Seeking Wonder

Image via Pinterest

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Oh yes, the season is here. The other day, I woke up and heard the faint bouncing of a basketball at 7 am. Probably the cute Asian kid that lives next door. It was that rhythmic bounce on a slab of concrete in the middle of their tiny backyard. Their net is right on the fence area, which means that sometimes, when the kid misses, I have seen him climb the fence to retrieve the ball. The morning was cold. I did not want to leave my bed’s warmth. I peeked out from the covers and saw the foggy and chilly sunrise emerging.

I remembered those chilly days in PE when we would be doing the same, bouncing a basketball. I remember running laps outside and how the cold air would make your throat burn if you didn’t breathe properly. The side aches, the feet pounding the pavement, the wet grass on both sides of the track.

Image via Pinterest

I’ve been remembering a lot. I came across an image on Pinterest, sort of vintage, of children peering into a toy store that is ready for Christmas. It reminded me of Samantha, from American Girl, when she first sees the doll she wants in the window. I remembered how, in this season, the toy companies would flood us with commercials and catalogs so that we would include our little desires on Christmas lists to Santa. If I had to use one word to describe winter sunrises and toy store windows adn the excitement of the season– it would be “wonder.”

Here’s a question, one that has nothing to do with materialism– when was the last time you felt wonder? And I don’t mean for a new purse, shoes or a new toy. No. I mean true wonder, where you were left sort of mouth-wide-open and impressed?

If it has been a while, slow down, pay close attention and be present. Feel the life pulsating through you and see the light around you. Leave something to chance. Remove a bit of the hardness and cynicism that settles in occasionally, and open the heart and emotions to what could surprise you.

It is the season of wonder.

I was waiting for the ‘C’ train but the ‘A’ kept coming…

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Sometimes, it is not faster to travel on the train. There are places where the train simply doesn’t go. It goes in circles but doesn’t cross through the circle. The inside of the Brooklyn circle requires walking.

I was standing on the platform waiting for the ‘C’ train, but there were delays. The ‘A’ kept coming, and nothing on the local tracks. I was sweating bullets; my raincoat sticking to me.

Due to the train delays and the fact that I was going to the inside of the circle, I decided to walk to my next destination. I walked along the streets, finding that places I had seen from a passenger seat of a car looked different up close, with me on the sidewalk. When I felt a pedestrian sharing the way was coming closely behind me or invading personal space (as is custom in NYC due to the volume of people and uneven walkways), my fingers would curl around the vial of pepper spray in my pocket, I was ready for anything.

On this particular day, it was raining. The leaves glowed yellow and the lamp posts on the parkway were lit. I saw an elegant elderly black couple walking toward me, under their umbrella saying inaudible things to each other, and I relaxed into my walking cadence. I quickly turned to see if anyone was behind me, and no. No one.

I passed a portable restroom (port o potty) that was probably jacked from an actual construction site. It was chained to a tree. I was intrigued and celebrated the notion of a public restroom for passerbys but there was no way I would approach it. Maybe it was a hiding place for drugs. Maybe, someone lived in there. I scurried forward in the downpour.

I saw the makeshift vendor market under the tents and realized I had arrived faster than anticipated to the area to which I was headed. I was hungry and tired of holding my umbrella. My allergies had made it so that I could barely open my eyes. I wanted to sit, and be left alone. I wanted to sneeze without judgment.

I opened my phone and looked for anything open. Everything looked closed. There was a “Pretty Girl” shop that sold cheap dollar garments. There was a group of men loudly chatting in front of it. I wondered who thought these garments were adequeate and not a waste of precious dollars. Cheap clothes, in the end, is always expensive.

I balanced my umbrella against my chest and discretely searched on my phone any local food place that might be open. The night was falling on the area, and it was dark. I stood under a wig store awning that sold colorful wigs and also leotards that looked fit for a stripper. Nothing was open except a small cafe down the way. I walked up to an intersection where the rain had gathered into a lake. Luckily, I had my rain boots because there was no way around this moat. I stepped right in.

I continued to walk. I passed a young man in a black hoodie. In his hand was an orange arrow (yes, like from an archery set). He was walking like he was on a mission with that arrow. I was confused and decided to ignore him. I continued to walk the blocks wondering how much farther I would need to go. I passed delis and random smoke shops.

