July Inspiration

Friday, July 3, 2015

As the holiday weekend has just started, it is time for July inspirations! July is one of my very favorite months of the year, with fresh peaches, promise of a great time, that "something" relaxing in the air, something that gives us hope that this month will energize us and shine through our memories in the grey months of NYC winter.  I divided my inspirations into three themes:

Weekend Essentials

Fashion Holiday Weekend Staples

Summer Inspiring Reads

Just Keep Swimming - I-Phone Case -/- Holly Sunglasses -/-Melissa Cosmic Sandal
 During the weekend, when the temperature is almost reaching 100 ° F, I want to carry around only what it essential. Summer is a bit different from the rest of the year, as far as choice of accessories is concerned. I think we should all give ourselves the permission to discover an inner-child from time to time and there is no time better for that than Summer! Our sunglasses can be in more joyful, beach inspired colors, our phone cases can look like we have stolen them from some teenage friend and we have a permission to wear comfortable shoes from time to time. (Especially, with all the popularity of slides this year.)

Lace Embroidered Tank -/- Gingham Midi Skirt

Summer is a season of patriotic holidays, weddings, parties. etc. Therefore, it is time-saving to have something in your closet always ready for all sorts of warm weather events, something that will take you from the morning until the evening. No matter, how fast trends are changing, there is always something refreshing in a blue and white color combination. This year you can choose from pastel blues mixed with grey or go for very light blue reminding us of the sky in the beautiful hot vacation destinations. From lace, gingham to maxi, midi and cropped, you can choose what suits you best.
Fathers Quarterly -/- Food52 Genius Recipes

Finally, something which can inspire both your soul and your body. I have been a fan of  Food52 for a long time,as their philosophy based on appreciation on healthy meals, support of local food producers and cultivation of the idea of cooking at home (I wish it was easier...) is very close to my heart. Because of all of those reasons, I am super excited for their book Genius Recipes written by Kristen Miglore, a collection of failure-proof recipes from chef celebrities like Nigella Lawson, Julia Child, ranging from familiar dishes that we seem to never get right to many unexpected surprises.

Second item, that I am extremely excited to mention here, is a new concept magazine, available both in Polish and English, Fathers Quaterly. Anytime I see something as beautiful and inspiring coming out from my country of origin, I am very proud. This book-like magazine offers stunning photos and stories and fills out the niche on the market that was very much abandoned. It is a feast for the eyes and definitely I recommend it not only to Fathers but for anyone who is interested in a very unique perspective on nature, travel, life style and modern fatherhood.Thumbs up!!!

Happy 4th of July to all of you and may July be the beginning of a very inspiring Summer!
As always, please share your inspirations with me!

4th of July - Personal Guide on Entertaining in American Style

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

4th of July is about celebrating and as it happens Summer is the perfect season to celebrate, gather with the nearest and dearest and have great meals and lots of fun outdoors. As the occasion to celebrate is truly patriotic this time, I decided o show you my never ending support and appreciation for local brands and businesses. Thanks to the amazing website Shoptiques (Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with affiliate marketing), I discovered limitless source of inspiration while searching for fashion and interior decorating objects from boutiques online all over America gathered in one place.

4th of July - Entertaining in Style

1. The Ugly Peacock, NY 2. Bellissimo, ID   3. Shoptiques 4. Joss and Main 5. Gallant and Jones, Canada 
6. Root Fashion, TX  7. Shoptiques 8. Beach Glass, WA  9. Just Next Door Cards and Gifts, MA 
10. Vintage Gypsy, MN

I started my online journey from NY state-based Ugly Peacock, an artist-run shop with re-furbished furniture and unique gifts, where I  spotted colorful and artsy tray. I "travelled" to Idaho and spent hours on the website of Bellissimo, whose motto is: "You must fall in love with everything you buy." A salad bowl is what every Summer party needs and this one is a true eye-candy. I stopped for a moment at Root Fashion in Texas and found amazing porcelain coasters, which reminds me of ocean cottages. 

From there, I moved to Beach Glass in Washington where I discovered unique nautical themed napkins. My pilgrimage for perfect 4th of July dining decor would not be the same, without visiting Just Next Door Cards and Gifts in Massachusetts where a perfect girly acrylic wine glass was found. (Isn't that handy when you are partying on the roof?).  If the evening gets colder, there is nothing like sitting on the backyard with a perfect throw on your lap and that I found in Minnesota's Vintage Gypsy. Finally, to be perfectly honest, I broke my all American rule and visited one Canadian store, Gallant and Jones, to get the happiest and brightest beach chair that can be used during the 4th of July party. 

I travelled to so many amazing destinations finding beautiful objects for entertaining on 4th of July in a spirit of support for local, and not only, small boutiques where selection of merchandise is based on what locals really like, artistic taste of the owners and deep appreciation of local craftsmanship and small business virtues. As my celebration of 4th of July is very low-key and I am staying local this year, I am so glad I "travelled" all over America to find ideas on how to organize a great 4th of July party.

Let me know what are the most important elements of your Summer holiday entertaining decor and dining style! Please share what are you favorite local boutiques where you find things you love.

Happy and sunny 4th of July!!!

Aliza Licht - America's Next Career Mentor

Saturday, June 27, 2015

There is a great abundance of business or career self-help books written by women on the market lately and I enthusiastically applaud that. Books that I particularly enjoy are those written by She-Bosses who literally made their careers from scratch. My favorite female fashion entrepreneurs whose  writing inspired me are: Sophia Amoruso (Nasty Gal), Barbara Hulanicki (Biba), Betty Halbreich and Amanda Brooks. Aliza Licht, SVP of Global Communication at Donna Karan and DKNY PR Girl, has joined that group with her first book Leave the Mark.

I wish when I was in high school and at the beginning of my university years, Polish educational system was giving us the opportunity to have mentors not just instructors who relentlessly reminded us how far we are from the future perfect selves and the that process of learning had not been so focused on theory and never on practice or experience. The whole educational experience could be summed up in 3 words: learn, pass and forget. Mentorship was limited to acting, music, dance and art. Now, mentors are so valued in any professional field as their role is to peel the sugar coating off the beginnings of their career, share their struggles and lessons learned in a very often painful way to achieve the position of their dreams.

Aliza Licht - Leave Your Mark

Aliza Licht's book is a great example of what mentorship is and it is a great read not only for those interested in the fashion business but also for those who are afraid to make a big transition in their careers. She stresses the importance of personal branding in the current economy; takes us on a personal journey through her career path. I love how she presents the readers with the gallery of office personality types and at the same time coaches them how to deal with the most difficult ones and achieve the quality so highly desired in potential employees, i.e. thick skin. We all, at some point, have met at Mr. Spacely, Ken and Malibu Barbie in our work environments.

The author reveals the secrets behind her enormous Twitter marketing success, as well as dark sides of fashion world. She does it with tact and class without offending anybody. For all those who want to hear Aliza speak,  watch her 2013 TEDx Talk The Power of Being Real. I highly recommend reading "Leave Your Mark" to any female entrepreneur, as sometimes all we need to go forward with our business is to find a great mentor.

"Hell, your boss may not even notice all your hard work. Your career growth may not always move at the speed of your social media timeline and you may even get passed over for that promotion. But patience is a virtue and nothing is more important than dedication and perseverance. You can't quit when the going gets tough and you can't whine when the tough drags on. You are the star of your own show but don't expect the red carpet treatment. You have to do the time and you have to pay the dues. It will all be worth it. I promise." 
                                            Aliza Licht "Leave Your Mark"

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