Time For a Summer Friday

Today is beautiful, but it’s not just the 84-degree weather. Each Friday during the summer employees at the company where I work can leave at 1 p.m. So not only did I take by green and blue striped heels for a warm walk uptown, a co-worker and I went out to lunch and visited the “American Woman: Fashioning a New Identity” exhibit at the Met.

Now after stepping through decades of women’s history and hard work, I’m resting on my couch, fan blowing on me from the window, with my feet up as I type away the afternoon sipping Diet Coke. This is an ideal moment for me.

Having finished a half day’s work and experiencing some of the fabulous things the city has to offer (including a white bean and arugula salad on Madison Avenue and historic designs by Jeanne Lanvin at the museum), I know it’s time to chill, literally and figuratively.

And, it’s fitting because it supports my quest to take time for myself and to appreciate living in New York as I pledged in “New Season, New Changes.” Getting a little help with my summer work schedule doesn’t hurt either.

As I sneak a pillow under my feet and the fan blows between my blue-polished toes, I can’t help but feel like I’m fulfilling my mission to be a happier, more relaxed person. Yet, in reality, I have to admit, it’s been a challenge to stress less and relax more. It’s funny how trying not to stress can be a source of anxiety.

Over the last couple weeks I’ve tried to live by new mantras of waking earlier, not sweating the small stuff and seeking fun activities. Well, finding fun is the easy part, but then finding time to work, write, exercise, spend time with friends AND sleep is tricky. And, once I’m doing all those things, limited sleep makes the little things like a being pushed in the subway, or forgetting your cell phone at home, pretty annoying.

What’s worse is feeling like I’m failing at my own personal challenge, when at the end of each day, I realize I’ve only achieved some of the goals for that day. At night I wondered, how can so many women lead amazing, productive and happy lives and not feel exhausted? Is it possible? And then, when I think I’m about to figure it out, I fall asleep with a book in my face and the light on.

The next morning I’d try again to strike the balance between, work, play, personal relationships and fitness, again wondering why there’s only 24-hours in a day.

But, it’s funny, after today, I feel like I’m on the right track, taking one step closer to achieving this goal to change my lifestyle. Except, the difference between today and the past week is, I didn’t force it. My schedule allowed it and I didn’t mind that I only managed to check off most of the items on my list — to be happy, I don’t necessarily have to do it all.

I think that’s what I learned today. Feeling content with your life isn’t always about doing everything right, it’s about making time to feel right about what you’re doing.

For those of you who are also on mission to improve your life by getting up early, taking time to laugh, or any other new goals I mentioned in my previous post, don’t fret, change takes time.

Like women’s rights and fashions, which continue to evolve over decades, change can be beautiful, though subtle, one moment at a time…if you let it.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park Events Tonight

There are many great things about living in Brooklyn, including the expansive new waterfront park spanning the river’s edge overlooking downtown Manhattan. As new segments of the park open over the coming months and year, events will be held to celebrate this beautiful new addition to the vibrant community.

The Park By Christa Fletcher

Festivities will kick off tonight at the Sunset Swing event from 6-9 p.m. on Pier 1, the newly opened section of the park. For details, check out Sunset Swing. Later, you can join the after party at the Galapagos art space. Organized by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Junior Committee, a group dedicated to reaching out to professionals in their 20’s and 30’s.

This later event, the Twilight Swing, A Sunset Swing After-Party Event begins at 9 p.m. You can purchase tickets online or at the door for $25 and $30. Admission to the event gets you two drinks, hors d’oeuvres, dessert and entertainment.

I hear there’s a aerial act you won’t want to miss. Plus, if you’ve never been to the park, you should check out both events to experience the fun and excitement of Brooklyn Heights and the DUMBO area.

View from the Heights Promenade By Christa Fletcher

Over the course of the summer there are many activities like Movies with a View and group exercise on Pier 1.

I’ll be heading down to Galapagos tonight to check it out the Twilight Swing Event, for sure. For more information about the fundraiser, visit the park’s website or head down tonight. See you there!

16 Main Street, DUMBO
Thursday, June 3, 9 p.m.

If you cannot attend the events, but would like to donate to the Brooklyn Bridge Park, please visit their website www.brooklynbridgepark.org.

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Going Postal For Women Leaders

Mother Theresa, USPS

Katharine Hepburn once said, “I never realized until lately that women were supposed to be the inferior sex.” This independent and courageous thinking illustrates Hepburn’s role as one of the premiere feminists who valued equality. It also shows why she was chosen to be honored by the United States Postal Service.

Well, there’s nothing inferior about this year’s women on stamps. The 2010 U.S. Stamp Program unveiled stamps honoring three important women: Mother Theresa, Kate Smith and Katharine Hepburn. For those who do not know these amazing women, each left their mark on our culture, history and feminism.

