporate world, i can't imagine myself going back. to be an entrepreneur, you have to be a hustler (or according to beyonce ladies, a diva!). i haven't worked for a company in more than a year, and while it's been challenging at times, it's been extremely fulfilling knowing i'm making my own way.

but back to that word, motivation. i've been lacking it for several weeks lately. i can't explain why i've hit this slump, but i've been looking for a catalyst to re-ignite my fire. i mostly find a way to get over the hump by watching entrepreneur stories on bloomberg tv, or watching an episode of shark tank on abc. and since i got my first nyc library card, i've been borrowing tons of books, and one of my current reads is "the brand within" by daymond john (oh yeah, he's an investor on shark tank, one of my favorite shows!).

plus with the recent move, i've been extremely distracted, but i feel like i'm finally getting back on track. and another project i had to put on the side that i need to move back to the top of my list is my drinkware line. i was lucky enough to get some pro bono advice from a legal team, and as i needed some updates from them before i could proceed, i was distracted for a few weeks with work, travel planning and apartment hunting. i'm seeking out the motivation, and writing this blog is also helping. i want to share my experiences, and let you know that you may not wake up every day singing and skipping along just because you're calling the shots.

we would all be so lucky to have a job that we love (or as many of us have heard, a job you'd love so much, you'd do it for free!). i'm hoping that my drinkware will help me achieve that goal, and sure, i can continue putting it off more, but then i remember that the sooner i work to achieve my goals, the sooner i can actually obtain them and really start living the life i've always envisioned for myself.

are you living the life you want? if not, are you doing anything to change that? it's never too late to change your fate!

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Blake (Lively) Loves to Bake!

blake lively (popularly known as serena vanderwoodsen for gossip girl fans like myself) has made it no secret that she loves to bake and cook. she's so passionate in fact, that she's befriended martha atewart, who helped plan blake's wedding last year to ryan reynolds.

while blake has mainly talked about her kitchen skills, she hasn't shared them with the public - until now! model elettra wiedemannkickoff teamed up with vogue magazine for a new web series called “elettra’s goodness."

in the video below, blake shares her favorite pastry recipe, and it looks delish. i plan to whip up very soon and will Z give a taste test! you can check out this video on elettra's youtube channel also features episodes with vogue's grace coddington (love her!) and snl's seth meyers. bon appetit!

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Making the Breast Choice

courtesy of nyt

i'm sure you've heard, as most of us did in a very unexpected announcement, angelina jolie had a double mastectomy after discovering she had a rare mutant gene that put her at risk for breast and ovarian cancer. and a pretty large risk at 87%. she wrote an op-ed for the new york times to share the reasoning behind her decision, with the major factor being her children. angie lost her own mother to breast cancer, and didn't want to put her kids through the same ordeal. by having her breast tissue removed, she now has less than a 5% chance of getting breast cancer.

angie's lucky enough that she has the funds and means to go through testing (which costs on average $3,000) to find out if she was pre-disposed to this mutant gene, and to have some of the best doctors to guide her through her decision making. but not everyone has the luxury of getting their genome history to make such life-saving choices. at the same time, the mutant gene that angie discovered affects about 5%-7% of the population, so it's pretty rare.

her decision for a double mastectomy (and even recently giuliana rancic did the same) has gotten women talking about effective measures to save their lives in the face of breast cancer. it's certainly a topic that's in the back of my mind often. my maternal grandmother had breast cancer about 10-15 years ago. my mother hasn't been affected, but as they say, when there's family history, you have to be aware of the possibilities.

i certainly want to make sure i remain healthy, and the thought of finding out that i might one day have breast cancer and would need to get one or both breasts removed is a pretty scary thought. both angie and giuliana got reconstructive surgery, and have noted that they don't feel any less feminine, but would they feel like less of a woman without their breasts? i don't want attention on mine, but i would definitely miss not having them. a scary thought, but one every woman should think about during her lifetime. here's hoping one day we no longer have to worry about breast cancer affecting the amazing women of the world.

