This past Easter weekend my family had come to visit me in California, and while shopping at the spa at the Fairmont Santa Barbara mom and I picked up this self-tanner, certainly underestimating what we had come across. Actifirm, a natural self-tanner that also leaves your skin feeling firm and moisturized, unlike a lot of other self-tanners, is made from natural carbohydrates (DHA) derived from beets and sugarcane which bring the color, and also aloe, echinacea, and rosemary which counts for the moisturizing aspect. The tanner gradually darkens for a couple of hours after you rub yourself down with it, doesn’t smell, and leaves a nice golden natural-looking tan as a result. Another plus is that it comes in a large sized 16 oz bottle that lasts forever. I’ve been using the same one since. It’s my little secret and pretty much amazing, and I’m sharing it with you guys. You can buy it here .
After a long time of highs and higher-than-high highs…there always comes the ultimate low. The one you question whether or not you’ll actually be able to get over. I hate these times and favor spending them alone. S
First, denim on denim, now: white after Labor Day? Really, people? Winter white is now in *after Labor Day* and damnit I just can’t get over it. They’re saying as long as you wear it the correct way i.e. with appropriate winter boots (nude), different shades of white, white with heavily printed patterns a la Proenza Schouler f/w 2010, sequined (I just don’t agree, maybe for New Years.. off-whites (ok, I agree on this, nude is amazing to me right now), and contrast, contrast, contrast i.e. black, white, and red.
…and ok, I abhor white shoes (year round) but these Calvins, featured in todays’ Rachel Zoe Report, are definitely, definitely an exception.
I was seated next to a russian woman on my way to Newark to connect to Milan. She was blonde, her hair perfectly pulled into a shining chignon, carrying her black Louis Vuitton Epi, YSL heels, Cartier Santos watch, the large one. I wasn’t too fond of her blouse, silky with ruffles down the front, but I think that’s just the tomboy in me. Anyways, we traded trashy magazines we’d finished and she told me about the opera she was going to in New Jersey, “you must go to see one in Milano! You just have to!”, camel coats and our prized possessions. I had found a good friend yet again in a 40-yr-old woman. She proceeded to tell me about her recent divorce, her two children (8 and 5). The story was everyday. 10 years of devoted marraige had gone by, and he had started making frequent trips back to the Ukraine where he was from.. the trips had grown longer and longer and eventually she had had enough. She told him that if he left again she would divorce him. A few nice (enough) months had gone by when he stated that he had a business trip he had to attend and that he’d need to head back to Russia soon. He left, came back too late, and found a stack of divorce papers waiting for him at home. She said her friends told her she should write a column How to Divorce a Man In Ten Days, because that’s exactly what she did. He now lives in the Ukraine and “will probably see the kids around Thanksgiving, he Skypes with them, but stays overseas.”. So sad to me that these precious kids will hardly ever see their father.
She went on to tell me how important is is to be self-sufficient in this day and age. It was like I was sitting next to my mother, who tells me the exact same thing. Never ever depend on a man. Never let them have all the control, making all of the income. You should always, always be prepared. So that if he turns and walks away from you one day, you, the strong woman you should always be, should pick up your own bags and walk right off in the opposite direction. Let him miss what he won’t ever have again. He’ll come back (they always do) and you’ll have already moved on. The strong woman.
I pride myself especially in being a strong woman. Comfortable in my own skin and if put in any desperate situation, I’ll figure it out. I was dropped into Athens, Greece practically straight out of Mississippi, where I’d grown up my entire life, the only foreign land I’d seen being Florida or Colorado.. actually a bit of New York (you know, the family trip), and a roadtrip up the PCH, but in no way was I prepared for what waited for me in that city. I remember being on the verge of tears, so far out of the city that I needed an extra map (the agencies provide them but they’re practically impossible to read, most of them smeared, written in Sharpie), sitting on the side of the road in the rain on this bench at some bus stop; but you never, ever give up. Never go home, never let them see you upset or afraid. Be strong, pull yourself together. There are people starving in Africa damnit, people who don’t have water in places. I just got out of the desert for the weekend and boy did it make me appreciate water in ways I never imagined.
Though it makes me wonder. It’s so easy to fall in love, be swept away. Degree? Who needs it? So easy to think these things.. so easy to just cave and float and live the wonderful life of sparkles and glamour that a lot of men can and surely would love to provide for us women. It’s way easier to achieve than you think. -but then what? Love is love is love. I’ll love my boyfriend forever. -but then what? Things change. People change. How can you not be a little scared of that.. exactly what happened to the russian woman, it’s the story you hear all the time.