Mother Theresa (1910- 1997) was a nun dedicated to aiding the poor in India where she took vows of “chastity, obedience, and poverty,” along with “a fourth vow of wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor,” says the USPS website. “‘In order to understand and help those who have nothing,’ Mother Teresa told the young women, ‘we must live like them.'”

Kate Smith, USPS

As an honorary American Citizen, her unprecedented generosity in her teachings and service to the destitute in India and with AIDS patients in the U.S. earned her the respect of people from all backgrounds. She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, “in the name of the poor, the hungry, the sick and the lonely.” In addition to her many awards from the U.S. government she was an advocate who earned funds to sustain her work and the people she helped. Her stamp will be available to purchase on August 26, 2010 on what would have been her 100th birthday.

Kate Smith (1907-1986) was a singer and songwriter. Her signature rendition of the song “God Bless America,” has been called America’s unofficial national anthem and was a good luck charm for the NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers. Known as the “Songbird of the South,” Smith recorded close to 600 songs, selling millions of records. Her stamp went on sale May 1, 2010.

Katharine Hepburn, USPS

As for Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003), whose stamp was revealed this month on May 12, 2010, “Katharine Hepburn will be remembered for generations, for both her unparalleled acting ability and being a role model for women who chose to live life on their own terms,” Postmaster General John Potter said in a statement.

Hepburn won four Academy Awards during her acting career that included 40 motion pictures. She played strong roles in films, proving that women could be sophisticated leaders on the big screen and in life.

Hepburn is the sixteenth professional actor to be honored in the U.S. Postal Service‘s Legends of Hollywood stamp series. Her niece Katharine Houghton, said, Katharine “provided hope and inspiration and courage for a whole new generation of women.”

I completely agree. Bravo to these amazing women and the U.S. Postal Service for recognizing their courageous work.

To see more of this year’s stamp series, check out the press release.

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Will the Real Housewives Please Stand Up

Beyonce as "B.B. Homemaker"

This month Beyonce went retro in a 50’s sitcom-inspired music video for her song “Why Don’t You Love Me,” while also calling attention to the traditional pressures women face due to gender inequality. As a overburdened, depressed and unloved housewife, “B.B. Homemaker” drinks her misery away and croons about her unfulfilled life, despite being seemingly “perfect.”

After watching this video, I started to ponder portrayals of women in domestic roles on television and how, frankly, the job seems pretty thankless and scary — bringing us to the question, “Why don’t we love housewives?”

I mean, yes, we do have the pretty and pleasant housewives in commercials, who do their best to make kitchen floors shine and get stains out of their family’s clothes as they smile happily, but most roles of housewives on television are sad, crazy or stupid.

We have the likes of “Betty Draper” in Mad Men, a self-serving and mistreated sixties housewife with a drinking problem; then there’s schizophrenic “Tara Gregson” in the United States of Tara whose family is falling a part do to the tornado of her alter egos; next up we have the drug dealing Nancy Botwin in Weeds, who is perhaps the most selfish character ever written as she burns down neighborhoods and sleeps with drug lords; and finally there are the many ladies of Wisteria Lane on ABC, who deal with murder and remarriages to no end on Desperate Housewives; along with several other comedic mother-wives on 30-minute sitcoms who play it straight to joke-cracking husbands.

"Nancy Botwin" on Weeds

Each of these characters is a homemaker, creating an unfit home life with their destructive behaviors. These extreme roles lack the kindness, intelligence and responsible nature of real women. And, I’ll be honest, these representations don’t make the job appealing, which in a way, is an insult to mothers and wives of the past, present and future.

So what about those homemakers on reality TV, you ask?

They might as well be a modern version of Beyonce’s B.B. Homemaker, all dressed up and ready to act out what it means to be a “housewife,” making a statement about American culture. However, these ladies aren’t being ironic. The women who are “Real Housewives” exploit their wealth and silliness in top cities across the country on Bravo, or there’s the “swappers” who are willing to trade in their family for another, and who could forget the mom’s who have given up on their kids, ready for a nanny to take over on network television.

How are these women commenting on real world experience? You tell me. Are all women seeking to trade their families, be unhappy millionaire’s wives, or live selfish prime time soap opera-esque lives?

The Real Housewives of Orange County

I think housewives are being objectified and silenced in a different way than the past. The wealthy, irresponsible reality TV stars and the TV show characters create a new stereotype of housewife, but not in a good way. Any of these scripted series would make any young woman think twice before moving to the suburbs if they thought their lives would be similar.

I mean, really, if the lives of wives on TV are any indication, young and married urbanites should be desperate to avoid wisteria-covered houses, back-stabbing neighbors (ha, literally!) and screaming, ungrateful children altogether.The suburbs seem to be a breeding ground of hatred, lies, divorce and dissatisfaction.

Maybe the term “housewife” needs a makeover and quite possibly, a publicist. Those shows, both fiction and “non-fiction” are created for entertainment, not to depict realistic versions of women we are, or will become. Was that the point of B.B. Homemaker? Is Beyonce a feminist too?