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Sapphire Hart

i'm a huge fan of mtv's "true life." this program has aired for more than a decade, and i never get tired of the stories they share. the recent episode i watched was about people with overbearing mothers. one young woman named kaleem was an aspiring singer, and as her mother had the same dream, they were living in new york city shelters with her younger brother as a means to survive.

i was automatically invested in her story as this wasn't just another girl with dreams of superstardom and no talent to back it up. this girl has vocals and charisma - the real deal. she now goes by the stage name sapphire hart and you can check out her page here.

i'm really excited to see where her career goes. so to get your monday morning started off, check out her latest song below!

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Mint Green with Envy

i'm not the biggest fan of rihanna's edgy looks (which typically involve having her nipples on full display), but LOVING this springy combo of a mint green skirt (with pockets!) and silky blouse.

from the front, it's still risque, but i would totally rock this - you know, either buttoned or with a cami underneath. the pieces are both balmain, which in other words means "out of my budget", but i've shared some look-alike pieces below.

for the mint green skirt, i found two great options through lulu's, but unfortunately the first one's now sold out, bummer.

this is a second good option. love the shimmer! $39

this is a really fun blouse. and being multi-colored, it'll work with any colored skirt or pant

equipment printed silk blouse $218

these neutral high heels help keep the focus on the outfit, while making your legs look a mile long

aldo's $80

i need to pull this outfit together asap for date night with Z or a weekend brunch with the girls. gorgeous!!!

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Coco Chanel in Black & White

while working as a book publicist, i was assigned to handle publicity for the paperback release of coco chanel by justine picardie. i never really knew much about coco's life, but considering she's one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs and i'm always looking for an inspirational read, i have to say the woman led a fascinating life - even if she did fabricate certain parts of it.

the early fascination with coco was that the woman didn't dress like anyone else. she had her own style, and she never apologized for it. you can get a better sense of coco and her fabulousness in this whimsical black and white movie short staring keira knightley and directed by karl lagerfeld. enjoy!

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Water Park Wanderlust

the weather is finally starting to warm up in nyc, woo hoo! knowing summer is right around the corner has me thinking of fun vacation trips, and one i want to add to the list is this amazingly huge, indoor water park! no, seriously. it's enormous! it's located in an airplane hanger near berlin, and as you can see the in the photos below, there are slides, and waterfalls and even a lagoon, oh my!

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To Solo-Work or Co-Work

it's been a crazy week! i just moved apartments in my building. it's an exciting development as i'd been living on the 4th floor of a walk-up in a two-room studio with Z. so this last tuesday, we moved to the 2nd floor into an actual one bedroom (in nyc, this is a major milestone!).

we've spent the past few days getting the new place together, and it's coming along quite nicely. i can't wait to show pics once we have it all together, but below is a sneak peek of a new added feature - a home bar!

moving into this new apartment is also a major step because Z and i are both self-employed and spend a lot of time working at home. we were never quite able to set up a work space, and now with the new place, we can fit both a desk in the bedroom and will eventually get a table for both dining and work.

working from home is great. sometimes i just stay in my pajamas, i can whip up breakfast or lunch, or not even worry about going outside when the weather's bad. but it does have its disadvantages, which Z and i talked about recently in the new york post.

last fall, i started using a free service called loosecubes. they coordinated free co-working space for you with offices around the city. you'd just log into your account, select an office, the day you'd want to work there and voila, you'd have a cubicle - and sometimes even an office - for the day.

unfortunately loosecubes shut its doors before the end of the year, and i've either been working from home or a local coffeeshop since. there are times it'd be great to work from an office. you get to meet fellow entrepreneurs (i've even made new connections from such interactions) and you can immediately feel the energy of others who are working to make their business dreams come true. if you've ever wanted to know more about co-working, there was an interesting piece by the new york times in sunday's "style" section. it gives a nice overview of what you can expect and several co-working spaces nationwide.

have any of you ever done co-working, or thinking you may rent desk space this year? i'm hoping to acquire co-working space in the next few months, and will let you know once i do and where!

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