Hers is one of success. She’d achieved her nursing degree in the Ukraine and moved to the east coast of America for residency. She slapped his ass with that divorce on her own accord and left him on the curb. She says she works a lot harder now, with the kids and all, but I admired her independence. Her story has stayed with me as a sort of inspiration. Always have a little backup plan I guess, just in case.. S
Milan tomorrow, still haven’t finished packing but at least I have my passport ready this time. Eating 10 Goldfish for a midnight snack.. I can’t wait to get there, Italy in my opinion is one of the most amazing places in the world..I yearn for it like I do for a lover and have a special place for it in my heart… maybe it’s because I’m Italian myself.. I don’t know, either way it’s going to be another amazing experience! Also… Milan Fashion Week..
Although I haven’t posted in a while and I’m sorry for it, the travel and adventures sure haven’t stopped. The end of (the 1st leg) of tour was so much fun. After a couple days of travel confusion; it turns out I don’t really fare too well in the Redneck Riviera, even with my best friend in the world by my side, I was back out to the last couple of shows. I think the last one was in West Palm Beach, where we celebrated the end of the first leg with good pals including Jimmy Johnson and his lovely southern belle of a wife, a musical group of older friends from Miami, and #1 fan Porno Steve who never fails to entertain with his special gift bags. Yes, you read right.
We went on after that last show to play the Wanee Festival in Live Oak, Florida. Waking up in the back of the bus, we looked out to heavy clouds and rain rain and more rain. Mud everywhere I had decided to go barefoot at last and had a grand old time running around and exploring after the show, skipping, running, jumping through the trees, dragging the boy behind me everywhere, it was such a blast. At one point that night we came across one of the empty stages used earlier that day. Wide, short stairs rippled out and up from the front of it and strung through all the trees growing from the stairs were colorful hammocks. I remember lying back in awe of the color of the sky and rays of moonlight shining through the treetops. Also, I had a crown of layers of glowsticks; it was kind of magical.
We finally got back home to the castle for a few days. I relish the time I get to spend trimming my rooftop herb garden and getting to see how much bigger the basil bushes grow every couple of weeks. To plant them was the best idea ever and now we have basil oil, jars of pesto everywhere, frozen and whatnot. He loves the stuff.
I went for a fun quick weekend in New York City, and got to spend an afternoon with my good friend Victoria, a uniquely excellent photographer with a shining personality, and her pup Penny, so that was nice. However I did end up missing 1 vital meeting I had planned, but I feel like it was meant to be and besides ill have another chance to go in November, I retreated back to the castle once again.
The east coast swell was good to us, and boyfriend was in heaven for a good couple of weeks. We ventured out to the New Hampshire coast to a perfect local beach we discovered with a perfect wave to ride that he’d skateboard over to, around the bend. The water there is so refreshing and crisp, the sun strong. We always stop at the fresh produce stands on the way home to buy homemade jams and fresh vegetables-always, always support the local farms! -and I soo look forward to the seafood stores. We bring home fresh fish and bags of mussels and oysters for dinner that night.
Now for the real adventure… Last weekend was Burning Man. It was my first time home. I flew into LAX with a duffel full of costume, snacks, glowsticks and glitter and two of my best beautiful girlfriends picked me up from the airport. We drove to Malibu and spent the night there, waking up the next morning at 5am to drive the 10 hours to Black Rock City, Nevada. We got there late after one of the most beautiful drives I’ve been on, but made good time and I ventured out with some new Santa Barbara friends I’d made right away. We explored and danced all night long, and waking up the next morning was like being in an entirely different place. The people, so generous and free and happy. We all ran around all day long until I seriously could not take one more step. That night I laid on the roof of the RV in my crown and tutu and whispered messaged to the stars to pass on to loved ones far away that weren’t as lucky as I was to be there. The last night I was there, when they burned the man down, I got it. I understood, I opened up my soul and accepted the pattern of great energy that flowed through those 60,000 people. On a high, I ended up dancing for almost 4 hours straight to an amazing DJ, and drove a Pegasus art car from party to party. Amazing, I feel like I emerged from that desert a better person. I left a lot of general bad judgment and discretion behind. I learned to love a little better, and to never be so negative. Life changing, indeed, though I have to admit I was one of the ones highly doubtful that an art festival in the desert would change my life in three days, but it did! For the better. I’ve already planned next years’ trip, a rough plan, but I’ll definitely be back!
Today I’m home at the castle once again. I’ll spend this weekend and Monday here, then I’m off to Milan, Italy to work for a month and a half. Promise to blog more! Time to bake some bread, I’m having such a creative streak today. Want to paint, cook, write… I’ve just flown in this morning, coming from Philly where I was there to support my philly man of course! He played an amazing show last night.. at least..I heard.. I saw the beginning, but I was so busy chatting and catching up with friends and family the whole time it was crazy.. So much fun though, Philly is always a good time. When we arrived on the 9th we went to a nice dinner at Morimoto where I got to try UNI ice cream for the first time, which was delicious. Toro tartare, tuna sashimi pizza, Morimoto Master Chef ramen soup, sushi.. everything was absolutely delicious. Also the next day we had a light lunch at Parc on Rittenhouse Square, a nice french place that I’d recommend to anyone. S