#HEAVYLOVE

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#HEAVYLOVE

                                                                                           Image via [here]

                                                                                           Image via [here]

You can’t move it, you can’t shake it ; You can’t beat it, you can’t take it. It’s unchanging, heavy love ; It ain’t changing,heavy love. So much power, so much patience. It’s a love, so amazing. It ain’t moving, heavy love It ain’t breaking, heavy love
— Mali Music

Ok - it took me about 6 months to post this and even as I schedule this post to go live - I wonder if this is the best decision (on a blog that is filled with mostly the vain things I like), but here goes ...
 
I was having a conversation with a few of my girlfriends and their story (and in some cases lament) sounded oh so familiar because I was hearing the same things from "well-meaning" friends and family and this is the summary of what we are hearing
 
"at your age (which for us ranges from 25 to 32) - you cannot be picky, if a guy is interested in you - then why not."
 
One of the personal conversations I have had goes something like this

 "what are you waiting on ? A perfect man ? There are no perfect men" - That threw me for a loop - not the "there are no perfect man" piece (beacause non of us is perfect), but more the idea behind the thought. Which I have come to realize is coded words that translate  ---  "since there are no perfect men  - why not settle". That conversation (and there have been a few) drives me up a wall more than any of the pity prayers they pray when someone I know (especially those younger than me) announce their engagement.

Personally, I don't care for settling (in anything) and I try not to settle - the few times I settled, have been filled with misery and I got out of the situation very quickly, so to think of settling in marriage (especially when divorce is not an option I consider for myself), does not work for me.
 
There are days (very off days) when I have an internal battle of "sure,  why not just settle ?" You are borderline at that age and soon you will tip over to the other side of the age scale." In those moments, I think - I can learn to love a guy I settle for - I am a resilience person and will all the lemonades life's handed me asking me to make orange juice (I have truimped) - so why not settle with a guy just because he is interested. Knowing my personality , I can make it work (I will make it work) , but then I take a step back and remember that it is not in my nature, characte, DNA or upbringing to settle.
 
The other day - I began to wonder about some of my married friends who seem to want to push me to settle - I wonder if they settled at some point which is why its easy for them to ask and encourage me to settle. I want to pose the question to one of them , but I worry that might open a door that can never be closed - so I bite my tongue and let her vent to me about her marriage at our monthly cupcakes and grown up drinks sessh.
 
I also looked at the marriage of the camp of friends and family that chant - "why not settle" and what I notice is this. They fell in love, but they never grew or stayed in love. These folks all seem to be going through the motions in their marriage; little challenges of life have seperated them, what hurt (even for a short time) has turned them into stranger - so I see married folks living like roomies. Always talking about what could have been with that high school or college relationship and they seem to be enduring their marriage. They are hardly comfortable around each other.
 
Then the other camp of people who say - "don't you dare settle" - I see in their marriages one of the points I think Mali music was getting at in the song "heavy love" . Heavy love was not about two perfect people that have come together - but two imperfect people who have found love inspite of their individual imperfection; two imperfect people who have hung in there (even in the hurting and trying times); they have been through wilderness seasons together, but the wilderness seasons have brought them closer not pulled them apart ; they have faced the unimaginable , but even those "this thing may take us under" moments seem to make their relationship stonger.  I think they were able to get through and be closer than ever because they made the decision at some point not to settle (and it was one of those people that said to me "don't you dare settle" and although she did not analogize it as I have done  - her strange and hilarious summation of why I should not settle made a lot of sense and this was her argument (almost verbatum)
 
"if you settle, you better make sure he is loaded because that will be the only thing that will bring a little happiness (she emphasized the "little happiness" part), but if you hold out for the real thing (aka heavy love) even if you are both without jobs and eating one meal a day to barely keep afloat - even those days you will be worth it and you will remember with fondness because of the love"

That second part is her story (and my parent's story). That even in the painful, "we only have enough for one of us to eat / life's given us lemons to make OJ" seasons, I see a love that has grown for 20 years for her and 31 years for my folks and even after so many years together that love still exists in the silent glances across the room they share and the way their silences are filled and loaded with words that only they hear. I see in them heavy love.
 
I am encouraged by that (and by the heavy love) - not to settle because, I don't want a marriage I endure (no sir, no), I don't want to look back in 20 years and wonder what could have / should have been - I want heavy love. That 25 , 30 , 40 years later is stronger and truer. I want words communicated in silence glance. I want heavy love, so I hold out for it and with this brief detour from beauty/fashion/food talk - I want to encourage you to hold out for it too. Don't settle, don't you dare settle.
 

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Declutter Your Home - The 100 Things Challenge

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Declutter Your Home - The 100 Things Challenge

                                                                                           Image source - Jesslively.com [here]

                                                                                           Image source - Jesslively.com [here]

As part of my goal to declutter, declutter, declutter this year. I have been working on a plan of how to get that done - then I stumbled on this post via one of my favorite podcast (Jess Lively). It's the 100 things challenge which basically encourages you get rid (throw out, donate, gift) 100 things  (Argh !!!!). I know -- I am freaking out inside, but if I am gonna acheive the goal of decluttering my home (and life), I have to take a major (significant) step. Jess suggests grouping "like" items as 1  - so if you get rid of 3 nail polishes, count it as 1 item (what the what, Jess?).  I am not sure I will have 100 groups to get rid of - but I am gonna plan get rid of 100 items.
 
