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I just returned from Moscow! It was amazing, and yes it did help to get my creativity flowing again.
The first thing I noticed: the beautiful architecture. Every building in the town center has intricate detailing from centuries past, but they look as if they were just built. Apparently, once a building begins to look run-down, the city immediately starts working to repair it. I heard that the new mayor of Moscow has made it his mission to clean up Moscow. Literally. They wash the streets many times a day. They’re even out during the rain. (Send your water to CA!) They’ve opened many walking streets with beautiful, yet expensive, shops, and the parks are gorgeous with a lot of fun activities (ping pong or bocce ball, anyone?). We were visiting my boyfriend’s parents who have lived there for 3 years. They told us how much the city has changed since they first arrived. There’s always something new: beautiful lights during the winter, festivities year-round, and people out and about at all times. (I can’t imagine that in the dead of winter)
Check out some of the scenic photos:
The next thing I noticed: I looked like a tourist. Yep, I brought comfortable walking shoes, some boots, and flats. I am so glad I did! However, the women of Moscow don’t seem to care for flat shoes. Sure they have their ballet flats, but they seem to prefer the 5 inch heels. Even in the park! Even in the rain! Yep, in the rain, on cobblestone. And I’ve heard that they’re masters at wearing them in the ice and snow. I love my heels – but since I rarely walking in them in SF, I will definitely not be walking in them in Moscow!
We went to the Ritz for drinks (and of course we walked there) So I wore my boots, if only my heels folded up nicely to fit in my Kate Spade Clutch…
And finally, I realized, I really don’t know Moscow at all. On the one hand, the unemployment rate is next to nothing (1%, I think) but on the other – everybody talked about the tiny one-room apartments that houses an entire family. But of course – that’s the issue with being a tourist – you see everything from the outside and never really understand what it’s like to live there.
One day we wandered into a Russian exhibit where nobody spoke English. A young man who had wandered in behind us helped translate for us. We invited him to spend the rest of the day with us, at which he jumped at the chance. We hadn’t met anybody so friendly and outgoing. He wanted to practice his english & we welcomed the interaction. (I had tried on a few occasions to engage with people, must didn’t speak english or didn’t want to) He then spent the rest of the day with us wandering the park & space museum. We also met up with him the next day at the Kremlin. He noted, “I’ve never done any of these things before.” He told us some stories about growing up in Russia, living, dating, and working in Moscow. However, between my attempt to be polite by not asking too many questions and his english skills, I left Moscow wanting to know so much more. Next time.
Yes, there will definitely be a next time.
Hello! I know it has been such a long time since my last post. Over two months! I have hit a wall. The creative juices aren’t flowing. Sure there are some reasons: long hours, some summer blues, and traveling. But I can usually snap myself out of my rut – I think I’ve just gotten lazy. So no more. I’m snapping out of it. It’s silly – I have so many 1/2 written posts but just can’t figure out how to finish them. Or even worse – when I re-read them, I’m so unenthused by my own work that I scrap the whole thing.
So, from here on out – I’m just going to write. Tomorrow we leave for Russia. Yep – a week in Moscow. Still wrapping my head around it, but I’m really excited. I’m hoping that the 15 hour flight will give me time to write in my journal and get the brainstorming going. And the trip itself will get me out of my comfort zone, experience new things, and give me the push I need. I’ll come back energized and ready to write.
Yes I have high expectations for this trip, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of it. And if nothing does – I’ll be right back where I started. So why not, right?
As my mom likes to remind me, she would have never had kids if it weren’t for my father; he’s “different than the rest of them.” My father the mustachioed, loving, supportive husband with a big heart, deep values, a penchant for tweed, and a sarcastic wit. So in honor of father’s day, here are 15 thank yous:
1. Thank you for reading to me. From The Seven Voyages of Sinbad by my hospital bed, to your great British accent as you read the 1st chapter of Harry Potter out loud in an attempt to start family reading night which didn’t stick. I cherish the memories.
2. Thank you for your medical expertise. When you ran in to my room after I woke up screaming with a Charlie horse, massaged my calf, and then handed me a banana in the morning. Or the time I cut myself and you took matters into your own hand (so to speak): “Daddy, my thumb is bleeding” “Lick it off” “Eww” “I’m trying to watch your brother’s soccer game” “Daddy…” And you swiftly grabbed my thumb and popped it in your mouth. “There it’s not bleeding now.”