Finally, a bright light. I saw a Haitian flag and heard the loud music. I heard a young woman inside yell, “Alexa, play Chris Brown radio.” The speaker started playing Chris Brown, and the woman behind the counter hollered, “Oh yes, where did he go?” The song was familiar. It reminded me of high school, sitting in my best friend’s car with her iPod plugged in.

I ordered a crepe and sat at the counter stools where there was a window. I watched the outdoor dining drown in the nonstop rain. A Grubhub sign fell over, and I leaned down to pick it up. As I looked up, I saw some feet dancing. My eyes continued to follow this dancing body, when I realized it was the young man in the black hoodie. He was doing some kind of cool dance to the Chris Brown song. In his hand was the orange arrow. He did a little show and continued to dance in the doorway. The employees behind the counter cheered.

I headed back to the window stools where I was invisible. I was exhausted. Behind me was a fridge full of strawberries. I sat there in the nostalgic music, rain coming down, and I felt like I was in a daze. I smiled as the young man finished his dance, and he walked out into the rain, made a right turn and then faded into the dark of the night with the bright arrow clutched in his right hand.

[A New York City vignette.]

As You Wish

Image via Alexa Chung.

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Taking a styling course was a fun investment. We are still in this weird place where we don’t dress up half as often as we used to, but we aren’t in loungewear 24/7, either. We are emerging from the dark pond of pandemic uniforms. I am starting to put some of my knowledge to use.

Image via Alexa Chung.

They say you have to study the rules to break them, and I have to say that while I have seen and studied many forms of dress and images, there is a style I find the most interesting, and that is the eclectic one. It sort of picks and borrows from them all. It isn’t always elegant or rule-following, and it isn’t always classic or trendy. It often falls in some weird category of its own. I love it.

Image via Camille Charriere.

I think it reminds me of being a kid. I liked simple things, but also weird things (still do). I tried to be inventive with what I had; I loved picking out random things and mixing them with hand-me-downs, and I didn’t care what people thought or whether it matched or not. I remember I had these little green shoes I wore with everything. I always had weird little sunglasses and tights for church.

Two people I love to watch on the style scene that I think embody this style are Alexa Chung and Camille Charriere. Both of them do their own thing, and I am here for it. (Carrie Bradshaw also did this well).

Alexa and Camille at Fashion Week 2022. Image via Camille Charriere.

I have learned that elegance is a form of showing respect to others. Trendiness is a waste of money. But there is something to be said about freedom. Freedom liberates you from whatever “it bag” or style shoe Instagram and marketing is trying to push down everyone’s throat.

Freedom allows you to be comfortable (or uncomfortable by choice). It isn’t rigid, and while there may be a brand or two mixed in, you aren’t a billboard– you are just you.

Image via Alexa Chung.

I love the idea of being memorable, not because of the logo stitched into your breast pocket or the monogram on your bag, but being memorable because you decided to be an original. We spend too much time being clones. We spend too much time begging for status (this is what was so annoying about the ridiculously expensive Abercrombie-Hollister-American Eagle crowd, back in the day).

Image via Camille Charriere (Her iconic wedding look).

It’s not for everyone, but I say, wear the pink cowboy hat. If you like it, wear it. Screw the convention and boxes of it all. Some people don’t consider what they wear the work of art; they consider the life they are living the masterpiece.

Image via Alexa Chung.

My French Library

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I lit my candles to get rid of the evidence in the air that I had been cooking and roasting potatoes all morning. To contextualize this post (I keep thinking of those in the future who may read this back if they are bored or looking for a good French read), the only rational candidate for governor in NYS had gunshots outside of his home (gracious! It is truly a time of intimidation politics), a plain low quality sweater costs $425, and autumn came this year like God flipped a switch. It is a time where you can’t visit a family member in ICU if you are healthy and unvaccinated, but if you are vaccinated and sick as a dog, they will let you in. The age of no reason, we shall call it.

This season started off with torrential rains. My home state of Florida is still reeling with the disaster unleashed by Ian, the monster storm. Autumn always make me want to cook and speak French. I don’t know what it is about this season. Maybe, I associate the French language with a degree of comfort and coziness. It sort of feels like home. I have been gravitating toward my French books lately, including some cookbooks I found at a used bookstore by Miss Maggie (I have been following Miss Maggie’s Kitchen for years).