If you are interested in decluttering your home and your life - here is a link to the challenge. I am going to be doing this a little bit at a time through out the month of March - at the end of the month, I will share how the process went, what I got rid off and how that has helped me declutter my life and home.

If you decide to do the challenge - tag your pictures with #TTDECLUTTER (I will love to see it).

Here is to decluttering our homes and lives

Source. Image by Jesslively.com

 

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#NYFW Style Inspiration

Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future ... this is known as fashion week.

One of my favorite lines from SATC and although going to fashion week is a bucket list items yet to be checked off - I always enjoy browsing all the pictures from the shows and going crazy pinning my favorites. Zac Posen and Victoria Beckham brought some of my favorite runway looks this year and I am still parsing through it all - so many great pieces. While I wrap my mind around the runway standouts (which I may share in future), I thought I will share some of the standout looks from the attendees - there were so many inspiring looks from the attendees. Here are a few of my favorites

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Travel Wish List

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Travel Wish List

I love to travel and a few years ago I started a list of all the places I want to visit. I have crossed off a few places from my list, but it is still a very long list. There are a few places I want to get to more than others. Not sure if it is the cooler temps, but I have been thinking about my travel wish list a lot lately. Here are a few of the places I want to get to soon.

Greece. If I have to be specific, I will say Santorini and Athens (oh also Mykonos). Actually, forget being specific - I will take any of those three.  I am also fascinated by the Greek food - I finally perfected my mousaka recipe [hint - you should checkout my food blog here for details]. So take the picturesque view, blue waters, little houses on hills, blue water (bears repeating) and food - that is a vacation made just for me.  The top picture is of Santorini. Seriously, don't you just want to pack a bag and hop on a plane now.  

Amsterdam. If you asked me last month, Amsterdam would have made my top 10 (but not my top 5) but one of my favorite bloggers  (Eva from adventures in cooking) recenly took a Euro trip that included Amsterdam - her pictures of the city (and the Netherland country side) was all the convincing I needed to get to Amsterdam (and the Netherlands) asap. I cannot wait to visit the Van Gogh museum ; the Rijksmuseum, take a boat trip on the canal ring and finish the day at one of Amstedam's Brown cafes (someone make this happen, please)

South of France/Monaco. My brother took a trip to Monaco and Nice a few years back and going through his pictures and hearing his experience moved this region to the top five of my vacation wish list. Lounging on the beach in cannes, touring wine country in nice. oh, a tour of chateau de bellet ? yes, please.  

Malta. The island of Malta has been on my travel wish list for over a decade (since I saw some pageant held over a decade ago (drop those raised brows). Then Anna's (vivianna does makeup) Malta vlog just confirmed this was a place I needed to get to - sooner than later.

Hong Kong. I love a nice vacation on the beach just like the next person, but when it all comes down to it - I am a city gal at heart. I like the pace and culture of big city and since I have been to NYC, London and Paris, I think Hong Kong should be next on the major city vacation, but just like Amsterdam - it would not have made my top five, but then I read a piece on Hong Kong on a recent cross country trip and It went up the list very quickly. Now I dream of visiting the goldfish market and victoria peak (oh , how can I forget man mo temple); Then there is the food. What more can a girl ask for ?

what's on your travel wish list?

*** click on the picture to take you to the source.

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How to: Hot Oil Treatment at Home

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How to: Hot Oil Treatment at Home

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Hot oil treatment is one of the steps in my hair routine I try not flake on in the winter. I have naturally dry hair and scalp and winter seems to bring out the worse part of both, so in between protective styling, I do a hot oil treatment to moisturize my hair, nourish my scalp and keep it conditioned. When I have been diligent with this, I have noticed less dry scalp and less dandruff. I have also noticed my hair sheds and breaks less when I am consistent with completing this step of my hair routine.  I do a hot oil treatment between each protective style (braids, extensions) or two treatments a month if my hair is out. 

You can use a premade oil treatment or you can make yours with your favourite oils tailored to your hair needs. I like to use a combination of equal parts

  • jojoba oil - great for stregthen hair strands and limits breakage and shedding
  • avocado oil - protects hair and scalp
  • coconut oil - reduces dandruff
  • tea tree oil - promotes healthy scalps and controls dryness and dandruff
  • argan oil - makes hair softer, smoother and silkier
  • 1/4 part jamaican black castor oil

I combine the oils in a plastic spray bottle and place in hot water for 3 to 4 minutes. While it is heating up, I spray my hair with warm water (just want your hair wet, not soaking, dripping) then I apply the oil and massage it into my scalp and work it from root to tip until my hair is fully saturated.  Place a plastic cap over hair and sit under a bonnet or dryer for 25 to 30 minutes.