3. Thank you for letting me sleep with you and mom after a scary dream. Even more, thanks for taking my tiny twin-sized bed once your bed got too crowded.
4. Thank you for feeding me. It must have been annoying to hear, “we’re starvin’ Marvin” often. I didn’t know mom could even cook until I promised a home cooked meal to my high school boyfriend that she ended up cooking.
5. Thank you for teaching me to cook. From a “how to brine a turkey” lesson 3,000 miles away to the hands-on matzoh brie class in our kitchen. They both stuck!
6. Thank you for teaching me how to make a decision. I learned the hard way during one of driving lessons; backing up straight into the hill rather than picking a direction to turn the wheel.
7. Thank you for telling me “I’m nice and pretty” is not an acceptable answer to, “if you don’t get your grades up, what will you do?” I still think those factors got me this far, but maybe the MBA helps.
8. Thank you for teaching me that passion can speak louder than money. Your dedication to the public defender’s office of Los Angeles has been inspiring. More so, thank you for teaching me your passion for equality: everybody deserves a chance. Your fight for people who can’t afford lawyers breaks all public defender stereotypes.
9. Thank you for letting me know it’s OK to make more money than my partner. I can be my own knight in shining armor.
10. Thank you for all the uncomfortable conversations. Telling me things I may not have wanted to hear but had to. Thanks for letting mom handle a few of them too.
11. Thank you for telling me that my first boyfriend was a tool. Even if you only wanted him gone because he was “geographically undesirable” and you were stuck driving us around. He was a tool. He made out with some girl under the bleachers. What a cliché.
12. Thank you for the forbidden McDonald’s runs while mom was out of town. It was a fun way to break the rules every now and again.
13. Thank you for being involved and hands-on. Packing lunches, driving carpool, daily conversations and of course various activities (Girl Scouts, father-daughter events, watching every recital etc.). But, thank you, especially for stepping in as a flying monkey in the school play. I couldn’t be the best Wicked Witch of the West without a great flying monkey!
14. Thank you for showing me what a strong partnership looks like. Every marriage has its tests, but it your marriage always seemed like a loving friendship in which you and mom worked together as a team. It helped that you both had your own interests, called each other by first names, showed affection, had lives outside of your kids, and collaborated, like a jury, when planning a
15. Thank you for my curls & big personality. I’ve learned to love and embrace them both. I am definitely my father’s daughter.
If you seem interested in them, they’ll want to ask you questions and you’ll get your turn to talk. Remember it’s a conversation, not a monologue.
My closet is a bit of a disaster. In that I have a lot of great pieces that I forget about or wear too many times and then grow tired of them. I love to shop but don’t need more clothes on my floor in my closet. Enter Le Tote. It’s the Netflix for clothing. You get something, try it out, wear it, and send it back. Save the quarters for parking spots, you don’t even have to clean it!
So far, I’ve received two totes. The first was kind of a bust. The cute dress that looked good on the model was hideous on me. And the medium size jacket that I loved was too big. So I sent it back. The next tote was amazing!
What’d I receive?
In every tote you get 3 pieces of clothing and 2 pieces of jewelry. I received: A super cute skirt, french connection top, a great blue dress, a gorgeous necklace (too short) and a fun cuff (which I wore for 3 days straight).
The super cute skirt (also a medium) didn’t fit right. But the shirt and dress? Jackpot!
I dressed up the shirt for casual Friday at the office with a boyfriend blazer (from the Barney’s warehouse sale, years ago) and some booties & Marc Jacobs jeans (both from Nordstrom) Without the blazer, I think it looks too boxy.
The blue dress fit perfectly! I wore it to brunch, a matinee at the A.C.T, and finally – date night. The dress kept up with my schedule and worked for every event on my social calendar. I coupled it with an infinity scarf, a BB Dakota leather jacket, Michael Kors purse, and some leather boots. I obviously love colors!
Should you try Le Tote?
Pros: you get to try some awesome pieces. You can test styles and colors without purchasing. You get as many totes per month as you want. Free shipping. It’s super fast. Finally, if you want to purchase you receive a member discount.
Cons: No control over what you get. Not all sizing is equal. You get what you choose, what happens when I run out of chosen items?
Here’s a special invite just for you!
I’m still loving it. I’m sure I’ll find some great pieces that I want to add to my floor closet. But until then, I love that I can try new styles and stay up on the latest trends. I can’t wait to see what the next tote holds!