I figured that as the world has gone mad, I would type on my laptop like it is a loud typewriter and passionately share the upcoming books on my French language reading list. These are my current picks (I own them all), and they are lined up and ready to go.

Truly, I can’t describe the pleasure I feel when I can buy a book. To be able to buy a book you have a burning desire to read is the definition of success I had in my mind as a kid (a kid whose reward was often books). Every time I get my hands on a book, I just hold it and think to myself, This is the life! Also, God bless Book Depository, for shipping international treasures one cannot find anywhere else, locally.

I am a big fan of Sophie Fontanel’s writing, I think I have all of her other books. I still haven’t tackled this one. Her books always make me think. They discuss things like aging, sexuality and femininity, fashion, how we relate to our parents and so much more. Apparently, this is one of her key works. Can’t wait to read it.

If you have followed me over the years, you know I am a die-hard Sarkozy fan. (Hilariously, my old French professor who was my friend and mentor despised him, to put it lightly– but he always holds a special place in my heart). He is audacious, has a flair for the traditional, very Républicain and has a seducing way of conducting politics, in my opinion. Gives me Nixon vibes. Take what you will from that, but I adore this French president. So how could I turn away from his latest volume of musings?

Apparently, if I am not mistaken, this is a book from the perspective of a child from embryo to childhood, with a twist of wit. I was curious and intrigued by the baby protagonist. I am all about a different perspective…

In all fairness, I am halfway through this book. It is philosophical, meaning you don’t need to read it cover to cover straight through, but the time has come to finish it.

I like the idea of exploring slowness. I started this one, and I love the writing style. you read it, and you are there.

A single woman in Paris… I am there. I picture this one to be a witty account, à la Carrie Bradshaw. I guess I will have to let you know once I am done with it.

I read the chapter titles, and this is about how feminine traits can save and make the world a better place. I used to listen to Bastide’s podcast La Poudre. Excited to read this.

A prize winner. This one (I heard from the recommender) is about the unconscious baggage women transfer to one another through generations (through language). This will be a serious but enlightening one.

Cozy season is upon us, which means more time to hit the book stacks. I can hardly wait.

Autumn Morning on the Train

Mornings can be strange. It is our first one without rain in almost a week. Sometimes, when I sit on the train, I wonder if something is wrong. People look at me intently, and I ask myself if I somehow forgot my pants or something. This morning, I got several of those intent looks. I felt a bit self-conscious, so I focused on my Kindle once I verified I had my pants on.

On these types of mornings, if you aren’t really awake, you are simply doing the basics. I tried to read the station banners after brackets of distraction, trying to activate my spidey vision, but failing. I climbed out of the masses of people, who all looked asleep (except for the ones who looked at me intently, like something was wrong— these must be the morning people).

Escalator was broken, so we all marched up the steps like a little ant army. Militant, apart from the huffing and puffing of some heavy set men behind me. Suddenly, when we reached the top, the floor opened up, and an Asian man appeared out of a hole in the floor with a dirty white binder. We were startled but kept marching. Can Narnia be accessed through the floor? I crossed the station to another train with a skittish little rat who followed me down the stairs and onto the next adventure.

September 2022 Favorites

Me (in my Pretty Woman dress–very important), dreaming of apple picking, raccoons, and baseball bats.

It’s officially autumn. What did I do this month? A lot. I bought a baseball bat, mostly because I was so sold by the Q&A on Amazon. One of the questions was: “Assuming the bat doesn’t function as expected, what’s the return policy for bloodstains?” The answer: “Depending on whose blood is on it, it might be worth more.” Hilarious. Who knew so many of us were looking for bats to combat the anarchy on these streets? (A note for posterity, if you call the police, they can do nothing and may not show up. This time of 2022 is a time of every man for himself + his guardian angel + bat).

I read Eric Metaxas’ new book, Letter to the American Church, which was brilliant and mirrored a lot of my thoughts in one of my favorite posts on this page, Leadership (inspired by Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer biography). My favorite book this month was Good Morning, Monster. This book was a shift in perspective. I learned so much about the world and myself. Obsessed. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK. Another fascinating read from the month was The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish.