If you dont have a dryer, then soak a towel in warm water, squeeze ou the water and wrap hair in towel and let it sit for 20 minutes. Alternatively, place a plastic cap over oiled hair and let it sit for 25 to 30 minutes.

Shampoo hair and condition as needed. If you struggle with dry hair or scalp during this time of year, a hot oil treatment might be just what the doctor ordered. Give it a try.

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4 Ways to Wear a Sweater Dress

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4 Ways to Wear a Sweater Dress

I have really enjoyed doing these Style Edits and getting to share my style boards and inspirations with you. Focusing on one of the pieces from my winter wardrobe essentials - The Sweater Dress. It is one of my favorite pieces for this time of year and have worn it several ways in the last three months. Here are four ways I like to wear the sweater dress.  

Look # 1: The work look - Pair with a jacket, knee high boot (maybe even get a singed waist with a simple belt). Accessorize with a long neck lace. Perfect for work (and a great transition from day to night option)

Look # 2: The out and about look - Pair with legging and ankle boot - Great for a a laid back weekend, running errands, brunching - you know the deal.

Look # 3: The night out / date night look - Pair of jean, knee highs and a fitted jacket. You are ready for a night on the town.

Look # 4: My favorite of the four looks. Effortless , but chic and I have worn this look a few times in the last three months. Pair with a maxi skirt, heels, clutch and a statement necklace.

Which of these is your favorite ? How do you style a sweater dress ?

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Boston Photo Diary

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Boston Photo Diary

I got to spend a weekend in the Boston area a few weeks back. It was a great weekend of rest and relaxation , great food, culture. Getting to stoll around the Harvard Campus ; Experience a second line band perform in Harvard square (plus a chilli cook off) ; a tow of the North End and  the most ah-mazing Italian food at Mama Maria's where I got the lobster ravioli.  Stopped by Modern bakery for an after dinner sweet treat - I got a a cream filled cannolli (with pistachio) . Rounded up the last day with a visit to the Holocaust memorial ; a stop at Fanuiel hall. Capped off the weekend with brunch at cafe luna (make plans to stop by here if you are in the Boston/Cambridge area). Here are a few snap shots from the weekend. Enjoy !!!

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Valentine Day Style

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Valentine Day Style

This is the first valentine day in seven year that I will not be on the road and this year I am spending the day in a well deserved pamper session and a lovely dinner with friends that evening.  Here is the look I will be wearing - This is a departure from the dress and skirts that most folks will be reaching for saturday night, but I am loving the idea of faux leather leggings , paired with killer heels and a neutral toned peplum top. A pop of color with a red clutch and simple gold accessories. This is my go-to date night ; night out style except I have got leather pants as opposed to jeans. It's a bit of a casual look, but I think it elegant and chic for the day. If the dress / skirt option is not for you - here is something else to consider.

Faux Leather Leggings - similar here | Peplum Top - similar here | Clutch | Sandals

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An Announcement - The Food Blog

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An Announcement - The Food Blog

If you have spent any time around these parts - you will notice one of my biggest passions is food and those who know me personally always ask why I started a life + style blog instead of a food blog. I kind of like the mix of lifestyle, beauty style and occassionally food we have got going on here and this space allows me to share some of my other non-food passions with you.  

A lot of my me-time is spent creating recipes, recipe testing and tweaking and doing food related things that I would love to share with you, but I also don't want the food to overshadow the other content on this space.  Last fall - I decided to launch my food blog - where I get to talk about food and food related things a few times a week to my heart's content. 

It has been hush hush (sort of) while I work on it and get things in order and it is finally at the place where I feel comfortable officially sharing it. If you follow me on instagram or twitter (if you have not, you should) , there has been a lot of food pictures coming at you, you can read the stories and recipes behind those pictures on the blog. I will still share some food related content here once (maybe twice) a month.

The blog is called Table with a view blog and you should go check it out (and subscribe) here. It will mean the world to me.

Cheers

S.I.

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Links I love #6

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Links I love #6

                                                                                              Somewhere in Baltimore

                                                                                              Somewhere in Baltimore

Can you believe it ? January is almost over. Wow.

It's that time again - time to round up our favorite posts, articles, videos, websites from the last month. Here are some of the things that had us clicking away in Janaury. 

100 Notable Books of 2014 - Our reading list just doubled.

Five items to keep on hand for entertaining 

Guide to winter wine and food pairing 

52 places to visit in 2015 - who's with me ?

Got an old Book ? How about turning it into a purse

We are obsessed with - this tumblr account

Having trouble keeping things tidy ? - How about a weekly cleaning schedule

Need some help with those new year's resolution/goals? Jess Lively's got some great ideas

The flowchart you need for a closet revamp 

8 tips to travel more in 2015 - Because few things bring me the joy like traveling. 

5 ideas to create an amazing 2015 - Love the idea of creating habits not goals or resolutions (and the sea change module sounds like a great plan for the year).

 

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