Since I’m not a housewife myself, I cannot speak on their behalf, however, as a feminist, I believe it’s important that we are aware of this disservice to strong, smart, generous and talented women who choose the role. We must also defend our right to work in the public or private spheres. Being liberated doesn’t make anyone better than another — whether she works in an office, on television, or at home — we are all equals.


Civilized Denim Shopping

Discover Your Perfect Denim
Avoiding the Dressing Room & Find the Right Fit
Published By: Marie Claire May 2007

We all love to wear jeans. But the thrill of the hunt for the perfect pair often leaves us hungry for the right size. Why not beat the heat of a tiny dressing room as other ladies claw for their spot in line and skip the denim shopping adventure altogether? There’s no need to trek through a jungle of jeans downtown when you can find your perfect pair of designer jeans at home. That’s right, no more sweating and squeezing into a pair of Frankie B’s because you love that low-rise style. Find a brand that fits you at TrueJeans.com, a new company with a new philosophy that will change your shopping mantra. Experience the thrill of “fit before fashion,” and end the shopping safari. Experience a place where you can find designer jeans that fit your body shape and style online.

True Jeans was born from two fit-frustrated shoppers who loathed traditional jeans shopping. So, after two years of extensive research, testing, and development, Romney Evans and Jessica Arredondo have launched their online store where women and men can shop for jeans that fit them. Now you can navigate your way through a marketplace of denim tailored to you. True Jeans will even provide a map!

To get started, all you have to do is go to the True Jeans Website and create your own body profile. Follow the easy-to-use measuring directions or you can estimate your body shape. You can use your own soft measuring tape or True Jeans can send you a Fit Kit. The Fit Kit includes directions on how to measure yourself, measuring tape, and the fit scale. After you get your measurements, record your measurements in your online body profile. Next, you can choose your style preferences. Not all styles will fit everyone, so some styles that don’t fit a particular customer will be eliminated from search results — remember, it’s “fit before fashion.” But don’t worry, the True Jeans fit specialists have conducted a lot of research to pair you with the right style and size. And they have compiled this information to create accurate recommendations for you to choose from.

After you’ve entered your measurements and style preferences, you can search through your recommended selections and buy any pair you want. Each pair is rated by the True Jeans fit scale, which is calibrated with your body profile. You’ll find designer labels with a rating from one to five — five stars being the perfect fit.

Welcome to the civilized world of jeans shopping — where your new favorite pair of jeans comes to you.

True Jeans, truejeans.com

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Necklace Helps Hotline

Charms For Charity
Netaya Fine Jewelry Designs Supports The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Originally Published By: Marie Claire May 2007

18K Gold Plated Initials Necklace
Support The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Show off your humanitarian side with a trendy pendant trio by Netaya Fine Designer Jewelry. You’ll shine with these 18K gold plated charms accented by the sparkle of cubic zirconia. Your purchase will also raise funds for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, an organization dedicated to helping domestic abuse victims by phone.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides crisis intervention, safety plans and the location of local shelters to every one of their more than 16,000 callers each month. NDVH staff members are available 24-hours a day through their toll-free hotline in English and Spanish. NDVH also offers interpreters to translate for callers in over 140 other languages. $5 per necklace will go to expanding all of these services for domestic abuse survivors.

And, if you want, you can personalize the necklace with your initials! The first two initials are engraved for free when you purchase this pretty piece, each additional initial costs $4.95. This sterling silver box chain and charms is plated in 18k yellow gold and measures 18″ in length. It also has matching earrings.

According to the NDVH, more than three women are murdered a day by their husbands in the United States.

To buy this necklace and help stop the violence, please go to Netaya’s website.

Love the earrings too? Click Here.

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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Lend An Earring To A Cause

Dazzle in Drop Earrings

Earrings That Benefit The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Originally Published By: Marie Claire May 2007
18K Gold Plated Drop Earrings
Supporting National Domestic Violence Hotline

Dress up any look with a beautiful pair of 18K gold plated drop earrings by Netaya Fine Designer Jewelry. Purchase these sterling silver earrings, heavily plated in yellow gold, to benefit the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Dazzle your friends red-carpet-style with delicate cubic zirconia accents and the smile you’ll get from helping this organization for domestic abuse survivors.

Now, you, like celebrities Salma Hayek and Queen Latifah, can be a star by supporting the National Domestic Abuse Hotline. With their support, the number of callers continues to grow, as more domestic abuse victims discover the hotline every month. And with your support, each of the nearly 16,000 monthly calls will continue to be answered.

From crisis intervention, safety plans and the location of the nearest shelter, the 24-hour phone support is an answer to the American abuse problem. Each day, more than three women are murdered by their husbands in the United States, according to the NDVH. By purchasing these earrings, $5 per pair with benefit this toll-free hotline.

To buy this necklace and help stop the violence, please go to Netaya’s website.

Want to do help even more? Find out how you can help by going to to the NDVH website.www.ndvh.org

Or you can buy the matching necklace HERE.

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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