This month, I also completed my course on C.S. Lewis (free course at Hillsdale College). It was marvelous. This course helped me see some of his writing in a different light. I also saw reruns of the old show, Just Shoot Me (very 1997).

I learned a lot this month. I processed a lot, as well. A new season begins. I got new towels and started lighting the cozy candles. I am excited to see all fall has in store for us. An important election season hangs before us. There is a lot at stake.

The important thing, no matter how September went for you is that we move forward. Plow forward. We are fighters. We are still standing. Like any good batter, we are ready to run home.

xx

Top Post of the Month: Jeanne Damas’ Library

Articles

“You’re not the American Dream, Kim, you’re the American Nightmare.” Piers Morgan on the Kim K ‘American Dream’ feature (Source)

I found rest to be a recurring theme this month. Loved Rest is Necessary by Katherine May.

Loved this article on the art of noticing. Excerpt: “Ernest Hemingway said, ‘You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling. Try that for practice.’ Now take that idea, and consider how a place makes you feel. Feelings are not something we can see, but rather that we can sense. Tap into that.”

In support of the weekly marriage meeting.

Quotes

If Yahweh rested on the seventh day of creation, it would be foolish of us to believe that our success depends on our continued labor.” Louie Giglio

We’re haunted. We’re spiritual. We’re sinners and saints; we’re drunkards and preachers. We create astoundingly soulful pieces of art, astoundingly soulful music.” Alton Brown on being Southern

I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.” Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

This one is for those doing holy work outside the safety of a sanctuary… Your sermons flow through lesson plans and medical reports, your prayers are whispered over a scared patient or frustrated co-worker and your worship flows from your car in rush hour. Ministry is wherever you are and wherever you go because you know the One who breaks chains and sets captives free and you don’t need a title of pastor to proclaim His name. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus in unexpected places, for being on a mission and commission where people are most vulnerable. You are the best of us as you go undercover and undetected as ambassadors of Christ.” @Raisedtostay

If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be played like an orchestra in which all instruments played the same note.” C.S. Lewis

It is far easier to ignore God’s call than to acknowledge it and rise to fulfill it, but it is more difficult and painful than anything to love with the results of ignoring God’s call. Let the reader understand.” Eric Metaxas, Letter to the American Church

In religious terms, the apocalypse involves a sudden vision of the heavens opening and revealing their secrets— secrets that make it easier to understand earthly realities.” Catherine Gildiner

There is a rite of passage when you are young and in the city: walking all night.” Sara Billups

It’s important that we remind ourselves – life doesn’t need to make sense all the time. The miracle is that things are happening even if we can’t see it all clearly. So trust in that, and focus on following your curiosities, focus on how you feel, and listen to your instincts. Don’t project too much about where that’s going to lead you. Because – trust me – life will probably take you to someplace better than you ever dared to dream of.” @Violette_Fr

You misunderstand repentance if you believe it is asking God for forgiveness.” @riyoung31

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” J. Krishnamurti

I don’t think he is a narcissist. I think he is just pathetic.” Jesus Enrique Rosas on Prince Harry

Love means vulnerability; people who love you can also hurt you. Making oneself vulnerable is the ultimate bravery.” Catherine Gildiner

Judge someone by their questions rather than their answers.” Voltaire

The coolest thing to get canceled for is for speaking the truth.” Sudan Archives, Dazed

We have to rediscover not just the law of free speech. We also have to rediscover a culture of free speech.” David French

Your emotional intelligence and intuition will offend everyone who can’t run a game on you.” Steve Harvey

God defines justice– not activists. God defines marriage– not government. God defines wisdom– not the university. God defines evil– not the majority. God defines history– not kings. God defines sin– not psychologists. God defines happiness– not our feelings.” Justin Bullington

Love isn’t something we fall into; it’s someone we become.” Bob Goff

You can’t dismiss your wife’s emotions and feelings without making her masculine. A massive part of femininity has to do with emotions. Emotions of every kind, with more passion behind them, and more prone to change. This is not a flaw; it’s a feature. But many men see this as a flaw, or at the very least, an annoyance. You want your wife to be more feminine, bro? You want her to be carefree and gentle and nurturing and joyful and kind? You want her to be submissive and dress femininely and have a heart that trusts you? Then stop being dismissive, or even mocking, of that which is at the core of her femininity; her feelings and emotions. One of the most basic things a woman needs from a man in relationship is to truly believe that he cares about how she feels. She needs to know that he will not only hear her feelings as legitimate, but also fight to protect her and make changes to avoid her being hurt. Vulnerability is a key element to a woman’s feelings. If you dismiss her feelings, she will become less vulnerable and build the walls up around her heart. If walls get built up, the more hard traits that resemble masculine nature come out. So if you have made the mistake of thinking your wife’s feelings are frivolous things and treated them as such, repent to her and to God. You have attacked something innate to how she was created, and have not honored her as the weaker vessel.” @the.masculine.mandate

Normal is not strong or tough enough to withstand the impacts of life’s major blows.” Elena Cardone

Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your problems.” Unknown

Videos

Generally speaking, very on point regarding all family, parenting and a must if you are following the Britney Spears drama.

People I am Intrigued By

Catherine Gildiner

Elena Cardone

Her Majesty

image via newagehipster.co

With the Queen’s passing, there is so much talk about what we can learn from her amazing life.

We mention words like dignity, elegance, class, restraint, tradition, respect, nobility, and while all these are so important, I think that what made these true was her dedication to service.

One image I was particularly struck by this week was of the Queen serving her country in World War II (she was an ambulance driver). I have incredible respect for the leaders who serve alongside their men and women for their people.

image via supercarblondie.com
image via supercarblondie.com
image via kuulpeeps.com

It is hard to find leaders with the same level of integrity in their service.

“I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.”

Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

Dedicating this song to the Queen for her unparalleled service and integrity. She made her mark. She was here.

image via onkafa.com
image Samir Hussein/WireImage London black cabs pay tribute to the Queen.

There is no better way to live than to spend our lives in the service of others.

Jeanne Damas’ Library

Jeanne Damas via her Instagram @JeanneDamas

By: Gabriela Yareliz

When I wrote The Didion Estate, it was the first time I had put in writing my dissecting of another’s library. I do it all the time mentally, but it was fun to share it.

So, as summer winds down and autumn calls, I figured it was time for another fun library. Unlike Didion, Ms. Damas is alive and well. She is known as a fashion icon of France. While some in France are moving toward the more global Instagram image, she reminds us of the classic French look and aesthetic. She is the quintessential French ‘It Girl.’

Jeanne Damas via @JeanneDamas

I noticed Ms. Damas’ library years ago, maybe around 2017-2018, and during the pandemic, she upped her bookstagram posting. Here are some of the treasures in her library:

Le Fer et le Feu by Eric & Jean-Marc Stalner: Described as a book of romanticism, adventure and and elegance. A story focused on the estate stewards and the vulnerable Baroness Mathilde.

Via @JeanneDamas

AnOther Magazine: I had never heard of this magazine. It focuses on fashion, beauty, art and photography.

Artistes Africains – De 1882 à aujourd’hui – Beau Livre, Alayo Akinkugbe, Natasha Becker, Emmanuelle Debon (Traducteur), Jeanne Maylin (Traducteur), Collectif: The English version of the book is available here: (African Artists: From 1882 to Now). This book was described as, “A comprehensive guide to the continent’s brightest stars,” – ARTnews.

Sheila Metzner: From Life: This is an incredibly expensive Rizzoli book showcasing the world of fashion and portrait photographer Sheila Metzner.

Image via @JeanneDamas

Francois Halard’s Visual Diary: “This volume presents the famed photographer’s newest lush images of the stunning interiors of acclaimed designers, artists, and tastemakers. Francois Halard’s unique photographic sensibility–old-world elegant and bohemian, accessible and personal–is unmistakable. Each image is imbued with the intimate knowledge of design history, each story a lesson in a master’s point of view.” (Source)

Several Georgia O’Keeffe books are in the mix of the stack. I was fascinated by her giant flowers as an elementary school student.

She is also a fan of Pierre Bonnard, the French postimpressionist.

On the same vein of art, she has that green Charleston book leaning against her board:

“Stunning artwork and illustrated essays illuminate the modernist home and studio of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.” (Source)
Via @Jeanne Damas

L’Amour Fou by André Breton: In English, this is called Mad Love, and it is part of the French Modernist library. About this book: “Mad Love has been acknowledged an undisputed classic of the surrealist movement since its first publication in France in 1937. Its adulation of love as both mystery and revelation places it in the most abiding of literary traditions, but its stormy history and technical difficulty have prevented it from being translated into English until now.” (Source)

Via @JeanneDamas

Correspondance (1944-1959): “For fifteen years, Albert Camus and Maria Casarès exchanged letters from which springs all the intensity of their love. Between the tearing of separations and creative impulses, this correspondence highlights the intimacy of two sacred monsters at the peak of their art.” (Source)

Via @JeanneDamas

Chagrin D’ecole by Daniel Pennac: This is a book that weighs education and school from the perspective of a really bad student.

Via @JeanneDamas

Dali–La Vie D’un Grand Excentrique by Fleur Cowles: Dali, the life of a great eccentric. This is an old book from 1961. A rare find.

Vingt poèmes d’amour et une chanson désespérée : Les Vers du Capitaine by Pablo Neruda: Twenty love poems and a desperate song by the Chilean poet of international fame.

Via @JeanneDamas

Le Bal des Folles by Victoria Mas: This book was translated into The Mad Women’s Ball: A Novel. This book is being made into an Amazon film! It is described as: “In this darkly delightful Gothic treasure, Mas explores grief, trauma, and sisterhood behind the walls of Paris’s infamous Salpêtrière hospital,” Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train.

Via @JeanneDamas

Le Chardonneret by Donna Tartt, also known in English as The Goldfinch. A summary: “Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by a longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into a wealthy and insular art community. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love — and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention. From the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld, this “soaring masterpiece” examines the devastating impact of grief and the ruthless machinations of fate (Ron Charles, Washington Post).” (Source)

Le Pays des Autres by Leila Slimani: Slimani rose to fame with her international bestseller, The Perfect Nanny. This book’s English version is In the Country of Others. One of the reviews for this book says, “Slimani has made a career out of catching readers on the wrong foot with unsparing prose. . . . In the Country of Others is [her] most personal book yet.” The New York Times

Via @JeanneDamas

Les Enténébrés by Sarah Chiche: This was a prize winner in 2019. This is a novel about a psychologist’s love affair with an international musician and all that stems from WWII and other pieces of history.

Jeanne Damas via Elle France

***

Ms. Damas is a big fan of award-winning fiction, many are translations or translated as they are that good and best-selling. By her inspo board for her brand Rouje, she has several art books. Not surprisingly, I find that her makeup palettes have many colors that sort of tug on the work of Georgia O’Keeffe. As every good It Girl, she is in the know. She has some classics mixed in but most books won their awards between 2014-2019. We’ll see if her taste evolves with her into her 30s.

Image via Madame Figaro

“Elle incarne un idéal de beauté et de réussite commerciale. Elle présente une figure publique parfaite ou idéalisée, qui utilise stratégiquement les stéréotypes de la séduction pour dessiner ses propres contours.” (Source)

August 2022 Favorites

Greetings!

Another month has gone, “poof!” and it floats away into the sky. This month, it felt like I read 20 books at the same time. Bad news about the economy and tons of primary info seemed to be front and center, throughout August (midterm elections approach, slow and steady). It was a month of adjustments on my end; learning more about my new role, with each passing day, walking new streets and riding new trains.

I think it is official, I am over the heat and ready for autumn. Finally, next month, things will begin to shift and feel a bit different. I won’t be trying to strip immediately when I get home because I can’t stand the feeling of clothing sticking to me. We need some relief.

This month, my mind was all over the place. I watched some Audrey Hepburn movies like Charade (this was my fav), Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Funny Face. I became obsessed with 50s hairstyles and bought a box of bobby pins to try some. (Can we also talk about Givenchy in the 50s?!)

I also read a lot of books by therapists on relationships, which was interesting. It is neat to read things and put a name to things one has pieced together in life. One gains a new lens and clarity. We watched Marshall (the movie on Thurgood Marshall– it was brilliant). I also watched some Paris In Love (based on Paris Hilton’s prep for her wedding). There was no theme for me. But below, you will find the stuff that grabbed my attention and made me reflect. I always love sharing the gems with you.

Before we get to all the goodies, we celebrate our top post of the month, Preparing for the Next Best Season. (I am prepping to begin my seasonal deep clean of my house). As I write this, I give side-eye to the receipts at my entry table. The evil clutter will be gone.

My top read of the month was: Revenge: Meghan, Harry, and the War Between the Windsors by Tom Bower. This was some steamy journalism.

Quotes

Superficial religion will always be fashionable because it does not require self-denial.” Charles Spurgeon– This quote reminded me of when C.S. Lewis said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” There is something profound about choosing something for yourself that makes you grow and challenges you, not something that makes you feel like you have arrived.

If the flame given to us goes out, we not only lose the light ourselves forever but will also lose the ability to pass it along to all those others who are waiting for it.” Eric Metaxas (on Freedom)– This came from his book, If You Can Keep It, about the responsibility every American has to guarding the republic and the liberties embedded in it. Highly recommend.

When you follow a leader, consider what would lead you to withdraw your support. If your answer is nothing, your integrity is in jeopardy. Your highest loyalty belongs to principles, not people. No leader deserves unconditional love. Commitment is earned through character.” Adam Grant

No one has nuanced conversations, and life is all nuance.” Gabby Reece

You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” Albert Einstein

I always say that if I were ever going to bet on a horse at the track, then let it be me… because I know I’m going to run as hard as I can.” Curtis Jackson, 50 Cent– I read his book Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. It was so interesting. Major respect for Curtis Jackson. This man did not come to play. The philosophy in this quote is one I adopted for myself years ago. Ed Mylett says confidence is built through the promises you keep to yourself. When you work hard and know you leave it all on the table, there is a certain security in that, when you enter unknown territory. You learn to take calculated risks with confidence because you know you can bet on yourself.

Short-sighted people can’t conceive of well-rounded people.” Luis Samuel Gonzalez

The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” Giotto Calendoli– sending love to the Calendolis.

Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy.” Winston Churchill

To me, the thing that is worse than death is betrayal. You see, I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.” Malcom X

Greatness reduces your likability in terms of the natural accessibility because whenever you work hard enough to do something great, you become an indictment to anyone who settles for less.” Erwin McManus– This is so true. If you want greatness, learn to be alone and oftentimes, hated.

Yes, Christianity is a call to carry your cross and to die, but it is also [a] call to win and win decisively. And not just a superficial, moral victory or an ethereal, spiritual victory, but total victory over total reality. Yes, we are playing to win and for keeps.” Ryan Helfenbein– We always play to win.

People are sheep. When you realize that you won’t care so much about trying to impress or please them.” Celine Hakakha

Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that those liberties are a gift of God? That they are violated but with His wrath? I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785– This made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Wisdom is timeless.

How we think, how we see ourselves in the world, matters. With our partners, our children, our neighbors, within our own minds– we can redeem or we can violate. The choice is ours.” Terrence Real, Us

Articles

The most insane prints and combinations from The Mindy Project.

Your network is your net worth they say… this is a real thing. This piece was interesting discussing rich and poor friends.

Eric Metaxas chatting with Andrew Klavan about life, literature and philosophy.

Stuff

A valid video on female friendships and our expectations (I could relate):

This Battle Ready:

Nothing says back to school quite like the Luxy Hair Legally Blonde set.

People I am Intrigued By:

Gabby Reece

Image via Huffpost

Audrey Hepburn

Image via Pinterest

A new month with a new season being ushered in awaits.

I’ll see you there.

xx

Nikki and Artem are Married!

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev got married (in Paris)!!!!!! That is the post. Almost fell out of my chair when I saw the news break.

Fangirling here. They met in 2017 on Dancing With the Stars. I remember it so well. One of my favorite couples. It was cool to see Nikki’s transformation on the show.

They got engaged in November 2019 and were waiting to get married in a place where Artem’s parents could travel to since the pandemic disrupted everything.

Can’t wait to see more details as they come out and the four-part series on E! Wishing them both so much happiness. Congrats to my fav Russian-Latin couple.